Imaginif prompts for daily writers.
If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply use the below photo (changes daily) as a prompt and post a short story, poem or paragraph to your blog. Leave a comment and your link here so that all participants can come to you and read/comment/encourage. Stories below are copyright and are Megan Bayliss' writing around the below daily picture prompt.

Conchology speech at opening of Michelle's Mueseum

I was but six when we returned to Papua New Guinea. My memories were like the whispering of a shell held to an ear - swooshy, distant and surreal. Confused between collective memories given me by family members and my own juvenile memories of joy, I tried hard to remember the smells I liked. I think I used to like the smell of the ocean...or, did I like the sound of the ocean?

My older siblings and parents used to tell the same ocean faring stories over and over. Sharks, crocodiles, stingrays, bech de mere and lakotois. I knew those stories so well, they were so familiar, that I thought the memories were mine. The memories were fantastic, free and oh so scary (Crocodiles have really big teeth) but where were all the people memories? I had to have some people memories because I really liked people.

For my seventh birthday I got a bucket of shells. I was estatic. Shells were currency, language, and my way in to play with the village kids. The village kids never played with me. I was different. I was white and I didn't understand their talk.But, now I had shells and I would give them shells and they would play with me. A good plan and I was happy.

I waited under a coconut tree on the shelly track leading from our Colonial style house to the village. My bucket of shells beside me I was ready to offer out the Cowries and Spider shells to the first kids that approached me. I could see the kids helping the Mary's sweep the sand around their huts.One Mary looked up at me and laughed. She pointed her shaking Coconut broom at me and all the kids started laughing at me too.

I figured they were laughing because they already knew that Mum and Dad collected some very valuable trading shells for me. I figured they were laughing because they couldn't wait to come see my treasures and to beg me for the privelege of cherishing one of my shells. I figure that I was about to create some people memories because now those kids would want to be friends with me.

As was to be the relationship pattern for the rest of my life, I figured wrong. As the sun set over the oceaned horizon, Mum called me back inside. No native kids had come to play with me. No language had been exchanged. No inroads into childish international relations were sealed that day. No happy people memories were forged in my developing brain.

Instead of being crushed like the shell underfoot, that day the greatest decision of my young life was made. I decided that I would become a shell collector and a shell listener. People were awful and shells were fantastic.

And that, my dear friends, is how I got to be a conchologist and curator of the world's finest shell museum: Michelle's. As you leave the theatre now, be sure to pick up one of the shells and listen to the story told you by the whisperings of mermaids. They will tell you that the ocean is far from a scary, wild place and that it is instead a beautiful playground where all children play together and speak the universal language of Shell.

Genre: Life Writing

Megan Bayliss' writing around the above picture prompt. If you wish to join the Writers Prompt Daily simply post a short story or paragraph to your blog and leave a comment and link on this post so that all participants can come to you to read/comment/encourage.

4 Response to "Conchology speech at opening of Michelle's Mueseum"

Julie G said...

Hi Megan

This is the 3rd time I have tried to post a comment to your link. It will work this time. Done rather good I thought, for someone who has not blogged before.

Ok I have written on my brand new blog site (very excited actually.

Any suggestion gratefully accetped.

Megan Bayliss said...

I am very proud of you Julie. YOU DID IT! I really look forward to reading your musings daily.

Sammi said...

Great idea!
Can I contribute images?

Megan Bayliss said...

Absolutely, Sammi. Just email me the pic and I'll load it up. Are you going to play along too? I hope so.

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