Annie Shaw relaxed and enjoyed the feeling of the sun beating down on her. The waves were gently washing onto the beach.
“Aren’t you going to go in the water, Annie?”
Annie stretched and looked at her little sister. Amy was 12 years younger than her, and it was hard for her to understand why someone would just lie there and soak up the sun when they could be splashing around in the waves.
“No, Amy, I’m getting a nice tan.”
“But that’s boring. I want to go swimming.”
Annie looked around, but she didn’t see their parents. Amy wasn’t allowed to go into the ocean by herself. Annie looked out into the water and watched the waves for a few moments.
She blinked. What was she seeing out there? She put her hand up to her forehead to shield her eyes from the sun and try to figure out what was out there? Could it be a shark? They were in Florida after all.
Amy was tugging on Annie’s sarong. “Annie, can I go swimming.”
“No, Amy, there’s something out there.” Annie was still trying to figure out what it was, but all she could see was something moving around. Maybe it was just a swimmer, but whatever it was looked so much bigger than a person.
“What is that?” Annie said to no one in particular as she walked toward the water. Amy was following behind her.
A scream made Annie jump and nearly fall over onto the beach. The scream was coming from the water. Now there were many screams and a great deal of splashing as people attempted to get out of the water.
Annie took Amy’s hand. “Amy, I think we better go.”
“What is it, Annie? Why are people screaming?”
Now Annie was swiftly walking away from the water and tugging her little sister along with her. “I don’t know, Amy, but I don’t’ think we should wait around to find out.”
Annie was trying to keep moving, but curiosity made her turn around to see if whatever it was was still behind them.
What she saw made her heart jump into her throat. People were continuing to run out of the water and up the beach, but it the creature that was lumbering through the water that made Annie’s jaw drop. Amy shrieked and grabbed onto her.
“Annie, what is that? Is that a monster?”
Annie didn’t believe in monsters, but she didn’t know what else to call it. It was at least 7 feet tall and gray with scales covering it from head to foot. It was looking around, and Annie found herself frozen for the moment with Amy beside her. The creature turned and stared right at her. It had bright yellow eyes. Annie wanted to run, but her legs felt like lead. There were screams and cries and people running all around here, but somehow they all sounded very distant.
Then the creature turned away from her and roared. It was like nothing Annie had ever heard before. It didn’t sound like a lion or a bear. It sounded almost unearthly.
Then, just like that, the creature turned and stomped back into the water, slowly disappearing under the waves. The water was now calm, as if some unheard-of creature hadn’t just emerged from it and terrorized a beach full of people.
“What was that, Annie? Is it really gone?” Amy asked, looking up at Annie with wide blue eyes.
Annie gave her sister a hug. The legs that had felt like lead moments ago were now able to move again. “I think it’s gone, Amy. Still, why don’t we find Mom and Dad and go home?”
Amy nodded. “Okay. I don’t want to swim anymore now.”