Have you ever been walking along the beach, and were lucky enough to find a fully intact conch shell? Then, did you hold it up to your ear in hopes of hearing the roaring sound of waves? I have. It’s an interesting find, and one I think many would enjoy, but I have a fair warning for anyone on the beach who happens across a conch shell. If you find a conch shell that happens to have a hole in it, don’t listen to it.
My name is Grayson Jones. I’m 17 with short black hair and blue-green eyes. I’m a bit above average in terms of weight and I’m the tallest in my family, which isn’t saying much since my family is all short. My dad died 7 years ago and mom recently remarried. My stepdad is pretty strict but likes to have fun. We go on a lot of trips now and today we leave for Florida. We’re from Louisiana so it’s not a huge trip, but not a small one either. We live in Springhill which is about as far as you can get from the ocean while staying in the country, and we rarely take trips to the beach, so this is a great opportunity to look for shark teeth, which I had wanted to find for ages.
I had gotten all my luggage together and brought it to the truck. My step dad has a nice blue cab truck. It’s his baby. When I went out to put my luggage in the bed, I noticed a scratch along the whole side of the truck. I told my step dad (who’s I’ll start calling Jeremy) was furious. He was pacing and cursing and making rude gestures at no one in particular. After that I went back inside and saw my mom’s favorite vase had crashed to the floor. I went to tell her and she cried for a minute or two before getting angry and joining Jeremy in the cursing. It was like the universe didn’t want us leaving, because after all that the truck wouldn’t start. Mom said; after this we really needed that vacation, so Jeremy found the problem which turned out to be just a dirty spark plug, and we left. On the way, we stopped for gas; a total of 13 times. Jeremy’s truck may be nice, but it guzzles fuel.
We got there in somewhere between 3 and 5 hours (I’m not great with time), and parked our giant camper. It’s long and tall, I have no clue what kind it is or even what brand it is really. It’s something I’ve never heard of though, and finally, I was able to head to the beach. I went alone while mom and Jeremy finished setup, and stood at the water’s edge. The sound of crashing waves, kids playing, birds squawking, and of course wind, filled the air immediately. The cool breeze felt great but was definitely a bit too strong, as I fell back a bit and had to catch myself with my foot. I smelled the saltwater and sand (mixed with dirty feet) as the wind decided to cool it a bit and slow down some. I looked around and saw pelicans and seagulls flying overhead, sand, water, sun, and lots of shells. Just as I expected to see on a beach really. I figured it was time to begin my search for teeth, and bent down for a closer look. Shark teeth are normally a jet black color with a bright shine unlike any shell. The only problem now, was that they were probably buried in all the shells and sand.
I found a lot of shells. Big ones, small ones, black ones, rainbow shiny ones, etc. So I decided it had been enough searching for now. I grabbed all my shells and pocketed them before starting back to the camper, when I noticed something that caught my eye. There was a large white thing in the sand to my right I had missed. I walked over to check it out and crouched next to it. I dug it out with a shovel shaped shell I found next to it. I looked it over. I noticed it wasn’t just big, it was a massive, almost perfectly intact conch shell. I went over to the water and cleaned the sand off it to look it over more closely, and noticed it had a medium sized hole in the top. It wasn’t huge, but it wasn’t small either. It was about the width of my thumb, but the conch was pretty big, so it didn’t really effect the look much. Other than the hole, it was almost perfect. It did have a slightly worn look to it, like it had been scraped a bit, but it didn’t really look too bad either. I carried it in my arms in hopes of not further damaging it and ran back towards the camp site.
I was about half way back when I heard a noise. I stopped and looked around for the source. There was no one around at all. I was almost back to the site, but wasn’t even out of the woods that separated the beach and the camp sites. I started walking when again I heard the noise, more clear this time. It wasn’t a noise, but was actually my name. “Grayson!” it called. I looked around again, down the trail, in the forest, even up in the trees. Nothing. The strange part was all the animal and beach noises had suddenly gone quiet. The only sounds present were my breathing and gravel crunching under my feet. I heard my name again, even louder and more aggressive. “Grayson! answer me Grayson!” it yelled. I was startled when I realized it wasn’t coming from around me at all, but from below me. I looked down at the shells I held. It seemed to have echoed from one of them. I remembered an old fairy tale Dad used to tell me.
