This is one of Ino’s longer Flash Fiction stories
Seashells, pink and spiral, pointing towards the shore as they lie at the bottom of the clear, transparent water. There are a whole host of them, lined up like a row of whistles and stretching from one end of the beach to the other.
The beach ball bounces along the sand, squashing each patch into a flat depression until at last it veers into the sea and hits one of the pink shells, flying off at a sharp angle with a dent in its surface. Not a hole, as the shell was too smooth to have done that.
The child who is bouncing the ball never meant to squash the sand or hit any of the shells, only to participate in a sport. Some sports are casual and should proceed in a carefree manner, but this one has left a trail of dents, holes and dislodgements behind it, right across the beach.
A seagull pecks the ball in mid-flight, on its way to glide into the sea, and that is the final in the series of jabs which at last punctures the plastic; although by chance, as it would only have broken at certain angles.
“My ball’s burst,” says the child, and cries.
“It was only a bird,” the mother replies. “They don’t mean to do it. I’ll buy you another one later.”
People interrupt the rhythm and tides on the beach. They don’t mean to either, but the starfish are glad when they have gone and extend their arms out to claim their place on the sand.
The saddle-shaped sand- dunes have many lines, deep impressions that make it look as if the beach has fences that divide it into strips. Seahorses stand against these fences when the tide is in, but they don’t jump over them.
The human beings start to leave the beach because sunset is on the way. Lone now and bare, the beach stretches to the horizon and meets the sky in a caress: primal feelings that assert themselves once again when the landscape is empty. Love, and loss of the destinations to which the tide used to go before it was blocked by dams and diverted along new and unnatural byways.
The sea must lap what is here now, and make it taste of salt, to remind the wanderer along the shore that it is not themselves that imparts a flavour to the natural scene they witness.
This story can be found in the free PDF ‘Flash Fiction Stories by Candy Ray and Ino’ which you can download here:
for other free PDFs please see this page on my blog: https://candyrayblog.wordpress.com/free-pdfs-occult-stories/
and there are 2 other pages which list my free fiction books: https://candyrayblog.wordpress.com/about/