Our Masterpiece This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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It was huge. No, huge isn't even the word. Enormous? Perhaps. At any rate, it stretched halfway down the beach. Dubbed "Our Masterpiece," it was just that. My brother and I had spent the entire morning and half the afternoon working on our creation, taking only enough time off to dash into the water now and again. But it was worth it.

Turrets of sand towered high above the shoreline, their tiny seaweed flags fluttering in the gentle August breeze. An intricate labyrinth of roadwork weaved its way between the buildings we had constructed with a shovel, pail and an occasional rude word. It was a bonding experience, my brother and I working side by side in the warm sun, exchanging fewer than ten spoken words but sharing our souls at the same time. I don't think I've ever felt so close to my brother as I did that day on the beach.

He was leaving for college the next day. Maybe that's why I felt such an urgent need to have one last hour with him, for he was leaving for the real world while I was left behind, still living out my little dream-filled existence.

"Darrell, " I said to him as we sat back on our heels and admired our hard work. "Are things going to be the same when you come back? You've never left the house for more than a few days before. How are things going to be when you come home?"

He was silent for a minute. The chilly ocean spray began to slowly creep up the shoreline, advancing steadily toward the castle we had fabricated to hide ourselves. The sky was tinged a reddish purple, changing the ocean spray from blue to scarlet.

"Darrell?"

The water was lapping at the base of the sandy walls, licking away our foundation, intent on destroying the rest of our little world.

"Nothing ever stays the same," he said softly and we began to pack our belongings.

Walking down the beach again, back toward civilization, we looked back and saw the waves spilling over the tops of the turrets, changing everything, making our own creation seem unrecognizable.

"Everything does change," I admitted softly to myself as I watched the water fill our footprints, laughed quietly, and washed them away.

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






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