Seashell

Short pieces of fiction created as part of 10-minute writing exercises. These pieces appear here exactly as written (except that spelling and punctuation have been corrected) in the ten minutes given for the exercise.

 

Writing prompt: write about a memorable object from your childhood

 

Heather absently waved the feather duster over the knick knacks that lined the bookshelves with military precision. Her chicken-like flapping only served to rearrange the newest additions of dust, but was ignored by the more seasoned layers.

 

“Make sure you’re careful when you pick them up to dust under each one,” called her grandmother from the other room.

 

Heather rolled her eyes. As if. She stepped back and felt her back connect hard with something behind her. She heard the tinkling chimes of a hundred breakable objects teeter and shift as the shelves rocked and then settled. And then she heard one sharp, small sound as something brittle hit the floor.

 

She froze and then, in slow motion, looked down. There, nestled between her sneakered feet, was one small, perfect seashell—a scallop shell the size of her five-year old self’s palm.

 

“Look, Grandma! Look!”

 

She remembered running down the beach, waving the treasure she had so carefully prized from the sand where it had lain half-buried. The sun had reflected off the water like jewels as she ran across the soft, wet sand laughing and shouting, “Look!” The most perfect shell ever. She had never found one more perfect.

 

She stared at the fractured remains of that perfect day. She’d always wondered what had happened to that shell.

 

~TB 01/25/12