Sand Wish

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Only at the perfect moment can a wish be granted on the beach...

Submitted: July 31, 2018

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Submitted: July 31, 2018



When the time is right and the sand is clean of footprints, for the tide has done its job and the wind has cleaned the rest, the only heartbeat on the beach comes from an androgynous little creature that ought not to belong either on the land or in the sea.

It breaks the uniformity of the wet sand as it slides up to a bird perched upon a rock to feed. The sea creature will feed, too; just as the bird moves to peck at some sandy insect, the creature has snatched him up and sunk its teeth into its poor feathered neck. It does not break the beach's cleanliness; there is no blood, no bone, no feather left behind.

And here, fed enough to bloat by only one seagull, the creature runs its finger lazily through the wet sand as if it were trying to seduce it. Here, the creature is off guard in an after-meal state, senses off-balance and mind still on the bird. Here, there is a chance to walk down to the beach - if one is quiet enough - without scaring the creature back into the sea; there is a chance that one might reach the sand before the creature can escape; there is a chance that one might call upon the creature.

If one can manage all of this - rare as it is to find such an empty, perfect beach at such a time that the creature might be hungry - the creature will be caught like a genie in a bottle, its only task now to grant a wish for its master. Such a true comparison, this, for if this sea creature is caught, it cannot return to the sea until its captor's wish has been granted. Stuck in the tide for too long, not quite in the water and not quite out - just where it seemingly must belong - the creature will succumb to its own confusion, fold inward on itself, and melt into the sand: dead.

This day, it would be safe - but only because you came upon it. If no one had come upon it, this day, it would have left the beach earlier by at least an hour and run into the path of a ruthless creature nearly twice its size with a mouth open halfway to consume it smoothly and without thought. If anyone else that came to the beach on this day had caught it, they would have delved deep within their selfish little hearts and wished for something quietly destructive to the balance of their little lives and, because the creature knows this in the nagging back of its mind, quietly and loudly destroyed its conscience in the deep of the sea; or, they would not have known what to wish for in the first place and spent their idle time humming in thought until the beach filled up and reporters were called and scientists were invited and the creature captured just before it died in the agony of its own thoughts.

But this day, it would be safe. This day, you came upon it, happening to have been thinking of your deepest and purest wish - whatever that was - and, when you came upon it, you were slow and gentle with it, in such a way that it didn't mind its duty. To treat a creature - foreign as this one - with such respect, such awe, such gratitude is to earn your wish in more of a way than it was just by finding it.

"Congratulations, friend," it says, lips unmoving. "Enjoy your sand wish. May you have much luck with the others."

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