A Day at the Beach (Part 1)

By Jimmy Lim Yimin. Jimmy, 14, lives in Singapore. This is the first part of his article. You can read the second half by clicking at the link at the end of the text below. You can leave your thoughts and comments below and/or at the end of the other part of his story.

I have always wondered what lies beyond the horizon. What could be there? A monster? A fairy? A treasure? It never ceases to amuse me imagining what could be there. It served as a little fantastical adventure for me, where I could pretend to be the protagonist of my own story for a teeny-weeny little moment, at least until Mum calls me back for dinner and I return, sullen and dejected, reminded of who I am. Imagine my surprise then, at a regular visit to a beach, I found two abandoned rafts a little further from where I usually venture.

It was a little game I played with myself, to venture out a little bit further, a little bit bolder, every time I came to the beach. From the palm tree, I ventured into the beach, into the rocky coastline, and finally beyond the coastline into another beach. I always did it secretly, of course, making sure both my Pappy and Mum didn’t notice me. Today, I, upon seeing them turn their backs to lay down the picnic basket, made a silent sprint away to the checkmark I made the previous week I came here. I am finally able to explore the new beach I discovered. A new beach! I never knew another beach could exist next to the one we visited. I was amazed by that for the entire week. It was so hard having to bottle up my excitement. Scrambling over the rocky coastline, I, like a nimble little monkey, hopped and jumped over the rocks that lay in my way, only to find that a brand new discovery appeared at the new beach I discovered.

Two rafts!

Whose could they be?

My mind went wild. Was it pirates? Wait, no, the rafts are too small. Pirates of the old rode on massive, big, imposing ships. Captain Jack Sparrow even rode on one that could fly! Mum said those aren’t real though. Hmm…could it be Somali pirates then? Pappy was talking about them. He said they rode on rafts like these to rob other ships. It could be them. He said they are scary and carry big guns. Like, boom, boom, they use them to rob ships like the ones he sailed on. No, they are not them. We are too far from where “Somali” is. Pappy said it is far away in the north, beyond where we live. Was it refugees then? It was on the news, like the ones Pappy watch all the time, and the rafts look pretty similar. Apparently, some of them are as old as me, but they are already sailing on the sea and undergoing all these adventures! I told Pappy about it, but he scolded me. Said that those people did not choose to be sailing on the sea for fun. Wait, if they are refugees I should go up and meet them! I want to ask them all about their adventures.

Climbing down the rocks, I took a tiny hop to the dry sand that laid below. The rafts lay just before my eyes. I approached cautiously, like how my cat Sandy approaches strangers, and slowly scouted around it. Anyone here? No, anyone here? Perhaps here? Aha…here you are? The more I peered around, the more confused I got. There was no one. Hmm…where are all the refugees? They are hiding! I get it. I would hide too. Is it hide and seek now?

“Don’t worry, I would not hurt you!” I shouted. No one responded.

No! There is a movement there! It is a…old man? What? He looks angry, like how Grandpa gets angry when I disturbed his sleep. He has been hiding behind a nearby palm tree all along? Oh no, he is coming over.

“Little brat! What are you doing snooping around my boats?” He looked at me. I moved back a little. He is scary!

“I was looking for refugees.” I whimpered. No, I must be brave. I am an adventurer!

A brief moment of confusion flashed across his face. He looked back at the palm tree. Someone else is there too. Continue to Part 2, here.

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