“Go away, bird.”
They were nice enough to bury him well above the tide line, so there wasn’t any danger of drowning. But the seagulls were starting to worry him.
“Reeaa, aa, aa, aa,” laughed the gull, and took off again.
Joseph poked at the fire with his stick. “It was a dumb thing, you realize that,” he said.
“Sure, I see that now.”
“Because we’re going to find out, somebody does something like that. You can’t keep it secret.”
“I didn’t mean to, I mean, I always meant to make it up, but there was always next week, you know, and then the week after that, and…”
“But it was a very dumb thing. You could have come to us, maybe we could have helped you.”
“How would that have looked?” he asked, forgetting to sound contrite and just sounding annoyed. “I’d never have lived it down.”
“This is better?” There didn’t seem to be anything to say to that, so he didn’t. The beach was deserted, except for the gulls that were circling above them. They were lower every time he craned his head back to look.
“Reeeaa, aa, aa, aa,” they laughed, full of patience.