Blue Crabs at Midnight

When young Quint Mitchell reluctantly accompanied his family on a vacation to Dania Beach, Florida, he thought he’d be bored out of his mind. Instead, he and a rag tag group of boys learned life can be both unpredictable and dangerous. Here’s a brief excerpt introducing Quint’s first great adventure. Look for Blue Crabs at Midnight as a Kindle short story at


by Parker Francis


Fifty minutes after the rapist was apprehended, young Quint Mitchell was placed in the back seat of the police cruiser and driven to headquarters.  Speeding along the dark highway, a dank tidal marsh to his left, the Atlantic Ocean behind them, he felt the crunch, heard the cracking of their shells.

Blue crabs and cars. Not a fair fight, he thought.

The muscles along his shoulders throbbed, sending currents of low intensity pain pulsating across his back and down his spine. He let his head sink back onto the seat. Exhaustion had settled over him like the fog moving in from the ocean. Quint’s body craved sleep, but in a strange way he felt wired, pumped full of adrenaline.

“What time is it?” Quint asked the officer behind the wheel.

“Almost midnight.”

He closed his eyes, trying to block out the repulsive sounds of the blue crabs being crushed beneath him. He imagined he could hear them screaming as the cruiser’s wheels passed over their carapaces, grinding them into the blacktop.

Quint let his mind drift back. Back before this crazy night. Back to the start of a family vacation that almost ended as tragically for him as it did for these blue crabs at midnight.

Blue Crabs at Midnight is now available as a Kindle single. Purchase it here.