Seashells, sandcastles, and waves

Brooke Walker is trying to repair her relationship with her father and at the same time seeking the meaning and powers behind a nautilus shell she finds after a stroll on the beach.

Prologue

The soft breeze of the summer morning was a comfort in this sunny day. The streets were pretty much deserted for it was a Sunday morning, which meant every family must be in church. The beach, which was some meters away from the downtown shops, was cleared of people except for a few tourists who were lying on their towels under the powerful orb in the sky. The sea was crystal clear, the waves crashed among themselves upon reaching contact with the coastline, sending ripples of water to bathe the shores.

Almost all of the shops in the downtown area of Cannon beach were closed; there was one in particular that could’ve caught the attention of any passerby if only it was within sight range. This shop was some meters away from the street and was flanked by two bigger shops at its side, which shadowed the small shop. Glassware and many crafts derived from it were sold. Its window was broken and the floor was covered with pieces of broken glass. The sun was reflecting on them, making it look like a luminous path.

There was a girl lying on the floor, her face buried on her bloody arm. There were shards of glass on her black hair and multiple cuts and scratches on her pale arms. She breathed hard as she stirred, sending ripples of pain through her body. All around her she saw the remains of shattered glass covering the dark wooden floor.

The motionless figure of a man with a long black trench coat some meters away from her was grinning as he toyed with another fireball in his hand. A smile on his pale and sallow face, his dark eyes couldn’t conceal the joy of destruction that he had caused.

She searched for her aggressor and was dismayed when she found him still there; his thirst for her death was even stronger. With the strength she had left, she crawled away from his view, fearing that his eyes might tear her down instead of the fireball he had at hand. She reached the counter, hiding her from him, her back resting against the counter.  

Her eyes were set in front of her, facing the photograph of a family hung on the wall. The photograph showed three people and in the center of the it stood the blonde young man she learned to hate this summer, ironically that would be the last face she would see before perishing on the hands of this stranger. She sighed, memories rushed into her, along with a throbbing headache.

She heard footsteps approaching her, his feet falling hard with every step he made, closing in the distance between them. His feet stomped the glass purposely, augmenting the fear that was already in her heart and mind, it was a psychological game after all.

She closed her eyes, restraining the tears to appear on them, her chest was constricted with excruciating pain and hopelessness. When she opened them, a light captured her eye and she glanced toward the object: the seashell.

The seashell, a nautilus shell to be specific, lay on the floor some inches away from her. For what’s worth, she thought reaching out for pinkish shell she found on the beach a couple of days ago when she went for a stroll. She had been told by an old man that it had magical powers that only the right person could trigger. Fairytale rubbish, she had called it at that moment, now she hoped she was wrong.

It was strange, though, after she found the seashell, strange things started to happen. Her fingers touched the cold surface as she drew it toward her palm, her fingers closed in around the shell in a fist. She held her fist close to her chest, the smooth surface of it pressing hard against her skin. She closed her eyes tightly, in an attempt to shun out the sound of the deadly, approaching footsteps.

She drew in, perhaps her last breathe, her sides burning with agonizing pain. She pressed her lips lightly on her fingers and whispered words of mercy.

The End

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