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Week #50: Creative Writing Challenge – The First Ocean

December 30, 2021

Tell the story of seeing the ocean for the first time. Or the last.

I follow my brother as he launches out of the car. My nose is assaulted, but I can’t identify anything except my mother’s perfume as she leads us away from the car. My brother pauses several times with his nose in the air, so I do too. I still can’t identify anything, but I sniff faster and draw more air in my attempts. Our mother leads us down an embankment and whispers, “Welcome to the beach, boys. Be good”. My brother bolts away, and not wanting to be left behind, I sprint after him. I don’t get very far. I can’t seem to get good footing. My body goes faster than my feet, which sink instead of getting purchase, and I end up with my head in the soft ground. I can hear my mother laughing at me. “Sebastian, it’s sand, silly boy,” she says with a grin. The sand feels gritty in my mouth and I snort to get it out of my nose. I take a few tentative steps, then trot back to my mother. She gives me a pat and tells me to, “Go find Trevor.” I gallop toward my brother with my new knowledge of the terrain. As I approach, smells make more sense. There’s some long ropey stuff that crunches when I bite into it and smells like salt and rotting. There’s a lot of small dead things lying in the sand, giving off the pungent smell of decay. As I get closer to Trevor, the soft sand becomes harder and wetter, but my feet still sink and leave prints. Trevor is prancing through water, so I bound with abandon and fling myself at him. I’m thirsty so I take a bit of water into my mouth, but the taste of salt has me coughing and snorting. When I’ve recovered, I tease Trevor until he chases me and we play tag in the water. He ventures deeper when it’s my turn to chase him, but I’m not able to get close enough before I’m tumbling through a bubbly whitewash. It’s like what I imagine the clothes feel like when my mother puts them in the washer. When I’m on my feet again I race out toward Trevor to attack the walls of water barreling toward me. The best part is that it comes to play with me over and over again. My mother lets us play for a long time before calling us back to her. She leads us back to the car, where she rubs both of us with towels and asks, “Did you have fun playing in the ocean?” Both Trevor and I wag our tails and accept the treats our mother gives us in the car. My brother watches over me as I fall asleep and dream of cool salty water.

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