• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 08
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An Ocean of Lost Things

Lucie wished to know where to find lost things.
‘Lost things lie at the bottom of the ocean,’ her father said. ‘They are best left there.’
Lucie had never seen the ocean; did not know how to get there.

She poked about in puddles, finding only spiders, floating forlornly on the surface. She searched in ponds, despite her father's protests (‘you will fall and drown and then you will be lost’). In a neighbour's fish pond she found a firework casing from the previous year. ‘I have found a lost thing,’ she told her father.
‘Yes, well… put it in the bin,’ her father said.

In the aquarium Lucie pressed her face to the glass, looking for the things she had lost. She believed they may have been gathered up with the fish taken from the ocean.
‘Have you seen an elephant?’ she enquired at the ticket counter. ‘It has wheels.’
Lucie’s father watched her. He knew she was searching for more than a lost toy.

He drove her to the ocean. They stood together hand in hand and looked out at its vastness.
‘I had no idea it would be so big,’ Lucie said. She began to cry. ‘How will I ever find anything?’
Her father put his arm around her.
‘Some things we cannot get back,’ he said.


An Ocean of Lost Things

Lucie felt the weight of her heart inside her chest. It was like that night, when he had woken her to tell her things she did not wish to hear.
Then, brought in by the tide, a yellow spade. Lucie bent to pick it up.
‘It’s my spade,’ she cried. ‘The one Mum bought me for my sandpit, when she was too ill to take me to the sea.’

That night. He had snapped her yellow spade in two; trampled it into many pieces. The weight of the words he had to tell her was too much, too much. Then, appalled at what he had done, he had poked about in the sand, on hands and knees, gathering up each shard of yellow plastic so she would not see.

Now his daughter waved this yellow spade above her head. He sank to his knees and sobbed. Lucie ran to him and placed an arm around his shoulder.
‘It is fantastic, isn't it,’ she said, beaming. She too could hardly contain her joy.

Lucie became an adult. She took up scuba diving. Here she found further proof that her father’s words were true; the ocean was indeed home to many lost things. At the centre where she trained there was a double decker bus, an aeroplane and a replica of Michelangelo's David, all there to be found in the gloom.

She drops into the ocean and lets her eyes adjust. Always she is hoping for a glimpse of her mother, swimming towards her from the murky darkness; ready to greet her with a smile, for it has been oh so long.