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An October Treasure This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It was a cold October morning. The sun had barely begun to climb into the sky. And yet, the morning calmness had already been shattered with sounds of shovels and men. The beach was crowded with bodies scurrying about.

Alex was working off to the left side of the beach, away from most of the others. This was not his first morning out in the sand. In fact, he had spent many mornings over the years searching in the sand. His age had long since begun to show. His face had taken on a weathered look from having spent many days in the sun. And the lines on his face from laughing and smiling had become permanent features. He wore a beard which had been seasoned with the salt of old age.

Alex paused for a moment to tug his hat back down over his ears and give his hands a brief rest. His arthritis was beginning to make his hands ache, but he was determined to dig until he gained success. He looked out at the ocean and his experienced eyes knew the tide was coming in. Nature would come in and completely erase the marks left by man. When the water rolled back out, the beach would be flat and smooth again.

With his shovel in hand, he returned to the steady pace of digging. He kept up the pace piling the sand at his side until he had a hole a foot deep. He gave a sigh of impatience. Alex stood up and stretched his muscles which were beginning to cramp. It felt good to stand after kneeling for so long. He stood looking at the horizon and marveled at the beauty around him. Having stretched sufficiently, he moved his tools and bucket over. Then he took up the task at hand.

The rhythm of the work relaxed him. Even though he was seasoned in this type of search, he felt his patience wearing thin. Alex knew he was being greedy when he looked in his bucket and saw it half full of "treasures." He laughed to himself with the thought that most of the men hadn't found half as many. This area had been pretty well picked over through the years. But he just couldn't stop right now, he wanted more.

As he began another hole, Alex felt his arthritis flair. He told himself that this would be the last hole of the day. With new-found determination, the digging continued. Then suddenly it happened. He caught sight of the "jewel." Dropping the shovel, he grabbed the small rake. Working with finesse and quickness, he uncovered it. Then he used his free hand to pluck it out and place it in the bucket.

Alex stood up feeling satisfied. This last find brought the count up to 30 beautiful jewels. He looked at them with hungry admiration. They were all whitish grey in color and a very good size. He couldn't wait to get them home. His wife had promised that if he found 30 clams, she would make clam chowder.

Gathering his tools and bucket, he left to go to his warm home and wife. Alex eagerly anticipated the warmth and relaxation home would bring. As he set out, he was already hungry for chowder. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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