He said that if you find a conch shell, and hold it to your ear, the shape of the shell will cause you to hear the ocean waves, still echoing off the sides of the shell. He also told me something I used to think was a bit creepy. He said sometimes, when you listen closely, you can hear the voice of the god of the sea thanking you for taking care of his treasure. I used to shudder when he told me that. The thought of a voice coming out from the conch was terrifying to me, even if it was a god. I would always tell him that that seemed terrifying to which he would reply, “It’s a shell phone!” then he’d just laugh. I laughed too to reassure him, but I was always scared deep inside. Just something about the paranormal aspect was enough to give me nightmares.
I looked at the conch I had found on the beach earlier, and thought over my Dad’s words. I ran my eyes over each colorful line in the shells surface, contemplating if it would be a good idea, before suppressing my nerves enough to go through with it. I lifted the conch to my ear and waited. I heard the noise of what sounded kind of like waves but a bit… off. It’s hard to describe exactly, but it’s kind of like when you mix two sounds together in an audio editor, and you use the sounds of waves, and the sound of whispers from the long lost souls in hell.
Soon after, I realized what I was hearing wasn’t waves at all. It wasn’t even whispers. It sounded more like static from a TV or phone. Suddenly, I heard a clack noise. Like when a rotary phone was answered or placed back. I heard a sigh noise and then a low raspy voice. “Finally you answer,” it said. “Wh… who are you?” I asked. and waited for a response. “That is of no concern to you for now, Grayson,” he said. “H… how do you know my name?” I asked. “I know everything.”
At that point I was a bit confused, obviously talking into a shell to what may be a god was a bit shocking, but if I backed off now I might never be able to talk to this thing again. “Are you the ocean god?” I asked finally. he took a bit to reply this time. “Yes,” he answered. I was talking to the god of the ocean through a conch shell and I still couldn’t wrap my brain around it entirely, but I kept going just to see where this went. I was expecting to hear a “thanks for taking care of my treasure” or something next, but that isn’t what I got. “Do you believe that there is good people and bad people in this world?” he asked. I was taken aback a bit by that blunt question. “Yes,” I answered him. “Do you believe that you are a good person?” now that question was freaky. “I think so,” I told him. Frankly I hadn’t been an angel but I wasn’t evil either. I think I did okay with my life so far. Of course I wondered why he asked that in the first place but I assumed if he is a god of any form he must have a reason. “You are worthy. Prepare to meet soon,” he said. I was obviously confused. “Prepare what?” I asked. “Just continue as normal and I will be in touch soon,” he said. I heard the familiar clack of hanging up the phone and the static returned. I looked at the shell in my hand. Had I just talked to a sea god through a shell? No. That was crazy. It had to be just my imagination. It had to be. There is no logical OR paranormal reason that could’ve just happened. If so though, how did my dad know?
I returned to camp, walking slower than before. I had to think about what happened. I decided not to tell my parents about the call. Who on this earth with half a brain cell would believe that? I finished up my day as normal, showing the shells to my parents, and went to sleep. The camper has 2 beds. The master, and a fold out in back. It’s one of those with room for a four wheeler or something in the back but instead it’s a room with a couch bed and a TV. It’s a nice room and all, but its metal flooring which is a bit painful since it has those diamond shaped ridges on it.
I made my bed, laid down, and thought through the events of that day. Before bed we had a run in with a very mad cicada bug that thought it owned the place. It flew in and circled the room like crazy, smashing into the walls and ceiling as it flew. We got a fly swatter and nudged it out after catching it in a towel. It was kinda funny but scary with how loud that noise was. For anyone who doesn’t know, when you’re outside while the sun has just fully disappeared and you hear a buzzing sound so loud it radiates through the entire area for a good mile, that’s a cicada. They are insanely loud. Before that we had dinner, before that, we explored a fort on an island of which neither I remember the name. Before that we ate a snack as our lunch, before that we looked at some souvenir shops etc. etc. Then I got to the morning. I walked home. Before that, I got a call from a… no. Before that I imagined a voice coming from a shell. Before that I walked through the beach. As I recalled the final events of today, I heard a noise outside the camper. It was a loud banging noise followed by footsteps towards our camper. I looked out the window and saw a large sail ship on land. It was huge but decrepit. Its sails were ripped, it had holes in the bow, some of its masts were broken, but the main feature, was the large Jolly Rodger flag on the highest mast. The ship seemed to have almost a green hue to it and I would be surprised if it even stayed afloat. The biggest question I had was one anyone would. Why is it on land? I then noticed the dots next to it. I looked closer and noticed that the dots were moving! They were people! I have no clue how the ship got here, or how the crew got here, or why they are here, but they were and they were headed for me. I thought for a second maybe it was a cosplay thing, but then I noticed the long shiny metal swords in their hands. One of them was taller, with a long beard and a peg leg. I assumed he was the captain of this magic falling from the sky pirate crew. I noticed something in his hand that was different. I realized he had a flintlock pistol in one hand, and a hook as his other hand. Very stereotypical pirates I must say, but I couldn’t think about that as they came towards my door.
