Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Contest Entry · #1658647
What if I accidentally took pictures of a crime being committed.
|The Yellow Mustang|
Vacations. Always fun, almost always relaxing. The best part about the beach is the scenery, the bathing suits. But the beach was beautiful. The wet shiny sand was kept smooth and soft by the waves that washed across it. The mix of blankets, towels and bodies turned the dry sand into a living quilt. We had waited all year to come to Daytona Beach on the beautiful east coast of Florida. We also hoped to see the Shuttle launch from the Cape, something we had never seen before.
On our second day at the beach, a Saturday, the beach was crowded. So crowded that many people on the beach were dangerously close to the driving lane. Daytona Beach is one of the few beaches that allow cars to drive on the sand. We had never seen that before either. We wondered how it was possible that people were not run over. Speaking to a life guard we were surprised to hear that only 2 mishaps had occurred the previous year.
By mid afternoon, with the sun in the west, I was able to take great pictures of my girlfriend in her new bathing suit with the ocean behind her. Cheryl looked stunning in her lime green bikini, it barely covered her perfect tan. The shadows were long, even the foot prints in the wet sand stood out. Cheryl was being playful and wanted some pictures taken of her showing the crowd behind her. A bright yellow Mustang slowly rolled through the sand, top down, loud music, muscled driver. Everyone noticed the flashy car. My girlfriend asked the driver if we could get some pictures of her sitting in and on the car. The driver seemed taken with Cheryl and quickly agreed. While somewhat embarrassed by Cheryl's behavior, I began to snap pictures. As it turned out later, one in particular became quite interesting. Cheryl stretched out across the gleaming yellow trunk of this magnificent car. Her slim body, golden with the addition of sunscreen, was a perfect match for the brilliant color of the car. Snap. Snap. Snap. I kept going while she changed positions. A few provocative shots had everyone paying attention to only what was happening on the trunk of the car.
The driver smiled broadly and offered Cheryl a ride. Cheryl apologized and declined, explaining she was not alone. The driver paid no attention to Cheryl's refusal and insisted she take a ride with him. Cheryl jumped down off the car, she appeared scared and ran to me. She bumped into me and I dropped the camera in the sand. I brushed the sand off and placed it in our backpack, thinking I wanted to do a better job cleaning it before I used it again. The driver, obviously accustomed to having his way, became upset and cranked up the music and floored the accelerator. Sand flew everywhere. A double rooster tail of grating sand flew into the air, stinging the faces of the spectators that had gathered to watch what was happening. People ran, kids were screaming, and with a jolt, the car surged forward in the sand.
A sickening thud was heard, and a small body flew into the air at the front of the yellow car. The body arced into the hot humid air, easily clearing the car and falling to the sand with a horrible sound. The Mustang had sped off by the time anyone looked away from the young twisted body that was partially imbedded in the sand. There was silence, stunned shock as beach goers began to converge on the lifeless body. A chilling scream was heard, so shocking it could only be that of a parent. An opening in the crowd was silently formed, allowing the mother to reach her child who could not respond to her mother's wails.
It was two hours before the crowd dispersed. Many descriptions of the car and it's good looking, but errant driver, were given to the police. No one was able to provide information about the license plate, not even the state of registration. In all the excitement and horror, I had forgotten my camera that I had packed away in my back pack. It contained pictures of not only Cheryl, but the Mustang. Cheryl was so upset that after a brief statement to the police, I took her to our room so she could lie down. The next day we saw on the local news that the child had died during the night. The police were attempting to locate the driver. I remembered his arrogance and wondered if he had already painted the car and left the area.
After picking up my vacation pictures at Walgreen's pharmacy I headed home. It was two weeks since we returned from Daytona Beach. If I was true to form I would throw away most of the photographs in the envelope because of poor quality. Arriving home I put the envelope filled with photos, along with my car keys, on the hall table. After completing some chores I went into the bedroom and ironically there was Cheryl's bathing suit on the bed. It made me think again of the pictures I had picked up. Cheryl came in the front door and noticed I had the Walgreen's photo pack and grabbed them from me saying, "I can't wait to see how my bathing suit looks on that Mustang." I had forgotten that those photos were included in this pack. Cheryl opened the envelope and slid the photos out onto the table. There, right on top, was a photograph of Cheryl, her tanned skin accented by the bright yellow paint of the Mustang. Her lime green bathing suit was stunning with the shining yellow that surrounded it. But what directed my eye away from Cheryl was right at the end of Cheryl's foot. Just past Cheryl's red painted toe nail was a beautiful clear New York State vehicle registration. All the blue letters and numbers as readable as the smile on Cheryl's face.