Beauty and the Beach
Written by argonaut :: [Friday, 29 April 2022 21:53] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 01 May 2022 10:58]
BEAUTY AND THE BEACH
(Spring 2022 Workshop)
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a scene from a half-finished story in which super-strong Daphne and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang are relaxing at the beach – until a phantom pirate ship shows up …
With a tall cup of lemonade in each hand, Fred began making his way from the refreshment stand to the blanket where Daphne was waiting. The cups were filled to the brim, and Fred stepped carefully across the sand, trying not to spill any. He was passing a group of college boys tossing a Frisbee back and forth further down the beach when he heard a shout: “Watch out, Chad!”
The warning came too late. One of the college boys, intent on catching an errant Frisbee, bumped into him and knocked the drinks out of his hands.
“Oh, man…” Fred watched in dismay as the lemonade spilled out of the cups and onto the sand. Chad guffawed.
“Serves you right,” he said. “Why don’t you watch where you’re going?”
“Me?” said Fred. “You’re the one who bumped into me.”
“Yeah?” Chad took a step closer to Fred. “You want to make something of it, scarf boy?”
Fred gulped. Chad was half a head taller than Fred, thick-necked and broad-shouldered, with the build of a weight-lifter. “N-no,” he stammered. “It’s just that – “
“Is there a problem?” Daphne had gotten up from her blanket and walked over to where the two boys were standing.
Chad’s scowl turned into a lascivious grin as he eyed the pretty redhead. “Don’t tell me you’re with this loser,” he said, pointing at Fred.
“Actually –“ Fred began to speak, but Chad laid a hand on his chest and pushed him off his feet and down onto the sand. He grabbed Daphne by her upper arm.
“What do you say? Ditch this loser and come with – come with – come –“
His voice faltered. Daphne’s arm felt soft and supple, but trying to pull her toward him was like trying to move a marble statue.
Daphne began to flex her arm – once, twice, three times. A firm, shapely mound of muscle began to swell under Chad’s fingers, growing larger with each pump, prying his hand open and forcing him to release his grip.
“Shame on you!” she said, laying a forefinger on Chad’s chest. “Why don’t you pick on someone your own size?” And with a gentle push of her finger, she sent Chad stumbling backward and sprawling on the sand.
Before he could scramble to his feet, Daphne hooked a forefinger under the back of his trunks and lifted him up of the ground, dangling him at arm’s length and jiggling him up and down by his elastic waistband.
“Let me down!” Chad sputtered.
“Sorry,” Daphne replied, pointing to a sign: “PLEASE DISPOSE OF YOUR TRASH PROPERLY. HELP KEEP THE BEACH CLEAN.” She swung her arm back, then forward, tossing Chad toward an open dumpster that stood by the refreshment stand. Chad struck the upright lid with a loud clang and slid into the dumpster as the lid slammed shut.
In the dark, scrambling through the litter that filled half the dumpster, Chad had just begun to stand up when a sudden lurch threw him back down. There came another lurch, and Chad was aware that the dumpster was rising off the ground …
Daphne stood holding the dumpster over her head with both arms. Now she began to turn it around – slowly at first, then faster and faster until it was spinning like a roulette wheel.
Chad pounded on the wall of the dumpster. “Stop it!” he shouted. “Let me out!”
“Will you apologize to Fred?”
“Sure! Just – just let me out of here!”
Daphne lowered the dumpster and flung open the lid. Chad clambered out and stood blinking in the sunlight, peeling a popsicle wrapper from his shoulder as Daphne stood expectantly, arms crossed.
“Well?” she said.
Chad turned to Fred. “Sorry about… all that. No hard feelings?”
“It’s okay,” said Fred. “But this isn’t a scarf. It’s an ascot. A lot of people make that mistake.”
Chad opened his mouth, ready with a sarcastic reply, but a glance at Daphne’s warning expression made him change his mind.
“Whatever, dude,” he muttered, and staggered off toward the showers.