Rule Number 1: When asked about your parentage, give suitably vague answers.
It was Jimmy Doogan, a boorish kid with freckles spread like flak across his face, who had been the first to... [+]
He always began in the last place they played, crawled a few feet, and continued until he reached the campground fence behind the curve in the beach that gave this location its name. At that point he turned and moved a few feet closer to the dune and forced his hands deeper.
They had visited here each summer. The boy and he. The boy liked to dig with his shovel; and the man liked to walk with the boy to the edge of the water, inhale that pinch of brine, feel the cold saltwater hit his feet, and, for a moment, absorb his little boy's enthusiasm.
Seven years ago they were here, and the man left—just to go to the car for a moment. Then he went to the restroom. When he returned, the boy was gone along with his shovel.
If he could find that shovel, maybe he would find his little boy.