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It’s Time to Save Yourself

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing exercises, creative writing prompts, writing prompt.

You and two other people are stranded on an island. Both are people who have played an important role in your life, but both are furious with you for different reasons. You become concerned that one (if not both of them) is plotting to kill you. You decide it’s time to save yourself.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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166 Responses to It’s Time to Save Yourself

  1. BingoBill says:

    We three stood apart.

    The small webbing between the fourth and fifth toes stung as grit tunneled deeper;
    Go to the water, wash it off; sit back and wait for the next exhausted moment of weakness and then you put your foot down again. Raw flesh was beginning to leak a pale rose fluid. The lone branch I used as a seat was digging in my ass.

    Janet was shivering, “Fuck, fuck fuck, “as she hugged herself in a bikini top and stole glances at Tom’s flannel shirt. Her perfect makeup long since streaked into raccoon eyes. She shivered uncontrollably.

    Tom managed a stoic turn as he rewrapped the improvised kilt and then retied it with the knot on the left this time. He looked ridiculous wearing All-weather Swiss boots and checkered shirt. The north wind tugged at his sole clothing giving a glimpse of his junk every now and then.

    “Should have saved the luggage,” Tom mumbled again.

    “‘You should have saved the luggage Janet’ “Janet mocked in a high nasal. “ ‘You should have saved the luggage.’ We might have saved the mother-fuckin boat if you two weren’t fucking instead of driving.” She accused for the tenth time.

    “We were not… they got caught on the side of the boat…” Tom stammered about his missing pants.

    Tom and Janet fought and broke up once a week, usually on Monday once the weekend drinking/fucking had subsided and Janet awoke to find once again she was involved with a douche. Janet and I had been roommates freshman year and remained friends through failing grades (hers) lost virginity (mine) and several ill-fated romantic entanglements in which she somehow managed to stay sane and I learned from her horrible choices.
    The boat trip was supposed to be a saner version of Spring Break minus the endless drinking. We were seniors and about to graduate from State and begin real careers. I had landed a job with the Public School system and Tom, surprisingly, had a very lucrative job with a minor Wall Street connected firm.
    “I thought the auto-pilot had GPS…” said Tom.
    “Is that what you call this, a GPS malfunction? Recalculating!” Janet waved her arms over her head ignoring her own freezing nakedness. “Re-cal-cu-lat-ING!” she screamed at the wind.

    Tom stood to confront her so I limped back to my branch and managed to shove one ass cheek on its meager shelf.
    Looking around I saw the highest point was maybe three feet above the water. Some of the waves which crashed on the side with the setting sun seemed to crest at a height almost even with the high point of the island.
    It was getting dark and the wind was increasing. I patted the branch and wondered what I might do with it.

  2. Kerry Charlton says:

    “By A Thread”
    Bob Johnson stared across the sand, listening to his brother, Patrick scream at his wife, Beverly.
    “You bitch, you slept with my own brother?”
    “He’s a better lay then you ever were.”
    Beverly fell to her knees from a sucker punch to the jaw from Patrick. Bob rushed his brother , chopped him in the throat, leaving him gasping for breath, sprawled across the sand.
    Bob asked Beverly, “Why in hell did you tell him?”
    “Because you, dumb ass, just saved him from drowning. We could have had the insurance.”
    “I saved you also. What did you expect of me?”
    “You scuttled his boat,” Beverly said. “I expected to see him drown, but you chichen-livered out and now he knows it all. I hope he kills your butt.”
    “We’ll see about that. Give me the flare gun you saved from the boat.”
    “One step closer,” Beverly said, “and you’ll have this flare in your gut. Now stand back or I’ll finish you right now.”
    The scrawny island the three sat on, sprawled across the Atlantic between Miami and Bimini. Four hindred feet long, thirty yards wide, scattered with twisted palms from past hurricanes. The hidden reef, Bob led Patrick’s sixty five foot cruiser across, lingered two hundred yards from the island. Patrick struggled to his knees, spitting words at Bob.
    “You’re dead meat brother. When you fall asleep, I’ll be waiting for you.”
    “Get over it Patrick, she’s just a cheap broad. I wasn’t going through with it from the get go. I strung her along because she threatened to call Elizabeth about our affair.”
    Elizabeth, Bob’s holy terror, conniving wife went along on the boat, thinking she was going on a fishing trip. Bob chose to let her drown, for her law firm carried a two million dollar life policy on her with Bob as the beneficiary.
    The sun settled over the western edge of the island. By this time, Bob had taken the flare gun away from Beverly. Patrick and Beverly sat twenty feet away. snarling at each other.
    “Look guys,” Bob said. “I’ll split the two million with each of you. None of us, deserve each other. Let’s leave it at that.”
    Bob raised the flare pistol, squeezing the trigger.
    “Let’s get the hell out of here,” he said.

  3. Kerry Charlton says:

    “By A Thread”

  4. phfed says:

    ” Come out and show yourself, coward, ” Commander Grandy yelled as he passed below. I receded deeper into the shadows. Above, the ping of metal grating gave Jimbo away as he crept along the catwalk. Only a matter of time until they got to this level.
    Grandy tried a different tack,
    ” Lewis, I don’t blame you for what happened. Let’s talk about this face to face. ” We tried the face to face thing back on the ship. Ended up with Grandy’s hands around my neck and my foot in his groin. I just made it through the airlock before Jimbo fired off a few rounds. I’m glad we docked with the habitat before they started acting weird, otherwise there’d be nowhere to run.
    I groped my way along in the dark and came upon a hatchway, I hoped it would lead me away from those two psychos. I heard a noise behind me as Jimbo jumped down. I turned just as the butt of his blast rifle stabbed the air where my head would have been. I dropped low and swung my leg around, catching Jimbo across the ankles. He went down hard on his backside, blaster clattering onto the deck. I lunged, he grabbed my foot and spun me. I was able to scoop the rifle up and Jimbo’s face melted as I sprayed two shots into it.
    ” Sorry Jimbo, but thanks for the blaster. ” I ducked through the hatch and further into the central hub. I could hear Grandy coming and I needed to leave.
    The hub held the docking bays and I circled around, trying to get back to the ship. If I could shake Grandy, I’d be able to detach from the habitat. The scow was running on fumes, hopefully enough to get to the Lanes and the chance of getting picked up.
    ” I’m comin’ for you, Lewis, ” Grandy taunted. Christ, he was right behind me. I pivoted the big gun around, squeezed off a couple random shots and ran down the passageway. I reached the outer rim, needing to find docking bay seven. I raced past number thirteen. My stomach fell as I came up to fourteen and the end of the corridor. Wrong way.
    ” Looks like you’re screwed pal, ” Grandy’s bulk blocked any chance of escape.
    ” Now, take it easy commander, I didn’t think that failing to report fuel levels was punishable by death, ” I said.
    ” You know Lewis, I am so sick of your screw ups. I can’t take it any more. ”
    ” Yeah? Well take this, ” I pulled the trigger on my blaster but all I got was a hollow click. Dammit, no charge. Grandy smiled and tossed his blast rifle behind him.
    ” I’m gonna enjoy ripping you apart with my bare hands, ” he said and came at me. I eased back against number fourteen airlock and hit the button. The hatch went green and opened. I took a swing at Grandy with the blaster. He grabbed hold of it and threw it down, made for my neck again so I drove my knee into his bits. Guess he forgot about the last time. Grandy staggered forward, I grabbed his collar and pulled him past me, into the airlock. I mashed the button, the hatch slid closed and turned yellow. Once more on the button, the hatch went red and Grandy was reduced to a pink mist that floated out into space.

  5. aldousFanshawe says:

    “Ten Minutes with the Hammer”

    Lying on my back I contemplate a crack in the ceiling. I hear voices nearby but without clarity or understanding. There lingers on my palate the alkaline taste of the afflicted chocolate. I slowly run my tongue along my bottom lip.

    My head is heavy; my body, weightless. Through the window above me late afternoon sunlight shines with excruciating accuracy into my eyes, breaking for a moment my concentration on the crack. I shift closer to the cushions on my left, welcoming their cover from the glare.

    Forgetting the crack, I gaze across the room toward the voices. Lauren is marching in determined circles around the dining room table wielding a hammer, silent. I raise a lazy hand, as if to reach out to her but only succeed in again redirecting my focus, this time on my phalanges. I marvel for a moment at the strangeness of the thumb.

    The entire room is basked in warmth, hazy and full of brightly colored objects acquired on various journeys to distant places. The hardwood floor radiates a soft glow, comforting and familiar. I roll over, losing myself in avenues of wood grain while memories dance vividly behind a half-lucid leer. My breathing slows down, in and out; a life-long cycle.

    Someone inquires after the time. I glance up, conscious with recognition of the word. However, after a brief instant of clarity, the concept is again foreign. I repeat the word to myself until it’s no more than a sound.

    “Time…”

    I whisper it, over and over without objective.

    After an eternity I again glance around the room from my island of couch. Lauren is still marching. Hammer is still swinging. I vaguely notice my hand stroking the hardwood as I lower my lids, suspending my senses in an intricate field of geometric manifestations.

    I am torn from my reverie by the unannounced arrival of someone else. Far-away eyes recognize a familiar face; congealed cognizance fails to draw connections. She locks her eyes on mine for a fleeting breath, floats across the room and disappears through a doorway leading elsewhere.

    Without a word, I feel the weight come down. Fire is in my veins as my reawakened vessel reacts. I sit up with tremendous force, a felled mug left leaking the last of the morning’s brew in my wake.

    The room has darkened; the last resilient rays of light twinkle between the blinds. The whole scene reeks of outlandish effervescence, of being stranded. My breathing grows shallow and desperate. I flash my eyes at Lauren holding hammer. Her parade has ceased. We lock eyes and here too I see it. Paranoia and uncertainty course through my being. I draw knees to chest, seeking refuge on my couchy cay.

    Lauren stands, silent and unflinching. Fear closes in with helplessness on its heels. Through toadstool eyes, one set blue, one chocolate, I read my fate. I know with conviction that they seek my death; I must escape. Barely aware and with electric limbs, I run.

    From the mind of Aldous Fanshawe, 3-13-13

    • smallster21 says:

      Is the guy on the couch a writer who killed off one of Lauren’s favorite character in his book? Lol, while I was reading this I at one point saw Annie Wilkes wielding a sledge hammer breaking Sheldon’s legs! Eeeeeek!

      Is the alkaline taste in the mouth suggesting this person has ingested some substance with a very high ph level? Like ammonia or something? You used it to describe the chocolate, so is this simply suggesting unsweetened chocolate which has the bitter alkali taste? I wondered if there was a clue there that this description was trying to point out something significant. Or, it could be suggesting this person is afflicted with cancer. Which ties in with why the main character points out someone inquiring about the time, how much time this person has to live? And the ‘familiar face’ is a dead relative? There’s a good chance I’m thinking about this too much! Lol!

      Anyways, very nice descriptions. I enjoyed it.

