subjugating sandcastle was known for conquering all. He was self-righteous and
known for growing enraged, becoming vile and temperamental when he didn’t
immediately achieve the overpowering of hapless sandcastles, his overthrowing
goals. But with time he would quash them, squeeze them into the rough sand
dunes, never again to be formed, at least not very soon. For, their makers had
long gone home, the destroyed sandcastles which had existed were nothing to cry
over. They’d simply be tears over spilled milk, or salty tears into a saltier
the emperor sandcastle – as he liked to call himself – who loved to subjugate and
decimate, would select a new target, a fresh sandcastle made and now basking in
the sun, to vanquish this new victim, for him it was terribly thrill-causing;
in fact, it was outrageously fun. Because he would jump upon them, mash them
into a pile of unformed grains, then kick them aside, and perform this all
again. No one knew exactly why and what caused the emperor to become temperamental,
but he was out of his mind when he destroyed innocent victims of the sandcastle
kind. When it came to enraged destroying, this sandcastle was not afraid.
obsessed with power, wielding it all, dominations over the little men and sandcastle
women. They had performed no wrong, nothing at all had they done, that would
warrant the keen eye of the destroying emperor sandcastle he was. But still
they were targeted and demolished, one after the other, each day. The sandscape
would be reduced to a flattened scene, only showcasing the self-selected decimating
“emperor” who ruined with ease. He needed to be overthrown. His ending needed
to be on display.
One Saturday, there was a party held upon the emperor’s beach. At least fifteen children were in attendance, and as many castles were made before their creators would grow weary from the sun beating upon their eyes, when they would decide to leave. They left their sandcastle creations, decorated with seaweed pieces and little shells. One even had two little flags and a dead starfish, that was the feature piece of this constructed sandcastle, the most beautiful castle of them all. Her name was Marny, and boy, was her personality so sparkling, so effervescent, and downright funny! She was able to make jokes with the jocks, chat freely with the mathematic loving ‘nerds’. She could converse with the popular girls, and still be able to admit herself to conversation with every other boy sandcastle and sandcastle girl. In short, she was somewhat of a leader, though she was humble and didn’t acknowledge this herself. She was happy to be Marny; she was happy being herself.
whispers came among the grains of sand, on the flatness of this land. There
apparently lurked and creeped a nasty individual, a power-hungry deluded
sandcastle who thought he was an emperor, who desired to beat down every
sandcastle that was here, near, and beyond there. His existence instilled into
the group of sandcastles great and overwhelming fear. However, Marny laughed
and pooh-poohed away this idea. Who had ever heard of a subjugating and
decimating sandcastle who quashed other beings with no sense of conscience, no
sense of fear? Certainly, she had not, not in her several hours of life upon
this beach. She was an intelligent being, but she needed to learn to fear.
Because here rounded Emperor now, crashing his sandy feet upon the land,
stirring the grains here and there, into their eyes, cyclonic in fashion they
traversed through the air.
of castles could not see anymore, they were terrified, what was in store? Still
Marny called for calm, there was nothing to fear, they’d have to trust
themselves and have confidence inside themselves, this they must learn. Because
Marny wasn’t scared of death, or of being taken away or taken down. She knew
that if this apparent enemy of theirs took over them all, she could escape, he
would be the one next overthrown. Though, if he reduced her to nothing,
then she could accept that, being broken in this life was a given. Especially
so for a being made of sand, one cannot hope to forever exist on land.
together, brothers and sisters, and hold each other’s hands!” she yelled. And
join together they did. Their hearts beat frantically, hands shook terribly,
because aside from feeling, they’d lost their sense of sight, and there was
nothing to do except wait until their ending.
CRUSH YOU ALL!” a dominating voice bellowed, and then some stamping upon the
ground, and silence then came. “OR, I WILL BRING YOU UNDER MY CONTROL! WHAT IS
IT YOU WOULD LIKE MOST OF ALL?” Confused shrieks of “control” and “crush” came
from the mouths of them all. A shrill cackling and then: “OVERTHROW!” The
emperor turned upon his side and commenced a deathly roll. Soon the sandcastles
were in pieces, some sections still firm, hardened, the others collapsed into
piles of saddened sand. But this was all a dream of theirs, perhaps they had
been subjected to too much sun upon their heads.
collective shake of their befuddled heads, they opened their eyes once again.
