I stepped judiciously through the broken scallop shells enjoying the sound view, but glanced inland to the marsh and was startled to see a flat-bottomed boat buried under the sea grass mounds on the beach. As we had walked down the declining beach, its presence had been completely obscured. From the shoreline, we could see that the boat, a type normally used in the sound’s shallow waters, was approximately eighteen feet long and its Japanese outboard motor was still attached. A small boat, its total depth was around four feet. Startled by its presence and our curiosity whetted, we all approached. Inside, the bench seats were still intact. Although sea grass filled the interior, we saw the steering wheel sticking up and a flotation devise’s blue color visible in the sea grass layers.
We stared at the boat pondering its presence. I tried to imagine, as I’m sure my friends did as well, the circumstances of how it had beached, filled with sea grass and had become buried on the beach. Who would leave a boat, motor attached, to the elements when even a small boat such as this cost about ten thousand dollars? And then, a metal object lying on the port railing glimmered in the last rays of the day’s sun. In mass, we moved closer and saw—handcuffs, only one half remaining with two links of chain intact.
Adjourning to the house for libations, we speculated on the half pair of handcuffs, what their presence might mean, and if the boat and the handcuffs were connected in story. We did not go back with shovels to find a body on the floor of the boat covered with sea grass. Our fiction will suffice and if there is a body, someone else will find it. We will scan the headlines to see if reality matches our imaginations, knowing that even if our reticence left a mystery, we left the scene untouched.