I ran out of my room and looked for my parents. They had to hear the bang right? I walked out and they weren’t there. I assumed maybe they were fully asleep and didn’t hear it, so I went into their room, but it was also empty. I looked out the window and the truck was there, but my parents weren’t. I looked at the other campers and no one else was outside, no lights were on, and the place was deserted. I thought quickly, grabbed the biggest knife I could find, opened the door, and booked it for the forest. I dared to peek back and saw the captain point to me and say something to his crew, before starting to run after me. I looked back ahead and ran into the forest pathway. I realized quickly that that was stupid, and turned 90° into the trees.
I finally stopped to catch my breath somewhere in the forest. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was but I assumed it was around the middle. I looked back where I came from and didn’t see anything. I figured I lost them, so I sat down. As I sat, I looked around the forest. There was still no animals to see or hear, no waves crashing, not even a bug to bite me. It felt as if I was the only living creature in this forest. I was breathing deeply, but as softly as I could so that if the pirates showed up, I could still hear their footsteps over it. I was hoping that maybe they had given up and left. I wasn’t exactly sure how they would even be able to leave, but then again I didn’t know how they arrived either. Suddenly, I heard a voice. “Grayson!” it called. I looked to where the sound came from and saw the conch shell I had left behind at the camp site. It was just laying on the forest floor, calling for me again. I assumed that it was probably my only choice, so reluctantly, I picked it up and held it to my ear. “Ah, you finally answer my call,” said the raspy voice. “Who are you really?” I asked. There was a short silence, then he sighed. “I assumed you would figure it out eventually,” he said. “I am obviously not the ocean god, however I do live in the ocean, and I am not human,” he finished. “So then who are you?” I asked. “I am the one you call Davy Jones. The devil of the sea, you could say. Where there is a sea god, there is also me,” he told me. I was terrified. He lied about being the god of the sea, so he could gain my trust? “Why did this conch go to you instead of the sea god?” I asked. I had to know if it was possible to call upon the god of the sea, instead of the devil. “Well, Poisiden, the sea god, is in fact reached by conch, like me, however you got the wrong one,” he said. What does he mean by wrong one? “Let me elaborate. Poisiden is reached by finding a perfect conch shell. He loved perfect shells a lot. However, you happened to find my shell. When a conch gains a hole in it, it no longer goes to Poisiden. It goes to me. When you listen to a conch, you are hearing the waves that Poisiden makes to celebrate his shell being chosen for human protection, but my shell no longer goes to Poisiden, so you hear the whispers of the souls I have taken,” he explained.
I found a broken conch and that means I get taken? That makes no sense. “No, you were chosen because you think yourself a good person, when in fact, you cannot be unless you are purified by me,” he said abruptly. Wait, can he hear my thoughts? “Yes,” he stated. Great. I’m being hunted by a demon who can read my mind. How can I escape him? “The only escape is to come with my crew peacefully,” he said. No. I threw down the conch as hard as I could, shattering it into tiny pieces, then I ran. I ran as fast as I could, for as long as I could. Somehow, I made it back to the campsite. I didn’t think I turned around but I must have at some point. I looked around and the ship was gone. All the pirates, the ship, all gone. I looked for my parents and they were back. I realized that the sun had risen when I got back. That could be the reason, but in any case, I’m not taking any chances.
I begged my parents until they drove us all home. It was a long boring trip, but at least it was safe. When we arrived home, I sat down and started writing this. I wanted to warn people of this terrible truth. If I had been caught, I probably wouldn’t be alive right now. But now, as I write this I have realized a terrible truth. It isn’t over yet. As I unpacked, I found the shell back in my bag. It was tucked neatly inside, fully intact aside from that hole. Now my motive has changed. I’m now writing this to encourage people never to do what I did more than ever. If you do, you will never escape. I realize that now. So for anyone who is taking a trip to, or lives near a beach, if you’re walking and you find a conch shell with a hole in it, please, just leave it, go back, and whatever you do, do not listen to it.