Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Shell

The Special Shell.

An excerpt from Penwinnard 4, 
                   not yet named and still in progress

Not long later, they were in the room used by Dallas, tall, black hair, slightly oriental features. Jimmy said, “Dall, can you show Steve your special shell please? And I’ll tell him.”
"The shell?” Dallas said.  He picked up a large shell from his desk and handed it to Steven, who handled it carefully, but couldn’t see that an old shell was anything special.

Jimmy said, “See, it’s all scarred and it’s got old broken shells stuck to it, and yet it got very big and it lived a long time. I’ve never seen a shell that big around here before.”

Steven studied it and handed it back. “So?”

Dallas showed him, “See, there’s been creatures bore through the shell here, and they’ve left tracks. And here it’s just a little bit broken. And there’s lots of barnacles on it and some of them are broken with sharp edges. It’s like us, you see? We’re all scarred and some of us have awful memories, some of us maybe have nightmares or we’re scared when we shouldn’t be. We’re not perfect, but the animal that lived in this shell, it grew very big and tough in spite of everything.”

Steven took it back again and studied it, running a hand gently over a sharp edge. He asked, “Dallas, what happened to Bob? I said something and he got really shitty and now he’ll scarcely look at me.”

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