Log on the Beach

Sitting cross-legged on firm went sand, 11-year-old Makayla balanced on her knee an open notebook, thick and repeatedly rebound with leather thongs, and gently scribbled on a fresh page with an extremely short, dirt-stained pencil.

She wrote:

I didn’t write the last six days but I had a good reason. A huge storm hit the valley. It rained HARD and the lightning was insane! Standing in the rain felt like an ocean wave from the sky was trying to crush me bit by bit!

Mud wrecked the garden. We rescued everything we could but lost a lot of vegetables. The soil turned into black soup and my pretty tomatoes floated away. I wanted to cry!

The storm wouldn’t go away. It lasted for DA——YS. Dad hoped we could stay in the valley another few months (we would have to plant an all new garden — the old one is GONE). The river rose the next night. Camp was pretty far from the edge of the river but still wasn’t far enough.

Guess what happened next. I mean it, GUESS —- You guessed it! Flash flood!! Some people got hurt but nobody died this time (“small blessings” — like Mom used to say). We had to leave a lot behind because the water was too fast, but grown ups and boys saved some supplies and we girls saved all our seeds. SO important! Boys can be dumb sometimes. I think they think they can live by eating squirrels and tree bark or something. What would they do without us?

We are now camped close to the beach. I’m on the sand right now writing to the sounds of ocean waves and sea birds. I love it!!! Beautiful!! I helped Ms Carla around camp and take care of the munchkins all day, and now I’m writing while we wait for the grown ups to make dinner from what the hunting party and the gathering party brought back. Birds, root plants, green things, fifteen fish.

Jayden was in the hunting party today so I haven’t talked to him at all since yesterday (the hunting party left at first light). He caught four of the fish! He’s awesome (tall, sweet, and cute!!!! My future husband!!).

“Makayla!” A man’s voice called.

A man stood looking out at her from the edge of an organized sprawling encampment beyond a golden ridge of singing coastal grasses. Nearby, perched on a battered jetty leaned the weeping skeleton of a lighthouse, wheezing in a stiff salty breeze, blind and unable to cheer seafarers with guidance. Behind the camp pushed back against whitecapped mountains rested the remains of a city razed a decade ago; as evening approached the gaping hole of its existence resembled a pit, hollow and foreboding, as though the foot of the mountain had pulled an ebony blanket over its shoulder and turned away, wishing to be left alone.

“Coming!” Glancing back briefly, Makayla rushed to scratch one final thought onto the page, careful not to place excessive pressure on the pencil and break the precious graphite.

It’s the boys’ turn to tell stories at the kid’s campfire tonight. I hope I sit next to Jayden!

Springing to her feet, she the notebook to her and raced to camp over white sand as if flying.


Prompt: (1) Write an apocalyptic log, (2) Write a story that takes place on a beach.

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