  6. Ross says:

    Terror and fatigue sliced at my muscles as I ran, the demon sun continued on as if stalking me, not wishing me to see. The moon offered light from the burden of darkness, but with it, a cold emptiness; the unbearable knowing that we were, and always would be, alone.
    Was it just an illusion that the moment the moon rose the sun was awake again? Always, it seemed, to be nighttime. Cold, evil, barren night. Always, though, it was day too. A sweating, blinding uncomfortable fever we could not escape. There was no swimming, walking, flying to safety. We knew this, though we had never tried. He wouldn’t allow it.
    We are not deserving of this punishment. We never thought this would be our rolling the boulder, our liver eating eagle, our burning wheel, our box of famine and plague. His word is god and we will never escape it.
    Ripped, taken, snatched. Torn asunder from humanity for a silly mistake, to this; our punishment for eternity. No shelter provided relief from the heat of the day, and at night no blanket could warm our chilled bones enough. We would wake, stiff and sour, from sleepless nights and we would wander without volition, without aim during the day. Forever hunting each other while our own shadows haunt us.
    I lay away from the trees that sheltered the beach and were always there when you wanted warmth, never when you needed shade. Thunder sounded and shocked me to standing. It happens often. Bizarre, unparalleled storms sometimes of snow, sometimes rain, sometimes just noise and the feeling of wetness yet no water. They follow you; the storms. You run from them and only when you cannot run a single step more, do they stop. If you sat, waiting for them to end, they never would. For days, once, I waited and for days the storm lasted. Until I ran from it.
    So, now, again, I run and the storm follows.
    Exhausted, I lay on a harsh bed of sand and twigs. I want nothing in this moment but a modicum of rest. In the rhythmic, uneasy way it has the wind moaned and returned sleep to me. Let this be it. And in the burning moon, beneath the empty glow of the sun I felt its shadow.

    • aldousFanshawe says:

      I thoroughly enjoy the descriptive qualities and the underlying implications.

    • smallster21 says:

      Hell? The trees being there when you didn’t need them, and disappearing when you did, kind of like the river that doesn’t quench thirst and the fruit tree that doesn’t satiate hunger.

      Good descriptions and metaphors.

  7. nelleg says:

    Happy Easter

    “I blame you fat boy! Now there won’t be any Easter baskets for kids to enjoy on Sunday morning!” Screamed the enormous fuzzball.

    “You’re going to blame ME! If it wasn’t for you over loading the sleigh with chocolate bunnies we wouldn’t be in this mess!” Battled back the large bearded man. His red velvet suit was turning darker as it began to be saturated from his sweat. “Instead of giving out baskets full of chocolate maybe you can leave a note on how Christmas will be cancelled. All my reindeer are gone. Not only do I have to retrain eight more but do you know the likelihood of finding a reindeer with red lightbulb instead of nose? ”

    “It’s probably as likely of you passing up a cookie for a salad. You have the audacity to blame the weight of the chocolate bunnies. I’m surprised that many survived this long, while under your spying eyes. Besides it was your precious red beacon called Rudolph that got us off course.” The white bunnies pink eyes were beginning to turn red with anger as he confronted the rounded fellow.

    Josh just sat there in amazement as he witnessed his fictional idols battle it out. He looked down at his feet and began thinking about yesterday when he and his friends Luke and Jon found an old gold lamp. They rubbed it as a joke, laughing about how a genie would pop out. But when one actually did they were in utter shock. They each got one wish but they all had to be different. Luke asked for a million dollars so he could buy as many toys as he wanted. Jon wished for a never ending supply of candy. Josh thought he would top them both. Josh wished to help Santa and the Easter Bunny deliver this years Easter baskets. That way he could get all the candy he wanted and earn as many toys he wanted from Santa. But now the wish just seemed foolish. All of a sudden Josh realized that the two legendary figures had stopped their bickering. When Josh looked up from his feet he saw the look in both their eyes as they stared at him.

    “Oh Crap!” Josh jumped up and ran; they were no match for him. He was the fastest kid in his fifth grade class. The old man would likely pass out if he tried to run and the bunny was panting under the heat of the sun. Josh ran deep into the woods when he stopped to catch his breathe an idea stuck him. He knew how to get out of this situation he just had to hold out for awhile. Until then, he could get a little luck from a giant rabbit’s foot.

  8. margi33 says:

    I lodged myself in a thorny bush while I squatted, quivered, and waited for the conversation to be over.
    “I just think it’s time to get rid of her,” said Phil, busy whittling a stick down to a nub with his coveted pocket knife.

    Lloyd, looking everywhere but at Phil’s face, took a deep breath and answered. “Well, I just don’t know. I don’t feel comfortable with it.”

    “You always were a pansy,” said Phil, anger building in his voice. He began hacking at a tree branch with his knife.

    Lloyd looked around nervously, and finally said, “Well, maybe you are right. We are starving to death – I mean, my pants have been tied on my waist with this island weed for two weeks now, and I can feel the individual bones in my face, MY FACE,” Lloyd laughed.

    “Yeah, you always were a fat ass,” Phil joined in. “So what do you say, should we skewer ourselves a tender little morsel or what?”

    Lloyd wore an expression of shock and barked out, “Phil, don’t EVER talk about her like that. If we have to do this thing, we have to do it, but don’t ever…”

    “Yeah, yeah,” said Phil picking his teeth with the point of his blade. “I hear what you’re saying fatty. I guess we all used to be friends, huh. Desperate times bring desperate measures though.” Phil and Lloyd walked off slowly into the wood, continuing to speak in whispered voices.

    I picked up my body and gingerly tiptoed from my hiding place, visibly trembling. I couldn’t believe what a little more than a month stranded on an island would do to normally decent human beings.

    Over the past week, tensions between us had escalated. Phil paced around endlessly, muttering to himself and acting like a demented psych ward patient. Lloyd, in his typical Lloyd way, was lost in space, no backbone in sight. My patience for them both was wearing thin. My belly screamed for a meal bigger than the size of my finger.

    Several days later, the time was right for my plan.

    In the afternoon, as the island sun began its daily melt into the water, we were all gathering berries and insects on the bluff. Phil moved with an athletic grace, hopping from rock to rock, flipping them over at random looking for creepy crawlies. Just as he reached the peak of the bluff, I rushed, shoulder down, head partially tucked, eyes active and dialed.

    Time took on a surreal quality. Small butterflies flapped wings rhythmically and a few fallen leaves skipped from rock to rock, blown by the gentle glass off. As my shoulder crunched into Phil’s back, I forced my momentum to cease and skidded to an abrupt stop, falling painfully on my hands and knees. I lifted my head slowly, just in time to see the top of Phil’s head dipping below the cliff edge.

    His scream reverberated in my ears as I exhaled.

    One down.

  9. liafiorano says:

    Where was I? Turning my head from side to side, I saw two men standing together and talking. One was a grey haired, gently wrinkled man of fifty. The other was a dark haired forty-something suit – in all black. While watching at them in this warm, beautiful tropical climate, they seemed concerned. Suddenly, the dark haired man pointed at me.

    Shit. They saw me staring at them.

    I got up to run away, but when I turned around to go – the two men were suddenly in front of me.

    “Where are you going?” said the dark haired man. Such a smooth, velvety British voice. Wait, British? But why?

    The grey haired man placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “You might not want to run. You’re not in any shape to do so.” An Australian accent? Really?

    “What do you mean?” I said unexpectedly hoarse. I panicked. Placed my hand on my throat and then noticed – I didn’t feel a pulse. My hand went down to my chest. There was nothing. I wanted to shiver but I couldn’t. I wanted to run, but felt cemented into the sand. I wanted to scream, but couldn’t feel my breath anymore.

    “You see,” said the dark haired man as I realized how light headed I was, “Theo and I were just discussing your death. He said that you should come with me. I said that you would just mess up my nicely remodeled villa. You’re just a good spirit who did some messed up things in life. I’m thinking we need your input. So, what do you think?”

    “What?” I mouthed. I stared at the grey haired man.

    “Stan, you’re overwhelming the poor girl.” He placed his shoulders. Suddenly, I could hear the calming ocean, the leaves of the palm tree blowing gently in the wind… “Look, I know you have had a hard life. Your spirit has come here because you’re not completely done living. You’re in limbo between death and a miracle. You can save yourself, though. But you don’t have much time to decide….”

    Zap. I felt an electric shock from my heart and into my limbs. I fell to the ground. I tried to take a breath, but couldn’t. Tears came out of my eyes.

    Stan knelt down and looked at me at the ground level, “They are trying to shock you into life. But, wouldn’t you like an eternity of paradise with me? Do you really want to continue to feel pain?

    I closed my eyes and started to feel myself go. Felt a warm hand on my right, a cold hand on my left, and an electric shock in my heart.

    Patting my lips together as I thirsted for the answer. I pushed with all my effort from my lungs to my voice box, “I…. want…. ::gasp:: love.”

    It was cold again. Black again. But… There was a thump in my chest.

    • smallster21 says:

      So is Stan God and the suave British man the Devil? Interesting. So she wants love and she is brought back to life…what does this mean? I’ve thought about it and I have not come up with a definite conclusion.

      I knew right away the electric shock that took her to the ground was the defibrillator, so not necessary to have Stan say that. Your description shows this, which is good. Unless your character didn’t realize this.

      If the Devil has a British accent and lives in a villa and is dark haired and good looking, whew, sexy, eep! How blasphemous of me!

  10. Jeanie Y says:

    The first time I saw her, she shone brighter than our Sol. Her wicked green eyes danced in my direction, and we connected like a railcar to the magnatrac. We rode the SkyTrain all that night, right into the gray zone, where she disrobed, only for me.

    Nothing could touch us, and I thought nothing ever would.

    Six lunacycles later, we traded bands and joined the Terraformers. Assignments over the years took us out to the edge of the galaxy, but never past. Our son always in our thoughts, and always in our hearts, invariably brought us back to base.

    There were many floating bases, we called them islands, and we ended up on L2. It was the furthest island out from planet Earth, which was what had saved us. The mushroom clouds lit the sky crimson and our planet glowed a terribly beautiful shade of magenta for fourteen days. We knew then that Earth was beyond our healing.

    We wore our rad-burqs at all times. Without them meant certain death. The radiation levels were continuing to climb and the Admiral decided it was time to abandon base. It was a relief to finally have a plan, to gain some control over our lives. We prepared our small vessel for the adventure ahead, making sure to pack Danny’s favorite toys.

    The alarm went off the night before we had planned to leave, radiation levels at critical. I ran to ready the ship and Liza went to fetch Danny from the nursery. The ships were propelling off the launch pad like blood from an artery.

    Liza came tearing around the corner, empty handed. “Where is he?” I asked. Her tear-stained face told a story I didn’t want to read.

    “I don’t know,” she blurted out. “He’s not there!”

    “What do you mean he’s not there?”

    “He’s not there! Nobody’s there!”

    Panicked, I ran to the nursery. “Danny! Daniel! Danny!” I screamed, my voice echoing off the sterile walls. “DANNY!” Liza, right behind me, suddenly stopped, her expression unreadable. “Come on Liza, we have to find him!”

    I turned to follow her as she dashed to the exit door. “Stop Liza! You can’t go out there!” I screamed, grabbing her around the waist and putting myself in front of the door. She clawed, shrieked and shoved at me, but I held her back. Going out there was certain death. “What the hell are you doing Liza?”

    I followed the palpable grief in her beautiful green eyes as she turned and looked out the porthole to the path where we used to walk with Danny. Alongside it lay a lone teddy bear.

    Liza wouldn’t let us leave the base, even with the danger to ourselves, and our grief became a wedge between us, turning into hate at the end. She hated me for wanting to leave and I hated myself for wanting to live.

    At the end, we walked out hand in hand, down the path. We picked up the teddy bear on our way and met Danny in the mist.

    • Amy says:

      I love the originality but I’m not sure I fully grasp what happened- the cons of the word limit. Also not sure who was the one (or two) that wanted to kill the MC? Excellent imagination!

      • Jeanie Y says:

        Well, if the reader is confused, it wasn’t written well…argh. I was pretty loose with the prompt. Liza hated him and he hated himself…they couldn’t deal with their grief and ended it together. (They were going to die anyhow due to all the radiation) Thanks for the imagination comment!

    • smallster21 says:

      Liked the descriptions of the nuclear bomb destroying Earth and the post-apocalyptic scenario. So are these radiation levels on L2 a cause of the radiation from the nuclear bomb from Earth? Liked the idea of turning the deserted island prompt into a deserted planet! Neat. There was another sci-fi story posted as well by nelleg. I like sci-fi/fantasy so enjoy reading these.

      I see Liza being the cause of Danny’s death. She killed him via psychological/emotional means and not necessarily physically killed him. Lone teddy bear :( I saw his death without you explaining it, so well written implication descriptions, but why did the little boy die? Was it just an accident?

      • Jeanie Y says:

        Yes, radiation from Earth affecting their island base. Danny was little and didn’t know any better. When the alarms went off, everyone left and he, as small kids sometimes do, went out the door and down the path. Yikes, I need to do something funny next week…this is depressing! Thanks for the good words. :)

        • swatchcat says:

          I followed the whole story and no you didn’t follow the prompt verbatim but that isn’t required, it is a jumping off point to whatever your mind comes up with. The description of the couples first moments in the beginning were great. I enjoyed the whole thing, nice job.

        • JojoS says:

          Scary scary scary sad!!! Out of all stories, this was the one I understood and liked the most! I’m not experienced, but I like to be on my toes. I want a try to this prompt but mine will not be very good.
          It will pale in comparison to this! (so pale, it will be nearly white!) Do you have any tips? I’m more of a rediculous story/creative remix writer. Haven’t finished school yet either.

          • Jeanie Y says:

            Hey JojoS, thanks for the compliment! That was very nice of you. :)

            Everyone has a different style, and not everyone will like what you come up with, but the important thing (IMHO) is that you get your stories posted. If you never try, you will never know what you can do and you won’t grow. Be brave, and post!

            Looking forward to reading your stories Jojo!

  11. Amy says:

    Even though she tried to stay atop the hard crust of snow, Casey’s feet sank to the soft layer below that pulled her deeper with each step. She was exhausted, expending precious energy trying to cross the vast expanse of virgin snow to where the plane lay in pieces. If she could just get to the fuselage, she might find some supplies or a working radio. She looked behind her to where they had all been tossed out of the plane on its way down. Micah was still lying in the snow, motionless but alive. She was fairly certain he would survive. There was still no sign of the other. Had he jumped out into the Bering Sea, before they hit the ground? She couldn’t be sure. The bleeding wound on her head was slicing her memory into cluttered fragments. Micah was flying; she and the man had been passengers. Were they together? The purpose of the flight was still a clouded mystery. There had been some kind of struggle; was it she who had the gun, or the man? She had the distinct impression this man had been after her, was after her still. Something went wrong and Micah slumped to the floor. A glimpse of a rocky cliffside, then nothing but endless, pristine white.

    She willed her breath to slow down and fought through the last few draining steps to the outskirts of the wreck. Sifting through bits of twisted metal, she did not notice the tingling numbness creeping through her fingers until both hands had lost feeling. The cold was a definite problem. She had a coat, but she was going to need more than that to survive the night. A small fire had started on one end of the wreckage. She cautiously approached, hoping it was contained enough for her to warm her hands by it. It didn’t appear to be connected to the main part of the plane so she didn’t think there was any risk of explosion. The heat of it beckoned to her and she willingly submitted to it.

    “The beacon is activated. They should be here by nightfall,” came an unexpected voice.

    She whirled around to face the man standing just behind her. He must have been hiding somewhere in the wreck, waiting for her. She cursed her own stupidity of lingering by the fire and searched wildly for something to defend herself with. All the pieces of metal were much too big for her to wield. She was stuck between him and the fire, sure that she was about to meet her own chilly end. As he took a step toward her and reached out his hands, she braced herself for the blow. But instead of attacking her, he removed his gloves and stood next to her, warming himself by the fire.

    His words, which escaped her attention before, now appeared at the forefront of her mind.

    “What beacon?” she asked. “Someone’s coming to rescue us?”

    “You really did hit your head,” he replied, reaching out to wipe the blood from her temple. “The job is done, partner. Micah’s dead, or at least he will be by morning. We get to go home now.”

  12. margi33 says:

    I lodged myself in a thorny bush while I squatted, quivered, and waited for the conversation to be over.
    “I just think it’s time to get rid of her,” said Phil, busy whittling a stick down to a nub with his coveted pocket knife.

    Lloyd, looking everywhere but at Phil’s face, took a deep breath and answered. “Well, I just don’t know. I don’t feel comfortable with it.”

    “You always were a pansy,” said Phil, anger building in his voice. He began hacking at a tree branch with his knife.

    Lloyd looked around nervously, and finally said, “Well, maybe you are right. We are starving to death – I mean, my pants have been tied on my waist with this island weed for two weeks now, and I can feel the individual bones in my face, MY FACE,” Lloyd laughed.

    “Yeah, you always were a fat ass,” Phil joined in. “So what do you say, should we skewer ourselves a tender little morsel or what?”

    Lloyd wore an expression of shock and barked out, “Phil, don’t EVER talk about her like that. If we have to do this thing, we have to do it, but don’t ever…”

    “Yeah, yeah,” said Phil picking his teeth with the point of his blade. “I hear what you’re saying fatty. I guess we all used to be friends, huh. Desperate times bring desperate measures though.” Phil and Lloyd walked off slowly into the wood, continuing to speak in whispered voices.

    I picked up my body and gingerly tiptoed from my hiding place, visibly trembling. I couldn’t believe what a little more than a month stranded on an island would do to normally decent human beings.

    Over the past week, tensions between us had escalated. Phil paced around endlessly, muttering to himself and acting like a demented psych ward patient. Lloyd, in his typical Lloyd way, was lost in space, no backbone in sight. My patience for them both was wearing thin. My belly screamed for a meal bigger than the size of my finger.

    Several days later, the time was right for my plan.

    In the afternoon, as the island sun began its daily melt into the water, we were all gathering berries and insects on the bluff. Phil moved with an athletic grace, hopping from rock to rock, flipping them over at random looking for creepy crawlies. Just as he reached the peak of the bluff, I rushed, shoulder down, head partially tucked, eyes active and dialed.

    Time took on a surreal quality. Small butterflies flapped wings rhythmically and a few fallen leaves skipped from rock to rock, blown by the gentle glass off. As my shoulder crunched into Phil’s back, I forced my momentum to cease and skidded to an abrupt stop, falling painfully on my hands and knees. I lifted my head slowly, just in time to see the top of Phil’s head dipping below the cliff edge.

    His scream reverberated in my ears as I exhaled.

    One down

    • smallster21 says:

      Glad to see she took out Phil first. Maybe she can get Lloyd on her side. He didn’t sound like he was into Phil’s plan. But, then again, he didn’t say anything to her. Anything that reminds me of the Donner party makes my stomach squirm! Becoming so desperate and succumbing to the desperation of hunger and satisfying it with cannibalism.

  13. swatchcat says:

    Sorry, this is a little confusing but in a good way. Although you may need to consider directing the reader a little more it’s kind of like a Mad Lib. The main character is druged or is lacking a required drug and realizes it’s her friends that are the cause. Although still having feelings for the friends she most escape them because for whatever reason, they are the death of her. Right. Or, she’s delusional.

  14. catbr says:

    I don’t know how the situation had gotten so out of line. The days were going along smoothly until dumbass started hoarding the coconuts meant for all of us to eat. Now we’re walking around half starved all the time because dumbass’s stash of coconuts got raided by the local animals leaving nothing but a pile of coconut skins. And then there was the other idiot who decided to make a nice fire one night to cook some fish on a stick and ended up burning down the main hut that took at least a week for us to make. Man I hate being stranded on this island with those two.

    All I said was maybe there are some people around here that need to think of others instead of just themselves and their fat gluttonous appetites. And then there are others that need to learn the correct way in building a proper campfire without burning everything to the ground. My two brothers John and George were never this way back home. Now I can’t even get a hello or good morning out of them. They look insane most of the time with hair all matted and teeth getting a little yellower and browner as time goes on. The heat and hopelessness of this island is getting the better of us. I feel as though they might be plotting to get rid of me. I have to think of my own sanity. Time for me to move to the other end of the beach. Some distance between us might ease the stress around here a little. I hope the move works, but just in case I’ll start sharpening up a stick so that it can be used as a spear for self defense. My mind isn’t the same as it once was, to be thinking such barbaric thoughts. Maybe I should just talk to them instead. It would be the civil thing to do. But then again nothing here is very civil anymore.

    • putterpop says:

      Interesting take. Although Im not sure why,I like it. Good use of emotion.

    • smallster21 says:

      So, which one is dumbass and which one is the idiot? I’d suggest maybe expounding more on the narrator, maybe just an indication of gender and appearance, because I could only picture dumbass and idiot in my mind. Also, curious about how they became stranded. Besides that I liked the narrator’s sarcasm and was intrigued by your point of the island losing civility due to the isolation and the insanity that goes with it.

    • catbr says:

      Thank you putterpop, smallster21 and swatchcat for your positive feedback. I do appreciate it. I suppose I could have expanded on the characters and explained who the narrator was. It would have been better. The narrator was a woman who was slowly losing her mind along with her two brothers on the out in the middle of nowhere island.

  15. handyman43127 says:

    BORN LIKE THIS

    I often wonder while I search the stars why I feel this way? Was it that my parents pampered me, or was it that I always ended up getting my way, whatever the cost to anyone else? Perhaps I was born like this.

    I have always felt that I had a destiny that elevated myself above the pack, I have although learned lessons along the way that have taught me to reach my goal, especially when those that would disagree with me surfaced.

    Today I find two that see through the image I have worked so hard to construct. I have chosen my cabinet, with words of encouragement I entangle them. Flies are attracted to honey, I learned that early. Feed them and they will forever feed from the hand so easily offered to them.

    I have established myself, I am the elder. I have long established that my thought’s are the correct way.

    Who would dare to come against me? Do they not know what I am capable of? They will soon learn and feel the fullness of my wrath!

    Tyrant’s are many in the history of mankind. However they were uneducated and, although each possessed a single truth, none were able to combine them all, that was until me.

    I will show them, the two that dare to cross me! I have the hearts of the masses, I have the law on my side, this is the way I will silence them. This is my island and I rule here!

    I will use what has always worked. I attack with words and wait for retaliation. When that happens I will assume the role of the attacked and sit back and let my flies fight for me. I laugh at their ignorance, divide and conquer, this is elementary stuff. Distort the truth and answer truthfully to nothing. When the masses are mine, I rule all.

    Divison accomplished, the voice that they use against me taken away. I now move forward with what I have planed all along, total control over all thoughts and what is written unless it is approved by me.

    My adversary’s will soon be crushed or give up hope of ever overcoming my will. I am sure of this, I look to the past for my comfort.

    You that dare to challenge my self appointed rule take heed. I am an army of one and have many followers.

    • smallster21 says:

      I can’t believe the narrator claims to be the colossal aggregate of tyrants that have ever existed! Must be the anti-christ, because that would be some scary son of bitch. I see the narrator philosophizing into madness that they are the optima of tyrants. Interesting monologue, pitting bulldog against bulldog, letting the flies fight as you command them to destroy themselves.

      Though this doesn’t read like a story to me, more like a philosophical or psychological essay.

  16. nelleg says:

    “Way to go again, Fern! You crashed the captain’s ship on some unknown territory.”

    “You’re just over-reacting, Lars. Where’s your adventurous side?”

    “My adventurous side headed for the Milky Way after a few weeks stuck with you.”

    “LARS! FERN! WHERE ARE WE? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE NOW?”

    “It’s Captain O’rion! Help me Lars! He’s going to kill me.”

    “You’re on your own.”

    “FERN ARE YOU THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS?”

    “I was driving but it was Lars that was navigating.”

    “I was not.”

    “AS FAS I’M CONCERNED YOU BOTH ARE RESPONSIBLE. NOW GO AND EXPLORE OUR NEW TEMPORARY HOME WHILE I TRY TO FIX THE DAMAGE.”

    “But captain, we don’t even know if is safe out there?”

    “WELL LARS, THAT IS WHY I’M SENDING YOU TWO OUT THERE TO FIND OUT.”

    “Sure captain what ever you say. C’mon Lars lets get going.”

    “I’m going to kill you Fern when I get the chance.”

    “Watch your head Lars, make sure you don’t crack your helmet on the door.”

    “Now you’re concerned for my safety, you didn’t care for it when you lied about me navigating.”

    “Did you really want the captain to know about you abandoning your post just so you could satellite chat with your girlfriend Rhoda.”

    “I was on break, and she is not my girlfriend.”

    “You really think that matters to the captain.”

    “You won’t make anymore mistakes like this if I have anything to do with it.”

    “What did you say Lars? Lars? Where did you go? Very funny. Wait until the captain finds out about you not following orders.”

    “Oh, I’m following orders alright. Did you think that we would just let you continue to screw things up? Fern, you were right I was navigating but what you didn’t know is that Captain O’rion had control override. It was no accident that we landed here.”

    “What the hell are you talking about Lars?”

    “You see Fern, the captain and I have gotten a little tired of your screw ups. We made it look like you crashed the ship here so we can abandon you.”

    “Your plan won’t work.”

    “WHY NOT?”

    “Nice of you to join us, captain. Did you get the ship fixed so we can get out of here with a little less dead weight?”

    “THE SHIP WAS NEVER BROKEN.”

    “Then what have you been doing? I have been trudging through this awful place trying to lose Fern so we could skip out.”

    “SHE’S NOT THE ONE STAYING, LARS.”

    “You are Lars. You see you’re the one that has been getting in our way. I tried to get you to quit. No matter how much I screwed up you still stayed.”

    “But why?”

    “YOU ARE NOT LIKE US. YOU ARE HUMAN.”

    “That never bothered you before.”

    “It does now, Lars. Our next mission will take us to Earth.”

    “What exactly are you going to do on Earth?”

    “IT’S NOT WHAT WE ARE GOING TO ON EARTH, IT’S WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO WITH EARTH.”

    • smallster21 says:

      OMG! Are they going to blow up earth! What a coincidence I was just watching the crazy UFO people on the History channel and a show on the various ways the earth can be destroyed.

      Good exchange of dialogue between the characters. I’d suggest adding a few dialogue tags when three people are talking, because it can get confusing. Though, I do see that the captain is distinguished by his shouty caps. HE MUST HAVE A VERY LOUD VOICE! I do think that is neat you did that. Makes it known that the captain is the boss and instills fear automatically in the other characters.

      I’d also suggest adding some narrative prose, because I got a little lost in the dialogue and didn’t know what was happening.

      Totally didn’t understand where the ending came from, I was like whoa! Aliens? But, then I reread and saw that the Milky Way comment indicated they were somewhere in space which helps establish the setting.

  17. swatchcat says:

    I could see the lights in the distance lining the river. People nestled in their homes for the night, and none the wiser to my dilemma. What did the tour guide say?

    “Pollepel Island is approximately 1,000 ft from the eastern shore of the Hudson River.” The lady from the Parks and Recreation rattled off several bits of trivia about Bannerman Castle abandoned several decades ago, but it was that one bit that now mattered the most.

    It was the mystery of Polly Pell, a girl stranded on the island that lead me and my two closest friends to hide out until the last tour boat left. We are adventurers, extremist, danger freaks some might say. Really, I just love castles and ghost stories.

    As soon as the coast was clear, we came from our hiding places. We pitched our tents in the garden, a perfect view coming and going of the Hudson River. Home was 50 miles south and deep in Manhattan. Mel gathered some wood and got the fire started while I and Steve headed for an alcove under the castle’s main steps for a quick makeup make out session. When we got back, Mel seemed a little miffed. How was I to know, how Mel felt, about me?

    Now, as I sat crouched in the stone ruins my muscles aching and cold, I watched the distant lights wondering what my next move was. Spring is just around the corner but this time of year it still gets to freezing. Where am I going to go? I’m on a freakn’ island, no one expects me back till Monday, and there’s a lunatic after me. I wiped the tears away huffing and puffing after running away from the tents.

    “You had no choice, you had to leave him,” I told myself. There was so much blood. Is it mine? No, it was Steve’s. Mel had stabbed him. I left him, Steve said to run and never look back. I was huffing, my breath visible in the moonlight. Quickly I ducked my lips under my collar. “Stupid, he’ll see you.” I thought.

    I could hear the water lapping on the shore, not too far away.

    “Swim bitch, swim it’s your only hope,” said my inner voice!

    “But it’s 1000 ft,” I excused. Looking toward the east, the highway twisted along the shore.

    “If you get there, you’re home free. Wave down a car, and get to the police. You’ll be safe.” I thought.

    “Go, damn it, go!”

    “But, I’ll freeze,” I rationed again. A crack of a branch somewhere in the distance was like a starting gun. I ran for the water and dived in. Every stroke I took was a reach for life. I stopped to tread water, the campfire in the distance, and the silhouette of Mel doing who knows what. I started to swim away.

    • smallster21 says:

      At first I was like what happened between paragraphs four and five. It went from pitching tents to a lunatic coming after the narrator. Eeep! But, then your character reflected back on what just happened, so it made sense. I like how you did that, grabbed my attention. Also, interesting inner conflict the narrator was dealing with at the end. The beginning had nice descriptions of the setting.

      Would have been interesting to tie the descriptions more into the conflict that occurred, something with the castle, or ghost story of Polly Pell. Do you live in NYC? I looked up the island and it is interesting how one can be so isolated and helpless with only 1,000 feet separating them from civilization. That was a good idea.

      • swatchcat says:

        Thank you, I didn’t want to be a tropical deserted island story. I started thinking of the San Juans in the Pacific Northwest(where I’m from) then looked up abandoned or deserted islands in the US, it went from there. Theres like 1800 islands in just one area of the Great Lakes. Yes there is plenty of room for expansion on this story. Thank you so much for you comments.

    • Amy says:

      I enjoyed reading your story! I, too, was a little disappointed to see no attachment to the Polly Pell tale. I felt like you set it up at the beginning and then abandoned the idea. Overall though, it was compelling.

    • nelleg says:

      Nice job. I enjoyed it.

  18. handyman43127 says:

    Slayerdan

    If you have a question as to what you have addressed with your words, don’t ask me, go back and look what you have written. It is not the past, like you so often speak of, it was on this prompt. As for your threat that you directed to me about contacting Brian, WHATEVER, get over-it you childish man you. What is it, when someone does what you do you strike back with even more venom? It seems you find joy in dismantling others works but give no solution. I write what I wright not to please Brian or anyone else, especially you! I write what my heart directs me to with the prompt given. Grow up, if that is even possible for you at this point!

    • slayerdan says:

      Sir–you cant say the things you said here. They are against board policies. I wont banter with you. Continuing to post this gibberish on the board is indicative of what is being dealt with. BTW, the above paragraph needs editing.

      • slayerdan says:

        And I did look—I said nothing bad. I gave good reviews. You blew up and went on a 14 yo rant calling names when I gave praise to another writer, no one spoke to you or mentioned you. You took it on yourself to attack me, and now we both look like 14 year olds as I took the time to answer you. For that I apologize to all and will close.

        • handyman43127 says:

          I have no apology to give, to you. As far as looking a certain age, well, perhaps you are. If that is the case I apologize to those that find what I say offensive. I suppose I should understand whom I deal with, one that uses rules to remind others why they cannot speak the truth. If I have broken any of the site, then it is up to them to silence me, not you! Get it? Oh, bye the way if I can’t say the things I did here, Why did you read them? Edit that you ……………… Da-Da-Da, breath deep.

  19. Icabu says:

    Weeds pulled at William’s clothes, slapped at his face, but on he trudged, putting as much distance as possible between Brian and Oscar and himself. He knew Brian, his best bud since kindergarten, blamed him for marooning them on this crappy island in the middle of the bay. And Oscar’s boat now sat swamped a hundred yards off the island with a hole in the hull the size Missy Cogburn’s butt.

    He needed time to think, to let his friends cool off a little. They’d all agreed to the dare from Brian’s older brother to cross the bay in Oscar’s tiny sail boat and he’d won rock-paper-scissors fair and square to run the tiller. The way he saw it, Brian and Oscar’s sloppy and slow tacking is what sent the boat into the shallows, not his steering.

    Sitting on a rock outcropping, William could see his friends arguing, then pushing, and finally full-fledged wrestling on the ground. Abruptly, they stopped. Oscar pointed up at the path William had used and both he and Brian headed towards it in a full run. Panicked, William ran along the rocks, stumbling, literally, into a small cave behind some flimsy bushes. Crouching, he waited.

    It didn’t take long before William heard the sounds of panting and pounding footfalls on the rocks. Timing it perfectly, he sprang forward, carrying all of them over the rocks and down to the inlet pool. Splashdown was a jolt and he lost his grip on his friends. They surfaced several feet from him, sputtering and cursing. His salvation plan was working.

    “Catch me if you can,” William called. Seeing their red, angry faces, William turned, swimming towards the distant shore. He knew his friends would follow him until they caught him, which he wouldn’t allow until they’d safely reached the shore. Then they’d be so grateful there’s no way they’d still want to beat him to a pulp – or worse. Surely.

    • slayerdan says:

      Great as always. sometimes it seems you and I are the yin and yang here. You tend to have a positive spin on most of your stories, a wink and an impish grin at times. The difference between the others that do the same is you always bring it. I tend to go darker since I know the lighter stuff always makes it. This time last year there was a small cabal of contributors that i always looked forward to reading. Of that group, for whatever reason, only you remain. Glad you still do so. Well done.

      • handyman43127 says:

        Slayerdan

        Let me begin by stating that this in no way is to be misunderstood, not candy-coated or any twist of plot’s to reach another conclusion. You are a shit! Not a small one but a huge pile! I am so tired of the same story you continually preach! Who in the FUCK would continue to contribute here when you continually bash everyone here but YOURSELF and Icabu? Ever wonder why the others have gone and you remain? You never have anything worthwhile to say unless you speak of yourself and your chosen. I’m not here to be friends with you, I am here to write. If you don’t like it, TOUGH SHIT!!! You are so shallow and self serving I sometimes have to run to the toilet to barf!!!! If you use the line that you have used in many of your story’s again, “My good man”, I’m sure I will not make it next time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • slayerdan says:

          I would comment on your stuff Handyman, but there are always so many problems with your stuff, Brian has made it clear if we cant be constuctive not to comment, so i dont. It isnt my fault you are so bad, it is your own. There have been so many people here so much better than I that it isnt funny, so I am far from some elite writer. I make no apologies for liking what Icabu shares. There is no obligation to comment on your crappy submissions but i will offer this retort to your childish rantings. Sorry you are so easily butt hurt. In closing, just so I am clear—who did I “bash” ? Just curious. And if you dont make it to the toilet next time, maybe you could use one of your submissions to clean it up. Cheers, my good man.

          • slayerdan says:

            I have asked writersdigest and Brian to address your rantings this week, that werent warranted at all. I made no comments on your story, or comments on any comments you made. As I said above, not my fault you cant deal with my appreciation of someone who writes better than both of us.

