Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Walk On The Beach

So, here's this week's prompt from Write On Edge -

In honor of the first full week of summer here in New England, I gave you 450 words to write about sand.

Now I'll admit, I went a tiny bit over.  But, again, this is an exerpt from my Camp NaNoWriMo story and I didn't get back to try to edit it as I'm frantically typing trying to finish enough words to "win".  I know there are a few spots that could be tightened a little but hopefully it isn't too bad.  Let me know what you think!

He queried the mainframe for information about the judge and how to submit a case to her.  It took him a bit but he found it.  There were several petition forms to fill out to get the case on the schedule.  Shawn completed the forms and submitted them as instructed by the mainframe.  Now it was back to a waiting game.  Again.

What do you expect?  It is the military.  Hurry up and wait, chimed in the little voice.

Shawn cracked a sarcastic grin at that.  It was true.  It didn’t help make the wait any better but it was so very true.  He wandered around his flat for a little while, looking for something to do.  Shawn couldn’t find much.  So he decided to take a walk outside.

Shawn walked without any real goal in mind.  The movement was what he needed, not the destination.  He found himself at the ocean after a while.  Miles of white sand speckled with black like pepper flakes amongst the salt stretched out in either direction.

Feeling impulsive, Shawn peeled off his boots and socks, rolled up his pants and started out onto that beach.  The sand felt both hot and cold at the same time.  The grains themselves were rough on his feet, but all together they were soft, shifting with every step he took.  Closer to that line where the surf pounded away in fruitless fury, the sand grew damp, sticking to his feet.  The scratchiness felt good.

It wasn’t his lake back home, but the roaring heartbeat of the waves as they washed away any trace of human habitation in the sand in a never ending cycle felt familiar.  And, right now, familiar meant calming.  Only Dani could bring him true peace, he knew that without a doubt.  But she was out of his reach right now.

Maybe forever unless I get damn lucky, he thought as he walked.

As the sun began to set, turning the waves brilliant shades of gold and orange, Shawn turned back.

The waves had done their jobs well.  Not a trace of his passage was left in the sand.  It got him thinking.  Were the things he’d done that easy to erase as well?  He’d made so many mistakes in his life.  It would be so nice to erase those mistakes just as thoroughly as the ocean had obliterated his tracks.

But if wishes were apples we’d all be eating apple pie every day, the voice in his head pointed out.

Shawn made his way back splashing through the edges of the waves to where he’d left his boots.  Wiping the sand from his feet, he donned his socks and boots to begin the trek back to his flat.  Small grains rubbed his feet as he walked, remnants reminding him there is no such thing as doing things over.


  1. The metaphor is really well done - the footprints erased, but the grains of sand still sticking with him. It's a really powerful image.

    Good job, S!

    1. Thanks! As you can see by the time it was posted, it was quite late so I'm glad to hear the metaphor intended works there.

  2. The metaphor absolutely does the intended trick. Very well done!

  3. I agree! I thought the metaphor worked very well. :)