The Closure

flash fiction, short story, fiction
The Closure

Joanna parked her shoes on the beach. The sand felt soft and fine beneath her feet. The wind was blowing in her hair. And the sun was pleasantly warm. But, she was not here to appreciate the myriad elements of nature. She had a battle to fight and she needed to win it even when the odds seemed to be against her.

Slowly she entered the clear waters of the sea. The foamy waves were gently caressing her feet inviting her to move deeper. As she moved further into the sea, the sand started shifting from under her feet. The water enveloped her body. She could feel the strength of the water. She felt she was being taken away into the sea, but she planted her feet firmly. She could have swum, but that would have meant she was giving into the mighty sea. She preferred standing so that she could talk like an equal.

It had been ten years since she had visited this beach. Visited any beach. She had vowed to never enter the sea again. But here she was breaking her promise.

Ten years ago, at this beach and in this inviting blue sea waters, she had lost her first born. She was standing on the beach, watching helplessly as the waves took away her daughter. She cried for help, ran here and there, but it wasn’t enough and it wasn’t soon. By the time, they came, there was no trace of her daughter. The currents were too powerful, they said.

“But, there were other kids too swimming in the water. Why didn’t the currents take them? Why only my daughter?” Joanna shouted.

“The sea is unpredictable, madam.” Was all they could say in return.

Three years later, she lost her husband, a captain in the Indian Navy, when his ship collided with an oil tanker in the high seas. The vessels were destroyed and no one saw the men on board again. Without the body, she buried an empty casket. She got one more reason to be furious with the Sea.

She took her only surviving child, her son to a place as far from the sea as possible. She wanted to keep him safe. But the sea seemed to be having the last laugh.

Her son was joining the Merchant Navy and was sailing out on his first high seas assignment in a week’s time. She pleaded with her son to choose a different career line, to leave the seas alone for other men whose mother probably hadn’t lost any child. But her son like his father was adamant.

“The sea is in my blood.” He said.

“You are being unnecessarily paranoid, Joanna. It’s not that the catastrophe will strike again.” Friends and family assured her.

Maybe she was paranoid. But the catastrophe had already struck twice, it could very well strike for a third time. Who would stop it?

So, here she was in the lap of the sea – one mother to another – asking, demanding, requesting, begging to the sea to spare her son.

The sea started retreating. Suddenly the water felt less insistent and restricting. Joanna turned and started walking towards the beach. The salty water dripping from her body.


I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

Write Tribe Festival, Short Fiction, Flash fiction

51 thoughts on “The Closure

    1. That’s so sweet of you, Sonia! The WTF gave me the chance to read your work too (I still have to read Raya Ray as soon as this festival is over) and appreciate it. You are a prolific writer. I am so glad we connected. 🙂

  1. What an amazing story. It did bring back so many memories of similar stories which you have crafted into one deliciously, haunting tale that finally brings a mother solace

  2. I can understand. If something like this happens the fear doesn’t go off easily. Nice that you ended the story with hope . Liked it.

  3. This is the first story of my day..and I must say I have a great start today. This one was so beautifully expressed through words. The anxiety and helplessness of a mother. Made me thoughtful..keep writing, your stories are turning into classics.

  4. My eyes are moist and heart is weeping…
    No mother should ever face this fate.
    Gripping narration and premise Anshu.

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