Sands

Wednesday story time is here again. This is another longer story at about 7000 words and it’s also Sci-Fi. Not going to give any details because otherwise it’ll ruin the surprise. So lets just get right into it shall we?

Water laps at Oliver’s torso, breaking against his body, sending spray high enough for it to splatter across his face and head. The water is enough to make Oliver jolt awake, having previously been unconscious, spluttering and coughing as he tries to expel the water he’s ingested. He soon finds himself heaving subconsciously to try and clear his throat, in the moments before his body demands that he sucks air down into his lungs, which are burning painfully within his chest.

Shaking his head Oliver tries to get the salt water from his eyes without gouging at them with his sand coated hands, which he knows will only make matters far worse. His eyes are blurry and painful as he tries to strip the sand from his hands by rubbing them together frantically. He hopes this will work, he says to himself. He saw it somewhere once, but he doesn’t remember where, not that it matters. Before long he manages to clear the excess sand from his hands, but there is still too much of the fine coarse grains stubbornly clumped across the surface of his skin for him to want to risk touching his eyes. So, instead he rubs his hands across his torso, hoping that will do the trick. Unfortunately, rubbing his hands against his torso has the exact opposite effect, as his shirt, tattered and faded, is soaked through. He notices he isn’t cold however as the high noon sun bakes down on him, already starting to bake his wet clothes dry. Though, the process will still take quite a time, he is sure.

In frustration of not being able to get his hands clean of the sand, Oliver surrenders to his blurry vision and instead tries to stand. He stumbles several steps before ultimately crumpling back to his knees. It is only now that he notes how the sand is warm against his skin, all while he tries again to blink away the blurriness from his eyes. But the water that has splashed into them has left salt particles in his eyes which are starting to burn and irritate. Oliver makes no further attempts to push forward as he instead continues blinking wildly until finally he accepts that blinking is just not going to get the job done. He knows he will have to risk wiping his eyes, but decides on using his lower forearm for the job. He should have thought of it earlier and curses himself for not having done so, as it has left him struggling. However, he has no idea how long this long is. It could have been seconds or minutes. It feels like it has more likely been minutes than seconds, he admits to himself, as he blinks a few more times to clear the remainder of his vision.

But with his goal now achieved and his vision clear Oliver immediately wishes otherwise, as all he sees is sand. He turns his head left, and sees sand, and then turns his head right, more sand. In fact, the only place there isn’t sand is behind him, but he looks that way anyway. He doesn’t know why, but at least behind him there lies a green coloured ocean, the waves of which gently laps at the sandy shores all around him. He’d call the sand a beach, but it isn’t a beach, it’s an island. A small empty island, not some sort of holiday paradise destination, Oliver acknowledges this as he feels panic set in.

He’d been on a boat, well a ship to be exact, crossing the ocean when a storm had hit. The storm couldn’t have sunk the ship though; it was far too large and had survived far greater storms to have been felled by such a small blip. No, something else must have happened, but for the life of Oliver he can’t think what. There are gaps in his memory that he can’t explain. Maybe he hit his head, he reasons as he stumbles once more to his feet, cupping his hands round his eyes to stop the blaring bright sun searing them. He’s only just got his vision back to normal, they’ve suffered enough, he notes to himself as he scans his surroundings properly. It doesn’t take him long, but once he’s done scanned it is obvious that he really is alone on a small sandy island. It’s one of a number of other small islands which are all grouped together. He isn’t sure if they are all like the one he is stood on, comprised of nothing but sand, but he is fairly sure they’ll all be deserted. He doesn’t know why he’s so sure about that however, as he exhales deeply wondering what he should do next. Should he search this island? Or venture to one of the others? Should he find food or shelter? Should he try and escape the island? But, if he tried that, where would he go? All these questions and more race through his mind as he tries to decide on the best course of action, but in all honesty he has no clue what to do. All his options have their merits, except trying to escape the island. That would only end in calamity. And that calamity would be him drowning from exhaustion, plain and simple. He’d swim until he couldn’t swim anymore and would still be in open empty vast ocean. By that point he’d be exhausted and start by tread water hoping to get his energy back. He would never get his energy back and would instead pass out from a mixture of exhaustion and dehydration, at which point he’d drown.

Some people think that just because the oceans are comprised of water that they can then drink it and keep themselves sustained. Problem is, sea water has salt in it and salt dehydrates the body. So, in fact, all he’d be doing is hastening his end. And it wouldn’t be a very nice end at that.

Oliver finally concludes his only option is to search the island. It’s almost certainly the most logical and sensible option, he thinks.

First, see what this island can provide and then once that has been ascertained move on, if necessary. That doesn’t stop a voice in the back of his head taunting him with chants saying that there is nothing here and that he has no hope of surviving, let alone being rescued. Especially when he considers the fact that, bar himself, who even knows he is here? For that matter, where even is here? Oliver, sick of the voice, banishes it and the thoughts it has brought along with it as he takes several deep breathes, turns to his right and then begins to wander down this edge of the sandy islet. His eyes scan ahead of him while his feet are left to sink into the soft golden sand; the only sounds are Oliver’s quiet breathing and that of the water as the waves lap at the shoreline.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: