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  • Caleb Ward

Sandcastles- A Short Story

Updated: May 13, 2021

A little boy sat in the sand. His hair matched the color of the sand and if one wasn’t watching where they were going, they could easily have tripped over him. The boy sat with his father, a graying old man who owned the beach. Visitors didn’t know why he allowed them to come to his beach, but he always welcomed them. Most people didn’t realize the land was owned.

The boy and his father watched day after day as across the crowded beach, people were hard at work making sandcastles.

Thousands of people came to this beach everyday to build their own sandcastle. Some were bigger and more intricate, while others crumbled if anything within ten feet of it moved. But despite the countless sandcastles that riddled the beach, they were all unique.

But twice a day, the tides would come and wash away all work done. And the father and son watched.

One lady brought shovels and molds to form the perfect castle. She had towering spires and every inch was covered in sea shells.

Another lady used her hands to form a mound and placed a single sea shell at the top.

But twice a day, the tides would come and wash away all the work done. And the father and son watched.

One group of friends built a tall tower that reached into the sky. They proudly named it the empire sand building.

While a little girl built a small village for hermit crabs to live in.

Some castles were giant and people would come to adore them.

While others no one took a glance at.

Nevertheless twice a day, the tides would come and wash away all the work done. And the father and son watched.

Some people spent hours carefully crafting their masterpieces.

While for others it looked like a bulldozer had built it.

One guy built a large moat around his castle and proudly proclaimed that his work would forever be memorialized.

While a girl, in a fit of frustration, tried to hold back the water herself to protect her creation.

But twice a day, the tides would come and wash away all the work done. And the father and son watched.

“Why do they all care so much about it? Don’t they know the tide is coming?” the little boy asked.

“People are so short term minded, most are so focused on their work, they can’t comprehend that something could come and destroy it. But the problem you’re seeing is this son,” he gestured his hand towards the throng of people and their sandcastles, “people forget that there are more important things. They place their entire identity in something that’s temporary, they crave the smiles and praise from passerby’s. But no matter how much time they spend or hard they try, the inevitable waves come.”

One woman, once noticing that one of her towers was leaning slightly to the left, gave out a guttural scream and kicked the entire thing over. “I knew I couldn’t do it.” She stormed away.

While another man stepped back to admire his perfect castle, grabbing other people to come admire it.

Water lapped at the boy and his father’s toes.

“It looks like it’s coming in now,” the father said.

A huge wave approached, washing away countless sandcastles.

A guy rapidly tried to rebuild what was left of his work to keep the erosion away. But the watery sand crumbled in his hands.

“But why do all these people build sandcastles in the first place? What’s the point if they just get washed away?” the little boy asked, looking up at his father.

“Because it’s fun,” his father said. “People are only on this beach for a short time. But while they’re here, they get to use their talents and imagination to create.” He leaned back in the sand and smiled.

And the tides came and washed away all the work done. And the father and son watched.


 

If you like this, check out an exclusive short story here

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