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Cassandra of the Dunes

Kaitlynn McShea / Theme: Urban Legend Retelling / March 8 2021
An urban legend retelling inspired by “Diana of the Dunes.”

Cassandra at Dawn

Cassandra watched as the white-crested waves crashed onto the shore. She and her family had come to this beach every year since she was two. It was the same every year: lazy days of swimming and ice cream and sunbathing. But this year, whispers of a ghostly apparition haunted their indolent days. They called her Diana of the Dunes. She wasn’t malicious, but haunted these waters nonetheless. Cassandra shivered at the thought of swimming alongside a ghost and turned back to the lake’s siren call. On this part of Lake Michigan, the sand was soft but as brown as dirt. She hated the sand, wishing she could go from grass to water with no in-between. She glanced back at her family, fixing her goggles. Her father was snoozing, her mother was reading a book, and her brother was building a sand castle. She turned her back to them and waded into crashing waves, tip-toeing over rocks as sharp as knives. Diving into the water, she fell into her swimming routine: five laps of freestyle, six laps of breaststroke, and seven laps of butterfly stroke. 

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