TITLE: Smuggled Terror
Seagulls scrambled overhead slapping each other with their snow white wings as they struggled in midair for better positioning. They battled to catch the most treasures being offered from the little girl below. Smiles turned to giggles each time the little girl looked up through bangs of curly red hair and saw the birds snatch up her offerings of thumb-size bites of a doughnut in their beaks. She tossed them one final piece, and then stopped to enjoy the last bite for herself. Little Red brushed her hands together, and picked up her bright, blue, plastic pail with a yellow shovel attached. She looked up and squinted with one eye open and the other closed as she checked out the seagulls one last time. A swatting of her arm over her head confirmed to the maneuvering gulls that breakfast was officially over.
The little redhead’s mother had chosen a mounded spot on the powdery sands of Panama City Beach, which appeared to be the remnants of a large castle left by some of yesterday’s vacationers. The child went straight to work digging at the mound. The third scoop of the pail bumped slightly, but the little redhead pushed harder, forcing the shiny plastic through the fine sand. Looking down at her work, the child suddenly shook violently, let go of her bucket, and raced toward her mother. The woman tossed down her paperback, and sprang from her lounge chair to comfort her daughter. She cradled her daughter against her chest, looking toward the spot where the child was digging. The mom was expecting to find a dead fish or seagull, but her daughter’s discovery was more horrifying than that.