The Seagull's Victim This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The Seagull's Victim

by H. P., Portland, ME

Sitting on the rocks watching the ocean sway calmly as the cold, bitter air engulfed my lungs with every breath, I felt a bond with this setting. A seagull glided overhead; it seemed so peaceful and carefree. It reminded me of when I was a kid and my friends and I would spend our summers on this beach. Chasing our own shadows on the sand in our one-piece suits, just barely holding in our little pot bellies, we raced to the picnics our moms would pack to indulge our appetites. We kept ourselves busy building sandcastles, making houses of the massive rocks including finding dishes and silverware to eat our spaghetti (seaweed) at dinner time, before we took a bath in our tubs (tide pools), and making an all-day vigil of jumping over the waves as they rolled in until we were exhausted or our mothers yelled from the deck to come in. Whenever an unknown boy or girl would come down we would gladly let them join in helping build the sanctuary for our crab collection.

As the seagull got closer and landed on a seaweed patch, clenching in its beak the remains of a small fish, my hand was drawn to my chest as though my heart had been ripped out at the same time. What looked like a smooth and well-groomed bird, now up close was a filthy creature with a malicious look in its eyes that could not have been detected from a distance. Just as I could not detect back when I was little, the problems I would face in the future. Now I see the waves in a different light. No longer are they tranquilly making smooth formations, but instead are fierce and swirling in disarray. The barnacles that were cushions now pierced my palms and I am uncomfortable externally as well as internally. I began to contrast what the beach means to me today. My days do not consist of playing in the sand with friends as equals, but basking in the sun in our bikinis, gossiping about who's seeing whom and who looks horrible in her swimsuit. Our mothers don't pack us lunches, instead we sip jugs of Evian, so as not to consume any calories. Being the kiss of death not to have a tan, we fry our skin so we will "look good." We couldn't even go in the water for fear of messing our hair. Our mothers no longer call us in at dark, instead our nights are spent at the beach socializing around a bonfire and drinking beers and whatever else is around. If someone we did not know were to come down and join us, they would be shunned and without a word, forced to leave.

Suddenly, my toes were shocked from the spray of water that had made its way to the rock that I was perched on. I looked where the seagull had been but it was gone, leaving only the skeleton of the fish it had feasted on. I felt time had been my seagull and had eaten away my insides and all that was left was my framework. How I longed to be as free as I once was, never having to worry about fitting in or impressing others. You could be yourself and everyone played together happily. I stood up and looked out at the expanse of blue with its vicious curves of white and turned toward my house and as I walked I heard children playing and running along the beach but then it was drowned out by the screech of a seagull.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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