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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Beach (07/04/05)

TITLE: The Seaside Sentinel
By Debra Brand


The reflection of the silvery moon sparkled on the gentle waves. The tide had receded leaving in its wake scattered shells and remnants from the sea on the shore. The cloudless sky cast no shadows on the sun-whitened sand. Even the grasses quietly stood at the edge of the beach.

In his snug little room, General Herschel sleepily stirred. His ten day sabbatical completed, he was completely rejuvenated. The injured eye and appendage had been restored. Gingerly he stretched and opened his eyes upward to test his sight. Yes, returned to normal.

The night lights peeked into his abode, scurrying shadows from the corners. Giving a great sigh of comfort, the General settled once again into his favorite position. His eyes closed and mind at rest, he waited for slumber once again.

Little by little, he became aware of a furtive scurry outside. Opening one eye at a time, he listened carefully, getting a bearing on the direction of the sound. A mighty soldier is always alert, always concerned with safety.

Cautiously he moved to peer out through the opening. Several shots of water squirted passed his vision and indistinct shapes were slithering forward towards him.

ATTACK! Imagine a battle on his doorstep! At night! Scurrying around without making a sound, the General reached for his weapons of defense and carefully surveyed the situation at hand.

The enemy was only a few feet away but what were they after? Surely, not him! Oh! ThereĎs the quarry! Buried in the sand, their only defense was the intermittent spewing of bodily secretions aimed in the enemyís direction.

The pea clams were under attack! Again! Will they never learn? Donít they realize they are no match for the Moon Snails when they give away their location by their spray? Oh dear! The General never stopped to think but rushed out to save his weak friends.

He surged forward towards the army of drills, brandishing his weapons. His movements were erratic to confuse the adversary and to divert their attention. Moon Snails are very thorough in their attack. Catching a clam unawares, their sandpaper like tongue drills a small hole in the clamshell near their hinge and then sucks out the contents. Many a poor clam has lost his life this way.

The General pitied the defenseless clam and snapped the snail in two. Hurray! Another notch on his gun, another strike against the forces of evil and another victory for the valiant! The snails call retreat!

Scouring the perimeter of his yard Herschel gives the all clear yell. His friends sigh in relief and bury themselves farther into the sand. This time there were no losses. No battle wound this night to bother his sleep.
Securely confident that the battle is over, the general headed back to his home. Entering his bedroom he stared at the bleached sand dollar hanging over his bed.

Even a hermit crab knows the mystery of life. For God reminds his creatures with whatever is at hand (or claw) that He is the giver of life and heals all our diseases and by His wounds we are healed (even a missing eye). Kum ba yah, my Lord, kum ba yah!

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This article has been read 1193 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Brown07/11/05
This is HILARIOUS! requiring the second reading to be a dramatization to my husband! Superbly crafted, inspiring well-deserved laughs!
Daniele Moskal07/11/05
They say laughter is a very good medicine for one's soul - well this short-story blessed my soul and stomach muscles....I couldn't stop laughing it's so descriptive and so funny as well... a great combination in short-story writing!!!
Michelle Burkhardt07/12/05
Well done. I enjoyed the battle. A winner in my book..I love humor.
Nina Phillips07/14/05
That was so funny! Just sooooo funny, and I think that would be a really great story for kids too. I am rolling!
I liked the ending too.
God bless ya, littlelight
Shari Armstrong 07/15/05
A very creative and entertaining story!!!!!
Beth Muehlhausen07/15/05
You got me, right here: "Several shots of water squirted passed his vision...." Up until this point, I was waiting for a real war story! Cute, innovative story.