She Sells Egg Shells, and Other Things, by the Seaside.


This story has now been published at ‘Creative Frontiers’ now

Shoving a note under my door seemed so ‘yesterday’.

Who writes notes?

Who shoves them under my door?

“The shoe you are looking for is at Whalan Farm, on the Coast Road just past Dromana.”

How the hell did he know I was looking for a shoe?

Maybe he was a she. I can’t tell just from handwriting.

My security camera looks like it is state of the art, but the damn thing doesn’t work every second Thursday! And this was a second Thursday.

I rang the security company and resisted the urge to use big words, but it didn’t do me any good. Apparently the joker who wrote the software hated his job and wrote in a small glitch which is now known as ‘The Every Second Thursday Surprise’.

Seriously, if I hated my job that much I’d program in a chain reaction that forced everyone to wear corduroy jackets; but that’s me.

What a pussy —— every second Thursday. That was the best he could come up with.

The terminally bored sixteen-year-old receptionist told me that the parent company in BumFuck Idaho was working day and night to fix the problem.

That’s nice and all, but it doesn’t solve my problem.

Who shoved the bloody note under my door?

I wanted to solve the problem the way they do on TV. I wanted to go back through hours of tape and produce a still image of the half-wit smiling at the security camera. Or better still, I could use the ‘zoom in and enhance’ feature…….. which doesn’t bloody exist.

Living on this side of town means that I can get to the coast road in just over an hour. The radio was playing swing music and I wasn’t hungry or thirsty.

Whalan Farm was marked by an old battered wooden sign, and it had not been a working farm for a long time. The only hint of life was a badly drawn sign which let passers-by know that there were fresh eggs for sale.

I couldn’t remember if there were eggs in the fridge at home but either way, this seemed like a good way to look around without drawing too much heat.

I parked the Big Cat and walked up the dusty driveway towards where the house might be. I could not see people or chickens from where I parked, but I did not want to go too far down the driveway in case I got blocked in.

I wasn’t expecting trouble, but that’s when it usually arrives.

I pushed through the bushes and nearly got knocked over by a big bloke going the other way. He looked a bit sheepish, but he didn’t say anything.

The farmhouse was now visible and there was not a lot holding it together. Paint was a distant memory and the screen door was held on by two hinges and total of three screws. I thought I could hear the flies laughing at the tattered fly wire, but it was only the sound of the ocean some hundred metres off to my left.

An almost attractive woman came through the precarious screen door and looked me in the eye.

She was carrying a weight, but aren’t we all?

She wanted to know if I wanted eggs or ‘something else’.

If she had said ‘something else’ in a slightly more seductive manner I might have caught on a bit quicker, but as it was, it took me a moment.

That explained the big bloke with the sheepish look.

She asked me if I was a cop and I instantly knew that I needed to dress better. I told her I wasn’t and hesitated before I told her about the shoe that was lying up near the road behind some rocks.

I knew the cops needed to find it and soon. Obviously, the killers had considered dumping her body here. They had probably been disturbed by one of this lady’s customers and took off, leaving the shoe behind.

The girl in the red stilettos was just a missing person at the moment but I’m sure she’s dead, and that shoe is going to stir things up and get the cops into gear.

We talked for a long time and I bought a dozen eggs and paid for them with a fifty.

It seemed that this was once a productive piece of land. Her husband worked it and they were happy together. He stepped off the tractor to pick up something and it rolled right over him.

He had been bed-ridden ever since.

Without insurance, the farm had slowly fallen apart.

Selling eggs gave them some money but not enough, so she was selling the only thing she had left.

She took me into his room.

I’ve seen some things in my life, but you never get used to the sound of a man struggling for his next breath. He’d been like that for four years and from the sound of him, he wasn’t going to be with us much longer.

I asked her why she stayed.

She could have put him in a nursing home, sold the land and been living in comfort.

“He’s my husband. He wouldn’t leave me if I was lying there.”

She didn’t mention love, but she didn’t need to.

I told her to ring the cops and tell them about the car she heard, and the shoe lying in the dirt.

I strongly suggested that she not mention her sideline; the cops don’t have a sense of humour about such things, especially if they aren’t getting their cut.

