Tranquil Cove #Writephoto

photo by Sue Vincent

The beach parking lot was jammed with cars. Outside their blue rental, Samantha stretched her stiff limbs while Jeff rummaged in the back seat for snacks and towels. A tow truck clanked its chains and ground its gears in the midst of hauling away one of several abandoned vehicles, the windshields dusted with a week’s worth of windblown sand.

According to the glossy pamphlet, the rocky headlands and clustered islands sheltered turquoise waves, and the soft sand welcomed blankets and picnics. All inviting. But after days of battling crowds of tourists, the feature that most appealed to Sam was the promised solitude. Unfortunately, Tranquil Cove didn’t look like it would live up to its reputation.

She sighed and read the sign pounded into the sand at the lot’s edge. Someone had hand-scrawled a sloppy “g” on the otherwise formal warning.   “Beware of the grocks. No swimming.” She glanced at her new husband. “What are grocks?”

Jeff smirked and started up the dunes through the quivering beachgrass. “Come on.”

She climbed after him, willing to make the best of it, her toes sinking into the path’s velvet sand. The sound of a gigantic belch reached her ears, and she groaned at the prospect of a mob of drunken rugby players. But when they crested the dunes, an empty beach lay before them. “I can’t believe no one is here.”

“Someone was. Look at all the blankets and towels.”

“And footprints. Where is everyone?”

“Probably exploring the grocks.” He chuckled and headed across the sand to a sweet spot out of the breeze.

Sam helped him spread out their towels. They chowed on granola bars and shared a beer. The beach remained delightfully theirs, and as the sun peeked through the midday clouds, she napped in the rising heat.

Jeff nudged her awake. “Let’s go for a swim. I need to cool off.”

“The sign said ‘no swimming?’”

“Because of dangerous grocks.” He pulled her to her feet. “The sea’s calm, and I can see the bottom. Not a grock in sight.”

She gave in without argument. The water was refreshing, and other than a few rounded rocks, the bottom descended in a gentle slant. She wiped water from her eyes and drifted toward him, pulling herself along the shallow bottom with her hands. He sat on one of the submerged rocks near the shore, staring down at the water.

“What are you looking at?” she asked.

He leaned over for a kiss and then resumed his study. “There are bubbles coming from under this rock. What would cause that?”

She sat next to him. Sure enough, tiny air bubbles leaked up around their hard seat. “I have no idea. Some kind of mollusk?”

~

Eric and Penny unloaded their car in the packed parking lot as a tow truck hauled away a sand-strewn blue rental car. A huge belch split the air and Penny laughed. “You didn’t tell me your brother was here.”

“Ha ha ha.” Eric rolled his eyes. “This place isn’t supposed to be crowded.”

Penny glanced up from reading a sign. “Hey, what’s a grock?”

***

Update:

I’m still on hiatus, but figured I’d post something. And what better than a little story based on Sue Vincent’s Thursday #Writephoto prompt?

I’ll be visiting the blogosphere more often and should be back into a routine by mid-August. I miss you! But I’ve been reading between all the busyness, and that’s been wonderfully relaxing.

My parents are doing a little better after 8 months of health issues. Unfortunately, in a couple of weeks, I have to move them a second time. Their new housing will be more suited to their needs, and we’re all eager to get this last change in place.

Happy Blogging!

198 thoughts on “Tranquil Cove #Writephoto

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    A great story, Diana. ‘Grockle’ is a local’s name for a tourist over here…I wondered where you would take this 😉
    Glad to hear your parents are doing better. You must be exhausted though x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Isn’t that weird. I didn’t know about grockles and just made up the word. But it makes perfect sense that grocks would eat grockles. Ha ha. Thanks for the laugh, Sue. I had a lot of fun with your prompt. 😀 One more move for my parents and then I’m hoping to be home for longer spurts. It’s all good.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Teri Polen says:

    I was expecting a beach picnic, but discovered grocks instead – what a great story, Diana! Glad to hear your parents are doing better.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What a terrific story Diana. It’s good to see you blogging. I hope all goes well for the next move.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oooh. Creepy! Nicely done.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Art by Rob Goldstein and commented:
    Grock this new story from D. Wallace Peach

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Diana. I’m glad your parents are doing a little better and it’s good to see you posting again. I enjoyed your story. I grock it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Mae Clair says:

    Whoa! Diana, that story was exceptional. Color me majorly impressed!

    I’m glad your parents are doing better. It sounds like the final move will be a benefit for them as well. You have been missed. Take care and when you ready to dive back into the blogosphere, we’ll all be here to welcome you back!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Mae. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I hadn’t written a word in two months and it felt sooo good. One more hurdle with the folks and then I hope we’re good to go. I can’t wait to get back to “normal.” I hope your summer is going wonderfully. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great story! Glad to see you back, even if it’s temporary! Good luck with your parents! Have a lovely day! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Jennie says:

    Well done, Diana. Great story!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. What a fun little story 🙂
    Miss you too, hope the second move goes smoothly ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Louise. I hope it goes well too. I hope you’re have a great summer off from school and getting some writing and relaxing time. And I’m glad you enjoyed the story, my first writing in 2 months! I can’t wait to do more. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, I’ve missed you and your writing! 😀 A terrific return to blogging and you now have officially brought the word ‘grock’ into the English language. All swimmers beware!

    I’m glad your parents health is a bit better and good luck with their second move … it must be hard for them and you. It will feel better all round for them to be settled – will it be closer than the three hour trip for you? Xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • No closer, Annika. They’re moving within the same building and will have better services, so not nearly as stressful. 🙂 I’ve been using the ride to listen to books, so it’s actually been relaxing. And I’m glad you enjoyed my grock story. It was fun to write something again. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Jan Sikes says:

    Lol! I’m glad you came off your hiatus long enough to post this entertaining story. How you got all of that from the photo is absolutely amazing! I love it! I hope things settle down with your parents’ health issues. I know none of it is easy. Hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Resa says:

    That was a riot! Thank you!
    I had to re-follow. I seem to fall off follows now and then. So, I just re-follow. If I ever follow you again, that’s why.
    Hmmm, I wonder if the grocks have anything to do with it? 😱

    Liked by 2 people

  14. J.D. Riso says:

    Fabulous to see you reappear Diana, even if briefly, with good news and lighthearted little tale to share. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m hoping to get a little visiting in before I disappear again, but this time with a hopeful return to “normal” date. I’m so glad you enjoyed the little story. It felt good to write!

      Like

  15. smilecalm says:

    startled, at first
    then realized the story
    was not about me, Diana!
    wishing you ease and rest
    with your caring efforts 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. And what a way to stop in for a visit (to your own blog!)–I will be looking for grocks next time I go to the beach.

    Hope all is going well. I think about you often.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the visit, Jaqui. After two months, I had to get something new posted. Easing back into blogging and so happy to do it. Yes, just don’t sit on the grocks… you might end up as a snack. 😀

      Like

  17. kevin cooper says:

    Glad you posted this, Diana… very serene! Hope all is well with you and loved ones. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Caridwen says:

    Welcome back, temporarily, best wishes with your parents 🌿

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Joanne Sisco says:

    It was so nice to see you in my mailbox this morning! Glad to hear that life is starting to show a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.

    First it was sharks and now it’s grocks. Will it ever be safe to go back into the water?!!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Love it! Well, they were warned….lol those silly grocks again!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Thêa says:

    So lovely to have you back, Diana. You and your stories. Glad your parents are feeling better and a more suitable home for them is just around the corner.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. petespringerauthor says:

    Glad you are making the best of your situation, Diana. I’ve been through this with my parents. Wonderful story!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much for the visit, Pete. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Many bloggers have shared their experiences with aging parents. I know my situation is far from unique, and yet it helps when others offer their understanding. I’m hoping that things will calm down after the next move – right place, right services… for now. Have an awesome day and Happy Writing. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Violet Lentz says:

    An absolute pleasure to read. Enjoy your hiatus….☺️

    Liked by 3 people

  24. dgkaye says:

    Grocks, who knew? Lol. Nice to see you back around, even for a visit and a clever story. Glad to hear your parents are doing well, and that soon all will be settled. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Steven Baird says:

    This was wonderful, Diana. It had an early Stephen King vibe, which was unexpected. Welcome (temporarily) back. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Wonderful story, Diana. I’m so happy to hear your parents are doing better. One more move and then you’ll have a little peace. Your in my thoughts and prayers. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Elisabet says:

    Love it! Missed you.. but sometimes the life has a way of teasing us away from the fun!🌻

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Silent Hour says:

    So good to read you again — I loved the grocks! I missed you and wondered how you’re doing. I am glad you had time to relax and that your parents are better.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the comment, Basilike. I’ve missed everyone in blogland and have a week to visit before heading north again. I hope that in one more month things will calm significantly. I’m glad you enjoyed my silly but dark story. It’s the first writing I’ve done in months, and it felt good. I hope you’re having a marvelous summer, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Hello, Diana, from old grock, Eric … where I come from back then a young man, Devon, South West England, invaded by swarms of grockles each summer – clogged our roads, our beaches, our local pubs and restaurants, early May till late September – how we loved the calm of April sun and warm Octobers – yet all knew we’d have no winter warmth without them.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Lol, I’m thinking someone needed to take a spelling class! 🙂
    Glad your parents are doing better {{hugs}}

