All I could hear was drilling; ear-splitting drilling, pounding through my head
All I could hear was drilling! Ear-splitting drilling pounded excruciatingly through my head! All morning workmen had been digging up the road outside my house and the noise was driving me mad.All I wanted to do was read my book but I couldn’t even do that! I grabbed my book, stomped out of my house, slamming the door behind me! I just ran.I ran through the garden, ignoring my mother hollering at me and commanding me to return inside and finish some tedious task or other.
I raced through the garden, past my neighbour’s house, through the fields and finally I found peace!
It was beside a little river, which was gurgling quietly by, not disturbing anyone. The setting was tranquil and precisely how I wanted it. I lay down on the grass under an old wrinkled willow tree. My only company was two large dragonflies, which hummed and hovered by the riverbank. I picked up my book; it was entitled, Encyclopaedia of Shells, by R. H. De Bruyne. I opened up the book at a random page; I glanced at the page number, 109. A beautiful shell stared out of the page at me, the Cypraea aurantium, a rare breed of the cowrie family found deep in exotic coral reefs.
Each photograph was taken at a different angle of the shell, complimenting the exquisiteness of the shell’s astounding beauty. Out of the dark, rusty golden mouth shone brilliant teeth, like that of a shark. However, on the topside of the shell there was the most magnificent golden hue, which resembled a giant golden pendant from ancient times. Now I understood why it was called the Golden Cowrie. I began to read about where to find this rare and stunning shell.
The words drifted through my mind… “The Cypraea aurantium can be found in the beautiful coral reef, off the coast of Australia; particularly upon the south east section of corals… I found myself dreaming of scuba diving amongst the corals of the Australian coast. I was sitting on board a small boat, stocked up with scuba diving equipment. An old man with white, wispy hair stood at the helm, his creased skin weathered by many years spent in the salty sea air. The little boat bobbed up and down on the waves like a cork, but that didn’t bother me. I loved being out at sea, whether I was swimming, diving, fishing or just relaxing on deck; I loved it. Today, I was scuba diving in search of wonderful shells, which could be found hidden in the vivid corals.
I might also pick up some shards of coral broken off by passing boats, and photograph beautiful shoals of fish swimming in their natural habitat. The area of corals I was exploring was surprisingly far out to sea, 27 kilometres to be exact! It was a remote and wildly uncharted region and I hoped to be one of the first to explore it. Finally, after spending the first early hours of the morning out at the sea, we reached our destination. There were a few uninhabited islands surrounding us but they were of no interest to me. I stared down into the rippling cyan ocean.
The little waves were foaming as they splashed against the side of the now still boat. After much tugging and heaving I managed to squeeze into my wetsuit. I grabbed the heavy oxygen tank and checked that the oxygen level was full. Then I slung my oxygen tank on my back, spat into my goggles, tied my equipment strap around my waist and I was ready. I plunged into the watery depths and began to swim downwards. After a few minutes I opened my eyes to behold a most breath-taking sight. Corals of every hue and shade imaginable glowed all around me like a necklace of exquisite gems catching the light.
They were like no corals I had ever seen before; their colours were so vibrant, and each one uniquely and intricately formed. I was overwhelmed by the pulchritude of my surroundings, a beauty that could not be emulated my man. I felt out of place, as though I didn’t deserve to be in this place of wonder. My heart swelled with emotion. I was swayed so greatly by the beauty of the corals that I forget why I was diving, I forgot that there were other wonders still to behold. Eventually, I drew myself out of the trance and I began to swim further.
Tiny little fish swam past me, tickling me as they touched my exposed feet. A turtle swam past leisurely, gaping around at its watery surroundings. As I swam deeper, it gradually became darker. The ocean became inky-blue but the corals did not lose their vibrant colours. One thing that did change however, were the fish. They appeared to have a more ghostly appearance and some almost seemed to be filled with light. One particular beast caught my eye. It was shaped like a squid with long, slender tentacles. These tentacles glowed with an ominous electric blue light.
It was odd. Although I loathed this beast, I felt drawn to its colourful strands of light, and found it strangely attractive. Suddenly, it darted behind a huge rock! This beast could sense danger. Something much more sinister was lurking nearby. Quickly, I dived behind the rock for cover! A shark was swimming towards me. If I didn’t hide I would be torn to pieces. From my lair I could see clearly what was happening without being seen. I hastily brought out my under-water camcorder. I began filming just as the shark past only a few feet away from me.
It was colossal! At least ten feet long! It opened its gigantic mouth to reveal rows upon rows of treacherous white teeth. Its gills flapped and rippled as it breathed. A massive scar slashed across its silvery-grey fin confirmed that this beast had fought and won previous conflicts. After what felt a lifetime, its streamlined body slipped out of sight. I gave a sigh of relief hoping and praying it wouldn’t disrupt my exploration further. As the water calmed and cleared, I noticed a large wooden structure before me. It was old, rustic and encrusted with barnacles.
A long wooden mast protruded from the helm, its bolts and harnesses rusty and creaky. From the mast, shreds of what had been billowing white sails floated faintly in the ocean, a shadow of what they had once been. Their ghostly appearance sent a chill down my spine. It appeared to be a majestic galleon, a ship from times of exploration. However, this exploration appeared to have gone foul. Intrigued by the galleons wraithlike, eerie appearance, I darted into the ship. I saw a latch and decided to heave it open. A shrill piercing voice escaped my mouth! A phantasmal figure floated up out of the stairway!
The white bony corpse still had tatters of clothing on him with wisps of hair still protruding his skull. After a few moments gasping for breath and my heart racing, I regained calm and pushed it out of my way. I proceeded down into what appeared to be the captain’s quarters. I gazed around the room; his chest was still intact, full of clothing (a little shoddier than it had previously been), a mahogany telescope with gold embellishments, and a Prussian blue hat. I examined the telescope, which was engraved with the name Captain E. J. Sharpe, 1581. Questions flooded through my mind.
I continued in the pursuit of answers examining further areas of the ship. After exploring almost every crevice I found another chest, smaller than the previous one. I opened it slowly, wondering what surprises I would uncover. This chest did not contain rubies, emeralds or gold, but it did contain treasure of a different kind. The captain of this ship appreciated beauty of another kind; the chest was full of the most exquisite shells, gifts from the ocean. There were clams, scallops, whelks to name but only few. But in the midst of all these shells, gleamed a beautiful Golden Cowrie.
After carefully packing all the shells into a sack, and a few other artefacts of interest, I proceeded to the surface laden with my treasure. I swam to the edge of a nearby island where I was to be picked up by the old sailor. After a short swim I reached the shore. I found a cave with a cool waterfall and began to change out of my wetsuit and into a change of clothing, which I kept in a small waterproof compartment on my equipment belt. I returned to the beach and lay down on the hot golden sand wearing a bikini, with a sarong wrapped around my waste, soaking up the sun.
The sea spray blew cooling on my face. Gradually, the sea spray became heavier and less salty until… ” “Ugh! ” I woke up to the sound of raindrops pelting down on me! I ran home as quickly as possible, my summer dress drenched and my hair dripping! I stepped inside the house and closed the door behind me. “Look at you! I told you to come back in the house! Now I’m going to have to wash your clothes and those mud stains will be difficult to get rid of! What did I tell you young lady… ” my mother scowled. Things were loud and stressful as usual. But I was contented to be back where I belonged.