The Livin' is Easy
by Tony Noland
The woman saw trouble walking down the beach, but didn't say anything to her companion. Maybe they'd see someone else with bikini smaller, breasts bigger, anything to entice them to veer off and ruin someone else's day.
She tilted her head back down to her paperback, using her body and posture to make it clear that she hadn't noticed them or the irritated beachgoers in their wake. Overly muscled, overly tanned, two with greasy blond hair, the third bald, they kicked sand as they walked, clots flying forward and back with every step.
Laughing loud as they strode across the beach, they commented and jeered at the flabby, sunburned tourists. Wives scowled at husbands for not doing anything, husbands scowled at themselves for the same reason. Maybe twenty years ago, they thought, back when I was in shape, I would have challenged them... and their scowls deepened, for they were, to a man, old enough to be past the point of retaining any real delusions about what they would have said to three tough locals looking for a fight.
Kicking their way across the beach, the three saw her and her companion. Him, as fleshy and pale as any other man, sleeping through his vacation, fat legs splayed out from his beach chair. Her... even in a relatively demure tankini, she was an arresting sight. Brown hair with glinting red highlights, a richly pretty face, long legs, narrow waist, and high breasts, each a generous handful and perfectly balanced by her toned, smooth shoulders.
Like a triad school of barracuda, they changed course towards her.
She put her book down. Her companion snored lightly next to her, his expensive insulated water bottle forgotten in his hand, half-full of a cool, pleasant vacation beverage. His glasses were on the blanket next to the remains of lunch, his book on his face.
The locals dug their toes in and scuffed with more vigor as they approached. Along the crowded beach, heads turned to watch them cross the open space around the two of them. The first clots of sand landed across the man's big belly when they were still two strides away. He jerked awake and the book fell away just in time for the next mass of sand to hit him in the face.
He choked and spit. "What the hell? Hey, asshole, what the hell do you think you're doing?" The man was only half-awake, disoriented. "This is a private beach, goddamn it!" He reached for his glasses and pulled them on. His vision cleared as he looked at the three, realizing what he was facing.
The bald one, a big spider tattoo on his neck standing out against his tan, flexed and leaned forward into the man's face. "There's nothin' private about this beach, old man, is there boys?" The others laughed, flanking him on either side and flexing just as much. "We grew up here, unlike you, you fat old fuck. You hear that, sweetheart? You and all you fuckin' tourists, this is our beach, and don't you forget it." He punctuated his last with a shove to the man's chest.
The man staggered backwards one step, twisted to his left, then swung his water bottle upward in a wide, fast arc. The aluminum dented inward as it crushed the bald man's jaw. Two molars flew and a gout of blood sprayed from his mouth, and he dropped like a twelve point buck on opening day.
The man's grip shifted, his palm over the base of the bottle, and he pivoted in the sand to shove it deep into the solar plexus of the long-haired local on the left. Something cracked and the big man doubled over, vomiting. The third one shouted and stepped back; muscles bulged as he drew back his right fist. Before he could throw the punch, he screamed and twisted. He lost his balance grabbing at the paring knife the woman had shoved through his bicep; when he hit the sand, the hilt bent upward and he screamed again.
The man and the woman stood looking at the three locals lying on the sand - one screaming and clutching at the flow of blood between his fingers, one gasping and choking on his own foamy bile, one broken and silent. In less than ten seconds, two huge men in suits ran up, shouting, guns drawn. Both dropped to their knees as they arrived and brought the barrels down hard, blued steel cracking across the foreheads of the screamer and the gasper. Twin thudding cracks ended the noise on the beach, and three bodies lay still on the sand.
In a fluid motion, both suits went up on one knee and scanned their sections of the beach, guns out and at the ready. Nothing, and nothing more. "Are you OK, sir?" one of them said.
"And may I ask where the fuck were you? Incognito or not, I shouldn't have to deal with shit like this myself, for Chrissakes," said the man. He turned to look around at the faces staring from all directions at him and the woman. "Well?" he said in loud voice, "What are you staring at? Go back to your vacations." Up and down the beach, heads swiveled away, looking at books, the water, the sand, at anything but the scene of Aderesto "The Acrobat" Vincelli and his interrupted day on the beach.
"Private beach, my ass. Get the resort manager down here, right fucking now, and tell him to bring his security guy with him." He turned to the woman. "Sorry, honey. No more sun today."
She sighed. Was there anything worse than a day at the beach, ruined?
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Please note: I'm on vacation until mid-August, and will be able to respond to comments then.