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Loved the story and happy to hear that your parents are improving… Best wishes and blessings to all on the next move… ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Solitaire says:

    Hello Diana wonderful to hear from you, glad about your parents, but bummer on moving them again! I hope you are taking care you! As ever thinking of you, Solitaire ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for stopping by, Solitaire. I miss you all. Yes, we’re moving them again, but this time in the same facility, so not nearly as difficult and traumatic. Then I’ll be back to blogging. I hope you’re having a lovely summer, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Almost Iowa says:

    If you coast people are still having problems with grocks, the Midwest would be glad to send some of its biting flies to deal with them. Our poor little dears have eaten themselves out of house and home and need something to feed on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ugh. No thanks, Greg, you can keep them. I’ll deal with the grocks since the NW ocean is too cold for swimming anyway. And isn’t biting-fly season over now? It’s been a weird summer, temps still in the 60’s up where I live. Not that I’ve been around to enjoy it. Thanks for the visit. Now go slather on that bug spray!

      Like

  34. This is a great story, Diana. It reminded me somehow of The Raft by Stephen King.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I haven’t read that one, Robbie. I was going for a bit of Twilight Zone. Ha ha. I’m glad you liked it. I had to get something posted since it’s been months, and Sue’s prompts always tickle the writing spot. Thanks for the visit and comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  35. trentpmcd says:

    Worth a chuckle or two. The tow truck owner must love the spot. I’m glad your parents are doing better and hope the next move is smooth.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. This is a slightly dark, somewhat comedic bit from you Diana. Hungry rocks huh …… but you know, never say never 😀 Lovely to see you have a little time to write and good to be able to catch up with what is keeping you busy. Look forward to seeing more of you when the time is right xo

    Liked by 2 people

  37. ghostmmnc says:

    Fun story – just the right amount of “this could happen”, and then the “oh no no no!” 🙂
    Glad you and your family are getting things settled down. Here’s to smooth sailing going forward.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Jen Goldie says:

    Good to see a post from you Diana and a fun one at that. I wish you all the best as you go through the next round. I’m glad to hear you’re well. Take Good Care 💜🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  39. So great to hear from you, Diana, and that your folks are better. Sorry about the move, but when it’s best for them, then it’s the only choice. I’ll never look at an empty beach the same again after reading this! And, I’m surrounded by beaches in my state. LOL As soon as I saw that dark glob in the water, I thought, “Oh oh!” ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  40. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Loved the story and would love to learn more about these grocks:) Glad your parents are settling in and doing better.

    Liked by 2 people

  41. I was so happy to read that all is well… and then I read “move them again.” Diana, I’m glad you’re continuing your blogging break, because you must still be exhausted — yet bracing for yet another move. Applesauce..!
    This story is a delight. Right from “several abandoned vehicles, the windshields dusted with a week’s worth of windblown sand” my brain was muttering for them to stay in the car, stay in the car! I got a kick out of the way you ended it. Perfect. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for the visit, Teagan. Yes, I’m moving my parents again, but within the same facility, so not nearly as traumatic for everyone. I’m glad you enjoyed the story. They should have stayed in the car!! Ha ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  42. Glad to hear that you and yourparents are doing well! It feels like ages since I’ve “seen” you in this side of the internet universe.

    I really enjoyed this story! I love the fact that we never see what the grocks look like. It makes it so much more interesting to leave that detail open to interpretation.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. I am sending best wishes and good thoughts to you and your family, my friend.

    I am also keeping a lookout for grocks.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. You’ve left me dying for more…such a beautiful darkness. It’s so wonderful to read you and of course, Sue’s contribution is spectacular.
    Good luck with your upcoming endeavor with your family. Sending love and best wishes. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  45. balroop2013 says:

    Nice to hear from you Diana. I am glad that the health of your parents is improving. Wishing you all the best. I know you must be writing more than this fantastic story. Stay blessed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is the first thing I’ve written since mid-May, Balroop. Life has been very hectic. But I hope to start again, and this was the first step back into writing and blogging. Thanks so much for stopping by to read. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  46. Duke1959 says:

    Great Stuff! It is great to have you back. Many of us are dealing with aging parents and it is no fun. I am glad they are doing better!

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Jina Bazzar says:

    Oh, what’s a grock? Something that has a rounded back rock. did it eat the people?
    I’m glad to see you back, Diana! Glad the parent’s are better as well.
    Hope you’re enjoying your summer with the family.

    Liked by 2 people

  48. A witty, dark warning to Strangers in a Strange Lands. 😉 Well done, Diana.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. This is a delightful story Diana, and even better news about your parents. I’m glad their health is stabilizing, along with a new better home for them. It sounds like a good move for all of you. Hugs…

    Liked by 4 people

Comments are warmly welcomed. Don't be shy .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s