Wednesday 20 June 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 60

This week's photo was taken by one of my great writer friends, Michael Wombat, when he was in Blackpool, November 2017. This is a sculpture of a giant sea shell by Stephen Broadbent called The Golden Shell (or Mary's Shell) and it was installed on Cleveleys Beach in October 2013. It is inspired by The Sea Swallow children's book and you can read more about it here.

I love the possibilities this object inspires. I seem to be in a bit of a sci-fi/alien phase at the moment and this picture just fed into that.

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Alien Objection

The report had said it was a piece from a satellite in orbit and it was nothing to worry about, although its lack of impact on the ground confused people. No one thought anything of it; it became a landmark, a natural sculpture of sorts, and being out in the tide line of the beach it didn’t bother anyone or get in the way. It was referred to as ‘The Shell’ and it drew visitors and helped the economy of the area.

Then the dead animals started to be discovered, all within a hundred metre radius. From small creatures like rabbits, hares, mice, to larger animals like badgers, foxes and even a deer. There was speculation that it was ritualistic: someone practicing the occult, but there was no defined lay out of the animals and no blood. The autopsies revealed they had all suffered some kind of brain bleed, along with ruptured ear drums.

People became a little scared. And then it happened: The first human body was found.

It was my neighbour’s son, little Jake. He was only 8 years old. He loved shells and stones, and could be found most evenings after school down by the edge of the sea, poking around in rock pools left behind by the high tide. His mum had made sure he had all his swimming certificates before he was allowed to go there alone, even so people still said he had drowned. But he hadn’t. He’d also had a brain bleed brought on by burst ear drums. And his body hadn’t been anywhere near the water when he was found.

It was enough to unnerve a few people and houses started going up for sale as families began to move away. And people stopped going to the beach. No one wanted to be near it. Except me.

I wanted to know more. I wanted to see it up close and touch it and try and understand if this thing really did have anything to do with it. Was I worried? A little, but I was born without ear drums so I didn’t consider myself at risk.

I went right up to it; I touched its smooth black surface. I tapped it and felt it vibrate under my fingers. The vibration went on a long time. I could feel it through my body and the ground.

I wondered fleetingly if it was a bomb – but if it was, surely it would have gone off by now? I walked all round it. I even climbed inside.

It was open, with coils that ran round like a spring. I could see everything outside: the sky, the sea. But it looked different: the colours were too vivid and it was out of focus, like I was looking at something projected. Then that vibration came again, and I felt the structure move beneath me. Then the view outside changed; I was no longer looking up at the sky, I was looking down at it, and around me was the blackness of space and the stars.  

But before I had a chance to react, I was back on the ground, although a ground that I don’t recognize. The sand has a strange purple hue and what looks like sea is a thick black syrupy liquid. The sky is blue and I don’t have problems breathing, but I haven’t yet dared to venture off the beach. I’m frightened what I’ll find there. Plus I keep hanging out inside the shell in the hope that it will take me back. But since my arrival it seems to be dormant, more like the sculpture it had became viewed as originally. No amount of tapping elicits a vibration. I don’t know what to do. I just want to go home. 


  1. Nice work, kiddo ;-) Here's my paltry effort - Sea Shell

    1. I love it! Complete Brilliance - my sort of brilliance too. I was gripped. Thanks for entering.