        • Handyman43127 and slayerdan,

          I have read through the comments. I ask that everyone please refrain from mean-spirited remarks that aren’t constructive or tasteful. This isn’t a forum to call anyone’s work terrible or call anyone names. I believe the best way to handle is the approach suggested by slayerdan: if you don’t have pleasant or helpful critiques for someone’s work, don’t comment on it at all. I ask that you both comply with these requests otherwise I will be forced to take further steps.

          I appreciate your understanding and cooperation in the matter.
          Brian
          Online Editor

    • smallster21 says:

      This was well written in my opinion. The sentences were structured nicely, so I wasn’t held up at any point while reading it. Very good descriptions and verb choices too.

      Nice job on molding the prompt into a happy ending. When I read the prompt, I automatically thought gloom and doom.

      Only thing I was confused about was the size of the hole in the boat, because I have no idea who Missy Cogburn to know how big her butt is. I can only imagine it was a big hole in the boat, since butts generally are not super small. So, I’m thinking at least bigger than a large plate, but not any bigger than say the width of a boxed fan, I dunno maybe bigger. I don’t pay attention to butts that often.

    • Jeanie Y says:

      Nice story Icabu. Your writing always flows so smoothly and the reader never has any trouble figuring out what is happening. I am envious! :)

  20. handyman43127 says:

    DRY ISLAND’S

    The stump that supports my back tears into my flesh. I gaze across the empty island, dry and void of life, except for myself and two others.

    It has been a long journey that has left me stranded, no water, no food, no shelter, only the two that seek to finish what they have been trying for so long to do, kill me.

    Years have passed, I used to keep track, I no longer do. The vessel that carried me here has long sense vanished along with the surf that once fell upon the white sands.

    I look up to the clouds that cover the island now. Without them the sun would sear my flesh as it has the waters and the greenery that once surrounded me.

    There is no longer the sound of the pounding surf filling my ears but the wind that crosses the cracked and hardened ground where water once stood.
    \
    From my vantage point I see dry ground for as far as the eye can see. Blowing soil and heat is the only thing that rises in the distance.

    My mind again wonders. Fifth grade Science class. A small class of twenty students with black-boards surrounding us from three walls. Styrofoam balls hanging from strings give us a view of our solar system, from below.

    Onward my memory carries me. A home in a small town, a friendly neighborhood and a father dedicated to his employment, that supported a family of four comfortably.

    I feel the sting of my sun dried, cracked lips again. I search with my eyes behind the existing rubble of the island. Looking again for the pair that has combined forces to destroy me.

    What I cannot understand is why, why would the two that were sent along with me on this journey into uncharted territory’s conspire to kill me?

    A teacher educated to teach children, but selected only some. A father positioned to encourage and inspire, but could find only fault.

    I must find strength. I must encourage myself. I must find importance in myself if I am ever to survive this island, and the two that have teamed-up against me in my memories.

    • smallster21 says:

      This is interesting. Are your descriptions suggesting that the water is completely gone? And the world is just a barren wasteland? Or am I reading too much into that? Either way, the descriptions of the setting are nice.

      And, is this person actually being tortured by their memories? So, there aren’t two people literally trying to kill him?

      • handyman43127 says:

        In my thought’s the past action’s of two people in this persons life have had such an adverse effect that it lingers into their present . The people are real, although they have moved on with their life, not giving thought to how much their past actions have had on the character. The barren wasteland represents the present, haunted by the past. Although the island and the dry-land that surrounds it are represented as fiction in the story they are indeed real to the persons life, represented by the stump tearing at their flesh. I hope I have given you some light into my motivation concerning this story?

    • Jeanie Y says:

      This is different Handyman…I like it. I hope he overcomes his hurdles!

  21. Roger says:

    To be, or not to be, …. a survivor. That is the quandary.
    Four or more weeks have passed since the four of us were stranded on this desolate island. There is no way of knowing exactly how long since we have been stranded here since we have lost all track of time and days. Last night, our first thunderous downpour occurred just before the break of dawn. After we had all awoke in the morning, I informed my two friends that the lightening and thunder had awakened my subconscious mind to some startling prognostications. They were both anxious to hear in hopes that I was about to tell them of our being found in this desolate expanse of barren sea. Yes. I assured them we were going to be rescued … all except one. One of us was not going to survive this atrocious ordeal. But, the one who did survive along with me would inherit the sum and substance of the whole of my great wealth and ample assets along with the hand of my lovely daughter in holy matrimony, for she soon will be ready for marriage in less than a year from now.
    Two more days past. Smoke from a distant ship could now be seen on the horizon. It was coming in our direction! Approaching us ever so slowly. I quickly worked the shiny side of the abalone shell to reflect the light of the sun in its direction.
    Hardly an hour passed when Tom and I were on board and well cared for. All during the rest of that grateful trip back home, I had never had a more complete and admirable friend as he. I felt to be a lucky, but cunning, survivor

    • Roger says:

      I Goofed. The first sentence should read: “…. the three of us were stranded ….” , not “…. the four of us were stranded ….”

    • smallster21 says:

      Use of an abalone shell to get the boat’s attention. Nice idea.

      I’m curious about what happened to the third person. Obviously I realize that they left him behind, but did they abandon him or kill him and why could only two be saved?

      I like the idea of the narrator having this vision that only one of them would join him in being rescued. Would have liked to see how that conflict played out, but I can imagine what would have happened. Nice idea.

      • swatchcat says:

        This is good. I am left with questions though. Why one will not survive? How is that important to the others survival? But it is written nicely leading the reader to search for the answers.

  22. slayerdan says:

    “You drank the last of the good water you greedy shit,” her voice bounced around Toms’ head in a cerebral handball match with his sanity. Squinting, he could make out her haggard, sunburnt form some fifteen feet away, pointing and waving her branchlike fingers in his direction. She, Peggy Lou Baldwin by calling, had been in a foul mood the entire six days.

    Six days. It doesn’t seem so long when you say it like that. However, saying six days trapped on an island with no hope of rescue, well then it sounded much worse. “So much worse,” Tom muttered as he closed his eyes and tried to shake the image of Peggy out of his head as her voice continued to assault him randomly.

    “Calm down Peggy,” came the whimsical voice of Helen Dorsett, Toms other oppressor in life, as she flitted about oblivious to the severity of the situation.

    “You shut your birdlike mouth,” Peggy quickly unleashed her retort. Helen offered no argument.

    Tom tried to remain still, staying in the shade of the palm tree as much as he could. He had years of arguing with his two island mates, years of banter that rarely gave him the last word on any subject. He had accepted that. He laughed slightly to himself, a strange mix of humor and pity. “Of all the possibilities,” his voice cracked a bit as he yelled,” I am stuck here with the two of you that hate each other!”

    “I don’t hate Peggy,” Helen mused.

    “Well I hate you, you smug little bitch,” Peggy boomed, certainty in her voice.

    Several moments of silence, save for the surf crashing in, had Tom pulling himself up and leaning against the base of the tree. His head still in some shade, he squinted again, seeing Helen and Peggy some forty or fifty yards away, talking to each other.

    Tom felt his pulse quicken. Fixated on the pair, he saw Peggy look over at him several times as she made a cutting motion to her neck. Helen too looked over to where Tom sat, nodding her head with a slight smile on her face. He knew what was happening. Just like before.

    Peggy was going to try and kill him. She had tried before. Cut him up and when he told people, they didn’t believe him. And Helen, ever the follower, right there doing what Peggy said, not that she would or could ever hurt her.

    Head aching and dizzy, Tom pulled himself to his feet and shuffled through the sand out of the shade. He hated the sun but he knew he would hate dead even more. Grabbing his shoes and empty water bottle, he headed for the water as fast as his legs would carry him.

    The rolling surf felt like ice against his parched skin, his mind suddenly alive with saltwater and fear. He looked back to the beach behind him and did not see Peggy or Helen. Yet he knew they were there, waiting.

    Turning to the open sea, he dove into the surf and began to swim.

    • swatchcat says:

      Better of dead in the open sea then by those two bitches? Sometimes anything is better than two nagging women, right? Something we should know about? Good story.

    • smallster21 says:

      Peggy and Helen must be really diabolical to make him believe his only escape is the vast ocean where he most likely will drown and/or get gobbled up by a shark. Eeek!…unless he is a really good swimmer like Ben Lecomte, the guy who swam across the Atlantic, then Tom probably would be okay. Good story :)

      • douglangille says:

        I didn’t pick up on the ladies being internal voices — missed the clues. Definitely adds more hopeless tragedy.

        • slayerdan says:

          Her voice bounced around his head in a match w his sanity///, his other oppressor in life,///// “Of all the possibilities,” his voice cracked a bit as he yelled,” I am stuck here with the two of you that hate each other!”/////description of her cutting him up–many schiz ppl claim they did it because of the voices and ppl didnt believe him/////he looked back and they werent there, but he knew they were there–waiting.//// They were meant to be subtle and most ppl wouldnt get it—unless youve had hallucinations those sound like normal descriptions. Its like men—we know ALL about birth and babies—except actually birthing them, and we will never truly know. I didnt want it blatant—and this is how it is for so many schizophrenics the world over. Thanks for rereading though.

    • slayerdan says:

      Hope to get 5 reviews this week prior to commenting back. Thanks.

      • douglangille says:

        Yeah. I’m trying to participate more. To get feedback you have to give some.

        • slayerdan says:

          I give it every week. I have almost two years of giving it.

          • slayerdan says:

            I was simply waiting to see if anyone picked up on my take—my guy is on the island alone. The other two “people” are hallucinations. There are a couple of clues in the story. 80% of my patients are schizophrenic and I always find it fascinating how their visual hallucinations are so real to them. I was trying to show that if you do not know they are hallucinations, as the reader here doesnt, it is quite easy to move forward thinking they are real. And to my guy, they were, and the open sea seemed a better chance than there, paranoid they would kill them. As a side note, the two women were named after 2 of the personalities of Sybil, the famous “multiple” Sally Field made a movie about. My guy will most certainly drown.

          • swatchcat says:

            Yes, I didn’t get it the first time around, but as you explain yourself, I seem to remember the part where your character looks back to the trees and no one is there. Your possible hint? Nice.

            I think I recall you saying, in the past, that if enough people can’t see what is in the writer’s head via the paper/pen then regretfully the writer may have not thought it out enough for various simpletons. Even college educated people and professors alike have been proven in American to be only as smart as a fifth grader(not implying you are or aren’t).

            I realize some people only write for themselves but when submitting to a forum we are putting ourselves out here for a purpose those we shouldn’t rant that we are only doing this for ourselves. Shakespeare’s said something about a stage and the world? FYI, there is an arena at WD under forums called “Take it Outside’ go there for bickering, please.

          • slayerdan says:

            Its all good swatchcat….as everyone here does…I write for me.I have been praised and I have been eviscerated…..Ive dropped some bad ideas here before. And I took ALL the criticism that was given….good and bad. I have no desire to bicker….I praised someones work as their submissions always are top notch, and I was attacked and cussed at. Ive.never.done anything like that.here or any.forum and they.shouldnt either. If they.wantedto be an internet superhero and lay down their.mighty misspelled words then so be it. I can write weekly and not critique anyone , but Im not going to just let someone attack me when I.havent.even.addressed.him. But its all good….it will be resolved and all will be well at some point.

          • slayerdan says:

            Just a point.you missed.swatch…..the.fact you.didnt get it os what most.people would.do. Its.around 500 words…..hard to fully flesh out schizophrenia in that short amount. If you.were.schiz you may.have gotten.it.

          • swatchcat says:

            It is all good. You are a fine writer. I have only positive comments and would never deem myself worthy to make a suggestion to such a self professed person of your “position.” I don’t know anything about what you speak, and observe your appreciation for self eviseration and flatulence through expectoration of your words. It is interesting that you write finally of hallucinations and schizophrenic notions. You’ve allowed us all a window into your persona as you speak of your experiences with your patients, I wonder what Freud would say about your grangious self positioning?

