Soft Sand and Adrenalin by Evelyn J Steward

Soft Sand and Adrenalin

The soft swooshing of the surf and the odd times crackling, was the loudest sound on the beach. Even the gulls were quiet. Too busy combing for fresh shells, the slight waves were washing in enough for good feeds for all.

Queenie plodded along making toe prints in the dry powdery sand, her long leash dragging behind, her tail swishing to and fro. This made for a strange pattern, changed too soon by the errant breeze. It picked up the powder, sifted down from the dunes close by, and covered all the prints so that no one would know she had passed by.

High cirrus cloud blurred the intense blue of the brilliant summer sky. Perfect weather for a stroll, thought Ruby as she wound in Queenie’s leash. They were closing on the public sector. Queenie might be hard to control.

The sounds changed from surf to metallic clanking as they drew up along side the tall gate. Big noise came from the other side of the gate, Ruby hated that, but it was home, after all.

Ruby searched for her Pass, the metal docket that would permit her entrance into BeachMet. She held it out and the scanner took its sweet time checking her details. Then it was Queenie’s turn to be examined, from a safe distance.

“O.K.,” said the disinterested gateman, who leaned across to a lever, and pulled. The gate opened wide enough for Queenie to slide through. Ruby now had her on a very short chain. Best to be safe. Her credits were low and if a fine was levied, she could not pay. Queenie would also be lost to her, and she would be luxuriating in a dirty four by six prison cell, with two other disreputable inmates, no doubt Not how she wanted to end up right now.

There were more people around than usual. Queenie tugged harder but Ruby shortened her chain even more. A gruff command added more control. This way, the pair were able to negotiate the twisty passages to their small room on the north quadrant. It was not much but better than some had it.

Queenie was fed and secured in her metal box. It was safe enough. Ruby needed to go find some cheap food. It was early so many places would just be opening up. There would be last nights’ throw outs, if she was quick. The costs were a tenth of the later prices. She could spin her credits out that much further. Maybe today she would add to them with her special talents?

Queenie was angled into her quarters, though she moaned and grunted most of the time. A pack of rations was measured out for later. Queenie snapped. Ruby was faster and had her hand well out of the way.

“Still hungry, eh?” Queenie squealed as she managed to separate a portion right now. “You’ll have less later. The machine is already set. I have no spare credits, so no nonsense when I get back”.

At least now Queenie seemed sated. Settling in the darkest area she promply went to sleep, leaving Ruby to change, grab her gear and exit her room. Perhaps today would bring its own good luck to turn into much needed credits?

Ruby soon negotiated the tight twisty lanes, exitng out into the centre of BeachMet. There were tourists with credits to spare. Hand on hip, she perfected her sweetest smile and sashayed into the square. Her eyes never missed a trick. They were there, if you singled them out and Ruby spotted takers almost immediately. But which one should she go for first? The one that looked the richest, of course. If that did not work, she went down the line.

The day was already promising!

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. June, 2019.


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