A Death Too Slow

Pick me, pick me! she screamed silently.

The gorgeous lifeguard didn’t. She sighed. The way he licked his lips lustily while waiting in the line! It promised full appreciation of her curvy outlines. But no, he didn’t fall for her. Instead, he bought french fries and grabbed one of those impish fork tarts.

She was patient, though. She knew her time would come. It was a busy day, people kept queuing even now when the sun was almost down. She kept waiting.

Just before closing time, a big family came and started to buy pretty much all there was for sale. The rowdy kids took a dozen of plastic cutlery each. She was smart and tiptoed to the front of the box, side-stepping hundreds of her kin. No way she would stay behind this time.

Her move was perfectly orchestrated. She ended up among the chosen ones. The family left few grimy notes on the till and flew her over to a nearby wooden table. It was happening, the time was near! She lay trembling on a pile of napkins, excited and fearful in equal measure. She observed the family as they gorged themselves on all sorts of greasy grubs, washing it down by liters of melted sugar. Any minute now!

She lay and watched, waiting for them to grab her and dip into something. But her hopes were futile; she was utterly forgotten, another thing they had to have but never really needed.

Then they were gone and the night was falling. Fresh breeze started to blow from land and lifted her off the table. She was dragged down the beach, bruising her delicate white skin on the coarse sand. Sadly enough, she was about to die a virgin.

Is there a life after this misery? she wondered. Am I going to a better place? Will there be anyone who will ever care for me?

With these thoughts, she was swept into the ocean.

And there, it was a different world entirely. If that was death already, she was sure she never wants to live again. The swell caressed her in ways no hand or tongue could ever match. There was a heavenly glow all around whenever she stirred. It was so easy to forget about all she knew and used to be during her rather long shelf life.

She wasn’t alone for long. Soon she was spotted by a pack of dolphins that surfed waves breaking on an outer reef. They spent hours by taking her for exhilarating noserides through barrels lit by the rising moon.

The dolphins got bored eventually, but she never lacked company after they’d left. Fish nibbled on her curiously and algae made her a new veil. When she’d learned all she could about the coastal waters, she set to sail the seas broad and far, riding on currents full of other lost souls like her.

She saw wonders beyond all count, but the adventurous afterlife took its toll at last. She was dead tired and frail. The currents were wise, however, and brought her to a resting place just then.

Now she floats round and round, and slowly becomes one with the ocean. But don’t you worry, she’ll still be out there for many years to come. She’s waiting for the whole world to rot and join her in the plastic paradise.

Written primarily for a thread in a Goodreads group, asking for a short story inspired by “plastic spoon.” The feature image is in public domain. It has originally been published in the NOAA Photo Library.

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