The Sand and the Void (Short Story)

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An old man lived in a house by the sea. In his yard he discovered a small hole. Each day on his walk on the beach he would pick up a handful of sand and drop it in the hole on his way through his yard back to his house.

One day a child on summer vacation at the neighboring beach house saw the old man doing this and exclaimed, “why are you doing that? Why not use a bucket and a shovel to fill the hole, or better yet hire someone to fill it for you?”

The old man warmly replied, “this hole is not an urgent matter. With a little effort each day I’ll have this hole filled before your summer break ends, all without hurting my back or having to pay someone to do it.”

The little boy was intrigued yet skeptical. He watched the hole closely and though nothing seemed to change at first, he noticed the hole was in fact getting smaller as if the universe had willed it to be so.

No longer skeptical, the little boy began to place his own fistfuls of sand in the hole.

Sure enough, weeks before summer ended the hole had vanished, blending into the old man’s yard, as if it was never there.

The old man crossed paths with the little boy one last time that summer, knelt down and said something to the boy, “I saw you putting sand in that hole. You’ve helped me hide a body, and now your DNA evidence is all over that sand. If the police ever come after me, I’ll tell them you helped me hide that body.”

Mortified the boy stuttered, “w w who were they?”

“A wealthy tramp and that’s all you need to know,”

The boy sprinted away, and the old man went on about his walk glad to have imparted his wisdom on the boy.

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