The Longing Call of the Ocean

On the mantle above the fireplace stood a small, empty glass bottle. It was filled with sand that was dyed blue. Small shells laid on top of it as pink tangled wire rested at the back of the bottle, creating a peaceful image of the blue sea. Further inside, laying on the bed of sand, was a small scroll…out of place in the beachy bottle.

It was late one night and I sat in my armchair reading by the fireplace, when I looked up at the bottle. My eyes were always drawn to it every time I was in the room.  The ocean-themed bottle brought pain to my chest; my heart would slowly feel heavy as if someone had tied an anchor to it, dropping it to the pit of my stomach.

I put my book down in frustration. I’m not going to do much reading with the decorative piece standing there. I opened the bottle careful not to sway the sand. I reached in and pulled out the small piece of paper. Unraveling it carefully brought tension to my hands, and they began to shake.

It was a picture of me and my uncle, standing side by side smiling and laughing at the camera. My grandfather had been lost at sea many years ago when I was a young. A man with grey hair that reminded me of Albert Einstein smiled brightly at the camera as we sailed to the middle of the ocean to live like stranded sailors.

I still remember the fresh air rushing past us as if we were going at light speed in the middle of a storm. The fear of death lurked above our heads like a dark, grey cloud on that very day. We had managed to survive the storm and we gently floated along the ocean tops peacefully.

The sun was back, warming our cold faces while a light breeze brushed past, sending chills down our spines as we made lunch for ourselves. My uncle got out his camera and told me to stand next to him. He said the photo was to celebrate how we survived the storm and lived to walk the earth underneath the warm sun another day.

But then he got lost on one of his trips. “Going to find new lands” he told me before he set sail with a crew of his own. No one could fight off the fierce storm that hit the ship. The ship was found in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with the crew floating on pieces of torn metal that had broken apart during the storm. When the crew came back, no one spoke a word about what happened and no one said where my uncle was.


I rolled the paper back up and placed it in my pocket. I knew deep down that my grandfather was still alive; I just needed to sail once more.

The sea was calling for me to come back and adventure one last time, even if it meant I wouldn’t return…

About haringeyunchained

Haringey Unchained is a collective of students aiming to show case the creative talent of Haringey Sixth Form College in Tottenham, London. We think that through the promotion of our creative thoughts, we can educate our community, bringing to the foreground the critical and creative consciousness of a vibrant school in a deprived part of London. We are endeavouring to provide this blog as a platform for our community, giving the space to those whose work otherwise might not be seen or read. Being that the cuffs are off, we are able to express through our photography, art, short fiction and poetry, what’s really on our minds. We are free.

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