Now that Johnny’s father was gone, she couldn’t love the ocean any more, but she could not bring herself to hate it.
Johnny ran towards her, waving something in the air.
“Mommy! Look! It looks like a hand! Isn’t this cool?”
It was a piece of driftwood.
It did look a little like a hand. Elaine wasn’t sure why, but the thing gave her the creeps.
“I’m gonna keep it and take it home.”
“Are you sure? I don’t like that thing. Plus, it’s probably dirty.”
“No, Mom, it’s cool! I like it.”
Elaine sighed… who knew why little boys thought things were cool.
“OK, Johnny, fine, you can take it home.” She still didn’t like it, though.
“It’s late now, let’s go back to the car, we have a long ride ahead of us.”
When she arrived home, Johnny was asleep in the back seat. Elaine picked him up and carried him in the house. It was late, so she put him in bed, taking the chunk of driftwood from him and sticking it on the shelf in his room. Oddly, she thought that it looked a little more like a hand than it did before. Maybe it was just that she had thought of it as the driftwood hand now.
“Goodnight, little man.” Elaine shut off the light and left the room.
She went down to the living room and flipped on the TV. The sound of the evening news lulled her to sleep.
A crash brought her back to alertness. It had come from Johnny’s room.
Elaine raced up the stairs to see what had happened. Turning into the room, she saw Johnny’s limp form laying half out of his bed. There was blood dripping from his throat and a trail of blood leading to the smashed window.
The driftwood hand was nowhere to be seen.