The Book of Sands, flash fiction by Nelly Shulman at Spillwords.com
Kordi Vahle

The Book of Sands

The Book of Sands

written by: Nelly Shulman

 

White surf touched his ankles, and he shuddered, startled by the icy breath of a sunset sea. He always liked this fiery time of the day when the copper sun descended to the darkening abyss of water.
The song of sands was the clearest at twilight.
In the morning, he pottered around the flimsy hut built from the driftwood, whitened with salt and wind. The ocean provided him with seaweed and shells, and sometimes, the writer got food from the village atop the chalky cliffs, where nobody cared about his wild beard and bare feet.
He could look how he wished because he wrote the Book of Sands.
This village, the stone lighthouse, the fishermen’s boats, the ships coming from the other islands, the lands beyond the ocean, the ocean, the constellations in the night sky, the sky, and the firmament existed because of the Book of Sands.
At twilight, the writer listened to the howl of wind and the murmur of the beach sand. Sometimes, the harsh sound of the clanking stones interrupted the sublime music, and the writer could only record a word or two.
That did not matter because they were in no rush, knowing they had to stay on the beach until the end. When the writers could write no more, they accepted the cold ocean embrace and drifted away to the crushing jaws of mighty leviathans or the sharp teeth of the tiny fishes.
Lighting the bonfire on the clifftop, the locals send a message to other islands, alerting them that a new writer has to come to the hut. The boats went from bay to bay and village to village, asking people to listen to the song of winds and sands. The one who heard the most words became the new writer.
Thus, stood the world, where the Book of Sands had to be new every day.
The surf caressed his feet, and the writer listened to the whispering sands. Today, he would add more words to the Book, making them from the tiny grains, continuing the work of generations before him.
Returning to the hut, making a new line in the sand, he began to write.

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