Saturday, March 8, 2014

Prompt: On the shore

David ran ahead of his mum, chasing seagulls and sanderlings and waves. Splashing his bare feet in the cold water, he ran into an area covered with shells and stopped to look at them -- and avoid stepping on any sharp ones. He picked up a shiny white shell and looked back, but she was so far behind, he didn’t feel like running all the way back to her. He held the shell carefully so he could show it to her when she caught up to him.


That was a nice idea, he thought. He would look for pretty shells to give her. She liked scallops and unicorn horns and curly ones, so he stepped around the pile of shells in the surf and walked along the edge of the water, looking for those. Intent on his quest, he almost bumped into the lady standing in the sand. Really in the sand—her feet were buried, and the water swirled around her ankles. David looked up and saw her staring out across the water.


Are there dolphins? He wondered, cupping his hand over his eyes to peer out beside her. Pelicans cruised across the waves, and gulls swooped down and back up into the air. He didn’t see any dolphins, and after a moment, he lowered his hand and gazed back up at her.


She was older than his mum, but not old. Pretty face, and blond hair in a thick braid with a red ribbon on the end. That reminded him of Kaylee in preschool, and he thought this woman might be kind of fun like Kaylee and not all serious like most grownups. She looked down at him and smiled. She had a nice smile, he thought. Friendly. She gestured to his hand. “Find anything good?”


He held up his bounty, the first white shell, a black oyster, and the smooth curved fragment of a welk. “Oh, those are very nice,” she said, examining them with interest. “Are these for you?”


“They’re for my mum,” David said, waving down the beach. The woman nodded. “What’s her favorite?”


“She likes the unicorn horns,” David said, “and angel wings. You know, the connected shells.”


She nodded, then pointed down to David’s feet. “You mean like those?”


David looked down and saw a tiny unicorn horn tumbling in the water. He scooped it up, and as he lifted his hand, he saw a yellow cochina, with both sides together, that his mother called “angel wings.” He whistled and picked it up, too, rinsing it out in the waves before standing tall again. He held them up to the lady, who nodded.


“Do you live here?” he asked.


“I do now,” she said. “You? Or are you and your mother visiting?”


“We live in Charlotte. We’re just here for the weekend. My grandparents have a condo up there,” David said, pointing up the beach in the direction he had walked. “Where are you from?”


She looked back out across the water, and her face was sad. “Over there,” she said with a nod to the horizon.


“Is it very far away?” David asked, looking for any sign of land on the other side of the water. Although he liked looking at his globe, he was still pretty hazy on how far apart places were.


She laughed once. “Oh, yes. Very far.”


Dogs in House
Time writing
~30 minutes
February word count



  1. Writing report:
    Novel editing, start on new scene Ch21

    Time: ~30 min

  2. Good development of the very young POV. And I'm intrigued by the mystery woman, who can, maybe, magic up shells on command...