Ashrein sat in her new sand chair,
its polished wooden slats holding
a soft sling of canvas printed with
white birds on sunset-orange cloth.
In her hands, she turned and turned
a smooth disc of wood, searching
for any burrs or imperfections.
In the center it had a socket to fit
on the end of a crutch or walking stick,
so they would work better on sand.
Ashrein was still figuring out
what kinds of things to make and sell
in her little beach business, but these
she sold as fast as she could make them.
Shrieks and giggles made her look up as
a small herd of toddlers ran past, trailed by
a fat pregnant lady with a tolerant smile.
Ashrein waved at her daughter Meniir,
who waved back before dashing away
in pursuit of a colorful ball.
"Beach pies!" called a familiar voice.
"Fisherman's pie, tuna pockets,
piping hot lobster pots! Get supper
so you don't have to cook your own!"
Draberil had a handsome wooden
vending cart made of bright yellow wood
with a cheerful red awning over the top,
which trundled along on two fat tires that
rolled over the sand instead of sinking in.
It gave Ashrein ideas for adapting
the wheeled chair that some citizens
used to navigate paved city streets.
Meanwhile she beckoned to Draberil,
saying, "This looks new and exciting."
The warsailor grinned back at her.
"My physician advanced me from
light duty to moderate, so I'm not
stuck behind a desk anymore," he said.
"I've hired on at Braana's Beach Pies,
so I take this cart on one loop, then
sit out while another fellow takes a turn."
"That should help rebuild the muscle mass
that you lost while you couldn't do more
than take a brief stroll," Ashrein agreed.
"What kind of pie do you recommend?"
"Get the lobster in the souvenir pot," he said,
offering her one with a cute sun on the side.
"It costs a little more, but you can feed your
whole family and gain a new cookpot besides."
Ashrein glanced at the setting sun,
now no more than a fist above the horizon.
Working at the clutter shack all day,
she'd had no time to cook.
"I'll take it," she said, handing over the tokens
in exchange for the hot clay dish cradled
in its cheap beach grass basket for insulation.
The lobster pot pie smelled delicious,
one more thing to discover and
love about her new home.
* * *
A sand chair made from wood and canvas is comfortable, portable, and won't sink easily.
Beach pads for crutches or walking sticks help them "float" over the surface of the sand instead of penetrating it.
Vending carts of various styles are popular for selling things at the beach. In this case, pies are baked at a central kitchen, then transported in carts to different parts of the beach. It is cheap and easy to make baskets of grass or straw to insulate the cooking pots.
Seafood pies come in many styles including fisherman's pie, tuna pockets, and lobster pot pie.