Everything was how they had left it, before they had closed their eyes. How
could this be reality, how could fifteen sandcastles experience the same dream
cycles? I cannot explain myself adequately but hark, what’s that sound? I can
hear Emperor’s returning deadly roll. Now, Marny smiled to herself. She had recited
to them the wrong bedtime story; her head was too full of imagination to remove
her sense of committed glory. Because as the quiet, unannounced leader of the
group, she had led them into a certain terrifying dream land. They would
understand the significant of her power and the meaning of Emperor’s wish to
overthrow others when they would grow older. She was really a wise soul: her
consciousness had been around for almost forever.
The Queen of Finery was amazingly resplendent coated in her gems which adorned every inch of her. They glittered and glimmered upon her velveteen robes. Being so ostentatious a figure, she had nothing to say to those in the palace who passed her; she was too incredible in her own mind to pay attention to others unworthy of her obtaining her attention themselves. She would not bother with beings such as these.
What determined whether someone was unworthy? Well, it is saddening to say that she was always haughty around everybody whose paths she crossed because to her, normal folk – servants, chefs, cleaners, maids, drivers – were unworthy. Some might find it difficult to understand why a queen would look down upon her people. Most especially, the people who served her well, and painted of her a delicate, refined picture. Because for these others, they were always required to speak incredibly highly and well of her. In reality, the truth of the matter was that she was arrogant and undesirable, with moods so flighty they caused chaotic booms, seismic ripples, rather than being calm and assured.
in the country willingly spend their time with her? It wouldn’t surprise you to
know this – they wouldn’t waste a second with her. The only reason they spent fleeting
moments in her presence was because she paid them to be there. She was so outrageous
with her moods that these unfortunate souls never came to work underprepared.
Before arriving, they listened to soothing, meditative music, to calm their wrought
nerves from the days before, healing an ache that was positively shaking at the
knowledge they’d once more be required to be with her indoors. But this Queen didn’t
realise how horrible she could be; she was used to being just so. She didn’t
understand that her “minions” as she referred to them, couldn’t wait for the
end of the day when they’d be permitted to return home.
It was the King who had to deal with his tempestuous Queen at night, with her tales of complaints and rapid words, high strung, of how somebody, always someone, had performed a slight against her again. He would sigh under his breath, tune out from the tirades, the rants. He would wait until her breath was spent then he would roll over and fall asleep quickly, before she could find another topic to complain about – usually something petty. She’d then wander around in her mind expelling her warring words quite freely, to be easily spent quite easily. It didn’t matter that the King no longer heard her. What was important to her was the illusion of being heard.
One day, there arrived a new servant, a child of eight years old, by the name of Trudence. She was clever, kind, humorous, but had had a challenging life. Trudence was an orphan, at the age of three her parents had died in a massive train wreck, and being babysat by her Auntie Beatrice that day, she was spared that moment of sudden death. But Aunt couldn’t afford to keep her, for Trudence was an expensive child to cater for. She ate, ate, ate at every given moment, and Aunt knew not how to provide for her. Instead she decided it would be best to put her to work at the Palace, where she could earn her keep, to pay for both their meals and means to survive in this life, lest she continue taking and they both ended up on the streets. Aunt was unable to work due to a debilitating case of “Can No Longer Be Bothered”, so she was glad that she had Trudence willing to work to provide for both of themselves.
To Aunt’s surprise, Trudence took to her new role with zest. She told stories of how she’d passed the Queen in the corridors, flashing her a beaming smile, glancing into the gems that sparkled so much that Trudence felt utterly blessed. It didn’t matter that the Queen never smiled back, the fact that she was in the Queen’s presence meant everything – she was such a finely dressed woman that her efforts to avoid smiling at anyone must surely be an epic test. This palace, for some reason, gave her good feelings. However, one day, Trudence would grab the Queen’s gems, pluck one from the her swishy robes, and another from her vest! Then run away with great speed would Trudence. Her life now was in dangerous waters, she should have already known what this theft would have meant, the fate which the Queen would wish to deliver.
with her head!” shrieked the Queen. “That wretch stole my emeralds, so
joyously and lovingly green!” By then the soldiers couldn’t find her. Trudence
was long gone, with Aunt running alongside her, as they escaped through the forest,
away from their home, away from the palace walls where they would never be seen
again, never found. Into a neighbouring land would they retreat, where they
lived off fragments of the gems, selling each shard for fortunes on the street.
They were millionaires now and it was all thanks to Trudence’s wiles. She felt
not shame nor guilt for stealing from a Queen who everyone secretly reviled. Trudence
had eventually realised that she was nasty, she was mean, she had too much
wealth and she’d made it too obviously seen.