I didn’t want to see her being hauled off. She’d been through enough.

Part of me knew that she didn’t have the necessary guile to pull it off, but I cannot save everyone and I need that shoe to show up.

I thought about her all the way back to town, and I wondered if I had that kind of courage.

The radio wasn’t playing much of anything, so I turned it off.



If you eyes hurt or you cannot be bothered reading, you can always listen to this story being read by me; the author.

21 thoughts on “She Sells Egg Shells, and Other Things, by the Seaside.

  1. Excellent as usual but I am left with so many questions and intrigue. I am a person who likes the loose ends tied neatly, especially your stories as you put so much into them… who? how? what? 🙂


    • The story grew out of a bunch of stuff.
      I’m working on a second ‘Sam and Scarlett’ book and Sam’s character is pushing itself forward at the moment, so he is swirling around inside my head.
      I’m interested in characters who show compassion but at the same time are driven by their own needs…. and this is a delicate balancing act…. too far one way and you get an arsehole….. too far the other way and you get Jesus. I prefer ‘conflicted’. I know this is fiction but in my real life I come across a lot of people who are a mixture of things……… truly good people who you know would kill if the situation required it [this is why stories about citizen soldiers are so interesting to me].
      The story also makes use of my recent obsession with red high heeled shoes!
      There is also a bit of a Sicilian police detective in there somewhere [Inspector Montelbano]
      I love characters who ‘drive at night’. I’ve done a lot of that over the past two decades and the world is a very different place at that hour. The roads are yours and the traffic is light. Your thoughts are your own and the choice is yours… music or the sounds of the road. The artificial light lends its own magic.
      I love the way that people can flash into your life, tell their story, and then they are gone, leaving you with a silly look on your face and a bag full of questions.
      Thank you for your comments, they mean a lot.
      This is one of the main reasons that I write….. I love to see [and hear] how my imagination affects people.
      I enjoy the ‘likes’ and ‘reads’ but it is the comments and the questions that are the most fun.
      Thanks again.


      • Thanks for that great reply, gives me insight into your thinking. I agree with the night driving. Every week I attend a meeting and it just so happens that from the meeting point to my home the traffic is almost non-existent; I love it especially a warm night, window down, clear sky and lights of the hill up ahead…a slice of heaven. Don’t mind the rejections, their loss. I am glad to hear it hasn’t dampened your muse. Cheers


  2. I like the idea of free-standing stories that link together…little character sketches that fill in a larger world. Great idea!!! PS, whaddya mean “zoom in & enhance” doesn’t exist–saw it in “Blade Runner” so it must be true! 😉


    • Thanks Lori. You know I value your opinion.
      As for ‘zoom in and enhance’ ………… there are only so many goddamn pixels in this world!!!!!!
      While we are on the subject…….. I have a theory that with all the surveillance cameras in the Western world there will be a resurgence of the habit of wearing a hat. I’ve been wearing ‘real’ hats for about thirty years, and I have hair…. so that’s not the reason. I live in a rainforest so it rains a lot, and in summer the Australian sun will lift the skin right off your face so a hat is a ‘no-brainer’.
      Hats also shield us from prying eyes and cameras [not those bloody baseball caps though!] …………….. probably just a dream on my part.


  3. Loved the story, I loved the personality and I love the way you jotted everything down, I like the fast pace, the mystery and the comments and at the end I am left wondering “What happened next?”.


    • Oloriel [great name that] your comments are music to my ears!
      These are the sorts of things that I hope my readers enjoy.
      I’m not sure what happens next, but that red shoe has popped up a couple of times lately so maybe it will make another appearance.
      Thank you for taking the time to write those comments.
      Yesterday was a rough day [my Novella was rejected by a publisher] so I needed the boost.


  4. He’d been assigned to the egg-beat. A punishment for petty flatfoot larceny. The kind that never amounts to more than a shoplifted apple from the local greengrocer. Sure, he was bitter. But bitter is always better. Especially when he found out she held all the eggs.

    Hey man, it drew me in. I wish it was longer. I’d like to get to know the first person character better.


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