An atomic bomb seemed to go off in my father’s head, though his face was expressionless. He accused me of collecting after the Crab-ren (crab siren) had sounded.
I had spent a few extra seconds securing my final catch after the horn, but it was already netted – and it still put me ahead of his haul by one tasty meal. Another silent head explosion was followed by his unbucketing of crabs onto our kitchen floor, sending them scuttling towards the sliding doors. “Count them again!” he bellowed like the commander of a warship, before realizing that he’d destroyed any chance of an accurate recount.
Mother attempted to soothe him, but he paced across the sundeck and down to the beach. At the sea’s edge he began dunking his head under the water to muffle the screaming. The rise and fall of the waves made it difficult to hide the angry carbon dioxide bursting from his lungs. I’m no psychologist, but this was probably less about crabs, and more about Grandpa Bertrand dying and leaving him the responsibility of the family empire.
Grampy’s death really ruined our holiday.