A family day out
Written by Janice Brett – February 2018 Creative Writing Winner
As the family made their way down to the beach, the little boy struggled to keep up, his chubby legs only just long enough to take the steps one at a time. In his right hand he clutched his brand new pail and spade, still in their bright net packaging.
He looked along the seafront, marvelling at the expanse of sand, pebbles, driftwood and shells. In the water, clumps of seaweed clung to the rocks, bobbing gently in murky pools, dotted here and there with specks of white foam. He hunkered down at the edge and took off his shoes, burying his toes in the slippery mixture of sand and pebbles. He squealed with delight as a small wave washed in up to his ankles, then retreated, taking the sand under his feet with it. He picked up a large rock with both hands and hurled it into the water, jumping back from the resulting spray. He spied a bright pink stone washed smooth by the waves and put it in his pail, then ran around collecting more stones and shells as he noticed their pretty colours amidst the black and grey.
Suddenly, the pail was snatched from his grasp and he watched, helpless, as his older brother laughed and flung the contents into the sea. Sobbing, he ran back to where the rest of the family was sitting on a blanket. As his mother took him in her arms and stroked his hair, he blubbered out what had happened.
“All this fuss over a few bloody stones!” exclaimed his father. “This was supposed to be a nice family day out, but if you’re going
to be such a big baby we might as well just go home!”
Through his tears, the boy watched his sister walk over and retrieve the abandoned pail. She dragged it along the edge of the water, filling it with mud and slimy seaweed. She strolled back to the blanket, swinging the pail at her side. As she approached, she stumbled in the sand, spilling the contents over her father and older brother, who was now sitting smugly at his side.
The drive home was in complete silence, the three children shifting uncomfortably in the back, while their mother stared fixedly out the window. As they pulled up at home the boy glanced over at his sister, who gave him an exaggerated wink. He leaned forward and poked his head between the two front seats.
“Can we go to the seaside again next week?”
Thank you for entering the February Creative Writing Competition Janice. Many of us parent’s can definitely relate to this story. I was so pleased to publish it for you. I hope you enjoy your £10 Waterstones Gift Voucher!