Short Story

By Denebola
Published: December 2007

By Morgan Seiler

Our rock was the largest rock you could see on the beach. It had been a castle, an island, a mountain, and much moreĀ¦.but it lost its majesty the year we could sit on the edge and our feet would brush the ground.
The great ship Christina was no longer tall enough to keep our toes safe from the teeth of the circling sharks, which kind of ruined the point of the whole thing. You know what I mean.
And yet, for the past couple of years we had kept coming out to our Mount Everest, as if defiantly denying the fact that we were too old for that kind of thing, even though we no longer played the games.
At first, our games got shorter and shorter. I would be running with my sword and almost at the gates of the castle before I realized that Sasha was Sasha again and no longer my King.
He’d try to be the King again for a little while, but I’d see he was bored so I’d say I was sick of the game and we should do something else. Eventually I grew into Sasha’s inability to enjoy the games, so we just stopped.
Neither of us said anything.
But we’d come out to the rock every day we were at the beach house. I guess we hoped some of the magic would be lingering, but we were just groping around blindly for coconuts on an island that had been lost long ago.
So here we are, sitting on the rock with our feet planted in the sand beneath it, eating our applesauce like we had done for so many years. I don’t even think Sasha likes applesauce anymore.
He scoops it up in spoonfuls dripping with the yellow stuff and downs it as fast as possible.
He doesn’t like it, but he eats it anyway. I suppose I would too if I were him.
Me, I take careful spoonfuls of my applesauce. I put it in my mouth and taste it for as long as I can before swallowing. I try to draw the cup out for as long as I can.
Even when I’m technically finished, I tilt my spoon slightly and scrape along the sides for any remainders. There’s nothing left. Figures, doesn’t it?
I look over to Sasha. He had been a proud chieftain, thrusting his scrawny youthful chest as far forward as he could before losing his balance. One time he had had a magnificent headdress full of brilliantly colored feathers to show off his tribe’s power.
Mom had thrown it out as soon as we got back. She said seagull feathers were diseased. I had been able to see his thoughts those days as easily as if he spoke them aloud. He was trying to stay regal and composed, setting an example for his people.
I wonder what he is thinking now. It’s hard to tell.
Sasha stands up and offers me a hand. I pause a moment before taking it. Together we begin to walk back.
I think it’s the last time we’re going to come here. I think Sasha thinks so too.
Neither of us say anything.

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