Friday, June 19, 2015

Lobs' Castle - Haidji - Short Story



see also    SG - Suicide Game - ebook and book   and  SG - Suicide Game - Video







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I hope  you enjoy reading my short story "Lobs' Castle"
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Excerpt


Lobs' Castle 




The sun was burning her back; it was almost already red, but she did not notice it.
Stephanie was building a castle.  A sand castle.
Sitting on the beach sand, focused on what she was doing, Stephanie was busy using her bucket, some old plastic beer cups she found on the sand, shells and, of course, sand itself and she did not feel the sun hitting on her back.

The sand was grey, it wasn’t a ‘White sand holiday promo advertising photo catalog’s beach’ and in the sand around her she could see some oil spots from the recent crude oil spill.  But for her that didn’t matter at all.  Three days she waited to finally be able to go to the beach, that was closed due to the oil spill.  An underwater pipeline ruptured, spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Ocean, contaminating the beach.  The more than 100 000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the ocean and covered what were once clean beaches.  Clean up crews were working to clean the beach since long before the school holidays started.
The Coast Guard said that the spill had killed one dolphin, ten pelicans and an untold number of fish and similar beings.

*

Stephanie wanted to help the cleaning crews in the days before, but children should not be on clean-up crews because they are more sensitive and it can cause them difficulty breathing, headaches, dizziness, confusion and nausea.  Children are not immune to the effects of an oil catastrophe and its pollutants.  In fact, children are more likely to have serious health problems from crude oil spills than the adults around them. They breathe more air per pound of body weight, and can absorb more through their skin than adults.  This had not prevented her to try to go to the beach every morning, waiting impatiently for when it would be possible again to play on the beach.  It was weird for Stephanie to see a public, and always available beach, be shut down.  It was like a freedom cut.  How can a natural public space be closed?  It can, when it became dangerous to human beings or animals to be there, when it became threatening to the human species.

Kids can very quickly and easily absorb toxins through their skin, or even swallow crude oil residues by transferring them from their hands to the foods they eat.

So much as she did want to help, it was forbidden, so, there was nothing else to do than to wait for the beach to be  “friendly” again.
“What about the animals?” she thought.  “I cannot go to the beach, but they are already there.  How can the cleanup crew keep the baby animals out of the beach?”   They could not.  Many of them would die due to the oil spill.
Volunteers working on the beach piled up plastic bags filled with blackened sand, and the stench of oil could be smelled from miles around.

Workers had made significant progress on the beach but some rocks remained coated in oil.
As the beach was starting to look a lot better than it did a couple of days ago, Stephanie was allowed to go to the beach again.  The beach was again open and filled with kids, dogs, and grown ups.

Finally Stephanie could enter the beach with her small bucket and start to work on her castle.
After three days’ waiting, she did not want to take a break or be interrupted; she already had the image of the castle in her mind and wanted to realize it.

*

The main Castle tower was made using an old bucket as matrix.  Filling it with sand, turning it upside down, knocking softly on the bucket and removing it carefully, she made the main tower; for the smaller ones, she used the plastic beer cups, some remaining drops of beer falling over the sand, but she did not care about it.  She was busy, making the castle.
Around the castle she excavated a moat to protect it from enemies, not that there would be another oil spill again…

Kids playing around, people jogging on the beach, dogs, all the world noise around her was like background music.  She was focused, inside of her own activity as would she be in a parallel reality…far away from all noise around her, hearing the sounds of the ocean and the sound of her own ideas and imagination.

“Now that all towers are made, I need some water,“ said Stephanie to herself.
Walking to the water, looking at the spots of oil on the beach, she saw a bigger spot; it was a dead baby lobster.  Stephanie stopped for a while, picked it up, as would it be a shell, and brought it to her castle.

As Stephanie sat down with the dead baby lobster in her hands, she could hear some screams interrupting her:

“Sorry, I can’t stop! Sorry! Sorry!”... 




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1 comment:

Dorty Focker's Kitchen said...

A wonderful and imaginative story. Well done!