    • Jeanie Y says:

      Good story Slayer…kept me going. I loved the line “cerebral handball match with his sanity.” Good one.

  23. dastanis says:

    We sat there, on the beach. The wind blew through us. The ocean beckoned us. But we sat. Angela to a few feet my left and my mom a few feet to my right. We formed a triangle in the sand.
    I looked at Angela. She stared back. I saw the anger in her eyes and in her mouth. That’s when I knew that even though she gave birth to me, she was going to kill me.
    I looked at my mom. Her fists and eyes clenched, she yelled, “I WILL KILL YOU!!!!” Great. Now both of my mothers wanted to kill me.
    “If I told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times. It was an accident! I tripped! It’s not my fault that the pilot was standing in the aisle instead of the cockpit!” I said and then looked between Angela and Danielle, further down the beach. The section of the plane that had landed there was still smoking.
    “You little shit! I don’t buy that for a second! You saw him there. You knew the pen would hit him. You planned the whole thing! And now we’re stuck on this goddamn island with no food, no water, and no chance for survival! All for what? So you could force us to talk to you? Well, congratulations! You got exactly what you wanted!” My mom had a point. It did look a little convenient. I had been hounding both of them, my mom and Angela, to just sit down with me so that the three of us could have a real conversation. They avoided it with excuses. “I have to work late that night.” “I have to clean the house.” And my favorite, “Really, what is there to talk about? You know everything that happened. Just leave it at that.”
    It seemed like I was just destined to never get the one thing I wanted most. The truth about me and the first few years of my life. Well, maybe there was something I wanted more than that. To live. Seeing the murder in Angela’s eyes and hearing it my mom’s anger, I realized that I had driven them both past love, past tolerance, and past hate. They were both now desperate and believed that in order for them to live, I had to die. They had to make me go away so I would stop hurting them.
    The isolation of the deserted island impregnated them with the idea that they could actually kill me and get away with it. They were wrong. I survived my first twenty two years for a reason. My will to live. It got me through everything. All of the abuse. All of the jealousy. And all of the loneliness. If my will to live were a fraction less that what it was, I would have died years ago.
    Now it was kill or be killed. Them or me. My birth mother and the woman who raised me or me.

    • smallster21 says:

      Interesting idea to have a character deliberately isolate other persons they want to spend time with. And, it sounds like the narrator has plenty of emotional damage and inner conflict to explore in a longer piece.

      I couldn’t figure it out, are Angela and Danielle a couple? Or is it birth mother and adopted or step-mother? My guess would be birth and adopted mother due to the comment on the narrator wanting to know more about the first few years of his/her life.

    • Amy says:

      Lots of originality this week, I like it! I did think it was strange, though, that in the beginning the tone seems humorous and then it’s all of a sudden they literally want to kill their child. Also, the last two paragraphs are a lot of introspection that maybe could benefit from the old “show, don’t tell” adage. Otherwise a good read.

  24. eeblack525 says:

    “Hunger”

    Grains of white sand pinched my skin. The scorching sun was relentless, but I welcomed the burn. Besides, physical pain was more acceptable than the fear of death. Their eyes bleed anger, their stomachs were desperate. I inspected my body, searching for holes like as if I were a wild fruit. My friend, Ashton, stared at me from a sea mossed stone. I wasn’t sure what burned in him—my affair with his fiancé or his desire to eat. And then there’s my brother, Joshua. He’s been crying for three days, and he won’t say why. I heard them whispering the night we built an S.O.S. fire. Has he forgotten that we’re brothers? He should be whispering with me. Then again, he’s a half-brother, living at home with mom, who died at work two years ago. Was his resentment toward dad and me that strong? I continued to lie face down.

    The sun moved farther west. Heat moved to legs. I sat up to face the sun. A cloud hovered in the distant horizon. My heart sank into my stomach, as if more weight would dissolve my fear. There was no salvation among the island. Even the trees denied sanctuary. We were outsiders, invading their solemn land and soon I’d be sacrifice.

    Sun rays disappear behind the storm cloud. A gentle sea wind blew against the island. Reddish-orange skies held the silhouette of Joshua and Ashton. I couldn’t see them, but I felt their gaze. My voice crackled. My energy faded. The sand lost its glow. Their growling stomachs were like demons ready to devour a cursed soul. And the storm approached.

    The ocean tide chilled my feet. Droplets of water touched my face, and the sky rolled thunderous light in the clouds. They stalked me. I could hear the sand sticking to their feet. I couldn’t see them. Winds pulled my body toward the dark waters. Feet hastily sloshed around me. The storm pulled me into the depths of shallow water. Sharp edges pierced my flesh, as I gasped for air. Even in the water, I felt the dry, rough hands of my brother and friend. The tide pushed them down. A ripple smacked against my toes, giving me the adrenaline to stand on my feet. I waded out to sea. Blood and salt water ran into my eye, and the sea swallowed me. As I’m pushed down by the sea’s power, I felt closer to peace. It was eerily refreshing for death to have a comforting touch. My lungs filled up and darkness cradled my descent. I will sleep in peace.

    Written 3/9/2013
    By Elijah Black of Greenville, SC

  25. eeblack525 says:

    “Hunger”

    Grains of white sand pinched my skin. The scorching sun was relentless, but I welcomed the burn. Besides, physical pain was more acceptable than the fear of death. Their eyes bleed anger, their stomachs were desperate. I inspected my body, searching for holes like as if I were a wild fruit. My friend, Ashton, stared at me from a sea mossed stone. I wasn’t sure what burned in him—my affair with his fiancé or his desire to eat. And then there’s my brother, Joshua. He’s been crying for three days, and he won’t say why. I heard them whispering the night we built an S.O.S. fire. Has he forgotten that we’re brothers? He should be whispering with me. Then again, he’s a half-brother, living at home with mom, who died at work two years ago. Was his resentment toward dad and me that strong? I continued to lie face down.

    The sun moved farther west. Heat moved to legs. I sat up to face the sun. A cloud hovered in the distant horizon. My heart sank into my stomach, as if more weight would dissolve my fear. There was no salvation among the island. Even the trees denied sanctuary. We were outsiders, invading their solemn land and soon I’d be sacrifice.

    Sun rays disappear behind the storm cloud. A gentle sea wind blew against the island. Reddish-orange skies held the silhouette of Joshua and Ashton. I couldn’t see them, but I felt their gaze. My voice crackled. My energy faded. The sand lost its glow. Their growling stomachs were like demons ready to devour a cursed soul. And the storm approached.

    The ocean tide chilled my feet. Droplets of water touched my face, and the sky rolled thunderous light in the clouds. They stalked me. I could hear the sand sticking to their feet. I couldn’t see them. Winds pulled my body toward the dark waters. Feet hastily sloshed around me. The storm pulled me into the depths of shallow water. Sharp edges pierced my flesh, as I gasped for air. Even in the water, I felt the dry, rough hands of my brother and friend. The tide pushed them down. A ripple smacked against my toes, giving me the adrenaline to stand on my feet. I waded out to sea. Blood and salt water ran into my eye, and the sea swallowed me. As I’m pushed down by the sea’s power, I felt closer to peace. It was eerily refreshing for death to have a comforting touch. My lungs filled up and darkness cradled my descent. I will sleep in peace.

    Written 3/9/2013 12:39 A.M.
    By Elijah Black of Greenville, SC

    • smallster21 says:

      Lots of nice metaphors. Sounds like the narrator happily welcomed death, the emotional pain being much worse than the physical pain. That makes sense.

  26. swatchcat says:

    Hmm, is he really going after her or the other guy? It really could go either way, the sneer just being a sneer. Written good enough to leave a question. Nice.

  27. ElizabethJacquelinl57 says:

    I wake up to the sound of someone calling out; I recognize the voice. “Seth!” I shout back as loud as I could, standing up quickly; a sharp pain goes through my head. I groan.
    “Lynn,” he said pushing past random branches and bushes. “Have you seen Mary?”
    “No, but she shouldn’t be far from us, considering we fell from the same point.” I turned around and a chill ran up my spine; not from cold but some intense feeling. I stopped and looked at Seth. “Hey are you okay?”
    “Hmm,” he looks at me and strains a smile “as okay as I can be in this situation.”
    “MARY!” We both shout out, moving slowly away from the spot were we had stood. “MARY!”
    “Ugh,” she emerges from the bushes, taking leaves and twigs from her hair. “Wow,” she sighed “we are really lucky, not getting injured from that jump,” She glares at me.
    I frowned. Are they mad at me or something? “Well at least everyone is okay for now. We need to get out of the forest.” I moved past them hesitantly, pushing through the trees. I can hear them trudging behind me. We enter a large clearing where trees were obviously ripped from the ground by some machine. Old tree trunks lay flat on the ground. I sit on one of them, and look up at my two best friends. The darkening sky help shadow their faces making them look villainous.
    “What are we going to do now?” Mary sighed, ” we are stuck here, stranded because of that stupid pilot.” She looks at Seth and he sighs, “we need food and water, plus shelter.” Seth paused to think, ” also I don’t know if there are any dangerous animals here or not.”
    They both sat quietly on the ground. We stared at each other in silence for what seemed like a lifetime.
    ” Seth, what do we need to make fresh water?” I asked.
    “Huh?” his eyes narrowed “how would I know?”
    “Sorry, I remembered you were one of those boy scout things!” I snapped. “I hope this attitude won’t stay like this, all of us are in the same situation with or without any help.”
    “This is your fault, don’t act all high and mighty when we are all like this because of you,” Mary snapped back as Seth stood up.
    “I am going to get some small pieces of wood to start a fire,” Seth left but didn’t go that far considering the clearing was filled with twigs and discarded wood.
    I get up and start grabbing discarded leaves and twigs to bring to the fire that Seth had finally started. I felt a another strange sensation at my back; my spine tingled and the hairs stood on the back of my neck. I quickly turn around to see both my friends staring at me with a dark expression. I slowly head back towards the fire dropping the twigs and leaves into the flame; it lashes out and I jump back.

    • smallster21 says:

      I think you did a nice job at introducing the characters and weaving dialogue in with the narrative. The dialogue didn’t sound forced or awkward. So well done there. But, I don’t understand what happened at the end.

      And, just a note on the grammatical end, you switch back and forth from present to past tense throughout the story.

  28. Marco Kenen says:

    Damien snatched two orange lifejackets from under their improvised shelter and sprinted towards the beach. With a little bit of luck he might be able to signal the luxurious yacht up ahead.

    They had seen him, finally, a way off this godforsaken island. A small inflatable boat with a powerful outboard motor was heading in his direction. Damien’s euphoria was quickly replaced by fear when he noticed that all men in the boat were armed to their teeth. His instincts told him to run but Damien’s body felt like it had been drained from all its energy. The majority of the guns were now aimed at him and he was ordered to keep his hands where they could see them. “P Please don’t tell me you’re pirates!” A sly smile appeared on the face of what looked like the leader of the group. “We are not.” His eyes darted all over the place before once again focussing on me. “You’d be death if all that blood on your clothes was yours. So tell me, what happened?” I had completely forgotten about the events that had occurred mere minutes ago. It had been self defence. Or at least that’s what Damien had told himself. Not that it mattered, he had murdered his own father and his beloved brother. Jack, his brother, blamed him for the death of his girlfriend and he had been out for blood. Damien had tried to avoid an ugly confrontation but it had gone horribly wrong. In the end he had chosen his own survival over the lives of his father and brother. “I asked you a question, son, what’s with all the blood?” Damien was slowly losing his cool, unable to come up with a decent excuse. Someone had ones told him that the best lies always contain parts which are actually true. “Pirates, sir, they murdered my father and brother. It’s their blood that I’m covered in.” Unknown to Damien, some of his men had searched the island for any other survivors. The fact that they had come up empty handed had been good news for their leader.

