A DAY AT THE BEACH (A story about a soldier in training before a war, the war is not specified unabling the reader to use their imagination) (Writing to Entertain)

Essay by GiddoHigh School, 11th gradeA, April 2004

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The countryside was alive with life and colour. All the jewelled colours of the

rainbow, like butterflies on the tips of beautiful plants and trees lazily shaking in a warm, light Devon breeze; most of the roads had been covered by ancient willows, their branches arching

over like great bridges, grasses rustling against their boughs. On the other side of the

embracing willows was a shelving, inviting, golden sandy bank. The sea a haven for all

wildlife; the glistening fish visible from the beach. The last of the day's warm sunlight was

shining, calmly beautiful, on our backs.

"Fire!" All our guns opened up. The gunnery officer had us charging, full pace, over

the sand-dunes. Those sand-dunes! If I was a blind man I reckon I could still feel my way over them to our exact positions again.

"Fire!" As I shot my rifle my stomach rumbled; it was almost tea time.

Then up and

charging over the sand-dunes again. Sometimes I felt as if I was going to run up and down the

sand-dunes for the rest of my life, only having breaks for tea.

We'd become fit, though. Fit, tough and ready. We'd need to be ready. We knew it was coming, knew that we weren't really all going to grow old running up and down sand-dunes. It was coming and coming soon.

We moved that night. Into trucks, thirty at a time. Full burgeons, rifles, everything

clanking and knocking together. Into the truck, falling over feet, tin cups, rifles. Squashing up

as close as we could. "Move, you lazy slob", "Get off my foot, Lardy", "Stop hogging all the

space in the corner".

Off we went. Bumping through the dark lanes, in the dark night. Good-bye lovely

Devon. Good-bye quiet nights. Good-bye safety.

The mistily fading...