She Sells Seashells

July 12, 2011
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“Anytime,” I said, handing over the small slip of paper with the transaction information listed in tiny print.

Bells jingled as the door swung open and shut, sending a swell of hot, humid air into the shop, causing me to make my way over to the thermostat. Cool air sent chills down my spine, and I shivered slightly before turning back to the counter and my book, which, sadly, was my only form of entertainment on the long, hot days I spent at She Sells Seashells, the convenience store/gift shop that employed me during the summer. Days here stretched on and on, dragging out as what felt like hours turned out to be minutes, and what felt like minutes were revealed to be mere seconds.

Every summer, each of my friends left in an attempt to get away from the tourists, escaping the hordes of people expected at any beach town – our town, however, was not a typical beach town; it was more like a ghost town, more often abandoned than occupied, rarely plagued by those wishing to sunbathe and splash in the ocean. Friendless and lacking opportunities, I returned each year to She Sells Seashells, choosing to occupy my time dealing with overpriced Cokes and oversized t-shirts.

Groups of people occasionally wandered by the store window, and I created stories about who they were and where they were going.


I looked to the door with a start, noticing for the first time the girl standing there; her skin was deeply tanned and her hair streaked by the sun. Jet-black nail polish was coated on her toenails, and her feet were clad in zebra-print flip flops; I nodded my head in acknowledgement, and she plodded over to the counter, shoes smacking her heels with each step she took.

“Kyle,” she read off my nametag, squinting a bit to see the tiny print. “Look, I was wondering if you could possibly help me out – I’m in a bit of a, shall we say, sticky situation. Maybe I could use your phone?”

“No problem,” I said, and pointed over to the phone on the wall; I watched her long legs as she gracefully strode over to the wall and picked up the phone, twirling the cord in and out of her fingers as she dialed and listened.

“Of course,” she practically shouted, slamming the phone down, “he should disconnect the line.”

Pretending not to ne as intrigued as I actually was, I asked nonchalantly, “Something wrong?”

Quietly, she shook her head before looking down at the linoleum floor.

“Really. Something’s wrong, I’ll do whatever I can to help,” I said, rushing to offer assistance to this beautiful girl who had wandered into She Sells Seashells purely by chance; she didn’t look familiar, so she must have been a tourist, which meant she probably wouldn’t be coming back, so I had to make an impression on her before she was gone forever.

Tears formed in her eyes, and she asked, “Do you have a map I could see?”

“Um, sure; this is where you are now, “I pointed to the map on the wall, “and this is where you probably want to end up,” I said, referencing the most urbanized part of town, Main Street.

“Vacationing?” I asked, and she nodded, still studying the map.

“Where could I get a copy of this?” she, indicating the piece of paper, with its little lines criss-crossing like veins.

“Xerox machine is right over there,” I pointed to the machine and watched as she scanned the piece of paper and a replica shot out of the slot near the bottom.

“You’re a life saver,” she said, smiling while she made her way to the door.

Zebra-print flip flops smacked against her heels as she pushed the door open and stepped out into the bright sun; it swung shut, causing the bells to jingle, and I watched her walk away until she disappeared from view.

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

writer015 said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 7:59 am
I want to read more!
Ally_H. replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 11:14 am
Thanks! I have another one that has all one-syllable words called The Rain.
writer015 replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 11:22 am
I think I saw that, at least I have seen a couple rain ones. I'll check it out! :) How many works do you have on here? I only have three.
Ally_H. replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 11:33 am
I have 14 written works and 26 photos.
writer015 replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Woah! How has it been going? So far I haven't figured how to get mine noticed, is there any secret to it haha?
Ally_H. replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 10:15 pm
Well I took a creative writing class this year at school and decided it was my passion (cheesy but true) so I have tons and tons of stuff that's accumulated over the year and I just took some of my favorites. As for getting noticed, I just kinda hoped. A lot of people go on popular stories and tell people to check their stuff out. I personally find it kind of annoying but hey, whatever gets you more feedback lol
writer015 replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 9:44 am
Yeah I am not into that either. I just comment on a bunch of stuff. :)
haha good luck with the writing! :)
Ally_H. replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 10:42 am
thank you ! you too :)
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