Printed from WriteWords -

Sea Intrusion

by  Haadi

Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2005
Word Count: 243
Summary: Written for the theatre programme for a play, Red on Black, by Andrew Bridgmont . Meant to be about incursion. Criticised for try to be too clever, consequently might be souless....

A malodorous tide breathes in and out, in and out, drawing energy from the sun-warmed sand to encroach the land.

A child plays on the beach.

She steps back from her earnest games and admires the castle. Its brave, fat walls house a myriad of nymphs and gnomes employed in earnest labour to fortify their newfound reality. The awkwardly angled turrets - delicious melting globules of sand and water – are a final decorative flourish.

The gully around the castle’s circumference is an ill-placed defence, waiting to be breached.

The child looks to sea, and back to mother, who watches proud but cautious as her child realises, in sand, the magic of her imagination.

Insistent and ruthless, the butter-tongued waves creep up the shore. Sandy rivulets ooze into the trough around the ramparts, encircling the child’s paradise. She stands back, mesmerised by the swirling forces that envelope her fort. Gurgling with pleasure the salty miasma discretely eats into the barely-packed foundations. The child’s dreamed inhabitants tremble in wait.

Its imposition, at first, is covert as the sea insinuates itself cosily - lethally – between grains of sand. But the aggressor, once confident its fight is won, shows little mercy. Slowly, great slabs of rampart slide back to the chaos from which they came. The foundations are weakened, the child’s battlements fall.

The castle’s substance was built on delusion, its claim on territory anathema to the ever encroaching, ever recoiling continuity of the sea.