Avatar Author: Abby (LoA) Gonna miss you guys so much. My 'official/professional' email is: abbywall2440@gmail.com in case anyone wants to keep in touch! Read Bio

When she was a grand total of eight years old, her grandmother took her on holiday to the seaside.


It was a wet summer, and they spent most of the week in their shabby little hotel room playing backgammon on an old, wooden board that was cracked about the edges.

The central heating was broken and the room smelled distinctly of damp, but they could see the sea from the window (beyond those dusty, yellow lace trimmed curtains), and they could hear the gulls whenever the wind died, and the way the waves turned white at the tip just before they crashed onto the smooth, shifting sands was peacefully hypnotic.

The storm calmed on their last day for an hour or two. They collected shells on the beach. She liked the ones that looked like butterflies. Her granny put a handful in an old cockles jar for her to take home. Like her grandmother, the jar would be broken within the year.

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Comments (8 so far!)

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  1. Avatar RoseTone ~LoA~

    This was a beautiful scene until the last line – now just I’m waiting for something horrible.

    Maybe I’m in a pessimistic mood and took it on a much darker path than intended…. Lovely piece either way!

    Going to go hide now.

  2. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Has a sweet, endearing tone to it. The last line is particularly powerful/pointed and sort of lays the overall sense for why the memory is being revisited/shared.

    Might add some power to try and eliminate starting a sentence with “and”, as in the last sentence of third paragraph.

  3. Avatar Heron

    Painful nostalgia, trying to pull up some good from the memory before the life-changing crisis…you captured that well.

  4. Avatar JonB

    Pretty much agree with the above: this is a skilfully written scene, that sparks off memories of my own damp, Devon holidays. Lovely, nostalgic stuff – until the last line…

  5. Avatar Abby (LoA)

    Cheers all. This piece actually sprang from some character study work for one of my novels. All completely fictional. I meant the last line to be more tragic than sinister, maybe ‘breaking’ isn’t the right word for someone passing away.

  6. Avatar In Night's Arms

    I think it gave it the tragic feeling you meant to share. it was the right word, perhaps it’s more about perspective. It didn’t ruin the beauty of the memory you created, just leveraged it against the sorrow.

  7. Avatar Angela LaFey

    there was some fantastic imagery, and i loved how you conveyed so much in so little. the word breaking is a little harsh, but it shocks you

  8. Avatar Jae

    As an alternative to ‘break’ perhaps ‘lost’ would be appropriate. It maintains the sense of tragedy, alludes to death, and suits the nostalgia preceding without disrupting it.

    Well told.