    The first shot kneecapped him and he fell down on his ass, screaming in agony. “Does anybody else know you are stranded on this island?” Damien didn’t have a clue on what had triggered the change in character. They didn’t give him very long to ponder over the question. A second shot took out his other kneecap, while a third was about to splatter his brain all over the beach. “For the last time, does anybody know you are stranded on this island?” Damien was lost for words so he just shook his head. “Good, that’s all I wanted to know.” For a moment Damien crossed his fingers in the hope they would let him live, as the man who had kneecapped him was making his way back to the boat. But alas, the man turned around, aimed his gun… Bang!

    • smallster21 says:

      Poor Damien :( Suppose he deserved to die anyways. Was there a reason he had killed his father as well? And, were the men in the boat really pirates? What was their motive for killing Damien?

      • Marco Kenen says:

        Nope, drug dealers. The idea was that they used the island as a storage facility for their product. So the motive for killing Damien was self preservation.

        I couldn’t really come up with a decent idea for the fight between the three of them to be honest. That’s why I kept that part a little bit vague. If I had to write the scene now then the father would end up fatally wounded by Damien because he had tried to stop the fight. The fight between the brothers would intensify and the end result would be fatal for jack.

  29. DMelde says:

    Benjamin sat up and shook the cobwebs from his head. He looked up at his two companions, unaware that before tomorrow one of them would be dead.
    “It’s about time you woke up.” his brother Matthew sneered. Matthew hated his younger brother. He hated Benjamin for receiving attention from their parents when it rightfully belonged to him. He was the oldest and everything had been fine until Benjamin had arrived. Matthew made it his goal to ostracize his brother from the family, a vendetta that started when he was very young, and one that continued well into adulthood.
    Benjamin knew all of this. His one great fear was that Matthew might somehow achieve his goal, and he would lose his parents because of his brother’s lies and vindictiveness.
    Ignoring his brother, Benjamin stood up and felt the knot on the back of his head. He looked at the sun now nearing the horizon, and realized he had been unconscious for several hours. From where he stood he could see the entire island, nothing more than a sand bar stuck in the middle of the ocean.
    “Father,” Benjamin said, “are you all right? How could we have gotten so far off course?”
    His father glared at him and Benjamin knew his brother had successfully talked their father into believing that this was his fault. He remembered his father in the bow of the boat yelling “Reef ahead” and then a blow to his head. He didn’t remember the sudden stop or the lurching of the boat as the reef tore her apart. The three men, along with parts of their boat, had washed ashore on this island sand bar, far off course and stranded.
    “Father, don’t believe everything you’ve heard. I used the map that Matthew gave me. Why in the world would I seek to strand us here?” Benjamin pleaded with his father.
    Then a thought occurred to Benjamin. He was hit on the head seconds before the boat had crashed. Shouldn’t it have been after? His brother had been behind him; what if his brother was trying to—No, it can’t be. Still, after they built a fire for the night, Benjamin decided to sleep apart. He lay down among the driftwood that cluttered the western side of the island. He wondered if his brother really wanted to get rid of him permanently. It was hard for Benjamin to accept this and sleep wouldn’t come to him. Later, he spied the faint silhouette of a man as he approached. My brother comes to finish the job. Benjamin waited until the man turned and then he sprang. Grabbing the man in a choke hold from behind he dropped straight down, and his brother fell backward and his neck snapped when he hit the sand, killing him instantly. Benjamin trembled as he knelt beside his brother. A passing cloud parted and the beach was bathed in faint moonlight. Benjamin, feeling real fear for the first time, cried out in despair—FATHER.

    • C.J. Evershade says:

      No better way to explore familial conflict than on an uninhabited island!

    • douglangille says:

      Lots of dark themes before being explored this week. Good stuff.

    • slayerdan says:

      Def like the idea. It did seem like at one point the island was but a small bit of land sticking up, and another it came across as quite larger. My only criticism is with new focus comes new paragraph. Splitting up that last big one would have increased suspense, just from spacing alone.

    • smallster21 says:

      Oh my goodness! I hate sad endings, they make me feel icky, but that is the point. If you intended the reader to dislike Matthew, good job, I want to punch him in the face. I’m stuck in the middle and unlike Matthew, realize we each have our own accomplishments, my sister is the beautiful one, my brother the athletic one and me…okay well, I suppose I can relate to Matthew, but unlike him, I wouldn’t go to the trouble of stranding us all on an island. How would I get home to gloat? And, I concur with swatchcat, I can feel Ben’s despair at the end.

    • DMelde says:

      Thank you all for the nice comments. :)
      Here is an alternate ending that I like better –
      Benjamin grabbed the man in a choke hold from behind and dropped straight down. As the man fell backward his neck snapped when he hit the sand, killing him instantly. He trembled with horror when the clouds parted and the the faint moonlight revealed the man’s face. Not my brother. He cried out in despair—FATHER.

    • Jeanie Y says:

      Oh, evil brother and accidental patricide! Good writing DMelde, as usual!

  30. douglangille says:

    ** I’m not sure if this stands well on its own. The other parts to this chain of story prompts is linked off my username **

    STORMY NIGHT – PART NINE
    ========================

    That moment is forever shaded a deep crimson.

    It was days later, in the dark of the new moon, that it hit me how instantly askew our already disrupted world became.

    After they got what they needed from me, we were taken to a small island off the coast, marooned and left to fend for ourselves. The fate of nations unknown and no longer of import. A timely rescue was unlikely.

    We were one big happy family. Broken but alive.

    It’d only been a year since things started getting serious after we rescued each other. Her, from a deep and crazed depression and me, from the inevitable conclusion of a drunkard’s decent. Our courtship was passionate and swift. We weren’t kids. Maturity and experience brought a kind of certainty to our future together.

    Now on the beach, the madness returned and she ensconced herself upon a rough rock for more than a week, rising only to tend nature’s call. She bordered on catatonic. I fed her what I clumsily fished and kept her hydrated.

    She wouldn’t speak, but I felt her eyes track my movements with detached precision. There was something hidden in her stare that kept me rattled. I became fearful – for her and of her.

    Her daughter always deeply resented me, how I took her mother away when she needed her most. The hatred was white hot as only a teenage girl can harbour. The hatred was palpable.

    Spitefully, she helped make camp and surprised me with her resourcefulness. We spoke, but only in a utilitarian manner. She was already ghastly thin, only superficially healthy. The girl worked hard to help take care of her mother.

    However, her burst of energy was short lived. She sported only three fingers on her fret hand. Through the crusted blood wept a pungent cloudy fluid. Being only a month off chemo, her fever set in and rose quickly.

    She lingered and died painfully before the full moon rose. I remember the screaming.

    I dug her grave with my bare hands. It took until daybreak. Pausing before moving her small frame into its resting place, I dozed off. The emotional toll was unbearable.

    I awoke with a start, my muted songstress standing above me wielding jags of sharp shale in each hand. The wind had picked up, blowing some of the surf in to the air as a mist.

    She flew at me, striking solidly into my forearm as I brought it forward. Her momentum set her off-balance and she stumbled past.

    A wet red clouded my eyes. The cut was deep but clean. The bone felt bruised not broken. The pain brought me to my feet before she managed to regain her footing.

    Before she could resume her assault, I leapt forward and embraced her. She struggled a while, then stopped. She fell apart then and I held fast. For her. For us.

    After a while we laid her little girl to rest.

    • smallster21 says:

      Does the mother blame the man for her little girl’s death? Or is she just away in her feckin head? He must really love her to stick by her side. It’s so sad and touching :(

      • douglangille says:

        Probably a bit of both. I think it’s complicated. The family is struggling with the daughter’s cancer and just experienced something horrific that he could easily bear the burden of blame. There is some backstory in the previous installemnts that fleshes out the couple’s relationship a bit.

        I have no idea where this story arc is headed let alone the broader piece.

    • Ted says:

      I like “A wet red clouded my eyes.” I also like that you’re linking all these prompts together.

  31. Ted says:

    The Ship
    by
    Ted K.

    “Glen, come here, Glen . . . Glen!”

    “There’s something different about her.”

    “Glen.”

    “Him too; somehow, they’re both different.”

    “Glenny.”

    I hate it when she calls me Glenny. She’s definitely up to something when she calls me Glenny.
    Maybe I’ll leave. I’ll stay on the other side of the island—away from them. I used to be their little darling. I’ve watched them both over the past few weeks get meaner. I thought it was a fishing trip.

    Jim tries to fish, he made fish line out of grapevine strands, and he carved fish hooks from some shells he found. If he wanted to go fishing, why didn’t he bring some real fishing gear? It’s been two months, and they still haven’t caught a thing, and now the way they look at me. You’d think I was their lunch. Lunch? Is that what they’re thinking? After all our years together?

    I have to pee, there, what a relief. Now what was I thinking? Oh, maybe Jessica has some food she found, somewhere. She’s done it before. I’ll go back and check it out.

    My nose is only 6 inches away. Hmm, smells like peanut butter. Wait, what’s that, Jim, he’s swinging a large stick, pull back. That bastard tried to club me!

    “Glenny,” Jessica says, “Jim didn’t mean that.” She pauses, turns back toward Jim and sits down beside him.

    “How’d you miss, now we’ll never get him back,” she says.

    They’re both in on it. Do they really think an 8 pound yorkie will satisfy them? Isn’t my companionship worth what few bites they think they’re going to get? Friggin’ humans. Dad always said you couldn’t trust them.

    I’ll live on the other side of the island. I can live on flies. I can eat grubs. Why don’t Jim and Jessica eat grubs? They go for me, before grubs? Are they sick?
    I run away. On the other side of the island I see a ship. A ship. Maybe I should tell Jim and Jessica. They kept saying, “Why haven’t we seen any ships?” Okay, I’ll go back, and try to tell them, just once.

    As I near, Jessica sits alone, “Oh Glenny, you’re back.”

    I keep a good 10 feet between us, but I want to tell her about the ship. Raf, raf . . . raf, I give a look down the beach, “follow my eyes, stupid,” I can’t help thinking, raf, raf, I look out at sea, doesn’t she get it, there’s a ship!

    Oh no, no, ouch! Where’d Jim come from? He was behind that tree. He hit me with his club. I’m down, I try to bite him. Thud! He hit me again. Stop it, the ship, you moron, the ship! He’s got his boot on my neck. The bastard, I can’t breathe. He’s driving something into my side. Stupid human, stupid human!

    480 words

    • OrionLyon says:

      Interest in perspective.

    • smallster21 says:

      Love this description: “he made fish line out of grapevine strands, and he carved fish hooks from some shells he found.” My grandparents orchard had a fence covered in grapes every summer, and I remember the vines being very tough, yet pliable enough for us to make wreaths out of them. Good idea. Though, I wonder if grapevines in tropical climate are different from the ones on my grandpa’s farm, hopefully my assessment was correct.

    • smallster21 says:

      Hahaha! Oh, and of course I love that this is from a dog’s point of view. I didn’t get it at first until the narrator says the Yorkie line and I bust out laughing. And, I don’t know if this was your intention, but the way it reads sounds like a dog. By that I mean the short sentences and quickly flow of thoughts. I think dog’s can be very erratic and most have ADD. Love it, made me laugh :) …though I hope he didn’t die at the end. That wouldn’t be so funny, poor Glenny :(

      • douglangille says:

        The present tense felt weird until I understood that this was from the dog’s POV. Then it clicked for me. I enjoyed it.

