Sand Castles

Bartholomew worked on his sand castle every day, patching up parts that dried out too much and crumbled, setting up new turrets and walls. He left paths throughout the structure so he could wander around inside. Most of the rooms had ceilings that were only a few feet high, but since he wasn’t very tall, he could duck low enough to get into all of them. The sand felt cool in the heat of the day and warm enough at night. After many days, the castle nearly filled up the entire beach.

One day, a storm came, and the waves bashed against the parapets. Bartholomew had built culverts to divert the surf, but the waves and the tide were too high and the castle was inundated. The walls began to tumble down, the rooms collapsed in on themselves, and when the storm finally subsided, all that was left was a collection of piles of sand. Bartholomew inspected the remains, moving slowing from one end to the other.

“Why don’t you start again?” asked a little girl who said she was his granddaughter, but Bartholomew didn’t remember any granddaughter, or even a son or daughter. The storms had washed away more than sand.