Author: Black Sparrow PM
The sound of the waves is what awoke me. I felt the cool water lapping at my body, my back to the sand and the sun beating down on my face... My take on a topic I was given during a writing folio class in English the other week. : Please review.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure - Words: 2,122 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 03-09-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2783851
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So for my English class, we're reading Lord of the Flies and for our writing folio lesson the other week, our teacher wanted us to create a short story each about being stuck on a deserted island and title it 'Lost'. So, here's my take on the matter :) Enjoy!
The sound of the waves is what awoke me. I felt the cool water lapping at my body, my back to the sand and the sun beating down on my face. I could feel the skin on my face burning and I could see the light shining through my eyelids as I tried to open them. They peeled back a little painfully and I was momentarily blinded by the brightness of the sky.
Blinking a few times and hissing in pain, I let my eyes adjust before sitting up slowly, brushing the sand out of my hair in a bit of a daze.
I was looking out to sea. The ocean expanded right to the horizon, where it kissed the sky. I turned around painfully, my muscles moaning in protest as I stretched them out for the first time in God knew how long.
Behind me was an island. A forest full of thick vegetation met the sand of the beach with no paths cutting into it. Looking up and down the beach, it appeared there were no paths leading away from it anywhere. There were no human footprints in the sand, though if I was not mistaken, there were the tracks of some feral animals there. But no humans.
I stood on shaky legs, stumbling from the surf and collapsing again as I tried to scramble up a sand dune. My breath hurt my throat, which was dry and sore from all the salt water. My nose was sore too and my whole body screamed for shade, water and food. As the sun dried the parts of my body which had still been submerged in water, I felt myself burning again. I got to my feet and began making my way towards the tree-line.
I still wore my red blouse, though some of the buttons were gone and there was a rip up the right side which stopped just under my arm. There was a thin black singlet underneath and my jeans were heavy with the water that was still in them. I unbuttoned my blouse and tied it around my waist as I travelled alone the tree-line around the beach, sticking to the shade it provided.
I didn't know where I was going – I just felt the need to walk. I needed to move and I needed to find people. Before I knew it, I was looking at a pair of human footprints embedded in the sand. My heart skipped a beat and I began running. My head was throbbing because of dehydration, but it didn't matter – I just had to find whoever had left these footprints behind.
After a little while longer of walking, a second pair appeared the same size as the first and walking along the same path. It was as if these two people were walking one behind the other. My heart pounding with exciting, I tried to shout out.
"Hello?!" I called as loud as I could. The sound ripped at my throat and the metallic taste of blood flooded my mouth, but it didn't matter to me. "Hello?!" It came out in a painful rasp.
I don't know how long I ran for, but I didn't stop until I tripped. And when I looked up again, the sun was beginning to set and the island I was stranded on was painted in various shades of red and orange light. The eastern skies were already a dark blue and just ahead of where I lay in the sand, I could see that a third set of footprints had joined the pair I had been following.
But the space between where I lay and where the third pair of footprints started only had two sets of footprints. I sat up in the sand, feeling confused. How did the third pair get there? I sat up and looked around. Behind me, there were three pairs of footprints too. That's when my heart dropped to my stomach in bitter disappointment.
I looked over to where the third pair seemed to start ahead of me and then examined them against the other two pairs. They were all the same size and one of them where coming up from the waves, the ones closest to the waterline already starting to wash away.
I felt a tear in my eye as I understood. I'd been following my own footprints the whole time. That sucked.
I curled my legs up to my chest as I sat there in the sand. My head hurt and it was throbbing. I was so parched that it hurt to breathe and all I wanted to do was curl up and fall asleep and hopefully die quick and painlessly while doing so.
But I was tougher than that.
I got to my feet and started to wander the island again. I cut into the trees and tried to make sure I left a path so I'd be able to find my way back to the beach again. I knew that if I didn't hurry up and find fresh water soon, I was going to dehydrate and die.
Twigs and branches caught on my clothes and what was exposed of my skin. I tripped and stumbled on sticks and things that were littering the ground, becoming less and less inclined to get up and keep moving each time I hit the ground.
I found a little stream of water, trickling across some rocks after a few minutes of hard walking. I was overjoyed. Dropping to my knees, I used my hands as a cup and brought the water up to my mouth for me to drink. It felt heavenly on my dry throat and I sighed in relief.
