19 April, 2019

Quit It! #AtoZChallenge

“Quit it, can’t you?” Megan asked. Blake was always on a quest, it seemed. 

“I’ll quit when they do.” Megan sighed. She loved him, and she loved his drive, but all she had wanted was a relaxing walk on the beach. Wherever they walked, though, Blake’s inner crusade drove him. It was a beautiful thing, and one of the reasons she fell in love with him, but sometimes – just occasionally – she wished he could put his passion on hold. 

He picked up another bottle from the tide line. “Isn’t all that garbage going to get heavy?” Megan asked. 

“They’re empty water bottles. Not a lot of weight to them.” He crushed the bottle so it took up less space and dropped it into his plastic bag. “You could help, you know.” 

“You’re right.” She nodded and looked around as they slowly strolled up the beach. “It’s just - it seems like a fuile task.” 

“If people would quit trashing our oceans and beaches, I could quit doing this.” 

Megan walked up to the dune line where she saw a pair of bottles lying under a shrub, and carried the bottles back to hand to Blake. “I don’t know why people are so careless. It’s not that hard to carry your trash to a can up the beach.” When he was on his own, Blake sometimes collected all kinds of trash to toss later. If they were together, he stuck to the left behind plastic water bottles, and they’d visit a recycling center on the way home.

“It’s laziness,” He said. “And ignorance. And apathy. Too lazy to carry trash an extra few feet. Too ignorant to recognize the harm they are doing. Too apathetic to care.” 

“Do you really think these occasional walks make a difference?” 

“They do for this stretch of beach.” 

A little kid ran over from where he was building a sand castle next to his mother’s beach blanket. He handed them an empty water bottle and ran back. The mom raised her head from the blanket and waved. “Thanks!” She called out. 

Megan smiled a little at that. 

Blake looked at the empty bottle he'd been handed, bemused, and shook his head. “Who knows? Maybe we’re actually setting an example for little kids, too!”

Megan put an arm around his shoulder briefly as they continued walking and scanning for bottles. Cleaning up the beaches after the sloppy crowds wasn’t so bad if she could spend quality time with the man she loved.
Thank you for visiting my #AtoZChallenge! My theme is "Audience Participation" (read about it, here) and now it is your turn. Each day will be a new story based on suggestions from your comments. Suggest anything: a word, scenario, character, location... I will be keeping a list of suggestions, so if yours isn't used tomorrow, it may show up later. 

Today's post was inspired by the prompt "Left behind water bottles", suggested by Liz A. (of Laws of Gravity), given in comments on my "K" post (here)


  1. They have beach clean up days. Usually Saturdays. Groups get together to go and pick up trash on local beaches. Sad that it's become necessary.

  2. Liz - When I lived in Delaware, I took part in the semi-annual Coastal Clean-up day. While I was working, I was a regular supporter of Surf-Rider, an international organization that works to promote cleaner oceans. It drives me crazy when I see people litter, anywhere.

  3. Really great story. Sets a good example. Save the world! I'm in favor. And yes, making a difference in one little area does matter. Always.

    An ancient book about dragons - that's my next suggestion.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

  4. People who litter really, really irk me.
    Go, Blake!
    I'm enjoying your stories. :-)

  5. Brett - Your bias does not sway me. ;-p

    J - I love that suggestion! My brain is firing on all cylinders already!

    Jz - They make me want to smack them. Idiots.
    And thank you! I intend to keep doing these super short stories after AtoZ. One or two days a week, maybe.

  6. We were at Disney World the first of the month and hubby saw a kid drop some litter in the bushes, in a sneaky way. He pointed out the trash can to him, the kid picked it up and trashed it. But then another experience, we were sitting outside a Starbucks in Hollywood Studios at Disney and he pointed out a piece of trash that blew from beside a kid. He pointed to it and the kid replied, "Not mine." Stu picked it up and said, "Not mine either but I'll throw it away." Sigh...

    DB McNicol, author
    A to Z Microfiction: Quill

  7. Donna - There are definitely two camps. I don't know of any middle ground.

  8. What a relevant and well-written post! It vexes me no end when I see people littering recklessly and then refusing to clean up. Loved the way you brought out an important message through an engaging little tale :)

  9. Deboshree - Thank you. One kind of littering that doesn't seem to bother anyone is when people throw their cigarette butts on the ground. That drives me bananas. How do non-litterers not see that as litter? Thanks for visiting.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.