Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Sunday Sunny Sunday This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   As he steps from the cold hard floor of the cave onto the broiling white sand, he clenches his toes to gather bits of sand beneath them. Squinting up at the bright sunlight streaming down from an azure sky littered with cottonball-like clouds, he lets his lids close and his mind drift with the breeze that is tousling his mane of sun-bleached hair. The wind caresses his cheeks and tugs at his clothes while he stands and thinks of the moment. His moment, time slowing to a crawl, the waves rushing to moisten the dry sand and suddenly retreating as if snagged by the tail and pulled to the verdant ocean. As the water slowly recedes, the smell of seaweed and salt permeates the air, forcing their emanations into his nostrils as he draws in his rhythmic breaths.

Slowly, cautiously, he opens his eyes and surveys his surroundings, casting his eyes over the rolling dunes of the beach, and absorbing the essence of the various elements around him. Clenching and unclenching his toes in the warm, gritty sand he runs his hand through his hair, pushing the troublesome mass back from his brow. Tilting his head as if he were making a decision, he steps over to the edge of the cave and reaches beneath a jagged lip overgrown with moss.

Removing his sun-darkened hand from the obscure niche, he pulls a large staff from beneath the rock. He clenches it with one hand and pushes an end worn from use into the sand. Leather thongs wrapped around the top hang down to flap in the breeze, and various carvings, nicks and scratches mark the staff as one that has been frequently used. Thrusting his hand into his pocket he pulls out a small pen knife, the handle inlaid with mother of pearl. Flipping the blade out with his thumb, it catches the sunlight sending a flash of bright white into his eyes. He squints his eyelids shut blocking out the offending glare. With his eyes still shut, the flash helps trigger an old memory ... sitting on a stone fence, wide grin on his face, and ... and ... yes. His older brother. With a fancy new camera, using his younger sibling as his first "subject." Looking through the small viewfinder, the older boy depresses the button, sending a bright flash of light into his younger brother's eyes ...

Opening his eyelids again, he shakes his head and makes a small nick beneath a row of other nicks of the same origin. Line after line after line, counting down, or perhaps up, not really caring, just a ritual that he performs each day. With a quick nudge of his thumb, the blade is nestled back into the handle and placed in his pocket.

Taking a step forward, not really realizing had, his feet suddenly grow minds of their own and thrust his body forward across the beach. Closer to the water, a small crab scurries sideways to avoid the giant that has suddenly appeared on its beach. A gull swoops down to catch the crab in her Dayglo orange beak, but comes up short as the crab disappears into a hole. Not noticing much of this, the boy continues down to the water's edge, letting the crest of the water touch only his toes. Eyes fixated on the horizon, he peers at what his mind is telling him is there. A small pinpoint, a black dot, nothing more. Poised like a tiger, silent, muscles tight, he focuses in on the obscure object. Waiting. Unmoving, he simply stares. Closer. Closer. Closer.

With a sudden yelp and a spring, he begins to wave his arms and scream, so loudly that what was intended as words merely come out as incoherent screeches. Eyes locked on the object, his mind drifts. Thoughts run wild and he tries to remember. What? A memory tugs at him and sits on the edge of his mind, ready to jump off the cliff and be realized, but also ready to simply back away in fear of the unknown. Suddenly, he pauses, tilting his head yet again, and frantically reaches into his pocket and removes his knife. The knife. Given to him by his grandfather and used to help him collect food, keep track of time and catching the blade with his thumb, he opens it and tilts it so the sun reflects from its stainless steel surface. Aiming it in the direction of the object and tilting it up and down. Flicker. Flicker. Flicker. Without warning, a bright flash of light suddenly passes over his eyes, from the direction of the object on the ocean. Slowly lowering the knife, it catches the sunlight yet again and the resulting flash glints off a tear rolling down his cheek, tracing a path over his dry, dusty skin. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback