As a kid, like most others, I loved building sandcastles. With my bucket, on the rare occasions that I was taken to the beach, I made lots of seemingly impregnable fortresses with dungeons, high towers, drawbridges, moats, the lot.
In my mind I was the King, the Baron, the Earl, the master of my kingdom, unassailable, safe, immortal. Outside my castle roamed rogues, dragons, evil wizards, robbers, black knights, dastards and bastards while fair damsels with impossibly long blonde hair, imprisoned in vaults or impossible to scale towers, wept silently and prayed for my deliverance.
Little did I realize that the tide of life, the erosion of time, and the flaws within myself and others were the real monsters that slowly but relentlessly would tear my boyish dreams into pieces and sweep away all my grandiose sandcastles so that, eventually, absolutely nothing remained.