Voting is now open in the 2018 Around DB and Life on Lantau Young Writers Competition, sponsored by Bookazine. Eleanor Lambert, a student from Discovery Bay International School, has been shortlisted for the final, along with two other entrants.
To vote for Eleanor’s story, head to the Around DB Facebook page and comment on the pinned post at the top of the page, with Eleanor’s name, or alternatively click ‘like’ or comment on the individual Facebook post linking to Eleanor’s story. You can also cast your vote by commenting on the comment section of this page.
By Eleanor Lambert – DBIS
Mentored by Sharon Le Roux
People are scarce these days, no one comes to the beach anymore.
The smell of the sea fills my nostrils, white foam spills over my bare feet as I stand at the water’s edge. The sand is soft under my toes and I reach down and sift my fingers through it, feeling the rough grains, letting them slide off my fingers and back into the sea. They make a gentle splash. I scoop up another handful and hold it up to the sun. In the light, the fragments sparkle.
The sea is sparkling. It’s a hot day and the sun shows no mercy, forcing it’s burning rays onto the sand. The beach is crowded. People are paddling in the waves, playing together on the sand. They are loud and happy, excited and chatty. They sit in groups and couples. They’re having fun.
A girl sits alone in the shade, watching. She’d rather play by herself. Her little fingers scrabble at the sand, searching for treasures. Eager hands pick at shells, lifting them, examining them. A pile has grown by the time the people start to leave.
People are scarce these days, no one comes to the beach anymore. The water is filled with litter. Empty water bottles, old shopping bags and odd shoes, floating.
The once seemingly endless horizon is now blocked by grey skyscrapers. Hundreds of tiny windows dot the bland concrete, each containing a different home, a different life.
The girl looks up at the apartment blocks. Families are walking in and out the building through the big doors. The girl has lived here her whole life, and she’s never seen most of these people, her neighbours, before. Children are playing outside, throwing balls and riding bikes. Their smiling faces are burnt from the sun but they couldn’t care, all their worries blown away by the breeze.
The girl wants to join in but stays where she is. What if they don’t like her? It’ll be safer to stay by herself; she can’t argue with herself, after all. She plays with flowers and wistfully watches the children.
It was so long ago, like a different life, a different me. A me no one knew. A me I didn’t want anyone knowing.
This place, my home, it’s changed. The previously empty roads are now filled with cars and buses, the noise of traffic reaching you however hard you try to escape it. There aren’t many trees left, they were cut down to make room for car parks and shopping centres.
People don’t talk to each other anymore. Phones are man’s new best friend. If they break you can just replace them.
The girl walks down the hill, laughing and talking loudly. She has friends now. Playing with yourself can get old. They walk slowly, too immersed in their conversations to care about how long they take. They chat about the day’s lessons, teachers they don’t like, and what their plans are for the weekend. Her phone vibrates, but she ignores it. This is the best part of the girl’s day.
I spin around, taking in the sights for the last time. The day’s ending, the sun’s going down. It’s moving on. I’m moving on too, but here will always be my home. Life is different here now, but so am I. I’m no longer that shy child, that happy teenager. Every aspect of this place leaves me overwhelmed and everything new makes me feel out of place. This is a different place. That was a different me.
I don’t belong here anymore.
Photo: Portrait of Eleanor Lambert by Baljit Gidwani – www.evoqueportraits.com
You can read the entries from the other two 2018 finalists via the links below:Young Writer's Competition, young writers competition 2018, ywc 2018