Our Lady of the Beach


By Nan Claire Falkner

The celebration and Festival of Our Lady of the Beach was here. The colorful banners had all been attached to the wires with a pole attached to the trees. The portrait of ‘Our Lady’ had been hoisted to the top in her honor. Five years ago, it was Myrna, Zoe’s sister.

As a child, Zoe had envied her older sister because she went to all the parties, staying up all night after being chosen the Saint, but Myrna’s happiness soon turned tragic. On the third night of the festival, Myrna didn’t come home. She vanished.

Zoe was chosen this year.


84 thoughts on “Our Lady of the Beach

  1. I don’t think I want to go to this party. Take me home, Nan! We are getting out of here while we can. This is the last time I’m letting YOU pick the party we go to. . . . . By the way, great story. It got my attention.

    • Good question Anita. I don’t think he is silent, he is watching from afar, but every year, people (also children) vanish never to be seen again. This is so sad, I agree. Thanks for reading! Nan 🙂

    • Thank you K.Z. I always wonder where are the parents? When you are young and carefree, you don’t want them around and yet – this is the Exact time you need someone to keep tabs on you. Or have a GPS locator on your person.

    • So Chris, You think there was a conspiracy? Well, Zoe was 5 years younger when her sister disappeared, so maybe she was in bed? Good question Chris – made you think! Zoe really could have been the one who envied her sister so much that she did her in – or maybe there was a volcano on the island that needs to be fed every time it wakes up? Welcome to FFF come back anytime – I like your gravitar! Love ya Mom

    • Thank you Alice Audrey! I think Zoe will remain safe and I don’t know what happened to Myrna yet. Maybe some guy swept her off her feet and she left the town for the Caribbean. I hope they have a good life too! Thanks so much for reading me! Nan 🙂

    • Poor Zoe indeed, maybe she will survive – who knows maybe they are dropping the maidens into a volcano nearby (remember there was a movie about that once). Anyway, Sarah Ann, Thank you for reading my story! Nan 🙂

    • I think it is so neat that villages or cities have festivals – It makes the village special and the Saint special too. Maybe Zoe ran away with one of the vendors. Who knows. Thanks for reading my story – I really like the tales you spin! Thanks Bjorn. Nan 🙂

    • Very true Rochelle. The picture you chose this week reminds me of movies I’ve seen in the past that look so beautiful. Too bad I ruined it with a (for those of you in the U.S,) an “Amber Alert.” Too many of those. You had a really good story! Thanks for stopping by. Nan 🙂

  2. Nan,
    I also thought of “The Lottery” upon reading your story this week. Good take on the prompt. One little nit–consider beginning the story in active voice. Perhaps, “The festival . . . arrived.” Using an action verb instead of a being verb will draw your readers in more quickly and effectively.

    Just a tiny nit, of course, and you do write a nice story.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    • Thank you Dawn. You are always there supporting me and I’ll never forget that! Your story is excellent! Have a good week! When my husband was still in school at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Dr. Lee, one of the Registrar’s used to tell me “Now Nan, stop wishing your life away – it’ll come soon enough, and of course he was right! Thanks again! Nan 🙂

      • Seems to me that your life has a lot more in store for you, Nan! Stop imagining the end is nigh; you have a lot of wonderful stories left to write. 😉 Ditto to you, for all the kind support you give to me and Tales From the Motherland. I so appreciate it!

    • Thanks Sun, I love everything you write. Zoe is envious, and I hope Myrna shows up some day with 6 kids and a hunky husband – but, that would be another story. Thank you again. Nan 🙂

  3. Nan- Shouldn’t they skip a generation. Oddly i had a reoccurring nightmare as a child. On of us was taken every year. So in this case my parents had lots of children.

  4. Yikes!What a situation to be in -poor Zoe and so sad for the family!Wonder what happens to these vanishing girls?Loved the suspense and dark undertones to this story Nan:-)

    • Hi Larry! No and an APB was put out for them. I think the police are taking too much time. They also hired a Raya, the local medium who is supposed to be helping her. The bartender told me that the beauty shop lady told Myrna not to go to that festival! Don’t listen any more to the voices in her head. Oh well, we will see, we will see!

    • Hi Alicia! That is so true! I used to wish for lottery tickets or cars or trips. Now I wish for healthy and happy grandchildren. Have a good week and thanks for stopping by! Nan 🙂

  5. There’s a deep sense of mystery behind this, and the way you thickened the plot just flowed so smoothly. Personally, this reminded me somewhat of The Hunger Games- the way that youth was chosen against their will and many never returned. Perhaps Zoe might be able to find and rescue her sister? Chilling tale!

    • Thank you Adelie – I appreciate your comments. I haven’t seen any of the Hunger Games franchise yet, but would love to see it – maybe when it comes out on video. Thanks, Nan 🙂

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