“The Sand Sculpture”

The woman rested her forearm on the steel railing of the patio and looked across the sun-blistered beach. There had been a storm, and the Caribbean now protested that earlier violence by thrashing at the shoreline. In contrast, the sky had grown clear and the wind had calmed. Hours past noon, the air sat heavy with suffocating humidity and heat. The woman frowned briefly, considering how the photographs in the travel brochure had presented an idyllic image somewhat incongruent with the uncomfortable reality. “Where are the kids?” Her husband glanced up only briefly from his tablet. “I thought you were watching them.” “I am,” was the automatic response, then in a movement that was almost languid, the woman scanned the beach, finally identifying several small, pale figures rendered amorphous by the heat radiating off the sand. “Oh, there they are. I think they’re building a sandcastle.” “A sandcastle? The waves will just tear it down.”   At that same moment, the couple’s oldest daughter was staring back down the beach toward the rented villa where they sat. She was searching for any sign of an adult presence, and she saw nothing. For the past half hour, her attention had been focused upon a pit which she had just finished digging into the sand a short distance from where the waves crashed. Ignored by her, and ignorant of any danger, her two younger siblings had been attempting to wade into those waves. The surf had punished them with indifference, but neither […]

Continue Reading →