The Netters sprang from behind the kelp-shrouded blind and raced sloppily across the mushy sand toward the boy.
It was a rare sighting, and they held their great nets high overhead, each daring to hope she might be the one to snag a boy as a prize.
The last time anyone bagged a boy was when one was caught playing with fat, happy sea cows. But after the Fur Snatchers robbed the sea cows of their pelts, the survivors stopped being happy and went away. The Netters knew where they had gone, but no boys were to be found there.
Flora Net leaped over a slick rock and stubbed her toe, which was soft and pink as a baby's. "Arrgh!"
The boy glanced toward the Netters and jumped higher than Flora ever could.
"Look at him leap! How he flies!" exclaimed Star Net.
"Shut up, Sister, and move your tail. He gets away."
By the time the Netters mastered the rhythm of their limbs and came to where the boy had been, he was gone. Nothing but a small, boyish footprint in the sand, fading as the tide lipped it.
"No one will believe we saw a boy." Flora relaxed her body into the retreating water, let it tug on her hair, as she floated out to sea.
Star joined her, watching the first of her namesakes gleam in the darkening sky.
"Someday, my sister, we will catch a boy. Someday."
Tiny Tale Tuesday is an irregular feature--thanks to blog friend Robyn who suggested I make it so after I last posted a photo with a flash fiction accompaniment. I took this shot as the sun set in San Clemente. And, yes, technically I'm posting this Monday night--blame it on the Netters.