A Shark’s Tooth Tale

Venice Beach, Florida

The sun was dropping low in the sky as Lisa took her evening walk along the beach.  Since she moved to Venice, Florida just two months earlier, this had become her ritual after her long day in the ER at the local hospital. As a nurse her days could be quite stressful and this activity calmed her frazzled brain.

Venice, believe it or not, is known as the Sharks’ Tooth Capital of the World and in her short time there she had already found several on her evening beach walks.  Mostly they were tiny teeth, and for those not familiar with them, they could easily be mistaken for little flat black pebbles. But she had seen several larger ones discovered by other beach goers who patiently comb the sand with the special, long handled sieves she had seen for sale in the many souvenir shops close to the beach. The largest tooth she had seen reminded her of an Indian arrowhead she had observed as a child in The Natural History Museum in New York. It was black and triangular and she hated to think of the size of the shark that had once owned it.

On her walk this particular evening she saw the usual crowd gathering on the beach with their Tervis Tumblers of varying cocktails and beers in hand, waiting to toast the sun as it set.  This was a nightly event quite common on the west coast of Florida.  If you’re lucky you might even see the elusive “Green Flash” as soon as the sun disappears on the horizon.  She had yet to witness it but was assured by the reveling beach goers of its existence. Maybe the alcohol had something to do with it she thought with a smile.

As she continued along the shore she noticed a young family setting up a celebration at one of the picnic tables, complete with a birthday cake and candles.  Someone was going to be 5!  A little further on she saw a small group gathered at the water’s edge peering at something.  She wandered over to see what had them so interested.  A tall young man was holding something in his hand and the others were staring at it and shooting questions at him.  He lifted it high to stop the children pulling at it.  Lisa noticed something black and as she got closer she saw the biggest shark’s tooth imaginable.  It was as wide as the man’s palm and really quite astonishing.

Someone jokingly said “I hope the tooth fairy has enough money on her tonight.  She may have to write you a check!”

Lisa asked the man if she could hold it and he refused.  She was a little taken aback as she was hardly going to steal it from him.

“I can’t let you touch it, this is gonna be worth a lot to someone.” he said sharply as he dropped it quickly into some strange contraption on his belt.

Lisa studied him closely. He looked like he had been sleeping on the beach for a month.  He had straggly hair and a leathery skin that you would attribute to the outdoor life of a homeless person.

He looked back at her and said, “You can have it for $20”

She was silent for a moment thinking that this guy really needed the money if he’d been sleeping on the beach.  He’s probably hungry too.  She heard one of the adults in the small crowd say “I’ll give you 10 bucks for it”.

Lisa quickly put her hand in the pocket of her shorts and pulled out the $20 bill she always had there when she walked, just in case of an emergency.  She handed it to him and he pulled out the shark’s tooth dropping it in her open hand and then he took off running down the beach.

As the small crowd looked at her with anticipation, she touched the tooth with her other hand and realized immediately it was a plastic souvenir.  She could even make out the words, Made in China.  It was a hoax.

As the nearby sundowners began to cheer and raise their glasses, Lisa looked up, just in time to see The Green Flash

Christine Bolton

In response to the Three Things Challenge June 18: Shark, Birthday Cake, Tooth Fairy

Word of the Day Challenge: Hoax

One Daily Prompt: Contraption

Follow Poetry For Healing on WordPress.com

 

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  6 comments for “A Shark’s Tooth Tale

  1. June 18, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Something good from a hoax ended with a rare moment. I think she was beautifully rewarded for her generosity.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 18, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you so much. I enjoyed trying to pull everything together.

  2. June 19, 2018 at 7:51 am
    • Christine Bolton
      June 19, 2018 at 8:07 am

      Thanks Kristian! I accept and I’ll post me responses later 😊

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