Walking the beach one day I was shocked at the myriad of colourful litter I found washed up on the shore. I walk the beach almost every day, so I am used to seeing litter along the way, but this day in particular it seemed as if the ocean gods had spit up as much as they could find from their bowels and said, "Here - back atcha" to us humans.
I had my camera along with me and started to take photos of the trash I came upon, as I was quite enthralled by the types of trash I was finding. So varied I began to wonder how such items got to be there.
My mind started to wander... and I decided to write about three specific pieces of trash I came upon. I turned each piece of trash into a short story.
Here they are:
Story 1 - Yellow Object - Container
Luigi always wanted to work on a ship. At eighteen he finally had his chance. And to be a chef…well okay, a chef’s 'assistant'; it was his dream come true.
If only he could get over his nausea.
It was their third day of rough seas, and his equilibrium was still not settled.
As he walked down the narrow hall to the walk-in cooler, he held the walls to keep himself upright, and as he did so he recalled his farewell with his parents.
His papa, a seaman his whole life was so very proud of him and kept smacking his back so often he thought he’d bruise; and his mama, the woman who taught him all he knew in the kitchen, squeezed him so hard the tears did indeed runs from both of their eyes.
He pulled open the door to the large refrigerator and spotted the container he needed.
As he reached for it, the smell of some over-ripe fruit caught his nose and made him dizzy with nausea. He slid to his haunches until the wave of sickness passed him.
“Luigi?!” the chef called from down the corridor.
“Coming…,” he retorted.
Taking a deep breath and telling himself he’d be okay, he
got up to walk the way back to the galley, weaving like a drunkard as he did so.
“Hurry, open that quick, I need it for the soup” the chef told him.
Luigi set the container next to the cut up chicken and onions. His mouth began to water, and he knew that was a danger sign. His stomach felt like it was in his throat.
He pried the lid from the container and the oily smelled went up and filled his nostrils, sickening him all the more.
“Hold it up for me next to the stove, so I can scoop from it” the chef demanded.
He walked over with the container. He now felt dizzy, as sweat was beading on his forehead.
The chef took his large hairy hand and scooped directly into the oily yellow mass and shook out a handful into the waiting pot.
The smells in the kitchen, along with the chef’s musky body odor became too much. Luigi knew he had only one thing in mind, and that was to empty his stomach, and fast. Still clutching the container he ran for the door and bolted across the hall to the outside deck.
He flung himself to the rail, forgetting the container as it fell to the waves below,
as he retched and retched and retched. …
Story 2 - Golf Ball - Crazy Long
Patricia was pissed! After a short
‘feel sorry for herself’ cry on the bed, she gazed out at the gorgeous Caribbean ocean in front of her window, and pulled herself up to find something to do.
“What a jerk!”, she thought.
“He is so selfish!”
As she walked through the house guilt overtook her.
She should have been pleased that she was on a vacation in The Bahamas. He’d rented this very extravagant home for them to stay in, but here she was - in it alone, while he played golf everyday with his pals.
None of the boys brought their wives or girlfriends, and she should have taken it as a sign, but she demanded that she needed a vacation too, and told him that he’d been neglecting her.
“I’d have been much happier in a hotel” she thought as she passed through the large dining room overlooking the lap pool outside. Out of curiosity she decided to check out the garage.
She thought the house was beautiful, but their seemed to be no neighbors living in either home on each side of the house in the ritzy waterfront neighborhood. She was near nothing touristy, and there was no bus service in the area.
She could call a cab, but she couldn’t be bothered. She’d just have to wait for him to come home - again.
The two-car garage was tidy enough, and there were enough shelves full of items to give one a good feel about the owners, or the type of renters that left things there over the years. Piles of beach toys and paraphernalia neatly stored. Another shelf was loaded with sporting and dive equipment.
She noticed a bucket full of golf balls next to a bag of clubs. Bob had always invited her to come out and watch him play golf, but she knew she’d be bored. It was his ‘guy’ thing. He also always offered to teach her how to play his favorite game. She was just too busy with her own hobbies and activities at home. She did resolve right then and there that she’d better take him up on it next time he asked, or she might be spending future vacations just like this one.
Standing in the garage Patricia got an idea; she took the bucket and selected a club from the bag …. The one with the bright blue trim would do.
She walked out to the large lawn facing the ocean, and took a ball from the top of the pail. As if knowing how to properly swing a club she smacked that thing for all it was worth. “Whack!” it hit the large fence between her and the beach.
“That felt good!”, she thought.
She took the next ball out and poised herself for an even better shot this time.
“Whack” – right over the fence and out to sea!
“Wow that was a great shot”, she thought as she felt her adrenaline kick in. “I wonder how many of these I can hit out into the ocean?”
She took the next ball, and laughed to herself as she read the name on it.
“Crazy Long" it said. "I’ll give you crazy long Bob!” she said to herself as she bashed another ball out to sea….
