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Day at the Beach

by leliann 

Posted: 28 May 2009
Word Count: 444
Summary: My Entry for the Searching comp. This is my first entry so please be kind!!

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Panic rising quickly in my throat, I scanned the beach, looking for a small blonde girl with impossibly blue eyes. Shell be here, I told myself. She was here. Right there. Right there by the harbour steps. Only a moment ago.
Im calling her name, my angry voice. I try to make it sound happy, in case she feels scared. People stop me and ask if I am alright. I describe my daughter - aged three with long blonde hair and a yellow bathing suit and a blue sun hat. They begin to look too.
I run on to the sand. The sea is out a long way. She wont have gone that far. I try to see past the fat kids with inflatables and couples with dogs to see if there is a lone child crying. Maybe she is not on her own. Maybe someone has found her.
I shout her name once more and the sound of my voice frightens me. Why does it sound so terrified? She has only been gone for a few minutes. Surely its only a few minutes. But time has stood still and I could have been staring at this beach for days. Someone has told the coast guard and a man comes up on a quad bike to get a description. He tells me not to worry and zooms off.
I wander along the beach. I can see other people, lots of people searching, but I am separated from them. From behind me I hear a helicopter. I turn and look. It is searching the shore line.
Oh my God, I think. Shes dead. And the beach disappears in a haze of tears and I want to be sick.
There is a light touch on my shoulder and a middle aged woman is holding out her hand to me. I turn my head away, not wanting her sympathy and almost miss what she is saying.
Weve found her.
I look at her and she smiles and says it again. I brush away the tears and a noise escapes me that is half a laugh and half a choking sob. She points back towards the harbour wall and I see that people are pointing and waving to me. I begin to run screwing up my eyes to see her.
Shes lying still. Panic rises in my throat again as I run faster towards my girl. But people are smiling. I reach her and look down and see a mass of blonde hair fallen over her face, her blue sunhat fallen to one side. I brush it gently to one side and she stirs slightly in her sleep.

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Comments by other Members

Bunbry at 12:04 on 28 May 2009  Report this post
Welcome to the group. This a fine piece of writing which kept me guessing to the end. Very well done.


jenzarina at 13:03 on 28 May 2009  Report this post
Really good! I was instantly drawn in and cared about the characters.
I liked that even after the touch on the shoulder there is still the fear that she might not be alright- you're good at playing with emotions!

Wecome to the group!

tusker at 14:59 on 28 May 2009  Report this post

Hi Hazel,

As the others have said, it's a great flash with plenty of tension and sense of place.

That horrible fear of losing a child is there.


GraemeR at 19:54 on 28 May 2009  Report this post
Hi Hazel

Good story, you manage to convey fear very well and keep the reader hooked right to the end. Nice piece of work

As the others have said, welcome aboard!


V`yonne at 11:40 on 29 May 2009  Report this post
Very nicely executed piece.


and another Welsh woman - where in Wales? Don't worry, I won't be round for tea - I'm up near the Scottish borders... Welcome to flash.

Inspiration at 12:53 on 29 May 2009  Report this post
Hi Hazel!

You had me hooked! Can't wait to read more of your stuff.

Welcome to the group.


leliann at 13:59 on 29 May 2009  Report this post
Hi, I live in Wrexham, also on the border.

Thank you all for your encouraging comments.

V`yonne at 15:22 on 29 May 2009  Report this post
I khow Wrexham. My husband went to training college there.

Prospero at 20:26 on 29 May 2009  Report this post
Excellent, Hazel.

You really have got the knack of the compact story. This is well executed and nicely rounded. Well done.

Just so you know, we operate like the House of Commons, you get to deliver your maiden speech in good natured silence. After that we really rip into you.

No, just kidding.

Seriously, though if you want to grow be prepared to let people say what they think. I always say 'Go on, I can take it' and three years in that is usually true. Your choice of course, we don't want to scare you away, but I honestly don't think you have much to worry about.



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