Tales For All Seasons

By Joshua (J. E.) Dyer All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Children

Blurb

All fantasy begins with the fantastic imagination. Fairy tales embody the oldest and most fundamental element common in all works of fantasy. What follows is a working collection of stories for young and old alike. Several of them have previously appeared in the Los Angeles Times, winning their coveted "Reader's Choice Story of the Year" award. For this, I must give thanks to the Times and their readership for giving them a chance. I hope that you enjoy the adventures that follow.

The Sandaryn

There once was a young boy and girl who lived by the sea. They had heard a fantastic story from their uncle about magical blue-green dust that could appear at the shore by the light of a full moon, but they never believed it -- until after this unusual encounter.

One day the children went down to the ocean to do what they always did -- splash in the waves, run up and down the beach and, their personal favorite, build sandcastles. The boy dug a large moat and filled it with water while the girl constructed long square walls of shimmering sand.

The hours went by, one after another, until the sun was nothing more than a thin golden sliver drifting on the distant waves. The two children stepped back to the water to admire their magnificent creation.

“It’s wonderful!” shouted the girl.

She strode up to the castle and lay down next to it, admiring its many tall towers of sparkling sand.

“I wish it could last forever,” she said in a sad tone.

The boy went up to the other side of the castle and lay down peering into its tiny windows.

“I wish we could go inside and explore it,” he said using a stick to carve out bricks in the walls.

“I’m tired,” the girl said with a large yawn. “Let’s grab a catnap before we go back for dinner.”

The boy yawned as well and fell into a deep sleep before he could reply.

When the boy awoke, he found himself standing in front of a massive wall of sand.

“Where are we?” the girl asked as she walked around the far corner of the huge wall.

“I don’t know,” the boy said.

Then he saw something that he recognized at his feet.

“The moat!” he shouted as he trotted around the near corner of the wall. “C’mon!”

“Where are we going?” the girl asked.

She didn’t know what he was talking about, but she ran after the boy because she was afraid of being left alone.

“This is our castle!” the boy shouted as he ran into the large foyer of the castle.

“It can’t be,” she said in disbelief.

The two ran up many winding staircases and past many small windows atop high towers. Then their excitement was cut short by a loud snapping sound from deep within the dungeons of their creation.

“We’d better get back,” he said. “The moon is rising.”

The duo ran back down retracing their steps to the main entrance, but their escape was blocked by a giant blue crab. It snapped its massive round claws at the children.

“Go to the shore!” the boy shouted. “Try to find the magic dust from the sand.”

“What magic dust?” she asked frantically.

“Like in the story! This is just like the story!” he shouted.

The boy fought off the crab using a shell for a shield and a sharp stick for a sword. The monster chased him out across the bridge and down toward the ocean. Then the girl appeared on the horizon.

“Now!” the boy shouted.

The girl threw a large handful of shimmering green and blue dust into the air. It fell on them both in a crystalline cascade in the moonlight.

The two woke up under the light of the full moon next to their castle. A small crab scurried out from behind the wooden bridge and into a nearby hole in the sand.

“What uncle said was true!” the boy said as he ran to the water.

“Do you think?” she asked as she crouched next to him.

The boy rubbed his hand across the wet sand right where the water met the sand under the full moon, and sure enough, a thin line of shimmering blue and green dust appeared in the sand at their feet.

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