“Found one!” I yelled. My voice carried over the white sand through the sticky air to Aunt Louise. She waddled towards me with glasses hanging off her nose.
“Yes! You win! That’s a shark tooth!”
The accomplishment swirled through my veins and tickled my fingers. I was the only one to find each kind of shell and the elusive shark tooth. I have a future in this field I thought. Archeology or whatever. I’ll find dinosaur bones next. My entire future was so clear. And I had a piece of a flesh eating ocean monster.
I took to the game invented by adults wanting to distract kids for hours on end and won. And discovered my career. But then something curious happened. Aunt Louise walked back to her chair and sat down. My brother and sister weren’t even playing the game anymore. No more congratulations. The tickle stopped in my fingers. I wasn't sure I wanted to be an archeologist anymore. I noticed the stillness around me and the sound of the waves crashing. Was this all that happened for finding all 25 shells and the shark tooth? I thought I won?
“Do you know why Sharks have so many teeth?” my weird uncle Ken said in a strange whisper. He had walked out of the house with another drink, sneaking up behind me. “Cephalization” he said. He was the kind of uncle who enjoyed making kids feel dumb. “That’s a word to explain why our eyes, nose, ears and mouth are all next to our brain. For some reason, nature decided we should evolve to feel more.” He sat down in the sand and looked out at the waves, not waiting for my response.
Uncles are so weird when they watch the waves and drink gin.