The story “Sea Defences” is a short story written by Hilary Taylor in 2018. The story starts in medias res and the main character Michael is both the main character and the first-person narrator in the story.
The story is about Michael, who deals with mental issues and has a very childish way of looking at the world.
But why exactly does he seem childish, being an adult? Michael does not quite seem to understand the social norms that they have in their society.
His whole life Michael has always been told by his mother, that it was forbidden to go past the sea defences, or as Michael calls them, “seedy fences”(l. 21).
Yet, 29 years ago, he did not take the threat of the sea seriously, and took a little girl named Hannah Bird beyond the sea defences because he wanted to show her some prehistoric footprints.
Sadly, a big wave slammed into her back and supposedly drowned her and her death has traumatized Michael and been a big influence on his life.
That day, Hannah Bird lost one of her shoes which Michael found later on at the top of the water. He took the shoe with him to his home and hid it in his room.
Michaels mother really even did try to help him with hiding the shoe, so that people would not find out and get suspicious that he might have something to do with Hannah Bird’s death.