Summer // Sample Chapter

Summer (Four Seasons #4) by Ashlee Craft

On the Beach

emerging from the car arms filled with floats towels toys & sunscreen / rushing across the sandy pavement & towards the sturdy wooden boardwalk where a blue-tongued lizard suns itself on the railing / the sound of laughing & yelling blowing with the warm humid summer air & the smell of salt thick in the air & the sounds of the waves crashing in the near distance & the warm sun beating down upon your skin & reminding everyone of their childhood

the ocean approaches & you can see the shapes of surfers & boaters & swimmers rushing across the waters & the beauty of the crystal clear blue waters reflecting the brilliant hues of the cloudless sky / a lifeguard sits in a tower keeping a careful watchful eye upon everyone & takes a sip of water from a blue canteen that hangs on the chair

you take off your shoes & your feet sink down slightly into the warm sacred sand & you feel it creeping between your toes & warming your feet / the soft warm roughness of the sand caressing you as you walk across the hills & mounds & mountains of sand towards the water / you can hardly contain your excitement to get to the water so you rush ahead, your arms pinning your towel & pail to your sides

as you dance in the sand you hear the white-capped waves gently washing against the shore & suddenly you look down & see the perfect place to sit

over here!” you yell as your family follows behind you, so much slower to get here than you / they smile at you & you grin back, but you’re suddenly distracted by the shape of a purple shell at your feet

I found one!” you shout as they reach you / immediately you sit down in the warm sun & begin / you smell the warm scent of the sunscreen you applied earlier & it smells like coconuts / you begin digging a small hole in the sand with your hands & you plan on making this hole into a pool which you’ll fill with water later / finally your family sits down & you take out your pail & begin piling wet sand from by the ocean’s edge into the pail & then dumping over the bucket & decorating the castle with shells / carving out the doors & windows then pretending your hand is a person & the castle is their home

finally it’s time to go swimming so you take your clothes off revealing your bathing suit beneath & you slather sunscreen on & you rush towards the water, yelling & waving your arms / in pure utter joy / splashing into the cool salty waves that rush & gush rush rush gushing around your toes wiggling in the sand / you see a seashell underwater & you bend down to pick it up / a wave washes over your head soaking your face as you do / sputtering & shaking the salt water from your face / but you continue out a little ways into the water so that it’s touching your chest / you stand here splashing & walking along in the ocean & putting your face in the water looking thru goggles at the sea floor pretending you’re a submarine captain & then a famous diver hunting for pearls on the sea floor / the sun is hot above you but the water is so peaceful & calm & cool, gently carrying you with it & you smile as the sun glints off the water / your arms & legs & fingers & toes enjoying the salty coolness of the water & the sand beneath your feet where you feel broken bits of shells & the ancient sand

finally it’s time for lunch & you emerge from the water, happy & your skin’s all wrinkly from the water but the sun feels so nice as you emerge dripping wet your feet now covered with dry dusty sand / you approach the checkered picnic blanket & plop down, cleaning the sand & salt from your hands before grabbing a cheese sandwich from the woven basket & biting into the soft bread / you eat your sandwich & when you’re done you go over to the sand & build a whole sand castle village / suddenly you remember the pit you were digging earlier & you dig it a little deeper then fill your bucket up with water & make a bunch of trips to the water back to your hole trying to fill it up with water / but the water just soaks in through the sand / how about building it closer to the water someone suggests / so you head near the water & dig another pit, sand getting caught beneath your nails as you dig dig dig / sun warming your back skin glowing in the light / suddenly a bit of water comes thru the bottom of your pit & begins filling it a little / you sit in this miniature pool smiling feeling the warm water collecting around you / just then a huge cool wave washes over the shore, filling your hole & washing the sand from your legs / you laugh & dig your hole a little bigger then sit back & relax in the little pool you’ve made, making a sand castle alongside of it & trying to build a barrier wall to keep the waves from getting in / perfect happiness

eventually it becomes time to go home / everyone reluctantly gathering up their belongings & buckets & towels & baskets & heading towards the car / your tanned skin glows warmly in the sun as you walk across the boardwalk / you reach the parking lot, putting your flip-flops back on / you spread a towel on the back seat of the car & sit down in your seat, feeling the quiet peaceful happiness that only enters one’s soul after a day on the beach

Under the Stars

underneath the stars lying on our backs on a blanket laid out in the

damp grass gazing up at the sky & the moon

& stars twinkling gently in the still beauty

& peace of the night

& everything is absolutely perfect as we make up stories about the stars & what they mean & how they came to take their places in the sky

underneath the stars enjoying the beauty of the moment

as the crickets & frogs chirp & sing in the background

& the warm beautiful humid sacred air around us

& comforting cloak of the darkness

& us sharing our secrets & our hopes & fears & dreams & talking about our lives & moving onwards & what we plan to do tomorrow & the next day & next year

underneath the stars soaking in what it means to be alive

grinning & then sitting in silence & speaking without words

& the stars keep watch over us thru the darkness

& the sun is only waiting a little while away

& looking at all of you who mean so much to me

I know that I could never find a more perfect place to be & I know I could never find nicer friends or a more perfect place than this clearing under the stars

Music in the Air

music is in the air / I can feel it in my heart / my soul sings with joy sings the song of the new day the free day the awesome day & I love every moment of it

music floats from car stereos

from pavilions where musicians play

from jukeboxes in 50’s-style diners

from the boombox on the kid’s shoulder as he walks past

from earbuds music turned up loud

from grocery store speakers

from the the palm trees on the beach

from the waves crashing against the sand

from the singing voices around the campfire

from the crackling warmth of the logs

from the crickets & frogs making the music of the night

from the gentle words of happiness exchanged between lovers

from radios on the beach

from the children’s laughter as they play in the waves

from the sounds of smiles constantly surrounding us

from the quiet solitude of sitting along by the brook

from the cicadas buzzing

from the lawnmower next door

from the bike tires on the pavement & roller skates on cement

from the conversations of friends sitting on the back porch

from the words exchanged in the silence of a glance

from back yard porch dinner picnics in the evening

from the sounds of joy emitted from everything

from everything wonderful & bright & beautiful & happy &

everything in life –

music in is in the air & in our hearts & everywhere we look the music is floating around – waiting waiting just waiting to be found

Kindle Edition