It was warm today, warm enough to justify going to the beach with Margaret. Wanted to spend some real time with her. But more than that I wanted her to feel normal. That I wasn't ashamed going out with her. Her skin grafts have settled well. I know she is self conscious about them, but I have gotten used to her new face.
I haven't been to a beach with anyone in years. I wasn't even thinking about going to that beach in particular. Then I remembered the old author ended up there. Have the clipping from the paper. One of the “fans” had sent it to me. I looked it up and it turned out that it was a lot closer than I thought. So we packed a few things and headed out, reaching the beach by mid afternoon. Was virtually no one there, which was probably for the best.
Margaret went to the beach while I collected our things. I found a place high up from the surf, centralized so we could explore a little. She loves rocks. I enjoyed watching her collect a few that caught her eye. While she was doing that I decided to check out the large abandoned beach house set far back closer to the grass. Used to keep chairs and such. It was quite old, and apparently only saw use for a very short amount of time between 1936 and 1941.
The paint was a dull yellow and flaking off. Birds constantly fluttered back and forth from nests they had placed under the overhangs. Smelled like old stone. Could smell the lake too. Most of it was boarded up, but one door was open, leading to the men's bathroom. Was self contained, and the was in a similar state of disrepair, though it clearly had been mildly kept attended to so visitors wouldn't piss on the side of the building.
We walked along the beach. The water was freezing. I laughed when she ended up getting wet after the surf surged up at her. A large part of the beach had breakers built into it. Made of concrete from some of the old factories that had been torn down. Old rebar is everywhere, sticking out the concrete. Found the place where the old author had disappeared. There was a plaque in place. Don't know why. People go missing all the time. Plaques are usually reserved for the dead, not the missing.
I looked out into the water. Saw something thrashing around in the surf. I went to approach the black thing but by the time I got there it had gone back in the water.
I went back to the building. Heard some voices inside. Some kids must have found a way it. Considered reporting them. Decided against it. Did the same thing at that age. So long as they weren't breaking anything it didn't matter. Near one of the sides of the building was a pile of broken shingles. Must have been working on fixing the roof. Was a historical building. Special care had been taken.
Eventually Margaret and I started to get a little red, so she collected her stones and we headed home after stopping at a local dive for some food.
Decided to look up why the beach house had been abandoned. Thought it was strange that it was only open for such a short amount of time. Was hard finding anything. Stories about it are really old. Found a site. Devoted to old newspapers. Found out the reason why it was closed. Over its years of operation it had seen a fair share of disappearances. Few of them were ever solved. The last disappearance before the place closed was labeled a homicide. Seems that was enough.
Some punk kid went missing around forty one. Not particularly well liked by the adults, but in a homicide that doesn't matter much. There had been a party at the beach. Bunch of friends had gathered around a fire, drinking and groping. The one who went missing had set the thing up. His girl and him headed to the beach house. Probably to mess around. About twenty minutes later the girl came back screaming, saying the guy and her had been attacked. Some crazies had been hanging around and the kid started yelling to get them to leave. He shoved one of them and that seemed to set them off. Once the fight started she ran away. Said she didn't get a good look at them. It was dark.
At first the investigation was treated like a missing persons case. The area was scoured for any sign of the kid. There wer signs of a struggle. Found some torn fabric. Had thought it may have came from the kid. Was discovered to come from display mannequins. There was a store down the road. No charges were pressed when it was discovered the material didn't match the mannequins in the shop.
The search expanded outward. Took up the majority of the coast of the beach. Didn't take long to find the kid once they headed further down. The smell must have been awful. He was pinned to the breakers, the rebar running through him. He had been constantly doused in lake water. Seems he died of hypothermia. Police tried to see if anyone in the area saw anything, heard anything. But nothing. No one heard anything.
The beach house and the beach itself were closed down after that. Eventually the beach was opened back up but the beach house remained abandoned. No one wanted to work there. But time passed and now it is a historical site. No marker for the kid. I had to dig to find it. Like it was purposefully ignored. Buried.
I am tired. Been really busy. We needed the vacation.
I remember when I was as kid I used to have a recurring nightmare. Would be laying in my bed late at night. Something was in the room, in the dark corners. Watching me. Breathing. I can still remember the smell. The ragged way its breathing came out. I tried going to bed with the lights on. I guess I hoped that would change what I was dreaming. Bring the thing into the light. But my parents didn't have a lot of money. Couldn't afford to keep the lights on that long.
I would wake up and the room would be dark. Sweating. I was glad my dog was there until he wasn't.
My shoes still smell like sand.