Regarding the robbery, she had been asking for it, Trudence believed, and this Aunt reassured her this was completely correct. And now, that the greedy untoward being would knowingly have their lives punished, eradicated, because the Queen’s effort at performing horrid actions were completely unworthy, and her motives not at all well spent. Not that these thought process was morally right, this Trudence soon realised with time, but she had spent too much time experiencing her own sense of luxury to want to return mere fragments that would be nothing to the Queen, a woman whose nose was upturned so very high indeed. Returning to that land would only end in death for both Aunt and herself, and she was unwilling to risk her life simply to clear a conscience of ill-fated morals. She’d simply have to trick herself into accepting that what she had performed at the time was a necessary action.
There was no point in reversing it because what was done was completely done. Better to focus on what positives came of this; she began to whittle away at the gems, breaking them into manageable, saleable fractions, street-size appropriate pieces.
Donkey was as sad as sad could be. For the past two years he had been working night and day at the quarry, transporting boulders up and down the mountain tops, navigating nasty, dangerous rocky paths and shelves with surprising ease. His back ached from the hard labour each and every day, he barely had an hour or two to rest until he had to rise again. The slave drivers of the quarry cared not for Donkey and his friends, for their health there was no concern, for, if one were to falter – goodness! From exhaustion topple and then, it would be the end for them, off to the glue factory, where they’d be recycled into something which to them was utterly foreign.
Although Donkey had a strict and firm work ethic, he still needed time to wind down, and become himself again. Even if that meant a more morose, dismayed Donkey, this was the way he was, this was his personality. He tried to find the good in things, but often could not do so, and when this occurred he changed his mind set, and tried to become more gungho. It did not work though, not at all.
With his friends working the quarry, they decided to arrange a strike, to be operated at 1000 hours, not a second before or a second too late. The sounding of the kazoos from their lips would alert all that they were now in command, no more slave drivers to force their hand, work long hours when of their workers health they did not give a damn.
Donkey arrived for his evening shift, promptly, as he was known to do, and worked the eight hours, grumbling through and through. Tonight the bags of rocks were far too heavy, overloaded with sprawling boulders and pebbles which flowed onto the mountain so freely, making his nerves wavering, his hooves unsteady. He scorned the slave driver assigned to him, who whipped at him and beat him, yelling at him freely.
Oh, how the shame, there was so much dismay for Donkey to have, to experience this ownership from a man who was not even a true decent man. And when it came for the strike Donkey looked down and saw an enormous bag of boulders and pebbles, just innocently waiting there to be viewed. With an air of a smirk about him, the slave driver presented the bag with a flourish of his hand, as though to say,
“Take that, we know of your plans, perform this task or I’ll strike you instead.”
Donkey’s back was breaking, his eyes were tearfully watering, he wanted nothing more than to return to the stable and rest. He could no longer be bothered with this strike, it had been discovered, this was not at all nice, and being punished was he for wanting to put up somewhat of a fight. He didn’t have time for this, not at all, he needed to rest after that last bag of rocks, he needed to relax for the night. And all the more painful this trip up the mountain was, for the bag of rocks wasn’t equally weighted on both sides, perhaps this was something the man had cruelly decided to made sure.
And then Donkey lost his footing, he tumbled close to the edge! His left front leg was bleeding profusely, having been caught on a boulder laying on the path, and then, the slave driver spotted him, rushed forth to his aid? Or was he getting ready to send him to the glue makers, where into his hand money would be paid? All Donkey knew was that he was losing light, his brightness inside was faltering, deep down inside. And blackness occurred, the paining now a daydream, nothing more was there for Donkey as it may seem.
After what felt like an age, his eyes flickered, his eyes were opened, his surrounding taken in and saved. To his right were his friends who had been injured over the years, hurriedly sent away to be dealt with in the night. Here they lounged on sun chairs, rocking horses, lounge suites, sipping Bacardi and Coke, while champagne seemed to be the preference for some.
“Where am I?” he asked in wonderment, amazed.
“This is the ‘Glue Factory‘,” one replied with a laugh, “It was all a farce, here we are actually saved.” But Donkey didn’t understand how this could have become, how it occurred, who ensured the saving in a relaxing paradise was done. The replying donkey explained that the Glue Maker’s wife was in love with animals and for every horse or donkey sent to the factory she bought them from her husband with her own dollars. Then she saved them in this hidden place, a gem tucked away from the world, and wasn’t she a wonderful woman, a sterling example she was setting for her and her husband’s little girl.
“Thank goodness for this woman, our saviour,” Donkey exhaled and with brightened eyes, said, “We must remain here in luxury for the rest of our lives. Thanks be to her for saving us from becoming glue. One day we will repay her kind actions, she will feel the same gratitude too.”
