Essays & Short Stories

Rachel’s unusual encounter at the beach

group of people playing on the beach
With friends on a Sunday afternoon. Photo by Archie Binamira on

It wasn’t a Sunday afternoon or a holiday at all. The sun had set and left a mesmerising view for us to capture. I had come here with my family and friends and was so excited when I realised that of course, it had to be extremely hot and  very crowded. I stayed in the car for a while and then came out, to find everybody in the water and only Maria and Jackie finding shells.

This was not surprising as they’re both in love with cute things. “Hi Quinn!! Do you want to help us make a photo frame? Guess what picture we’re using to put in?”, Jackie asked excitedly. “Is it the one at Maria’s birthday party?

You know, when we went on the rollercoaster together”, I replied confidently because that picture was a perfect one as we were all screaming, our hair flying, and we were actually trying to smile but ended up laughing. “No it’s actually th…“, Maria stopped mid-sentence because we had just heard an ear-splitting, and piercing shriek from Rachel, Jackie’s older sister.

We all rolled our eyes because Rachel is very chic and wants to be a model, so we thought the disaster was that her makeup got ruined. Then we ran over to everyone surrounding her. Rachel was on the golden sand in her tropical swimsuit, looking like she was going to die.

She explained briefly that she was swimming in the sea, and something stung her on her leg. “I think it was a jellyfish…”, she cried! For a moment, nobody said anything, and some parents went to get ice but just then, Rachel yelled again, and we noticed that the sting was swelling up.

shallow focus photo of pink and brown jellyfish
An unwanted encounter at the beach. Photo by Pawel Kalisinski on

They rushed to the hospital immediately but first took a first aid kit and applied ice throughout. The rest of the trip was terrible as more bad news followed. Jackie’s parents said that Rachel was allergic to jellyfish and would be fine but needed to be in the hospital for another week of close observation and recuperation. Rachel was happy to find out that she could not do physical activities for at least a month and take necessary precaution.

After an hour, we packed up and loaded our things back into our cars. Since Rachel’s spot in Jackie’s car was free, I sat there for the ride home instead. After arriving at our homes, we all took showers, changed into fresh clothes, and rushed to the hospital. The doctors were talking to Rachel and they stopped abruptly as the sharp knock on the door was us. Rachel smiled sadly and hugged us each in turn.

The evening was cheerful. Everybody talked and it was fun being together as family, friends, and a community.

Please note: This is purely a fictitious event bearing no resemblance to people as mentioned in this essay written by the writer.

Contributor: Niharika Bisht

About our Writing Program Student
Niharika is our youngest writing program student. She’s 11-years-old and is studying in Class 7 in a British school in Doha. She loves reading the most and also enjoys sketching, making art and watching movies in her free time.

The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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