The Seal by Luke Humphries

The Seal

by Luke Humphries

 

 

That morning, despite hanging, we woke early and took a walk along the beach. It was Stuart’s idea; he wanted to clear his head and blast the gunk out. 

Half way along the beach I saw a little white body lying in a tangle of seaweed. I thought a lamb might have fallen from a cliff and drown, washed up on the tide. I went over and had a quick look. A half-look. My stomach didn’t feel ready to fully appreciate the scene. The little body was covered in seaweed, the white of the fur showing through. It was a seal. The tide had chucked up a dead baby seal. Squirming I shouted Stuart. Go check it. Look its guts are hanging out. Stuart was drinking diluted squash from the bottle; he said it made him feel better when he was hung-over. Go check it I squealed again. I hated the idea of the guts spilling out all grey and blue. I’m a city boy. I don’t like this sort of thing. You don’t have much contact with guts in the city, not unless you’re a surgeon or something.

Stuart put me at ease.

It’s not guts, it’s the flipper, all the furs gone. Something must have bit it. It’s a baby seal.

He was standing over the little body. I went over and had a proper look. The joint where the tail connected to the body was all pink and knobbly. Gristly too.

Yuck, I said.

I looked out towards the sea, which was grey and controlled, the waves coming in steadily like a great machine. The sea air was clearing my head.

I love it here, I said. Could you live here Stu?

Yeah. I guess I could in a way. You’d just have to get a job though. What the hell would you do? There’s nothing around for miles. You can’t drive either.

 I dunno, something, I said.

 I looked at all the mounds of brown seaweed which lay slimy on the shore. There were hundreds of them.

It was Autumn. 

We’d drank most our week away.

We’d walked the coast drunk.

We’d been driving around and sleeping in Stuart’s Peugeot all week.

It was a week off of work and we felt good for it.

I crouched down and smelt one of the brown mounds, which smelt like rotting fish.

I asked Stu how he thought the seasons affected the sea.

He didn’t know.

.

.

Luke Humphries lives in West Bromwich.

 He writes stories and songs.

 He also contributes to dogshit – http://dogshitmagazine.tk

 He can be found here – https://twitter.com/luwarm

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