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  • Olivia Moore

Brighton ~ Chapter 11 ~ The Web Series

Updated: May 12

Enjoy a personally picked song for this week's chapter!

Chapter 11: The Givers and the Takers

        Thankful that it had been a particularly warm morning, I watched the sunrise from the coastline in front of Grandpa’s house. The sky above me seemed to shift faster than usual from its navy blue to soft warm periwinkle. I sat on my jacket, staring out at the tide, sifting handfuls of pebbles and sand threw my fingers again and again. My other hand mindlessly traced the set of pearls that lay delicately over my collar bones, as my thoughts seemed to take me somewhere else completely.

I’m not quite sure just how long I sat there, but as soon as the sun was high in the sky and the gulls began their busy squawking, I decided I needed to take a morning swim. Stripping down to my underwear, I ditched my clothing behind as I strode into the chilly waves. Deep wasn’t deep enough. I didn’t want to feel the bottom. Fully up to my neck in sea water, I swam out further fighting the tide. I swam until my clothes looked like a blob of blurry colors on the sand and paused. Paused to what, I wasn’t sure. But something made me stop and look to my right, and I nearly screamed in horror. Jellyfish, a lot of them.

As fast as I could, I swam back to the shore, completely out of breath as I crawled through the shallow water before tumbling back onto the sand. I threw myself back, wiping strands of my wet hair from my face as sharp pebbles pierced into my bare skin. I sat up then and looked down the shoreline to wear my blurry blob of colors lay far away in the sand. The tide must have carried me further down the coast than I thought. I dusted myself off and started making my way to my belongings, stopping only to find one of the infamous jellyfish had washed up onto the shore as well.

I bent down to get a better look at the thing. Its bubble-like top lay flat on the rocks, with bright blue and purple tentacles tangled, rippling like long ribbons and gelatin-like string, that were wrapped in every which direction. I knew that I should be happy that another one of these dangerous creatures was out of the ocean, but seeing it lay there all helpless made my heart ache. How could something so beautiful be so dangerous?

Looking around, I decided to find the nearest stick. I was going to help this jellyfish whether I was terrified of it or not. After finding a thin piece of driftwood not too far away, I gently lifted the bubble-like part of the creature and not so gently flung it as far as I could. Watching it fling through the air in a tangled mess, I decided maybe it would have been better off waiting for the tide to come in. Whoops. That was definitely enough nature for one day.






Opening the sliding back door, I dabbed my hair with crumpled shirt. Jumping back only to realize the house was full of people in khaki uniforms boxing my grandpa’s things. I rushed in, forgetting that I was in my underthings.

            “What the hell are you doing!?” I tore a glass buoy lamp from the closet man. “Who the fuck let you guys in here?” I looked around at all their surprised faces, realizing that there could only be one person who set this up. The workers continued to wrap things in brown paper and bubble wrap, placing them into boxes. But I heard her voice coming from the kitchen, before I saw her. My heart thundered in my chest as I stomped toward her. She stood across the island, directing a man on where to put grandpa’s spices.

“How could you?” My voice broke. I intended on sounding angry, on giving her a piece of my mind. But I had no more fight left in me. I braced myself on the island countertop with both hands, still dripping with sea water.

She didn’t even flinch when she began shaking me off like some fly on a horse’s ass. “Please excuse my daughter’s manners, she seems to be under great stress since my father’s passing,” she said not even looking toward me as she made a faint gesture in my direction for the sake of the worker.

“Please… Not his spices.” I begged, knowing that if they disappeared into some box, I’d probably never see them again. The man paused, seeming uncomfortable having to continue when doing so clearly hurt me.

“Put them in the box.” My mother told him, a frown now decorating her face.

The man listened and began packing the spices, along with the other kitchen items. Tears rolled down my face, and my mom came to my side and dared to play her role for a moment. She took one of the folded cloth napkins from a nearby box and dabbed my at my cheeks, gently wiping away the tears. I looked up into her eyes, wishing this wasn’t some game for her, wishing that I could truly lean into her in this moment. Lord knows, I needed someone to lean on. She met my stare , but there was no kindness there, just frustration.

“Oh, Lennon… You’ve always been one for the dramatics, that’s for sure.” She sighed, sitting on the bar stool next to me. I pulled my face away in disgust, embarrassed that I could have ever thought she would put me first in any situation. Looking out through the small opening from the kitchen that looked into the living room, I watched as Grandpa’s things were quickly tucked away into large brown boxes. How could this be happening? How was I sitting here letting this happen? 

            “Get out.” I said too quiet.

Mom scoffed as she picked at her manicure.

I stood then, ready to be heard. “GET OUT!” Walking out of the kitchen I screamed at the top of my lungs. “Get out. Get OUT. GET OUT!!!” I took every item that the workers had in their hands and told them all to leave. “This is my house. I own this property and I will have anyone who isn’t gone in ten seconds ARRESTED!”

The workers, unsure of what was going on, rushed out of the house and into their moving trucks. I stood in the middle of the living room in my underwear, soaking wet, with my arms full of grandpa’s nicknacks. I was well aware of how insane I looked when I told my mother, the only remaining person in the house, to leave also.

“You have gone completely mad, Lennon.” My mom yelled as she faced me in the living room.

I gently sent the random items onto the sofa before grabbing my phone and calling the local police. I looked my mother dead in the eyes before speaking.

“Yes, hello, my name is Lennon Bartolini and I’d like to report a crime.”

My mom scoffed again and promptly sat right down on the couch. “This house belongs to me, I am Henry’s daughter, you are just his granddaughter. Tomorrow in court they will prove that my dad was not right in his mind and that he meant to give the house to me. Stop embarrassing yourself.”

I continued on the phone, explaining what happened and giving them the address.





I’ve had a lot of great moments in my life, but I have to say… watching my mother getting put into hand cuffs was probably one of my top ten favorite. She argued with the police the entire time.

“No, you see— we are going in front of a judge tomorrow for our case in contesting the will. It was meant to be mine. It is my house, not hers.”

The cops tried being nice, but she was clearly not having it.  “Madam, she has the deed and all the paperwork. What you pulled today was trespassing.” He blew out a breath. “—and sorry to have to be the barer of bad news for you, madam, but you won’t be making it to court tomorrow. You will be in jail for at least 48 hours before we can issue a bail order.”

            With that, the man tucked a very angry yelling woman into the back of his police car before driving off. I made sure to flip my mom the bird when she turned to look out the rear window of the car. Did I just solve all my problems in one? I chuckled to myself as I headed back to the house.

            When I opened the door, the house somehow felt even more empty than before. The walls laid bare, and the floors covered in big brown boxes full of all of grandpa’s things. When I closed the door behind me its slam echoed off the naked walls, suddenly making me feel very alone. I slumped down on the cluttered sofa, pulling grandpa’s answering machine from the side table nearby. I clicked the big red button on the top. Beep.

            “Hiya! You’ve reached Henry, I’m probably out fishin’ for dinner. Leave a message.

Crying, I pressed it again. Beep.

            “Hiya! You’ve reached Henry, I’m probably out fishin’ for dinner. Leave a message.

I pressed it again. Beep.

Hiya! You’ve reached Henry, I’m probably out fishin’ for dinner. Leave a message.

Wiping away the tears from my cheeks, I clutched the little machine tight to my chest.



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