Sunday, May 23, 2010


Everyone of us sitting here is thinking the same thing. Who’s going to be next? Dinner. Breakfast. Lunch. We all have to eat now and someone has to survive to tell the story. Who is it going to be?

Surrounded by water. No sign of land or rescue. Nothing but the level ocean reaching out and meeting the horizon. The day’s grow long and time even longer. Ginger runs her small red fingernails along the white rim of the wooden craft. Delicately the wind dances through her strawberry blonde hair that sits beneath a small straw hat shielding her slightly blushed face from the harsh sunlight. The gentle breeze is a much needed relief to the last day’s heat. The color of my own skin is bright pink speckled with new developed freckles. I can only imagine what is left of my face. Several layers of burn have peeled away, leaving a feeling of raw tenderness. Frightening thought for a teenager girl to realize her face is missing.

We’ve been adrift for 42 days and no one is getting any wiser to our missing. Uncle Joe, although the fact has been overlooked that he’s no one’s uncle, says it is cause the boat sunk too quickly and there were no flares. No signal means no survivors. Obviously they’ve stopped looking for us sometime ago. Mr. Shannon, an older gentlemen insists on being formally addressed because his undisclosed first name is effeminate, agrees with the latter idea. A signal would have been the right course of action. We should have most definitely found a way, someway, anyway to identify our location. The late widow Michaels, I mean, Alice claimed the harm had been in taking only one lifeboat.

How could 8 people possibly have survived on enough rations for 5? Rations meant only to last a week, and it took exactly one week before they started dying. Food was gone within one and James, Robert, and little Susan followed six days later. The Andrews children were far too sickly to have survived much longer than that. Traveling alone, the children were accompanied by a doctor and nanny. Both guardians went down with the ship. The strapping twin boys provided enough food for several days, but alas poor Suzie went overboard. Just watching the poor lifeless angel drift away seemed wrong. Her little body still like a doll, eyes left wide open to eternally gaze upon the heavens.

Alice followed the children 25 days later. But she didn’t go from a lack of food or water. It seems that despite our food predicament we have plenty of water. It was her heart. At the ripe age of 65 she seemed spry enough. But needless to say, looks can be deceiving. Alice must have known her time was coming. Before she passed she left me with a warning. “Rynn, please pay close attention to these men. Never doubt for one second. They will kill you for survival. As a child I suspect you will not understand that kind of malevolence.” By next morning she was gone.

Day 43 brought the arrival of Mr. Shannon’s rather mysterious departure. Since Alice had passed away we had all be sleeping in shifts. Paranoia brought the fear that anyone sleeping more than another would be found dead. There had been no assassination attempts as of yet. At least it seemed that way, until then. Daylight crept across the horizon illuminating the ocean in a bright orange red haze and revealing the small detail that could not be disregarded. Three remain. Without any explanation, the morning light shared the truth that one was missing. In the spot where an older man should be seated, there is nothing. No watch, no glasses, and no clothing left. Just as though he’d never been, gone without a trace.

Of course this infraction divides us further. Ginger and Uncle Joe never fully trusted each other, but without Mr. Shannon, the boat becomes a defined civil war. Him vs. Her. Me the helpless child stuck in the middle. Not a referee and incapable of taking a side. By the 48th day adrift there was no more water and no chance of rest. Uncle Joe sat in the stern of the boat with madness in his stare. Ginger on opposing end, looked more like a ferocious tiger rather than her usual delicate rose. Between the two, I’m deadlocked wondering what will happen.

Soon enough wonder becomes a reality. Ginger reaches beneath her skirt and pulls out a flask from within the folds of fabric. Apparently she’s been hiding a personal supply of water. A flask cleverly strapped to her thigh using the remaining pieces of her garters. Carefully she waves the tiny metal container as if taunting. Uncle Joe isn’t at all amused. Upon seeing this he storms across the little boat and demands her to concede. All the while the boat sways up and down under this chaos. Smiling she hands over the flask with a hint of laughter. Greedily Uncle Joe drinks until there is clearly nothing left. Wiping the sweat off his brow, the brutish man begins to waver. His feet and legs seem to come out from beneath him. With one sweep of her arm, Ginger pushes Uncle Joe right out of the small boat. She quickly reaches over to hand paddle and instructs me to do the same on the other side. Together we begin rowing away from the downed man. It seems almost unnecessary as he never makes any attempt to get back in. In fact, there’s no sign of his body. Down to the depths he sank like a rock. Ginger smiles and settles back into her seat.

50 days have passed and the time seemed appropriate to reveal the true nature of the disappearance of Mr. Shannon. Sitting at the stern I’m playing with the rope that connected our small vessel to a larger one. Ginger motions for me to bring over the rope. “Come on Rynn, bring the rope and I’ll show you how to tie a proper knot.” Cautiously I make my way over to the other side of the boat with the rope. “Rynn darling, did you think what I did to Joe was wrong? You aren’t mad about that? Tell me honey.” I shake my head no and smile reassuringly. “That’s good honey. Oh hey, you can tie a knot. Let me see that. I know what this kind is called… Wait, don’t tell me. It’s the kind you use on…” But it’s too late. While she’s looking at the insignificant knot, I’ve made my way to the side of her. With a quick movement I wrap the rope around her neck and tighten. Off goes the straw hat while the strawberry blonde hair flies wildly with her head shaking in an attempt to break free.

Calmly I explain the specific details about the deaths. One by one, aside from Uncle Joe, I handled the unsavory business of elimination. Alice spared me the trouble by passing in her sleep. Survival of the fittest. The children were of course the easiest. Fragile creatures would have suffered needlessly. Mr. Shannon found me with the poison before I was about to pour it into the water supply. It didn’t take much effort to take care of him. Old man never stood a chance. Can’t swim and couldn’t hold an anchor. I’d tied it to his foot and pushed. As the noose robs Ginger of her last breaths I explain, “So you see, here’s the answer to this all. I’ve managed to hide a little water of my own and there’s going to be enough food until they find me. How would you like me to tell them you died?”

55 days out to sea. Poor girl stranded all alone with barely enough food and water. That’s how they found me. Deprived and isolated little Rynn Thompson, the sole survivor of an ocean liner wreckage.

Repost. The first of this year. Feels appropriate since I've been imaginary arm wrestled into watching LOST by my friend Jason. Which isn't watching the ending cheating? In this case it really isn't. I'm also amidst watching the recaps as directed by his instructions. Being told 'you will LOVE this!' And I'm expecting too. Should be a lot of fun. Anyhow, this tale was sort of from last year and rewritten this year. If you haven't read it or even if you have... Enjoy! m.

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