      • Ted says:

        Smallster, thanks for the kind comments.

        Yes, it is supposed to be from a dog’s point of view. I wasn’t sure exactly when to put it in there. Possibly based on Douglangille’s comment it should be earlier, but then how early can it be in a 500 word story? And yes, more than likely, Glenny has suffered death by the hands of Jim. But rest assured that because they didn’t heed Glen’s warnings of the ship, that they will soon perish as well. Stupid humans.

    • smallster21 says:

      Yes, stupid humans, lol!

      But, to make me feel comforted, in this one instance, I will adopt Martin Heidegger’s philosophy on the differences between animals and humans, that poor Glenny was not aware of his own mortality since he was an animal and did not see death coming. Though, usually I would prefer Derrida’s position that there is no difference and the only thing separating us humans from all other nonhuman animals is a voicebox that talks and the innate embarrassment of walking around naked…well, unless you are a nudist.

      I actually liked not knowing it was a dog’s POV at first. It gave me a nice little surprise. Because you would assume it was from a human’s POV and then a few paragraphs in you find out all along it’s a puppy dog and that made me laugh. Our initial assumptions turned upside down are always fun, as long as there is evidence in the beginning of this, which your construction and hints imply. My only suggestion is however to make the dog’s thoughts at the opening in italics instead of in quotations to show he is thinking this not actually speaking.

    • nelleg says:

      Love It! Great twist. Irony at it’s best. Stupid Humans!

    • Jeanie Y says:

      I thought this was really good Ted. I really didn’t get that it was a dog until toward the end and it was a great surprise! Loved it! (feel really bad for the little guy tho!)

  32. smallster21 says:

    “What are you trying to do?”

    Brooke looked up at her boyfriend from where she crouched over a jagged rock, a coconut in one hand. “What does it look like I’m doing Corbin?” She went back to whacking the coconut against the rock as she contemplated knocking him in the head with it.

    He ripped it from her hand. “You’re not doing it right.”

    “Has Mr. Anal-Retentive Engineer been drawing up plans for the past hour on the proper way to crack open a coconut?”

    His brown curls were now frizzy as they stuck out all over his head and he went to work like a caveman crouched over the hope of building a fire.

    She stalked away to the line of trees and saw her ex-fiancé walking towards her. Graham looked at her sympathetically. She had broken his heart, and after all these years, he was still in love with her.

    “Come on, I have something to show you.”

    She stared out at Corbin who had paused and was glaring at them.

    “Fine.” She followed Graham and after about ten minutes he was leading her into a cave. The cool air relaxed her instantly and she closed her eyes envisioning the air conditioned office at the university, wishing they had never left.

    “Were you two planning on rekindling your engagement?” Corbin had followed them. He brushed past Graham and bore down on her. “Why is it he just so happened to be added to our group at the last minute? Planning on dumping me and enjoying the Revillagigedo Islands alone with him?”

    “Are you insane? I can’t help it he was assigned to the project.”

    He narrowed his eyes as if he wanted to do nothing more than squeeze her neck until she no longer breathed. He stood there for several moments in silence before stalking out.

    Graham was smirking as if he were pleased. He no longer had sympathy on his face as he rubbed his hands together with a calm, crazed hunger in his eyes. “Does it hurt? Oh, it does, doesn’t it?” He said as if reveling in the successful outcome of an orchestrated plan. “You really believed me when I called you the night before you left that I had been assigned to the project.”

    “Well, I’ve never perceived you as being a lunatic.”

    “You broke my heart, I’ve waited a long time to break yours. Making sure the plane crashed was easy. Too bad there aren’t any inhabitants or visitors to the islands. You’ll be stuck here for weeks, if you survive that long.”

    “You are out of your mind.” Brooke kept her gaze on him as she hurried outside to search for Corbin. She didn’t have to look for long. He was walking towards her with a large jagged rock in one hand and a determined, crazed look in his eyes. She turned around and ran right into Graham who was sneering down at her.

  33. Ivan B says:

    When I awoke they were both staring at me square in the face and that’s when I knew.

    I had to get myself off this dreaded island, but how? Our only mode of transportation had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean along with every piece of survival gear I had access to. For me to get through this ordeal I would have to take drastic measures. This was not going to end well.

    The first one to go had to be Piotr. He was the more reckless of the two and it’s his fault we’re stuck on this deserted island in the first place. If he wouldn’t have shot the floorboard of the boat with his grandpa’s six-shooter we’d still be drinking whiskey and debating about the merits of war.

    It was the whiskey’s fault. It’s always the whiskey’s fault. By the time we cracked open that third jug I knew we would be in some sort of trouble by the end of the night. Little did I know it would lead us to a game of Russian Roulette and swimming 10 miles onto a deserted island.

    “Hey Piotr, you still got your grandfather’s gun?” I asked.

    “Yes, but I’m out of bullets.” He responded in a thick Polish accent.

    I wasted no time. I swung with a right hook before he could finish his sentence and clocked him right behind the ear. By the time he realized what had happened I already had the gun pointed at both of them.

    “I knew you sons-of-bitches were up to something so I stashed away some ammunition while you plotted against me. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice? Huh? You sick bastards!”

    They both looked at each other, confused. I knew they were moving on to Plan B and it wasn’t going to be easy.

    As I fumbled around my pocket for the ammo and loaded the gun, I realized I had something else in my pocket. It was a note.

    I unfolded the piece of paper and it said:

    Jack, don’t believe it. It’s not true. It’s not me, it’s Piotr. — Billy

    When did Billy slip this note in my pocket? I looked at him and he casually winked at me with the eye furthest from Piotr. Could it be that Billy was on my side? That Piotr had wanted to kill both of us but his plan backfired?

    “I don’t know what you’re thinking Jack, but please put down the gun!” screamed Billy.

    “Do what he says or else someone’s going to get hurt.” Piotr calmly responded.

    I aimed the gun back and forth between the two. The sweat was clouding my vision. I could feel the veins in my trigger finger throbbing with nervousness. I’ve never killed a man before and I was scared. I wanted to cry and had a lump in my throat.

    I put the gun to my head, closed my eyes, and pulled the trigger.

    • smallster21 says:

      So, was he still playing Russian Roulette at the end? If not, I don’t understand why he turned the gun on himself.

      Very nice imagery and setting description in the beginning. I could see them all on the boat getting drunk and playing the risky game, sinking the boat and swimming to shore.

  34. C.J. Evershade says:

    A young boy awoke from an infinite rest – thin rays of sunlight began to sneak into his eyes. He rounded his back and sat up slowly – legs outstretched before him. His fatigue raced away as a small worm squeezed between his toes, which he then snapped at with his fingers. The worm was sweet on his tongue; yet burned on its decent following a deep swallow.

    He rose to his feet.

    Sun-blinded eyes were washed away by a vast sea – deep and dark; it greeted him with a silent crashing of frosted waves.

    The boy shouted.
    “Ahoy!”
    His voice was drowned and unheard.

    The boy raced to shore. His feet ached as they troubled across a dense field of sand, but his hunger muted the pain. As he drew nearer to the frosted plane, a sharp and smoky scent interrupted the run and quickly saturated his skin. The aroma dragged around a cliff line and ceased in a high and violent fire pit. A long shadow crested at his feet as two boys emerged from behind the flames – dancing and circling to an imaginary melody.

    They halted their dance and slowly turned to face the boy. He fell back in terror. The dancers each wore a sickening mask – a swine head, severed, yet fully intact. Thick strings of flesh extended from the false-head onto the dancers’ shoulders – staining their skin a deep red.

    “Ahoy! May I share in your feast?” asked the lone boy. The dancers quickly jumped into the flames and emerged with a cooked swine hoisted above their shoulders. They darted past the lone boy in silence.

    He quickly followed.

    The chase continued into dusk up a winding stretch of earth that revolved a small, yet steep and towering landmass. The pursuit ruined atop the tower. Nightfall began as stars cleared its blindness with a soft glow. The dancers turned about and their terrible faces stared and questioned the boy’s pursuit.

    The lone boy repeated, “Now may I share in your feast?”

    The dancers slowly backed away. They neared the land’s end – a cliff that opened to the silent plane.

    The boy approached; his teeth shivered from hunger. Small steps became larger – he raced for the hoisted swine. The dancers tossed the carcass beyond their footing and the lone boy followed. The masked dancers peered over the edge as the boy disappeared into the sea.

    As time passed, the fallen boy washed ashore. Sunlight once again awoke him. He stood up – cold and feverish. Beside him lay a broken carcass. He bent over to eat, but the fever sent him into madness. He raised the head of the beast and placed it upon his face.

    He walked about the foot of the mountain and peered afar.

    “Ahoy!” he heard shouted from the distance. He made way to the voice until his pace stuttered – as two dancers pulled at his arm and galloped to a roaring fire pit.

    The dancers began to circle the inferno.

    The lone boy scratched at the flesh of his covering and stepped toward the blaze. In excitement and immense hunger, he joined in the dancing.

    The endless sea embraced their silent cacophony.

  35. Celine says:

    Bloody hell. How did I get here? Did I forget to take my medication? The sun is hot and beating on my scalp. My lips are crusty and I can barley see the sun is so bright. I’m propped up against a palm. Ok. I really am here says my sense of touch, as I bury my hand into the sand and welcome its coolness. I gaze out to sea. Where is Tom and Sadie? I slowly become conscious as I remember my two best friends. I can hear their voices. My thoughts are insisting they are trying to find me and come to my rescue. How nice it would be to see their warm smiles. Sadie in her red bikini and large woven brimmed hat. Laughter accompanying her. Tom, in his nothing special trousers and eager demeanor. I know I must rescue myself. Their rescue would mean my death. Death of my consciousness, my well being. I want to stay. I want to meet their laughter. They are not real. It is time for my voices to stop. It is a rescue incapable of rescue. I must rescue me. I bring my hand back to the hot surface of the sand. I know my efforts right now determine my future. Reluctantly, with hope, with struggle, and vision of the future, I stand and make my way to the sea. The hot sand burns my feet. I look down at my legs in the water, reflecting back to me my choice. The portal that both births me and cleanses me, with each step and inch of water that covers me. I am me.

    • smallster21 says:

      Is this person hallucinating due to their missed dose of medication? If not, how did they really get where they are? Or is there some philosophical metaphor going on here? Last line reminds me of Descartes.

      I really liked the character descriptions for Tom and Sadie. You were able to give both physical and personality descriptions in two short nicely written sentences.

      • swatchcat says:

        Sorry, this is a little confusing but in a good way. Although you may need to consider directing the reader a little more it’s kind of like a Mad Lib. The main character is druged or is lacking a required drug and realizes it’s her friends that are the cause. Although still having feelings for the friends she most escape them because for whatever reason, they are the death of her. Right. Or, she’s delusional.

        • smallster21 says:

          Oh, I see what swatchcat is saying on the point where it could be her friends that drugged/withheld drugs from her. “Their rescue would mean my death. Consciousness, my well-being.” So, maybe at the end water is used as a metaphor for baptism? Birth and cleansing? Maybe the friends were supplying her drugs and she wishes to get sober. I’m interested to know if this is literally or if it is the thoughts of a drug addict. Lol, sorry if it isn’t that, I read what swatchcat said and found it interesting and reread and saw evidence for that viewpoint!

          • swatchcat says:

            Right. That’s what I mean by a MadLib, those little booklets of stories where you fill in the blankets with various verbs, nouns, adjectives etc. to finish the story. Each persons choices of words changes the mean/direction. This story is written with a fill in the gaps sort of feel. By pulling the reader in to try to figure it out, the writer has kept you going back to find your own ending/reasoning.That can be a good style of writing in itself. Leads to a book debate too. Celine, good job.

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