FIRST PRIZE WINNER of 100 EURO:
FIRST PRIZE WINNER
Stairs to the Beach
By Jessica Knauss
Josie had the tunnel-staircase built because the children were fed up with the clifftop ocean view and no easy way to get to the beach below. To the children’s uproarious approval, I proposed a slide, so they could zip down onto the soft shore and get all their energy out swimming, building sandcastles, and trying to run on the tractionless surface of the sand. Then they would have to walk a mile or so around the cliff, back to the house, and I wouldn’t hear a peep out of them the rest of the day, I was sure. I could practice the viola or watch films that weren’t oriented toward children whenever I wanted.
But Josie insisted on the stairs to avoid long stretches of time when she couldn’t see her adopted dependents. In the beginning, it worked fairly well. All ten children loved hiking down the tunnel to be greeted by their own private piece of ocean, and by the time they trudged back up several hundred risers, all the sand had been knocked out of their crevices, so Roxanne didn’t have to do much cleanup in the foyer. But once they’d had time to tone their legs and exercise their lungs, they were shooting up that long staircase so fast, the sand had no time to dry, much less to let go of their sticky skin and sopping hair. (more…)