Shifting Sands

Christine Ray – Beach story

Brave & Reckless

Several years ago I had the pleasure of taking my first and only Creative Writing Class.  One of our short in-class assignments was to take a pleasant memory and write it as if it were a horror story without altering any of the details. 


high noon sun
baked sand
under their feet
cousins 4 and 8
bright plastic buckets in hand
aching call of the gulls
stranger at the pipe
where water flows clear
salt free
down to ocean’s taboo edge
they are not allowed to go down there alone
dangerous they are told
but adults distracted yards away
by their dime store novels
cryptic conversations
that bore them to tears
parallel digging with strange girl in the deep sand
few words exchanged
something about her eyes
unsettling
building ephemeral castles
before knocking them down
again
and again
tired of this ritual
her 8 year-old eyes slide toward shore line

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