'Castle of Sand' by Chris Drew
My mum and dad take me to the beach every year for my birthday. When I get home I write everything down like a story and even draw pictures. Next year I’m going to ask for a camera so I can take photographs and start a scrapbook. This is what happened today: 1. Ice Cream I licked the dribbles of ice cream from my fingers and watched the seagulls soar in spirals overhead. My favourite is a vanilla cone with chocolate sauce and a chocolate flake and two wafers. My mum and dad sat on the wall either side of me until I’d finished every mouthful. 2. Shell I hung from their hands and rocked back and forth. The tide toppled over our feet and pulled the sand between our toes. I felt a sting under my heel but it wasn’t a jellyfish, it was just a broken shell that sliced the bottom of my foot. Did you know that shells are the protective skin of dead sea creatures? Like armour. When the animal dies, the shells wash up on the shore and sink into the sand. My dad lifted me onto his shoulders while my mum stuck a plaster on my foot. I looked down and saw the broken shell covered in blood before the waves scrubbed it clean. 3. Sand Castle We knelt in the shade of an umbrella. I collected a bucketful of wet sand while my dad scooped a deep ditch around my mum. The ditch is called a moat. It fills with water and stops invaders getting in. I started to build the castle around my mum while she looked straight ahead. Her eyes were mirrors that reflected the whole world. 4. Tide My dad stepped into the circle and put his hand on my mum’s shoulder. When he touched her she moved away and walked towards the sea. I ran to collect the sand before the tide reached us. I tipped my bucket over again and again and built the castle higher, wider, stronger. Water trickled into the moat and coiled around me. I reached up and tipped another turret. A wave scurried towards me and splashed my face. I grabbed fistfuls of wet sand and piled them into the towers, but the waves crashed over me and the walls crumbled between my fingers. 5. Sun I shielded my eyes and looked for my mum. She was in the sea, floating on her back. The sun throbbed like a heart and stained the water red. I screamed for her to come back, for my dad to save her, but she floated further and further away. 6. The End I stood between them as the whitecaps washed between my legs and devoured the castle. It melted like ice cream and disappeared, as though it had never even existed. It doesn’t matter though. Next year, I’ll build another one and take a photograph so I can remember it properly. So it will last forever.