Flash Writing: A Story of Seashells

The prompt at our writing group this week was Seashells. I don’t usually find a direct line from the prompt to my writing but this time- I hit it right on. So here’s a quick little 15-minute flash writing for you.


The thing about a seashell is that even though to me a shell is a magical gift coughed up from the sea solely to bring me joy, it is really just a discarded animal home. A piece of discarded trash left behind when the living creature inside grew too big or died. The gorgeous pale pinks or peaches of the soft inside used to be the walls of a tiny cage full of life, but now, it just sits in a jar on my shelf reminding me of one vacation holiday or another. The striped edges of the perfect arc, a joy to find, but used to shelter a small vulnerable creature. What happened to that creature? Was it eaten by something larger and fiercer than itself? Did it have such a full and successful life that it grew into something else entirely and found a new home to carry on its back?

Sea trash, you could possibly argue. Beautiful, lustrous, pearly sea trash. Resting on the wet sand, pushed up and spit out by the waves continuously crashing into the edge of the earth. Pushing and pulling back and forth from the time before time, until the time after.  The golden glow of a fragment; edges soft and rounded by the harsh conditions of the ocean, the waves, the salt, the other creatures. Breaking it up into pieces… day after day, year after year, epoch after epoch, smashing them smaller and finer until they become the sand themselves.

No longer content to simply lay on top and be seen, but now integrated into the greater whole, the tiny speck along with other tiny specks holding up the dune, creating a break to protect us from the wilds of the sea, a place always on the edge of one thing becoming another.

Every time a shell catches my eye, I pick it up to admire its beauty. I feel the softness, the smooth underside, the jagged edges that maybe haven’t quite worn down yet, the gorgeous shades of pastels, and imagine the shadows created in the very depths of the deep. I am in awe of their resilience. I am in awe of the progression. I see the sand under my feet, feel the wind caressing my skin, smell the sea life all around me, taste the salt in the air… and imagine the multitudes that have gone before this tiny piece of life and the multitudes yet to come. Proof that it was here.


Here are some other flash writings/ flash fiction:

Flash Writing- Berlin: Where Fashion Goes to Die

The Dark- Flash Fiction

The Invited- Flash Fiction


(Image licensed from Adobe Stock.)

2 Replies to “Flash Writing: A Story of Seashells”

  1. I am a student of BAK College. The recent paper competition gave me a lot of headaches, and I checked a lot of information. Finally, after reading your article, it suddenly dawned on me that I can still have such an idea. grateful. But I still have some questions, hope you can help me.

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