She sells sea shells on the seashore.
He crafts handmade furniture from driftwood he finds on the beach.
The rich tourists throw them looks of disgust and wave them on.
Occasionally one of them makes a sale.
Enough to put food on the table and clothe their child.

She dreams of the land across the sea.
He promises one day they will make it there.
The rich land of opportunity with plenty for everyone.
Occasionally they dare to talk of a brighter future beyond the closed borders.
Enough to keep the belief alive that things will be better for their child.

Copyright Sandra Crook

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

The full horror of ‘Brexit’ and the repeated mantra of an ‘end to freedom of movement,’ as though ending freedoms is a glorious goal to strive for, a triumphant political win, is in the news again this week. The above is a vision for Britain in the years ahead, although equally could be applied to many countries around the world today.

107 thoughts on “SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS

    1. I haven’t read that one Rochelle, although I do like Steinbeck, flattered that it should put you in mind of him! Thanks for the tip, I shall have to look it up.


  1. Hi Iain, On our side of the “pond” Brexit is such a mysterious thing, seemingly not such a huge deal, although i understand how it can be. Freedom is something we take for granted far too often in the U.S.A. Recently we were in Wimington, N.C. and visited a World War 2 battleship on display as a museum there. I told my 20 yr old daughter and her same age cousin they should go back home and hug the next of a WW2 veteran for the sacrifice they made to allow them such freedoms. There is no guarantee that freedoms are infinite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect Brexit won’t impact too much on the US, although both Britain and the EU are massive trading partners, so who knows? You’re reference to WW2 is apt – the EU came out of that war, a process that ensured Europe came together and such a tragedy was never repeated. And now Britain has decided to rip that bond up and sow division again. Here’s hoping it doesn’t end up with such a serious consequence.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done, Iain and a great awareness raiser. As you probably know, I live in Australia and the other night I met a man who has come here to work from The Philippines and has left his wife and child back there and he’s sending them money. Apparently, its a way of life…a necessity. I couldn’t imagine being in their situation and how tough that must be.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, a common thing to happen here too, many Europeans as well as Asians come to work here and send money home – only after the folly of Brexit, it will be much harder for them to do so – and then who will do those jobs?

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Well done, Iain. At first I thought “how romantic, they live on the beach,” but after reading the second paragraph I felt bummed. I thought about America being the country whose borders were closed and felt sad for my country. Is this the new path that my government is on? Then I read your note about Brexit and agree that similar feelings are happening around the world. I hope we can find our way toward openness, acceptance, and peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Cynthia. Yes, the crazy thing about Britain is we have been open and free for so long, and benefited in so many ways, and now we are actively choosing to take away our own freedoms! I wonder if any civilization in history has ever done such a thing voluntarily!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At times it is difficult to understand/believe the news I see about Brexit. But always, in the same news cycle, there’s something hard to understand/believe happening in the US too. Our attention is constantly shifting, very confusing times. I wish you the best of luck.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That is such a touching commentary on today’s mad world Iain. We grew up reading, and dreaming, about the world having become a village, borderless and close-knit because of advancements in technology as well as thought. And look at us now. Not just Brexit, the situation is the same in the US, India, China…almost anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Maybe he’ll build her a boat one day. One piece at a time.
    I don’t mean anything political by that lol. I’m pretty far removed from the whole Brexit situation, wouldn’t want to choose a side without knowing much about it!

    Great story man 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Such a touching story, introduced with a nursery rhyme. Im amazed how many shells are on sale to tourists in places like Key West. Still, it seems like a tough way to make a living.

    I imagined this taking place on a less fortunate Caribbean Isle, and then I read your note about Brexit! I thought of planet of the apes with Chareton Heston finding the head of the Statue of Liberty. You portray a much diminished England.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, you saw it exactly as intended – it could be a few places around the world right now, or it could be how much wealthier nations end up in the future if they carry on down self-destructive paths being followed at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A bleak future and one I hope is not coming to these shores, though you paint it well. Grim times ahead. And though I hope for a People’s Vote, I suspect you’re right, that the government won’t let us have one and we’ll go careering into a pit at least 48% of us don’t want. I shudder to think of it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed Lynn, I’m not even sure a People’s Vote would get a different result, those that want to Leave set on that path despite any argument or evidence to the contrary. Up here (Scotland) even more galling as 62% voted to Remain and yet it counts for nothing with our current UK government. Grim indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was just such a close vote too – in a general election we’d have a hung parliament or a recount if the vote was that close. And the referendum was only ever advisory, not compulsory so the government were not bound by it. I’m not saying it would have been democratic to totally ignore the result, but a serious conversation should have been had, proper analysis and debate rather than throwing us headlong into this chasm we’re about to fall into. And will you have another referendum up in Scotland after Brexit? Because I’m pretty sure I know what the result would be next time! Brexit and its fallout has been more about old Etonians scoring points off each other, people in power not wanting to look weak or lose face than about what’s good for the nation. Makes me want to emigrate, I know that much. Any room up there for more Remainers? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Always room for more up here. I think you are right, if Brexit is messy (and it seems to be heading that way), there will be another referendum up here on independence, and it will certainly be close. I have to say I would vote for an independent Scotland that remained part of the EU.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It was on the TV just last night, Scots marching, demanding another referendum. Sad, sad times, though I for one won’t blame you all if you want to go – just leave a little room for us 48% please! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Your tale is one that has echoed through history. Family and friends eeking out a living and hoping for a better life. It is a tale that tears families apart as some manage to fulfill the dream of searching for a better life and those that are left behind. I am hopeful the current change will not be as horrific as some imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sad that they use their ingenuity to make beautiful things from what nature leaves behind, only to be waved at dismissively by the tourists. A tale of hope and helpfully success eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This dream reminds me a bit of the movie “In America”. Don’t know if you’ve seen it but it’s about hope too. Lovely, and thanks for the follow on I Write Her! I appreciate it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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