Story 3 - Blue Sandal Bottom
Peter loved the ocean. He loved it more than... yes, more than Felicia. He walked eagerly down the path between the houses to the ocean after parking his pickup truck on the street.
The warm fresh breeze that hit his face began to smell like the sea as he neared the expanse of sandy beach. Arriving there he took a deep breath and marveled at the magnificent blue scape that greeted him. He looked to the left and then to the right. Only one other human was seen off in the distance. A jogger, and not Felicia.
He looked around for a place to wait. Off only a few yards was a warped and broken lawn chair of all things, just jutting out of the sand, but still of value as a place for him to perch.
He wiped the morning dew from the plastic with his sleeve and sat down facing the water. The rising sun, still quite low on the horizon sparkled like diamonds in its watery reflection. Peter stared and stared, and it didn’t take long before his mind began to wander.
He recalled the first time he'd seen Felicia. It was right there on that very same beach. She had walked straight up to him in her fuchsia pink bikini to ask him the time. After he told her, she simply giggled, and just stood there. That short pause felt like an eternity, but an eternity filled with the pleasure of being able to drink in her beauty. Then she thanked him and ran off down the beach.
He saw her again. It was not the next day, although he did return in hopes of seeing her, but it was a couple days later. He'd taken a novel and laid out at the very same place he'd met her, waiting all day. She came up out of nowhere in the late afternoon, while he had been sleeping with the book on his chest.
"Must be a good book" she said and then giggled. They talked that day. For a short while anyway. Just light talk about the novel he was reading, and about her passion for the beach and ocean.
His eyes refocused on the sparkling water and he looked around the beach again for a sign of her. Nothing... Why was she so late? Was she coming at all?
Something caught his eye out in the water... he looked harder, but between the sparkling waves, he saw nothing but the crests rising and falling. But wait, there it was again. He thought he saw something...a human form, and a flash of pink. But as soon as he thought he'd seen it, it was gone.
Peter stood, and looked out to the sea. There it was again, this time he definitely saw something. A pink bikini bottom on a woman's figure rose up cresting the wave and then out of sight back into the water.
"What the heck?" he thought. Was that Felicia? Was she here before him and swimming out there?
He walked up to the water’s edge never letting his eyes leave the area that he had spotted her.
Next he saw her! Her smiling face appeared many yards away in the distance and she waved for him to come out to him. No sooner did she do that, then she again disappeared beneath the waves.
Not expecting to go swimming that morning, he secured his watch and keys into his shirt pocket, and removing it quickly, he tossed it back onto the beach away from the shore.
He could hear her giggling now. Felicia's distinct giggles coming across the water. He turned back to the waves and was about to jump in when he looked down at his sandals, and quickly ripped the velcro to remove them.
He ran headlong into the shallows and dived into the water and swam into the direction of her giggles.
After about ten yards he stopped to look around. There was no sign of her! He called out her name as he turned in all directions treading the water. He’d thought something brushed his foot. He dived back under with his eyes open in the saltiness, but could see nothing but some sea fans in the distance.
What the heck was going on? He was so upset and his heart was pounding. Was he seeing AND hearing things? No one was on the beach except for that same jogger who was making his way back and coming close to where he’d left his sandals.
Peter swam back to shore. The jogger passed him with a morning greeting. Peter had wanted to ask the jogger if he'd seen anything, but felt silly.
He walked out of the water and was surprised to see only one blue sandal on the shore, a few feet from the tide line. He looked at the jogger who had nothing in his hands.
The wind felt cold now against his wet body. It had increased and whistled passed his ears. But then yet again he thought he'd heard that giggle. Was he just hearing Felicia on his own? Was she now just a part of him? His wanting her, or was that really her? He turned and looked long out to the sea again.
The waves were cresting with white foam now. And just like before, there it was again. A spot of pink.
"Felicia!" he roared loudly. But nothing..... no resurfacing. The jogger stopped and looked back. Peter just looked back out to sea.
Then he saw something way out on the horizon. Something waving way out there. Something blue. It looked like his sandal, but how could that be?!
A chill rose up his spine. He could go out there again, but the distance was twice as far as the first time. An eerie feeling went through his body.
He took a
deep breath to stop his shaking, he turned and picked up his one blue sandal, and then walked to his shirt, and then on to his waiting vehicle.
He only looked back once more from the edge of the sand, and saw nothing.
He knew that he would never see Felicia again...
And he was right.
About the author: Robbin Whachell has been a resident of Grand Bahama Island since 1998. She moved to Freeport from Vancouver, Canada. She is the mother of four children and is an involved volunteer in the community, in particular with the YMCA and the island's soccer programmes. She is a founding member of the Grand Bahama Writer's Circle, and The Bahamas representative for the International Women's Writer's Guild. Her passion for life on Grand Bahama comes across in her innovative and intuitive sharing and networking of information within the community she lives. She is appreciative of her opportunity to live in The Bahamas and looks forward to the continuance of being a team player within the larger community of The Bahamas. Robbin is the Editor of TheBahamasWeekly.com and can be reached at