For a few minutes, I stayed right there. I washed my face and the exposed skin on my arms. I used the blouse I still had tied around my waist as a towel. I nearly fell asleep there, but before I could, I managed to pick myself back up onto my feet and carry myself back towards the beach. By the time I stumbled back out of the trees, the sky was black. The air was slightly chilly and I shivered involuntarily. I slipped my blouse back on and stepped back into the trees where it was slightly warmer. I didn't travel too far in – I didn't want to lose sight of the beach. But once I was in a warmer place, I leaned against a stable looking branch and closed my eyes with a sigh. I felt myself slip to the floor and absently hoped there were no horrible little creepy crawlies waiting to nestle anywhere near me.
The canopy of the trees was quite thick and didn't allow for much light to reach the floor. The sunlight did not wake me – it was the call of a bird. The bird was somewhere nearby and making a lot of noise. When I opened my eyes, feeling started coming to the rest of my body. I felt cramped and sore and as I sat up, I heard my joints creaking and aching in protest. I felt my back and neck crack a couple of times and moaned.
Then I felt my skin pulling against me, as if it was too small for me.
Dumb sunburn... I thought bitterly. It stung as if there was no tomorrow and there was nothing I could do about it but live with it.
For a few minutes, I just sat there. My brain was not yet processing anything and I was too sore to move around. When I finally decided I should go and drink some more water, I got to my feet and started picking my way back through the undergrowth. From looking at my surroundings, I was pretty sure I was on the same path I'd taken the night before.
I washed myself off after drinking, just as I had the night before. My blouse became my towel again and I wrapped it around my waist. I found some fruit in a tree which I was pretty sure were mangoes – I was never a fruit person or very observational, so I couldn't tell for sure. But I ripped back the skin with my nails and ate the juicy, messy insides greedily and even went back for seconds before I washed the stickiness away again.
I lingered there all day, as there was nothing else for me to really do.
Just as I was dozing off against a tree, I heard a familiar sounds. It sounded like propellers cutting through the air – like the propellers of a helicopter. I smiled, glad to be able to hear a sound that was familiar like that. Then I nestled back against the tree and drifted off.
A moment later, I sat bolt upright, "HELICOPTER!!!" I shouted, feeling stupid for not having realized that it was my ticket back to humanity sooner. But as I stood up and started heading back towards the beach, I realized that the sound was already long gone. As I stumbled down into the sand, I figured I must have been asleep much longer than I'd thought.
I told myself not to cry, but it didn't work very well. I sobbed where I was sprawled in the sand and glared at the three sets of footprints I'd made in the sand the day before which were mostly faded away from either the water or the wind.
I pulled myself into the shade of the trees once more, fearing sunburn more severe than I already had received.
I spent the next twenty four hours moving between that place just within the tree line and the little stream of water I'd found. I attempted to start a signal fire a few times, but each time I failed miserably. I became very frustrated and would kick and scream at the tipi I had made, scattering the sticks across the beach. In the end, I'd always end up snoozing under a tree.
When I heard the sound of a helicopter again, I was half asleep. But I remembered what that sound meant as soon as it reached my ears and was a lot quicker to react to it than I had been the last time.
I sat up and jumped to my feet, nearly smacking my head against a low-hanging tree branch. I dashed out on to the beach and looked to the skies, stumbling and slipping over in the sand as my eyes frantically searched the blue plains above for the source of the noise.
I spotted it hovering over the water a little way to the east. It seemed to be slowly getting further and further away and I felt my heart start pounding in my chest.
"OVER HERE!!!" I screamed at the top of my lungs, waving my arms about frantically. "I'M DOWN HERE!!!"
They continued to seem to get further and further away and I felt myself falling to my knees in desperation. "No... come back... please... please!" I cried.
I balled my hands into fists and grasped at the material of my jeans on my knees. But I also grasped my blouse, still tied around my waist.
For a moment, I stopped crying and took note of my blouse – bright red. If that wasn't a noticeable colour when put up against green and brown, I don't know what was.
I stood up again quickly and untied my blouse from around my waist. Then I started waving it about in the air and screaming out to the helicopter again.
"COME BACK! COME BACK!" I called desperately. "I'M OVER HERE!!! COME HERE!!!"
I stood there calling out to them for a few minutes, but I didn't seem to be succeeding in grabbing their attention. Hope was quickly fading away and I was nearly ready to fall to my knees and cry again. Then they turned around.
My eyes were alight again and I jumped back to my feet and started waving the blouse and calling out to them. In a couple of minutes, they were landing on the beach and I was bursting with relief. They had seen me. I was safe.