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Account for Every Grain

By Beth Madden All Rights Reserved ©

Drama

Account for Every Grain

The teacher found the boy kneeling on a colourful towel with a handful of sand. What had begun as vigorous counting, each number uttered in anticipation of the next, had dwindled to a monotonous drone, figures ever increasing as the day squirmed on. Now early evening, his skin had roasted black.

‘You could try counting minutes,’ the teacher suggested, sitting carefully beside him. Keen as she was to foster progress in her student and ease him from consuming fixations toward true, deserved childhood, she wouldn’t cause a single grain to be lost—that would upset him terribly. ‘Then you could play in-between each number.’

‘It’s the beach. I have to count sand.’

His reply was matter-of-fact, disquietingly so. What was this malady? What on earth had emblazoned numbers on his mind to the exclusion of all else, trapping him, even as insults brutally hurled his way progressed to cruel shoves and blows?

‘Doesn’t that look fun?’

Most of her students frolicked in the shallows. Those more confident in the sea had upgraded to swimming and stroked happily. A small group kicked a rubber ball between them with noisy splashes, white sprays of foam flying with their feet.

‘If you play for five minutes, I’ll mind your sand for you,’ she bargained, offering her hand.

The boy lifted his eyes to his classmates and the early stages of sunset, backdrop to their play. He studied them, lashes showering salt as he blinked. Crystals had embedded in their soft curls over the hours, carried by waves and the breeze. Momentarily, he was absorbed. But then, having counted every child and gull that winged overhead, he returned to his sand, prodding granules across his palm with utmost care.

‘I’m counting.’

‘You could stop,’ the teacher told the poor boy.

He glanced up again, this time at her. Before an obsequious slave, now he seemed uncertain.

‘No, I can’t. I have to count.’

He waggled his hand, indicating the thousands of grains. He wouldn’t feel settled until each one was safely accounted for.

‘I have to,’ he repeated. ‘Don’t I?’

‘You don’t,’ she replied, boiling with resolve to see him freed. ‘You can stop. It might be hard. But if you want to, you can. It’s your decision.’

The boy’s eyes—she’d never seen them so bright. But then his head dipped, her heart alongside.

‘Maybe later. I have to finish here, first.’

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jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

Melderise: This is just an amazing novel that teaches you how to break the bonds of reality. It shows how the most fascinating story can start from the most regular environment and then leading the reader to the dream destinations...

RodRaglin: Your writing is very good, Rachel, but remember you also have to entertain the reader and in that regard it's a bit sparse in action and dialogue.Consider when revising...When starting a new story always consider your protagonist's Goal - what they want; Motivation - why they want it; and, Confli...

LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...

Sonya YuntHatton: Are you going to be posting the rest? I read this when originally posted on Fanfiction. LOVE IT!!! Was so glad when it came our as an original book!! And now the MOVIE!!! Holy Mary I am so excited.....But I'm going to HATE, HATE, HATE the wait for part 2. Please let me know if and when you're goi...

Anno_Dominii: So I have read this twice now so I can give the best review!First, I really loved this. I couldn't stop reading it the first time, it was spellbinding. The story moved at a good pace, not too fast and each chapter caught the readers attention with some new development or twist. I loved Aurora an...

drainwater411: such a great read for me. I loved how you had to figure out who everyone was and kind of got a sense of who they were throughout the book instead of just telling all about the characters in the beginning, it helped you really get to know them and grow a connection with them. the relationships bet...

M.L. Bull: Hello, Aalia!Your story compelled the emotional pain and struggle of a teenage girl very well.. The imagery was also convincing and well-written, showing the different personalities of your characters and their actions. However, I do think that many of your sentences are too lengthy and could use...

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Noelle Anselmo: Jesus H Christ! When I saw this was a genderbent I though it was just gonna be the two main characters, but I was so wrong and I LOVED IT! I had no clue where you were going with it, and I was waiting for the make up, was dreading the possibility of not making up, and just how you had the story u...

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