The Headland

My short story ‘The Headland’ is included in the inaugural edition of PENinsula Literary Journal, a journal celebrating writing and landscape photography from the Mornington Peninsula. 

Please read an excerpt below, and purchase the journal at their website:


The beach is gone.

Vanished like it had never been there; in its place, an ugly array of sandbags, trodden and dirty. I gaze towards the Eastern headland, Point Franklin, unable to understand what I am looking at.

“Where did the beach go?” I ask, incredulous.

We are standing in the usual gathering place, the semi-circle of concrete at the base of the Portsea Pier. Retaining walls serve the dual purpose of keeping the sandy beds of sea grasses at bay, and of being a spot to drop our towels, thongs, t-shirts. A single, crooked tap hangs off the wall. This place, at least, remains the same as ever.

Jane nods, pulling her hair back into a tight ponytail. “It’s been like this for years now. All the sand washed away.”

“Washed away?” I say. 

“It’s round the headland now, at Shelly Beach.”

I think of the skinny strip of sand that had once been traversable only at low tide. Remember an afternoon when my brother and I misjudged it and got stuck at one end, far from the steps leading back to the road. Laughing and swearing as we high-stepped through foaming waves lapping ever further up our skinny teenaged legs, dodging the beach boxes scattered along the foreshore. Emerging with sodden shoes and wet jeans that got coated in flecks of dirt as we walked home. Shelly Beach had never had much sand.

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