This is a short story I wrote for a competition that I have entered as-of this post, so I thought I'd share it so interested readers could also enjoy it.
There is a place, between the sand and the sea, that I walk each and every morning. It seems to call to me at all hours of my sleep, “come and find me, come to seek me.” I tool myself with nothing more than a stick as I set out each morning to search the beach. With it I stand before the sea, itself seeming to be yawning a greeting to the withdrawn visitor in its house, and I strike a pattern of lines into the sand with the stick where I guess the tide will rise while I wander from one end of the beach to the other and back. My attempts to find my querry are almost never successful, but at least I can sometimes rest in the mild comfort of correct predictions of the near future.
Never in any of my journeys have I brought anyone with me beyond my own shadow, and it has never occurred to me amend this. I am not alone on the beach, however; living things dwell in that place, between the sand and the sea, commuting gayly in the skies above. It is not in my power nor wishes to banish the mourning doves or sea gulls commuting gayly in the west’s breath - I appreciate their white and gray forms, free in a morning sky burning with bright oranges, lively pinks, and that omnipresent deep shade of blue - or sitting on the beach’s flotsam. Fortunately for them, theirs is not a place of fretting. No change comes knocking upon the door of the place between the sand and the sea.
I’d had no more prior love for the beach than any other mortal. But there are just too few a place to so aimlessly trundle through the turbulent stream of thoughts that come to confront a such as that place, between the sand and the sea. There were the discomforts of the first treks, of course, that nearly dissuaded me from embarking upon more. Sand coated my feet, and the wind chilled me. But I learned to let the sea lift the sand from my toes rather than flicking from my feet, and that the wind only had so much power over me as I accorded to it. As I began to learn fundamental truths, I came to find that I could no longer leave this place, between the sand and sea, whole. And it waits for me every morning, beckoning as each moment becomes just another wave upon the sand between me and my wanderings between the sand and the sea.
There is one great, single significance of this beach, dotted with the dead, bleached trunks and branches: it is a place for those who have nothing else left. When the tide has risen to its zenith and devoured the sand upon which you and I stand, there will be this place, between the sand and the sea, for the wandering, grieving masses. So it is that I wander, searching for the ghost of truths that I held dear in past days, atop a bed of stones crushed into the form of these gray sands by eons of wind, sand, and seas. People known, met, and parted with, pacts held and broken, covenants forged and undone, and episodes come and ended all in a grain of sand from a stone ground into dust.
Alone in that most divine sorrowful sadness, I wander between the sand and the sea searching for that which beckons us, breathing in the sea salt-soaked air, wondering, “does the memory last in more minds than my own? Do evenings and mornings and sunsets and sunrises of happier days come to rest in the hearts of others?” The search for the truth of others is what carries me from my abode in an unimportant realm, down the cliff face and across the gray sands. It drives me to wander in both directions, from one marble stone to its black cousin on the other side, searching for the voice that urges me not to forget its owner. Each and every morning, between the sand and the sea: lines in the sand, the torment of mistakes I cannot unmake, and fast fading footsteps in a place far and near, between the sand and the eternal sea.