I had never been to the seaside. I knew what to expect, though. I had a book about it. There were lots of pictures of rock pools and the strange creatures living there. My favorites were the hermit crabs. I was looking forward to those the most. I had a little bucket to collect them in.
But there were no rock pools, at this seaside. Just flat sand with a thin distant line of cold grey sea. Why? No one said.
I found some shells to put in my bucket. I liked the tiny pink ones best. But most were broken and not worth collecting. Why? No one said.
No shells, no hermit crabs, but they showed me how to put damp sand into my miniature bucket. with my miniature spade and how to pat it down and tip it out to make ‘sand pies’. I was supposed to like doing this. Why? No one said.
They gave me some paper flags on thin wooden sticks. I could stick them in the top of my sand pies. I was supposed to like doing this. Why? No one said.
I thought I’d save up my flags until I’d climbed the mountain at my auntie’s. When I got to the top I’d arrange them into my initials so everyone would know I’d been there. I started to practice this. But they said the mountain was a slag heap, not a mountain and therefore out of bounds. Why? No one said.
We stayed on the beach a long time. Then we went to a toy shop. My father bought me a doll with real hair, they said. But it was made of nylon. I called her Gloria. That was the best bit. but nothing was as it had been inside my head.
First published in Silver Birch Press, Beach and Pool Series, 2016
It started with an idea,An idea to make a book.So we released a call for submissions,Just to try our luck.Many people came forward,To show us the talents that they own.And so an idea grew and grew,Into a world of its own.With…