Wednesday, November 10, 2010

That's How You Build A Sand Castle

I am submitting my Theme Thursday at the twilight hour.  No really it's twilight, not like vampire and werewolf Twilight, but in that it is dark outside.  Also it is right before the Theme Thursday theme changes again.  This week's them doesn't have anything to do with vampires or werewolves but with Sand.  I offer my submission to this week's theme.  Go on over and check out Jeffscape, Wysteria, Califoria Girl and the rest of the gang after you read mine of course. 

She had only been to the beach once before. She had been young and Trooper Bob had taken her and Matilda to the beach. They had been attacked by a crab and sun burned to a crisp. There hadn’t been sand castles on that trip. That had been years ago and she was ready to try it again. She grabbed her hat, towel, pale and shovel and headed out the door with her baby girl in tow.

Taddy was about 2 years old and had never been to the ocean. Now they lived less than a mile from the crashing waves and mounds of sand. She sat the little girl in the back seat strapped her in and settled herself into the driver’s seat. “You want to go build a sand castle” she crooned to the toddler who had busied herself with her doll. The happy little face looked up and cried “me wanna bwuild a caswell. Can I be de pwinncess?” Gladys smiled at her beautiful daughter and replied “you already are.”

Gladys had plans to build a big sand castle and run around in the surf with her little girl giving her the opportunities that she didn’t have growing up in the middle of the country. Oh sure there were rivers and lakes but they mostly had rocky or muddy bottoms and no sandy beaches on which to build reputable sand castles. She was convinced she would build a proper castle with turrets and moats. She would teach Tadpole how to mush the sand into the bucket and turn it over onto its base to form the four corners of the castle. She had it all mapped out in her mind.

They arrived at the parking area and started unloading their paraphernalia. Cooler, buckets, towels, umbrella, stroller, tote bag, hats and magazines all loaded together and piled high. Gladys reached down “Taddy, hold my hand. No sweetie you HAVE to hold my hand. I know you can do it by yourself but this is a parking lot and there are cars so you have to hold my hand. HOLD MY DAMN HAND!” Gladys righted the stack of superfluous beach goods and teetered in her white 5 inch Candies’ platform sandals. She felt the umbrella slipping from under her arm and clinched down tighter pulling her little girl off balance. Tadpole went down on one knee which caused Gladys to become unbalanced. This in turn caused the cooler laden with magazines and pales to pitch. Suddenly everything was in the center of the aisle of the parking lot.

Horns began honking and a man yelled out at her. Gladys embarrassed and a bit frustrated picked up her child and dusted off her knee, then began gathering her paraphernalia and stacking it into a reasonable pile all the while trying to pay no attention to the man in the Ford Fairlane calling her unspeakable names. Suddenly Gladys missed the chivalry of Southern Men. She managed to once again gather up her items stick her umbrella under her arm, hoist her tote bag and grab hold of Tadpole’s hand. “NO! MAW-MEEEE! You herting me!” Gladys realized she had a death grip on her child and loosened it a bit. “Sorry sweetie, Mommie is just trying to get this stuff to the beach without us getting run over.”

Tadpole looked over at the man in the Ford and shouted “Keep you pawnts on! We goin!” Gladys smiled weakly in the general direction of the car and shuffled across the tarmac balancing her belongings. “Thank you honey, but we need to be polite.” Tadpole shook her head “but he wadn’t poh-wite”. Gladys sighed heavily and replied “yes, but we need to take the high road.” Tadpole looked around and stopped pulling back on her mother “I don’t see no other woad.” Gladys grimaced and made a mental note to explain it in two year old terms once she got to the safety of the sand.

The sand on the asphalt crunched beneath her feet as she eased onto the edge of the beach. She stopped and scouted out an open spot just past the rocks and headed that direction with determination. She hadn’t thought about the impossibility of treading through sand in 5 inch platform heels until she was stopped dead in her tracks. She tried to kick off her shoes but they seemed to be stuck. She swished and wiggled and finally worked her feet from the shoes only to find that her daughter was also frozen in place.

Tadpole’s eyes were huge and her face was contorted into a pre-scream. Then it happened all at once. Taddy let loose a blood curdling scream and began contorting her body in ways a gymnast only dream about. She was all but balancing on thin air. This began the domino effect of the items layered in Gladys’ arms. First the pales went one way and the magazine the other. The cooler became unbalanced as bottles of soda and sandwiches shifted from side to side. The umbrella shot out from under her arm like an unidentified missile. Then Tadpole literally climbed up Gladys’ body and wrapped her arms around her neck.

Gladys grabbed her child turning her over and over in her arms looking for fire ants or scorpions that had to have been stinging her child. “Tadpole what is it? What is biting you?” The little girl sniffed in a big snot bubble and cried “I no like. It feel icky!” Gladys looked around for the offending substance “WHAT? What feels icky baby?” Taddy pointed at the ground and said “whatevah dat stuff is feels icky”.

Gladys peered at the ground mustering up her x-ray vision hunting for some type of subterranean offender. She saw nothing but the glittering particles of silica. She bent down with Taddy holding on as if the Sandworms of Dune were going to break forth and swallow them. “No Maw-mee, I no like it!” Gladys picked up a hand full of sand and held it in front of her child “It is just sand. This is what we are going to use to build our castle. We will mix a little water with it and shape it any way we want. See it’s harmless.”

Tadpole eyed the material and stuck a finger into it. Then she took her hand and hastily swept it all out of her mother’s hand “durtee!” Gladys grinned and said “exactly it’s just dirt. So you ready to try it again?” Tadpole looked at the ground with trepidation. She took a deep breath and announced “okay maw-mee.” Gladys lowered her child to the ground and dug her shoes from the sand. She piled the stack of items back on the cooler handed the buckets to her child and once again headed for a sunny spot where they could rest.

Gladys planted the umbrella in the sand, spread out the towels and arranged the cooler. She stowed the magazines where they wouldn’t blow away and breathed a sigh of relief to see her child sitting straining the sand through her fingers. “You want to go feel the water” Gladys asked the pensive child. Tadpole looked up from her investigation of the sand “does it feewl wike sand?” Gladys smiled “Nope, it feels like water.” The little girl reached up and grabbed her mother’s hand as they headed for the foaming edge of the waves.

Just as they walked into the surf a large wave crashed in upon itself and swept both mother and child from their feet. Spitting and sputtering they crawled out of harms way clinging to each other. “Maw-mee, dat water got sand in it.” Gladys wiped the salt water from her toddler’s eyes and said “it does? How do you know?” Tadpole pulled her bathing suite bottom down and dumped out a load of sand and replied “cause it fwilled up my pawnts”. Gladys grabbed the wet sand and replied “This is PERFECT for our sand castle!”

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