My entry in this week’s Flash! Friday contest. The photo below was your inspiration and coming of age had to incorporated into your story in some fashion. 160 max word count.
I’m pleased to say that my story received an Honorable Mention this week from the judges, the editors of Splickety magazine. You can read their comment about my tale at the end of this post.
When she was a fractured teen, Jennifer would sneak out to the oceanfront with her plastic red bucket. The seashells that littered the sand became startled eyes in her ailing mind. Unseen bodies protected by a granular blanket with orbs of various hues darting around for the visitor sheathed in a lustful cloak. Like Jennifer, they had seen the trembling brass doorknob when the tormenting night arrived. They had seen brutes in flannel shirts and chameleons in silk pajamas.
She would gather a few of the eye-shells and take them home to comfort her while her mother chose to ignore the stifled moans of lost innocence.
“Who’s gonna pay the rent now, you ungrateful tattletale?” she asked Jennifer years ago. Nancy would eventually marry a ruffian with a bursting wallet and unquenched rage in his knuckles.
Jennifer always comes back to the beach. She tells the panicked eyes about her new life, the one aglow with the color of redemption.
Judges comment: “The Blinking Sand.” We love the use of descriptive language in “The Blinking Sand: (“seashells that littered the sand became startled eyes in her ailing mind,” “Unseen bodies protected by a granular blanket with orbs of various hues darting around for the visitor sheathed in a lustful cloak”). The sad, poetic words give the reader a sense of Jennifer’s “fractured” mind. We’re not told about the suffering Jennifer experienced. Instead, we’re shown the traumatic events, as if through a veil—just enough to understand what’s happening and why Jennifer seeks refuge among the “panicked eyes.” The story also ends on a hopeful note, as we learn of Jennifer’s new life, “aglow with the color of redemption.”