Marjorie eyes lazily scanned the horizon to the south of where they were all sitting. She let her gaze follow curve of the cove, taking in the turquoise water and the palms fringing the sand. She stopped. The black shape moving along the water’s edge must be a bird, it must be a bird, she thought. But the bird didn’t moving like a bird. Maybe it was a dog, there were so many strays everywhere. It must be a black dog running, chasing a bird. No it’s a child. It must be a child. It’s a child. It is a child.
“What are you starring at?” She jumped at Renee’s voice.
“That child. Do you see that…it must be a child. At first I thought it was a bird.” Renee turned to look. They both starred and they must have realized at the same moment that it wasn’t just any child. It was the new boy Randall, the boy who Nico and Charlotte had been playing with. Renee put her hand on Marjorie’s arm.
“It’s Randal. Where are the children?” Renee sprung to standing. Marjorie kneeled to see the other children playing in the sand next the water’s edge with their buckets and shovels and nannies.
She was up next to Renee. Randall was running hard right toward them, right toward the adults. Marjorie moved in slow motion toward his parents. “Where is Charlotte, where is Nico.” The change grew in intensity, echoing between Renee and Marjorie. “Where are the children, where are Charlotte and Nico.”
The breathless boy clung to his parents. Marjorie and Renee were in a fury of fear. “Charlotte and Nico were with Randall. Honey, do you know where they are?” Randall, frightened by the two women clung harder to her his mother. She knelt down to explain, to calm him, to get him to speak.
“They are, we went. I didn’t want to go.” He gasped out his words.
“Where? Where were you, where are they?” Marjorie’s voice stung the air. “Where are they? Where are they?’
The boy, hiding behind his mother, putting her between him and Marjorie, pointed and gasped. “The place down there. Way down there and there was a wall and I couldn’t climb it but they wanted to climb it and it looked scary and I didn’t want to go.”
Marjorie started to run. Renee screamed to her husband, to the others. “Come, Nico and Charlotte are missing.”