By Olivia Laithwaite. Olivia is a student at St Francis College. She lives in Hitchin, England. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

I caught a glimpse of them from my bedroom window. Two lonely boats, shipwrecked on the beach of my town. It was a shock. No one had ever been seen on that beach since that horrifying day two years ago. I still struggle to talk about it. I lost my brother that day. He had ambled down to the beach, not knowing about the quicksand that lay dormant on the south side of the beach. It shocks me that everyone neglected to tell us about it, and that my brother was the one to stroll down and be consumed by the void that lay beneath. So you can see why I was surprised that anyone – or anything – dared to go there.

They just sat there, two rotten timber boats lying peacefully side by side. It was eight thirty in the evening, on a warm Sunday, and the whole town was quiet. I happened to look out over the harbour, my eyes automatically scanning over to the south side, and there they were. I had no idea what had happened to them or the people that were on them, all I knew was that they weren’t there that morning.

Some unknown force was drawing me to them, my brain screaming at me not to go, but I left anyway. I remember lying to my parents about some story to get myself out of the house and, as soon as I was out of sight of my house, I spun on my heels and strode down to the beach.

Walking down towards the reclusive beach, my brain took me back to the day when the police found him, lying limp on the cobblestones. My mum just screamed and I remember standing there, muted tears running down my face.

I knew this wasn’t a good idea but I did it anyway. I came to the edge of the fenced area and I prepared myself for the worst. I gently placed my foot on the sand and gradually transferred my weight onto that foot. The sand seemed to hold up. I took another calm step

out and a few steps later, I found myself next to the larger of the boats. I heard a shout from the other side of the beach and saw a small figure waving their arms at me; I took a few more slightly hurried steps towards them, when I felt myself slowly start to sink. Terrified, I tried to move my legs but all of a sudden, they were stuck as though the sand was concrete. ‘What are you doing?’ I heard the person shout. ‘Looking at the boats,’ I responded. ‘What boats?’ they asked. ‘Those ones…’ I turned to point at them but they were gone. They were never there at all, it wasn’t the boats drawing me out, but I was still slowly sinking. I was stuck.

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