I wasn’t at my writers’ group this week (Tuesday’s haiku might help explain why) but I discovered this morning that the prompt they were given was “the baby in the sand dune” (huh?), so I used the bus journey home to see what I’d have come up with…
This story doesn’t end well.
The baby wasn’t dead, I should make that clear before I go any further. Most people can handle tales of most murder victims – old rich men, beautiful young dames, old rich men who had married beautiful young dames. Cops, even those with only two days to go to retirement. Joggers. Clowns. Especially clowns. I think there’s a word for hatred of clowns – intelligence, I think it is. But not a baby, so I want to assure you that he was fine.
And he wasn’t just lying on the sand, he was in a baby-buggy.
It was an early morning swimmer who found the baby. I don’t know what’s wrong with these people, dragging themselves from a warm bed in semi-darkness to plunge into cold, salty water, turning their body the colour of a blueberry and their genitals the size of one.
Anyway, he rang the station – don’t ask me, maybe he had the phone down the front of his Speedos to impress any passing broads – and Bud and I were sent to investigate.
The baby wasn’t able to tell us much, being that he was a baby and all that. Then again, we mostly work homicide, so in most of our cases the chief witness gives us no oral assistance, other than via their dental records. The baby did cry when he saw Bud, though.
“Guess that makes you a suspect,” I said. “Don’t leave town.”
I handed the baby to a uniformed officer, because he was starting to stink (the baby, not the officer). “Take him down to the precinct,” I said.
“Why?” asked the officer. “What’s he done?” Everyone’s a wise guy these days.
Bud and I started to search the dunes. We didn’t find anything – well, we did, we found a dog-turd, some beer-cans and a used condom, but I mean we didn’t find any clues as to who the baby might be. Then we got our first real break – we could hear screaming.
“Someone’s getting killed,” said Bud.
I knew better. Perhaps I’d had more experience of broads crying. “That’s a broad crying,” I said. We listened to try and figure out the direction of the wailing, then went to cherche la femme, as the French say. Though in a better French accent.
The femme was in a bikini and a hysterical state.
Turns out she had left the baby safely in the sand dune while she went for an early morning swim. She had come out of the water – she didn’t have the blueberry problem, though she did have goosebumps the size of nipples and nipples the size of bullets – to discover that all sand dunes look identical. She was shivering, from cold and from fear.
“You lost a baby?” asked Bud. She nodded.
“We’ve got him,” I said. “He’s down in the precinct.”
“Is he ok?”
“Fine,” I said. “He’s asleep in his buggy, last I heard. Which means,” I continued, “we may have to charge him.”
I couldn’t help myself. “Kid napping,” I said.
I told you the story didn’t end well.