by Shahrzad


It was a gorgeous late summer evening at Fish Cove.

The sky was tinted with beautiful variations of coral-pink-orange-red as the sun prepared to set. The large flat white rocks overhanging the quietly-heaving ocean were bathed in a brilliant glow. Locals were dotted along the rocks and the boardwalk which led up to the ocean’s edge. Some strolled along the trails and boardwalk, others sat on benches strategically placed along the coast, contemplating the glittering waves and brilliant sky. All the human faces looking very noble and god-like in the golden hour. There was very little chatter—the summer waves and cries of the seagulls drowned any other sounds. A cruise ship moved majestically in the distance, as smaller boats bobbed on the waves.

Some folks were alone, others in little knots of twos—all spaced well apart. A little family of four walked along the boardwalk which led up to a large flat boulder hanging twenty feet over the ocean. Dad was pushing a stroller—one of those modern ones which looked as though designed to run over into battle, while Mom held the hand of a toddler. They were a postcard-perfect family looking as if they had just stepped out of a baby designer catalogue. Mom’s hair shone in the evening light, the same color as the toddler’s adorable mop of curls, while Dad’s bright baseball cap and fit figure revealed his physical vitality.

The family reached the end of the boardwalk. Dad bent and unstrapped the Baby from the stroller. Holding Baby close to his chest, he climbed up on to the large rock, followed by Mom and Toddler, Mom helping Toddler up. The family proceeded to the rock’s edge, and then stood there, solemnly looking out at the ocean and the burning sun.

From Dad’s arms, Baby emitted a long, lonely cry, a piercing sound which carried over the waves. A couple making out on the bench closest to the rock paused and pulled apart, distracted by the cry. Their eyes flicked over reluctantly to the family, still standing quietly on the rock over the ocean. Dad was petting Baby, and Toddler was quite still, gripping Mom’s hand.

For split-second, it seemed as if everything became perfectly still—the waves, the seagulls, the boats. The couple stared at the family. In a smooth arc, Dad flung Baby as far as he could over the waves crying out “Accept our sacrifice Poseidon!”

The water seemed to open up, a burst of salty water captured Baby and took it under.

The couple watched Mom, Dad and Toddler turn back. Dad scooped up Toddler and plonked him in the empty stroller, strapping him in safely. Mom raised her hand to her face, to dash away a tear or flick away her hair, now whipping around her head in the stiff breeze. They walked away.

The couple started kissing again.

About the author

Shahrzad (not their real name) is a prolific horror storyteller. They are influenced by old British classics and Middle Eastern mythology, and they tell horror tales to survive. You can read more of their work here.

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