Price is for First British Serial Rights
Copyright © Edward Currie, 2019
To the Beach
Maisie, waking to the 5am alarm, remembered she had promised her friend Elsie that today would be a good seashell collecting day. Arising, she could not help but notice the very large clamshell that she had collected on a similar outing. It was strange to think that at one time the shell had been a home for a mollusc, just one of many shellfish in the ocean. Now, the shell held her jewellery and all the memories that those jewels contained.
Maisie made her way to the bathroom for her shower and at the same time recalled other seashell collecting expeditions, sometimes for the shellfish and at other times for the shells as ornaments. Her shower finished, Maisie dressed and went downstairs. She opened the door to the kitchen and did what she always did, filled and boiled the water in the kettle. She liked tea in the morning.
Still drowsy Maisie wondered why she had agreed to go seashell foraging at this unearthly hour, still wondering this she made her drink and put bread into the toaster checking her phone at the same time to see if there were any messages. There was a new message from her friend Elsie who she was going to meet and who was the other part of the foraging expedition, it read “Hope you’re up, I am ready to go”.
Breakfast finished Maisie put on her coat, walked along the garden path admiring the flowers, opened the door to her car. She started the car and pulled away.
Maisie soon arrived at Elsie’s house. Elsie waiting on her doorstep and gave a hearty, cheerful wave. Elsie’s seashell collection was large thought Maisie but Elsie had nothing as grand as her jewellery holder.
Elsie, her cheery self got into the car and the two of them started chatting immediately happy to be in each others company.
The drive to the beach was a short one. The beach was unchanging and had been a source of many delicious meals they had shared in the past from crabs, lobsters, mussels even down to the humble cockle but on this occasion, they were not looking for food but for their shells. There had been storms during the winter months and these always brought new shells ashore.
Both friends had bags in their pockets and began to collect those shells of interest nearest to them. It did not take them long to half fill their bags when Elsie gave a sudden cry. She had in her hand the most exquisite clamshell, larger and even better formed than the one in Maisie’s bedroom however it still had the fish inside it and the shell was slowly closing. It was time for a decision. Unhesitatingly, Elsie swiftly drew a small knife from her coat pocket and cut the clam muscle that was closing the shell. Elsie and Maisie looked at each other with the same thought - that is lunch sorted and a nice shell in addition.
Copyright © Isle Arts 2019