THE SLAYER OF THE SHOALS by Danielle Carr
James and Evan walked down the cliff steps until they found the beach, below. James pointed to the secret cave, where they had hidden from the rain, or from other boys who had chased them, in games. When they reached the cave, they found the sand on the bottom damp, from the sea. James and Evan looked with sad eyes, into the cave. Then they huddled inside the cave, in the shadows. While they were in the cave, the boys heard the rush of waves, and their tomb was quickly filled with water. They closed their eyes, as the water splashed against them. The water had rushed up to their waists when they opened their eyes. Out at sea, a large, grainy castle glittered in the water. James walked out, into the water, and touched the walls of the castle. His hands slipped, then glided through the wet sand. He then lifted his foot, and stepped through the wall. Evan followed him. Shapes began to form, from the walls of wet sand. The grains of sand broke up into people. The sand people were angry, and one yelled, \"To the towers! We must defend our castle!\". To their shock, the boys saw that the sea was rising over the back wall. Evan ran up into the tower. \"Look, there's another castle, over there!\" Then the sand grew soft, as water, and spilled through the castle gate. The little mud army, from the other castle, floated in with it. Sea water flooded the windows, from all sides. The little sand people drew swords carved from pearls of sand, and began to fight with the men. The boys feet slid on the steps, as they ran up into the tower, to watch the battle. \"What will we do?\" Asked Evan. He was frightened. They saw that water began to drip from the arms of the sand men. \"Our men are losing!\" said Evan. The sand men ran up, onto a shoal, which had grown from the watery walls. The mud soldiers tried to crawl up the bank, to them. James ran down the steps, and opened the door. He yelled to them. The men of sand, with their little sandy grins, dripped up the steps, as James slammed the pebbled door, behind them. Then he ran past the mud men, to the gate, and opened it to the waves. They flowed through the gates, and swept the mud soldiers out to sea. The mud men melted before his eyes, as the walls of the castle broke apart. James then ran back up, into the tower. He found the sand people, there, with Evan, sparkling back at him. The sand people ran under the thundery sky, into the courtyard.They were sad to find parts of their castle had sunk into the shoal.The men held each other as the waves tumbled through the castle windows. They could not see, in the darkness of the storm. After the storm, the water mixed with sand, and the sun fell onto the tiny sands which had risen into a palace. The sand people smiled, and crowned James with a ring of seaweed. \"You will be our king!\" They shouted, \"The slayer of the shoals!\" They danced around him, as rain pelted the tower, and the other parts of the castle began sinking into the sea. The boys were pushed by the strong waves, back to the shore. Sea weed clung to their clothes. When they reached the shore, they looked back and saw only the sun sparkling across the empty water.
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