By Alexis Chasney
Mouth flavored with the ocean–water tasting of salt and raw metal coating the mountains and valleys of the tongue; crystals of sand finding their way between red lips, lodging themselves in the crevices of pearly molars. Hands covered in wet sand, morphing their form until they more resemble claws than the artistic tools of an eight-year-old. Brown eyes focused, lips tightly drawn, eyebrows furrowed, creating deep lines on a broad forehead.
Hands pushed the wet sand into a mound, smoothing the broad hill into a tall tower. Small hands plunged into a bucket filled with sand and water, grasping at the sand, attempting to contain the evasive substance that escaped between the cracks between fingers. Streams of drops cascade from the tiny determined fist, falling to the tower where they climbed, lifting each subsequent drop higher, creating in a gothic tower, gargoyles glaring from the steep faces at the sand crabs that scurry below.
Moats emerged protecting the dark walls, filled with seaweed and murky water, floating in a soft current around the perimeter of the structure. A small cavern at the front of the mound emerged, scooped out by long slender fingers.
Brown eyes fancy they see the mossy green inhabitants of the water rear their fearsome heads, jagged teeth glinting. The drawbridge opens, admitting the dark knight to his shadowy abode, clanging shut behind the last echoing hoof of his obsidian-armored horse. The gargoyles’ eyes glint as the enemy rushes forward, white swords drawn and gleaming. The army of 10,000 unstoppable, trebuchets hurling azure rocks at the castle’s tower, tearing it apart, destroying the hunched guardians. Then the cavalry attack, galloping through the moat, slaying the alligators who sink down beneath their horses’ hoofs. The infantry follow close behind, breeching the walls unresisted, leaving only ruins, drowning everything in their icy presence.
Ruins are all that remain but the brown eyes remember the young dark knight, young innocent lips forming a thoughtful elegy before leaving the sight of defeat.

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