No one ever invited Zimmy to the table. He was forever left to his own devices, he was always cast aside with contempt and reviled. Why was this so? How could one little snowman be made to view and experience such deep pains below?
Zimmy was always a cheery brunette, his shoulder length style healthily bouncing to and fro, his perfect follicles just begging to be seen, to be gloriously shown. He wished to be seen by the world and acknowledged for his beauty, style and grace, a showcasing of his delicate preparation and procedure that took hours upon hours to trial upon his well made-up face.
Yet how could this dream be an actuality when he worked behind the scenes, by himself, as a bank office cleaner, no one to view him? The only times outside he faced were the short walks from the car to his work premises, and the weekend’s food errand trips, here there were no surprises or coincidences.
It wasn’t that Zimmy was lazy, nor lacking a sense of motivation to pursue a dream that was dandy and fine and his calling, but melt upon melting was he becoming, he knew that if his dream were to be achieved, that this was the correct and special time to be showing. Zimmy did not want to turn into a puddle before he could achieve the goal of his life. Viewed him en masse, all eyes set upon him, steely and serious, curious and admiring views, he would be the prize to be seen, a fresh faced beauty, to the industry he’d be so coveted and new.
In the corner at home, Zimmy sat huddled away from the heat with his achingly empty belly. His malicious family smiled down upon him with mouthfuls of food which they chewed ravenously and freely.
“Hungry, Zimmy?” his mother heckled.
“Want some of this?” his sister hollered, presenting then detracting her loaded fork.
“Oh, give him a break,” his father snapped, and threw him a cube of beef curry.
Although Zimmy hated being treated differently, at least the forced starvation kept him slim and trim for his upcoming fashion show and after party. The fashion show was elegant and simple, it was quiet and hushed, an appreciation for a designer’ s talents, showcased upon Zimmy with his great figure and utter charm. This being his first official show, Zimmy was incredibly nervous, eyes red and raw and nerves just painfully so, what to do but put one foot before another upon the catwalk, and concentrate so incredibly well?
At the end of the walkway, awaited Zimmy’s closest friends, cheering him on with voices so boisterously strong, to commend. These were his true family, not the beings who starved and abused him, these individuals who were truly providing him with emotional support and qualities of love and trust, unlike the ones who had snatched and shattered these.
Family doesn’t have to be the clan one was born into, the bloodline of relations does not determine who is there for you, for love, honour and acceptance can come from any one, a shoulder to learn on, a smile to share, a hand to weep upon. Who is in your extended family? I’m sure you already know, and thinking about them should cause you to feel joyous, allowing a feeling of acceptance and being free to grow. A family appreciates you for you and you alone.
Whether friends or actual blood family, they will hold you up, tell you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it, for the good of who you are, they make you become stronger from it. Your family hopefully only wants the best for you, for them to witness your life’s successes, these are what they wish could be seen. Your life’s journey. Their love for you is like a warm, gentle caress.
At the crest of a hill, at the very top I could see, a hungry, utterly famished Yak staring right back at me. Before him he had a plate of steak, carrot and broccoli, his knife and fork at the ready, he looked at his plate so eagerly. Had I interrupted his dinner, I ignorantly wondered, was in the wrong place at the wrong time? However the Yak simply blinked back at me slowly, as he produced a large bottle of wine!
With an ever so slight beckoning of his hoof, he drew me towards him, up and up and up the hill, puff puff, I panted, getting closer to the sky as a beautifully crystalline clear roof. How outrageous, I though to myself, that a Yak could be holding an offering of wine, but I liked it occasionally, the red was ever so tasty, so trundled up the hill did I.
I was close, then closer and closer, and suddenly the Yak was losing his grip, in slow motion I witnessed this arrival of the horrible incident, and squeezed my eyes shut for the moment of impact, the spillage was sure to be it. Then I heard a rolling, boom boom roll boom as the bottle scrambled down the hill, peeking through my eyes, I discovered the bottle was still intact and very, very full.
With great joy I bounded toward that bottle, fetching its miraculousness for Yak and I to handle, polite Yak had still postponed his main course to sip gently with me, with a backdrop of beautiful bright sky to be seen. Surely his meal was cold now, in fact, confused, I looked around for surely who, could have prepared his meal and served it: Bon appetit! There was no person nor animal to view.
Never mind, I thought, I uncorked that beauty so freely, and polite Yak even shared his carrot and broccoli with me, what a darling Yak was he, he is now a great friend to me.