ticking clock

 photo beach_zps69ccc6ac.jpg
Image Credit: Garry

The constant roar and crash of the surf, the breakers rolling in and the  ocean’s depths sucking them back out, faded to their lowest volume.  It was low tide and wide swaths of pristine sand were left exposed to the setting sun, making the beach seem larger and more elegant than normal.  But there was only one there to notice the beauty as the water moved out and night settled in and he wasn’t interested in the aesthetics at all.

His body felt the final drop in vibrations as the water reached the furthest point from him it would, and his ears registered the the diminished sound.  His internal clock started ticking, counting down the hours he had to find food and shelter before low tide turned back into high tide.

He did not give any thought or consideration to the orange horizon, the long stretches of white sand, the gradual rolling transition of colors across the heavens, or the majestic puffs of clouds adding their  perspective and focus to the occasion.  No, Mr. Crab had room in his mind for nothing but the basic survival instincts that had seen him outlast every friend and lover he had every known.

Poking his head out of his grand shell, he let his setae taste the gentle on-shore breeze and get a feel for his surroundings.  Then, when he was certain he was alone, he scurried towards the water all the while letting the clock in his mind run its course.  He knew he could move faster if he dropped the shell, but he would only leave his shelter behind if he had no other option, if his time was running out and he hadn’t eaten enough or wouldn’t make it back out of reach of the crushing waves.

The sun set and the world awaited the arrival of the moon.  In the interim, Mr. Crab feasted well and retreated beyond the reach of high tide to recover from his exertions and prepare to do it all again when the cycle of the tides repeated.


I don’t know…  I feel like I’ve written so many things about sunsets and sunrises and beautiful landscapes recently that I wanted to do something a bit different.  So, I saw the shell and decided it should be a crab story.  And what you just read is a result of where that thought took me.  Slightly funny?  Less dark than a lot of my posts have been recently?

What did you think?

And, what do you see when you look at the picture?  Why don’t you play along with this week’s Once More With Feeling picture prompt!  Write it, link it, post it!


41 thoughts on “ticking clock

  1. I like it and love the description. To be honest, I don’t think it’s silly. That you are able to write so descriptively from a crab’s point of view is great. Also, I love the blog revamp!

  2. You’ve gotten me in the mood to go back to the seaside. I grew up by the shore, and I often imagined life as a hermit crab. They are fascinating inside and out! Thanks for taking me back!

  3. I can honestly say I’ve never written from the perspective of a crab before. I have to go look up “setae”. So – this must prove wrong the axiom that you should write what you know, right? Unless you know a lot about crabs.

      • Sarcasm on my part. People always tell me I should write what I know. But I don’t know much.

        I didn’t figure you were some kind of crab expert.

      • I figured there might have been a hint of sarcasm… but, thought the Google bit was worth sharing anyway. Because, you know, Google is fun to say if nothing else. Goooooooogle.

  4. I like it. You have the knack for getting into the mind of your characters. And it’s good to try out different things, lighter things. It’s fun to let out the dark stuff, but it’s helpful to contrast that because you don’t want to pigeon hole yourself!

      • Yeah… this week was hard. We had just done some sunset and water and stunning landscape pictures recently. That’s why I switched it up a bit… tried to think of what else was going on that didn’t involve the scene most eyes would be drawn to.
        How about writing something from the opposite perspective – you are at sea looking towards where the picture was taken?

      • Well when I was a kid probably around 10 or so..we attended a cat show in Long Beach. I got to play on the beach cause mom was busy and did not want to be bothered. Anyway, me and some other kids found this HUGE crab, and we devised ourselves a plan to be part of the show and entertainment at the same time. We took the HUGE crab, lets see a good visual perspective would be…( about the size of a small toaster oven) and put it in one of the judging cages where the cats are normally kept while awaiting judging in the the judges ring. It was priceless. The judge goes to each cage and takes the cat out and brings it up to the table and examines it’s points, paws, tail, coloring, and so forth. We put the crab on the end of the row..so the judge did not even see it till he got to that end and I will never forget his face when he approached that cage to find the crab instead of a cat. It was a dead crab sadly, but the prank was a huge success. Camera’s flashed and people laughed, and at that moment we (the children) ceased to be a nuisance if only briefly. 🙂

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