The fog rolled onto the beach. The whine of leaf blowers echoed as maintenance men cleared away dust and dried leaves from the boardwalk. An army of cleaning crews made beds and vacuumed rugs in motels and beach houses along the shore. The tiny shore town was preparing for the season. Weak beams of sunlight trickled into the windows of the town’s market.
Roxanne groaned lifting a tray of wheat breads.
“I think I tore my hamstrings.”
“You don’t have hamstrings,” Sherri told her, carrying three trays of English muffins. “You don’t have nothing.”
“No I’m serious. Can you pull a hamstring? I think I pulled wait where are the hamstrings?” Roxanne walked in circles to show Sherri her sore leg. Sherri started unloading bags of buns.
“Look alive ladies, pick up the pace,” Mr. Martindale said hurrying back to his office to track down his missing magazine shipment and knock a few heads at the distribution center.
Bobby Lee scooted around him on the mini forklift with pallets of produce. The damp played hell with her arthritis. She rubbed her knee with one hand while executing a perfect turn past the meats with the other.
“Hey, Miss Bobby ruin a holiday in four words,” Sasha called behind from the deli counter.
Heading towards produce Bobby Lee yelled back, “Plant based turkey breast!”
Laughter rippled across the canned foods as staff circulated the inventory.
After eighteen months of shuttered doors and dark stores the season was coming. Soon the parking lots would be full of license plates from New York or Pennsylvania. Soon there will be long lines and unbearable traffic. This town, like many others, will swell with cotton candy, hot buttered corn on sticks and other people’s memory making.
AJ rollerskated from canned goods to the back of store and puts his CD from home into the store’s ancient sound system. “The Electric Slide” booms across the store. Dancing breaks out in the aisles. The sun stood higher in the sky and the sands warmed. Thick lines of sea gulls perched on stores and houses in anticipation. Mr. Martindale returned from the back of store to show off his funky dance moves. The fog rolled away from the beach.