by thefourpartland

A hut stood upon the strand. Driftwood had formed it, all angles and pieces piled on. Seaweed was wedged into the gaps. Pulled up in front was an old dinghy, so rotten that it could no longer float. Parts of it were being used to form the door.

A man stumbled out. He was old, certainly, although perhaps his beard and unkempt appearance aged him more than he truly was. A glance at the sky, at the sea, and up and down the shore.

Not yet.

The wizened man amused himself by making castles in the sand, the intense look of a child on his face. He carved them with a long nail, forming windows, crenellations, making it beautiful. He stood back to admire his work, and nodded.

Then he sat nearby, muttering to himself as he watched the clouds and the tides and the sun and the sea. The land he took for granted.

It was time.

The old man poked a tower on the sandcastle.

It crumbled.

He nodded, satisfied, and went inside.

Far away, in a land he had once known, a tower fell. The lord and lady died in the rubble.


  1. Eric J. Krause on 02.04.2011

    Very cool story! Voodoo in the form of sand. That’s quite a weapon for revenge!

  2. Lara Dunning on 02.04.2011

    The description of the hut really pulls you in. I was surprised where the story lead. A story within a story, a vision within a vision. Enjoyed it.

  3. Rachel Blackbirdsong on 02.05.2011

    I really loved the descriptions of the hut and the old man. Are you planning to expand this story at all? It would be great to see more of this character and his abilities.

  4. Icy Sedgwick on 02.05.2011

    Oh I loved this. Excellent description, and the last line clinches it.

  5. The Four Part Land on 02.05.2011

    Thanks all for the comments.

    @Rachel not sure if I’ll expand this one, but I was playing around with a little about an idea for magic that revolves around the edges, the shores and boundaries. I need to flesh it out more at some point, so he might return.

    @Erik and Lara – I was hoping I could disguise what he was doing/who he was until the last line. I think it worked.

    @Icy I edited the last line a couple times, until it felt right. Before, a few words just weren’t clicking with me like I hoped they would.

  6. Sam Adamson on 02.05.2011

    I think this has got to be my favourite of your stories so far. I love the premise and the descriptions are ace. Lovely magical feeling to the final line.

  7. PJ Kaiser on 02.05.2011

    Very intriguing story here- i enjoyed the last two lines also. Crisp, to the point, and a stark contrast to the beginning. Well done.

  8. Adam Byatt on 02.05.2011

    This works so well on every level. Crisp, clear descriptions and a final line that provides a cunning twist.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  9. ganymeder on 02.05.2011

    Nice one! And the old man seemed so innocent and sweet. Great way to sneak up on us…

  10. The Four Part Land on 02.06.2011

    @Sam A few people have said that. I guess I really will have to come up with a sequel.

    @PJ Thanks. Was trying to portray him as a crazy man, up until the last line. Glad it worked.

    @Adam Twists and surprises are what make the story fun, glad I was able to make this one work.

    @Ganymeder Glad you liked it. Although I don’t know about innocent or sweet… 🙂

  11. Aidan Fritz on 02.06.2011

    I loved the descriptions of the place on the strand and the broken dinghy. Enjoyed the ending where a little of the magic is revealed.

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