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Empty Beach

by FizzdeBrooke 

Posted: 09 August 2007
Word Count: 259
Summary: Coming to terms with a life full of illness leaves a salty taste in a young woman's mouth.

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La la-la la-la...

She hummed to herself while slipping a wet jacket off her shoulders. Then sang a few words she remembered.

Always look on the bright side

Her legs felt numb while sitting cross-legged, poking a stick into wet sand in front of her.

A wave washed over her jeans and soaked her pink t-shirt. None of it mattered. It was all pointless a waste of time.

She wiped rain from her eyes.

A seagull landed next to her and she watched it peck at a rotting sandwich. Seawater washed her one remaining breast. How could he love her now? Why would he want to? So young, but riddled already. Life was so unfair.

The cold chilled her to the bone and thoughts raked her spirit. She spat seawater as another wave stung her face. Maybe she should call him one more time. Maybe he was struggling to deal with it himself. Maybe she should be there for him so he would learn to cope without her.

A wave knocked her over and she held her breath, wondering how long she could hold on. Maybe just long enough for him to learn to cope without her. She owed it to him after such devotion.

Forcing her head out of the water, she gasped, before the sand sank beneath her feet. No strength left. No breath. No more fight. She thrashed her arms in one final effort, but another wave smothered her.

Rain fell on an empty sea, and waves crashed on an empty beach.

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Comments by other Members

Anna Reynolds at 16:44 on 10 August 2007  Report this post
Fizz, I really thought there was something beautiful about this- you've managed to tell a really huge story in a very short amount of space, which I envy. I did think, though, that it would be great to see it expanded a bit- and at only 285 words, you've got room to do that easily. Particularly the places where you're making big statements- 'Terry never committed himself fully'- and also where she says; 'How much she missed his touch'. Because these are quite general statements, some detail would really help flesh it out- although I think the line 'Seawater washed over her one remaining breast' is a fantastically economical way of telling us what's happened to her, so that really worked for me.
I don't know whether you've kep this very short for a micro-fiction comp or anything, or whether you might have thoughts about expanding it? Anyway, welcome, and would like to see more of your work.

FizzdeBrooke at 17:11 on 10 August 2007  Report this post
Hi Anne,

Thanks for the welcome.

I had indeed deliberately kept it short for a micro fiction comp. But I'm also thinking about expanding it too. Although, I'm not sure whether to have her tragedy occur at the beginning or whether to have the background first - including her devoted Terry - and really make readers weep.

One of the many things I keep doing wrong when I write is to make my secondary characters flat. Just how much do you need to know about the secondary characters to make them fully rounded?

I've got plenty of other stuff, including children's (I know every beginner starts with children's, but I really love it).

I will upload some of my children's work too, once the site lifts the embargo!

My real name is Chris by the way. Fizz is actually one of my characters in the story I'm going to upload soon.

Thanks again,


Account Closed at 10:41 on 17 August 2007  Report this post
Thought this was very powerful, but with a delicate touch which I really liked. I'd think about removing "thoughts" before "raked her spirit" and see how the expanded sentence works.

I also thought "smothered" at the end was too heavy and you could think of a more subtle word?

Otherwise, very moving indeed.


FizzdeBrooke at 11:28 on 17 August 2007  Report this post
Thank you very much for your feedback. I'll work on that. Might just cut the last bit, 'but another wave smothered her.'

I'm concentrating on a children's story at the moment. Once I'm done with that, I'll have a go at turning this into a longer story.

Thanks for the encouragement.

portobelloprincess at 00:43 on 06 September 2007  Report this post
What a remarkable piece of writing - You have told so much with so few words and with a real eloquence; you have written so much feeling into this piece - I really applaud you for that!
So often, I trawl through hundreds of words and find nothing even remotely 'feeling-oriented' but here - you have told a real story and one that truely touched me. Well Done!
smiles across the miles,
Linda B.

V`yonne at 09:01 on 06 September 2007  Report this post
So welcome. This is a lovely flash and with the couple of revisions you want to make,( I always follow Anne's advice) it should get snapped up. There's a list of markets in the Flash 1 forum.

Look forward to reading more.

FizzdeBrooke at 11:04 on 06 September 2007  Report this post
Wow, thank you. I didn't think I'd write anything that could possibly be publishable. I'll give it a go. Thanks again.

ireneintheworld at 19:05 on 06 September 2007  Report this post
chris, this is a fabulous piece. i love the sparseness of the text but it's showing us a huge story. i think the fact that you've kind of brushed over him is a great metaphor for his weakness and inability to help this woman.

well done


FizzdeBrooke at 11:41 on 07 September 2007  Report this post
Thanks. I will make some changes to it and post it again for comments. I want to get it as good as I can before I try getting it published.

Oonah, I can't find the list of markets in the Flash Forum, can you help please?


DeepBlueGypsy at 20:43 on 16 September 2007  Report this post
Does she make it? Does she call him? Does He stay? Will she survive the illness? Need to know more, great way to engage the reader- leave them wanting more. The picture you painted with your words was simple and effective. I really liked it. More! More! More!

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