Perhaps I can cook it, he thought.
He picked it up and held it in his hand. Wet and limp. Suspended and swaying in the ebb and flow of underwater currents it had been so beautiful; now it lay glistening alongside all the other dregs of ocean life, waiting for the sea.
Holding the seaweed, the boy turned his back to the shore and walked up the deserted beach. The breeze was cool; against a slate grey sky two seagulls hung in an updraft.
He headed towards a small, rocky alcove just above the high water mark where the ground was loose stone, rock fall from the cliffs above. His stuff was a small mound of plastic bags, a weathered and stained rucksack and a piece of driftwood he had picked up the previous evening – it looked like his mother.
Dropping the seaweed he plonked himself down on a smooth rock, reached into his rucksack and retrieved a lighter and a small portable camping stove. He placed the stove on a flat rock, turned on the gas and flicked the lighter. The stove roared into life.
Grabbing a few fronds of the deep green and slick weed in his hands, he held it to the flame; instantly it hissed and began to blacken. Steam rose as he carefully worked the seaweed, making sure each inch was exposed briefly to the stove’s fierce blue flame. As it burned, he remembered the time his dad had taken him to a Chinese restaurant.
When the weed was suitably blackened he removed it from the heat and reached to turn off the gas; as he did the flame sputtered and died. He turned with the burnt seaweed in his hands and faced the sea. Further down the beach a man threw a stick for his dog.
He took a bite. Delicious, he thought.