SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS

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.


sandras-shells
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 responses to “SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS”

  1. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lovely, Iain. Whether there really is a better life across the sea is debatable, but we all need hope

    Like

    1. Thanks Neil. True, it is perhaps more crushing to get to the other side and realise it is no better there.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A complex subject raised in a lovely piece of prose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jilly, much appreciated.

      Like

  4. A very poignant piece, Iain. It really touched my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Edith, very kind to hear that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hope of better day keeps us alive. I guess that is the beauty of human mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We certainly are able to cope with a lot of pain to get through to the bright side.

      Like

  6. Dear Iain,

    Have you read “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck. Your well-written piece put me in mind of it.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    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.

      Like

  7. Beautiful writing but bleak 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, afraid I see a lot of bleakness around at the moment!

      Like

  8. Another good post Iain. Hope is indeed what keeps us going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Di, it seems in short supply at the moment!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This really was very emotive & very beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Lisa, very kind.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Nicely written piece. Personally, I think borders are silly. Nationalism is such an 18th century concept and really should die.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more, and yet here we are, half my fellow citizens are determined to travel back to the 18th century. It’s devastating.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. 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

      1. I had some reservations about the process and long term effects that still remain. Was it just a party line choice?

        Like

  12. Beautifully written, hope is what sustains them.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Elegant writing, Iain.
    The struggle against Brexit is a fight for the soul of the nation. Don’t despair – campaign for a ‘Peoples’ Vote’!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I try not to Penny. I do hope everyone will come to their senses and stop the madness before it’s too late, but I fear those in charge are determined to take us down this path.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow! That’s a brilliant take on the prompt. I hope that a day comes when their dreams turn to reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s nice to think it will one day come true and have a happy ending.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. 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,
    Rowena

    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

  16. wonderfully uplifting and it could apply to any country or any of us who need this hope….

    Like

    1. Thank you. much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I really enjoyed the mix of hope and barely getting by. It was very well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I can only imagine how it will be when we from the rich world will try to flee our continents….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if we will be met with a warm welcome. One suspects not… You reap what you sow.

      Like

  19. Brexit and 45’s America is too similar in regards to how people are treated. Stop the world. I want to get off.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. We all do what we must to keep ourselves and our dreams alive. You captured that idea with your 100-words.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. better to live on hope for without it you’re as good as dead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pretty much, which must be why the state of the world is looking so grim at the moment!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. 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

  23. 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

    1. Thank you – I do think we will come to look back on this period as a very dark time in generations to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Without hope, we just stay stuck…
    Wonderfully done, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dale, here’s to being unstuck!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Hope makes life meaningful.
    Hope they attain their dreams.
    Here’s mine- Nature’s Treasure

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Deep, Iain, and elegantly written.
    Hope springs eternal…

    Liked by 1 person

  27. A chilling story full of desperation and “just making do”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s just a day to day struggle for the vast majority of the 6 billion of us…

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Lain it was so beautiful and realistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. The hope of every immigrant personified… Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  30. I hope they make it one day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some do, some don’t. C’est la vie.

      Like

  31. 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

    1. Thanks Jacob – good idea, put his skills to good use 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. 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

  33. I hope this dream still exists. Its hard to hope for a better life and have it snatched away. Great piece Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Well written and carefully thought out Iain, time is running out and the plan is, there is no plan!! Shiiiit!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The one thing I know for certain is that no one in charge has a clue what they are doing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! Christ knows what’s going to happen

        Liked by 1 person

  35. Keeping the dream alive is the important thing. We all wish the best for the next generation, but I fear we are leaving them a real mess to deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I love that the two are working together. Beautiful display of love 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  37. What looks better from afar may not be always good from close by. But hope is the bigger thing here – it gets us through the most difficult of times. Good one Iain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Anshu, hope is indeed a powerful thing!

      Like

  38. I love how you took a line we all know from our childhoods and created a poignant story, made frightening by the news events of the day. We take so much for granted. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Jan

      Like

  39. 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

        1. 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

          1. 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

  40. 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

    1. I wish I could share your hope, but I do despair at people applauding a message that starts with a promise to end freedom for all people.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. You’ve told the tale of millions (perhaps even billions) dreaming of a better life elsewhere for their children. Sensitively written.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. 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

    1. Here’s hoping 🙂

      Like

  43. Beautiful story of a parent’s dream of a better life for their child. Sad days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brenda, I can’t help but look at my kids and think of the opportunities they may miss out on because of this.

      Liked by 1 person

  44. It’s a good hope & u really do hope that both they and their child will have a more affluent future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mandi 🙂

      Like

  45. So well done, Iain. I can feel the emotion under the words.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. 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

    1. Thank you Susi, haven’t seen the film, but thanks for the recommendation, I shall look out for it. Look forward to reading more on your blog too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cool, hope you enjoy both!

        Like

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