A weekly challenge, that I have meaning to enter. As I found my muse a bit late, the story is also a bit messy and would probably do well with an edit or just a delete. I share it with you anyway:
When she woke, she wasn’t sure if the previous night had been a dream or not. Her body felt sore and oddly heavy, like she had been wandering for days without rest. When she heaved herself up into a sitting position she saw at once, that she was being watched by a pair of green eyes.
Lilly jumped to her feet as soon as she noticed Eline was awake.
“My lady, you have slept for more than a day! I have not left your side since the Duke carried you in here in his arms. You should have seen his face my Lady. I have never seen him so determined or youthful. Cook wagers that he is sick with worry for your health, he has hardly eaten anything since you returned. I have been bringing him plenty of food while he has been sitting here by your side. He has been here almost all the time besides when his duties have called him away.”
Eline swung her legs over the edge of the bed, noticing how bruised they looked. She would have to put some salve on them later.
Eline held on as the ground shook under her. The last couple of hours the tremors must have gotten worse and she knew in her heart that it was only a matter of time before the flooding would make it all the way to the upper levels of the castle and take everything she loved away. As she held on to dear life she thought of Nathan and their baby, she thought of the lifetime of dreams yet to be dreamt and all the adventures they were still to have. The oracle had warned them that this would happen, their world was fragile and could just as easily be taken away as it had been built so long ago by the blonde divine being that was their creator. But after so regularly appearing time after time, the maker had disappeared. The people had lost hope in ever seeing her again and with that hope also came the fear of what would happen when there was no longer any Goddess to protect them.
The lower levels had been taken first. People she had known and loved her whole life were suddenly taken away from her in a heartbeat. On the second turn of the hourglass the water had reached the gate swallowing everything up in its path. It had cracked the foundations of the beautiful castle and the people knew that the end was near. The creature that had once made their world must have lost her imagination, maybe it had been replaced by something more, something that the people of the sand castle could not comprehend. They understood the sun and the moon, they understood what it was to love and be loved. The only thing that they did not understand was why their Goddess had decided to be so vengeful. They had tried hard to never wrong her, never complaining when she in her rants destroyed half of the city with her own hands.
The ground shook again and before she knew it, the ceiling was coming down around her. Pulling her dress into a bundle just over her knees she ran through the castle in search of her beloved, although she suspected that there was no time left to find him. As darkness descended she wanted to scream, but no sound came out of her mouth. A hand gripped her in the dark and she held on. He was with her now at the end of all time and she would not let him go. Around them the walls were coming down, flooding the room with a dusty sunlight. Eline could hear the water working its way through the levels below them and she held on to Nathan and their baby. She held on as the terrible wail of their Goddess filled the air and tears of joy fell on Eline’s cheeks. The Goddess had not punished them, she would save them and remake their place of happiness in another time and space. With that the sand castle that was their beautiful world finally collapsed and Eline and Nathan were swept into the sea with the rest of the sand people.
The next day the child made another castle and when that was taken by the sea, she created another and so it will always be as long as there are children in the world, that castles of imagination will be built on fragile ground.