Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BEACH (12/05/19)
TITLE: A Priceless Find
By Jack Taylor
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“I think you’re missing the point,” my partner said. “Kick off your flip-flops and walk.”
Burning crystals attach themselves to my soles like butter to toast. “Ouch!” I walk quickly and the warm blanket of fire works up between my toes and wraps itself along the side of my feet.
“Here! Come with me.” My partner tugs me closer to the shush of gentle waves massaging the shoreline. The coolness of the sea-swept sand invigorates my feet. I slow my walk.
“Hailey, why did you bring me here?”
“Shush! Since you’re the Swami of the Shoreline, describe what I hand you.”
“I’m a marine biologist who is used to using all my senses. I’m not sure this is what I signed up for.”
“They are up.” I hold out my hands and the first object given is straightforward. “Driftwood with clumps of seaweed tangled around it.” I continue to feel. “A crab claw caught in the kelp. Barnacles.”
An object glances off my back.
“Sorry. The wind caught my frisbee,” a girl says.
“Reach down,” my partner says. I expect a frisbee but instead there are feathers. One wing? “Half a bird… under it … a starfish … a shell – no, half a shell with a chip out of it.”
“Get up and walk carefully.” A crab scrabbles over my arch and attempts to tuck in near my heel.
Ten steps ahead I stumble over a hole and fall into a soft bed.
“Hey!” Yells a young voice. You ruined my sandcastle. Watch where you’re going.”
“Jerk!” says an older male voice.
“Sorry!” I say.
“Where will we sit?” asks my partner while I try to get to my feet and reorient myself. I adjust my sunglasses.
“Just get out of the way,” the male voice says. “Move!”
I shuffle my feet through the sand toward the shush of the waves until I feel the cool again.
“I don’t know,” I say. “Did you bring the towels or chairs?”
No answer. “Hailey!” I call out louder.
She moves up next to me. “Why do you think that’s my responsibility?”
“I can’t see.”
“Neither can I,” my partner says. “Now, you know what I deal with every day in every place I go. Are you sure you want to date me still?”
“Listen! You’ve taught me to experience life in a way I never have. I’m not sure what I’m getting into but it’s not your vision that makes me want to walk with you at least a little further.”
“So, what makes you want to stick out this adventure?”
“When I saw you singing in church there was a glow on your face that erupted out of your soul.”
“That’s a corny way to say my make-up was working. You wouldn’t have seen that if you were blind.”
“After the service, I was huddling on the bench close to that girl you were praying for. I wanted to talk with God like you did.”
“Those prayers are confidential. You might not know who is around you if you were blind.”
“That girl is my sister. She hasn’t done well with her leukemia treatments. She’s the one who dragged me to church and that’s how I met you.”
“Jack, there’s only one Savior and it isn’t me.”
“Yes, I know. I met the Savior but now I need to know someone who loves like he does.”
She takes my hand. “A few rules you need to know.”
“The dog is part of the package. Until I get to know you better he is my eyes and he knows how to protect me better than a samurai. He knows how to read your mind so if you look at me funny he could bite you in a way you’ll never forget.”
“Good. Now, take off that blindfold and help me experience this beach like God made it to be. Help me feel it in my soul so I’ll never forget it.”
“Something tells me I’m about to experience this beach like never before.”
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