Seashells by the Seashore

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: March 30, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 30, 2017



I’m not sure what happened. All the details blur together, like I watched it happen from the window of a moving car. I only remember one sound, the crashing and rolling of the ceiling as it collapsed, bringing my life with it.


When I wake up the clouds are the color of rust. They have been tainted by dust. I feel strange as if someone had just woken me up from a heavy dream. Everything is surreal, and I am detached from it all. It's like I don't feel anything. That is when I realize it. I don’t feel anything. I don't feel the breeze that is so clearly bending the oak trees. I don't feel the coolness of my silver bracelet. I don't feel the grey slab of rock crushing my body. In terror and surprise, I pull back, expecting to be caught in place by the monster of a stone. Instead, I pass right through it. I can see myself still lying there, but I can move on my own. What is going on? I see more people emerge from houses and shelters. Relieved, I try to run to them, but I move with a light float.


“Help!” I cry, cupping my hands over my mouth. “Help me!”


Someone turns their head and says something, but I can't hear them. I can't hear anything. I am so trapped, so cut off in this other world that is only a window to what I used to know. Without being able to stop myself, I scream. The scream comes from a place deep inside me, where I keep all the thoughts and feelings that would get me in trouble.


A hand on my shoulder turns me around. In front of me, I see an old woman. She's completely colorless, with puffy hair and a long skirt. Shining from her is a pale light, is if I am looking at a transparent moon.


“Who are you?” I ask.


“I am just like you. You are lost. So am I. You need to find yourself. So do I.” The woman smiles, as if she has made perfect sense.


“What?” I ask.


“When you die,” the woman pauses. “You can’t move on unless you have found yourself. You have not. Before you can go, you need to.”


“How can I find myself? I’m right there.” I say, pointing at my old body.


“Look around. Look for a place that means so much to you that you could lose yourself there.” The old woman smiles, blinks, and disappears.


Unsure of what to do, I turn to the pile of rubble that used to be my house. I twist my bracelet, straining to hear the comforting jingle of the seashell charm. It starts to rain in big fat drops that would make a comforting plop if I could hear them. I come across come some wallpaper, the fish trim that I used to have in my room. I loved the beach. Mom used to joke and call me her little minnow. The beach. I reconstruct my room in my head, as it was before the storm. My bed, with the whale quilt that my grandmother made. The photo on my wall of my father, a Marine. All of my toy boats, my pet fish. In the end everything comes back to my father. He's at sea now. It'll break his heart when he hears about this. The sea. The sea! I can connect with him one last time. I imagine a beach, an empty one. When I open my eyes, I am there. The smell of sand and salt overwhelms me, and I rush to the water. As far as I can see there are grey and green waves.  I bend down and touch the water. I can feel a cool sensation, such a sensation of realness spreading up my arm. Things fade back into reality. First I feel sand. In my last second, I hear the angry waves, crashing and rolling.


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