Snap, Crackle, Pop

I hate the damn beach. All this fuck’n sand. Gets into every Goddamn thing; my clothes, my hair, my mouth.

I can’t figure how my parental units can love this ugly place with all its garbage. Broken bottles, broken shells, broken pieces of wood, broken plastic and all those damn beer and soda cans. Hate beer – even the smell makes me puke. That damn soda makes me belch.

And the sun. Shit, five minutes and I look like one of those fuck’n lobsters the parentals gorge themselves on. Bottom feeders. And crabs. Least the lobsters don’t have all that shell inside with little pieces that always get in the meat and fuck with my teeth. If I’d been born Jewish I wouldn’t have to eat lobsters and crabs – or clams, or oysters. Make me gag.

And the seagulls. Begging and stealing. Laughing – always laughing. Love to hit them with stones or pieces of coral – whatever’s near and hard. Makes ‘em squawk.

There’s one now – in those rocks. Back to me – busy pecking at something. I see a hunk of coral – ‘bout the size of my fist and hard. A real stinger. Careful, can’t let the bird see me. The wind up – the pitch – bull’s-eye! It tries to fly but stumbles – picks itself up and limps away. Best hit I’ve ever made on a gull.

But what was it after? What’s in those rocks? Damn – look at that! A crab – one of those fuck’n bottom feeders. Claws up and open, almost like it’s waving at me. Wants to pinch my finger – like one did just before the female parental unit threw it in the boiling pot. Not going to happen again – no fuck’n way.

There’s a well-weathered twig left in the rocks by some wave. I grab the thicker end and prod the creature. Good – just as I wanted, it locks on to the stick. Flip the crab on its back on top the biggest rock and grab its free claw. Then, before it can drop the twig, I seize the other claw and swing it up to look straight into its insect-like eyes. I promise the crab I have no desire to eat it. Now I slowly twist the claws and pull.

SNAP – one claw comes off. I throw it in the water. I grab the body and continue to twist and pull the other claw ‘till SNAP – it comes lose and I send it too flying into the waves. I put the crab on its back in the sand – its legs flailing the air. I lift a foot and place the heel on its underside and slowly – gratifyingly slowly – press my whole weight down on it. CRACKLE!

Grabbing some of the legs I swing the carcass and launch it into the ocean. One less bottom feeder for the kitchen pot.

Something catches my eye – something glinting in the rocks where the crab had been. Curious I lean towards it. I know there wasn’t anything of interest there other than the crab. But now there’s a large bubble shimmering in the light breeze. Fuck’n big bubble – it fills the space between the rocks.

I look closer. Colors swirl on its surface like a film of oil on water. I try to peer inside but all I see is my own distorted reflection. Gross. I find the stick I had used on the crab. I poke anticipating a loud POP. But the bubble resists – like a soft balloon.

Abruptly the stick is swallowed up. The bubble envelops my hand before I can let go. Can’t get lose – what the fuck is happening? Now the sphere surrounds my arm, now my shoulder, now my head, then my whole body. THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING TO ME, IT’S NOT THE WAY IT GOES, STOP!

But no stopping. Body swirling, changing. Bones transform, skin hardens. Tumbling around like under large wave. Exploding iridescent colors. Around and around. Flashes of lightning. Body stiffens. What’s happening?

Suddenly water gone. Rock canyon. World different. Large shadow fills canyon. Afraid. Huge beak. Huge bird. Beak snaps. I snap back. With my… CLAWS?

Bird jumps. Flaps big wings. Squawks, limps away. Bird gone. Feel dread. Shadow again. Enormous shadow. Giant monster boy. Wave claws. Big stick – poking. Grasp stick. Lifted up. Dropped on back on rock. Free claw held. Other claw grabbed before I can drop stick. Up in air. Monster has hot breath. Going to eat me?

Claws twisted – pulled. NO! STOP IT! NO! SNAP! One claw gone. SNAP! Other claw pulled off. Now on back. No claws – can’t flip. Shadow. Monster’s foot on me. Heaviness. Can’t stop the SNAP, CRACKLE, POP!

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