stranded-1

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Subject: Stranded – Chapter 1 Disclaimer: The following is a work of fiction. All characters and events, although based on history, are fiction. Any similarities to anyone are purely coincidental. The story is intended for a mature audience only. Please let me know if you have any feedback on the story and your thoughts on it!. Email me at ail Please take the time to donate to Nifty — the service is run by a volunteer who takes the time to keep this beautiful place alive, for your enjoyment. Donate here – fty/ CHAPTER 1 The warmth of the sun was the first thing that filled my senses as I came into consciousness. It was a strange sensation at first. Like I was coming out of a deep sleep; but I felt so groggy as my eyes fluttered open. The smell of the sea filled my nose immediately. My muscles felt sore; like I’d just come back from a vigorous workout. I wiped my eyes as I sat up; as I opened them and they adjusted I realized all I could see… was blue. I sat up straighter. Confusion racked my brain as my senses came to. The sky above was clear; the blue a lighter shade than the ocean that surrounded. I was in a boat; a life boat that swayed gently with the calm water. My shirt was ripped. I came to notice the throbbing headache I had. Where the hell was I? Then the memories flooded back. The yacht. The storm. Lightning, rain. Chaos. I rubbed my temples. My head felt like it was going to explode. I couldn’t even begin to think of where I was. I breathed deeply; trying my best to calm myself, to centre myself. My heart was pounding. We’d been travelling across the pacific. I’d been brought onto the boat by a man named Sean Murphy, an Irish man who’d owned it. He was a rich man; an art collector. I’d just finished my degree in Art History at the university of Hawai’i; he’d found one of my published papers I’d done on the emergence of contemporary art in relation to the contrasting art of the 20th century. He’d gotten hold of me – we went for lunch. He was kind; humble. He invited me along to Japan, to see an artwork he wanted to buy. How could I refuse the offer? My anxiety skyrocketed. I rubbed my eyes again; hoping when I opened them it would only just have been a dream. I would wake up in my bed back in Honolulu and laugh about it. There was no way this was reality; life had been simple, moving forward at an amazing rate. I opened my eyes again. It was no dream. I looked right; there was a small compartment at the end of the boat. I tried to move towards it; shocked by how stiff my body was. I shuffled towards it instead; it was unlocked. I looked inside; rations, a few water containers. A flare gun, with four rounds. Emergency blankets, a compass. A torch and a lamp, a bucket, a first-aid kit, a small signalling mirror. Some drinking vessels, a tin opener. Some fishing equipment. And a survival manual. I was breathing fast, I realized. I sat back, holding the manual in my hand as I looked at the sky. This couldn’t be happening to me. My eyes closed; I tried my hardest to centre myself, but it wasn’t happening too easily. I threw the manual back into the compartment, and buried my face in my hands. The memories were hazy. It had been a peaceful trip. I was on the top deck, laying on the decks reviewing the material provided about the Artist and his background we were going to see. Everything had been fine. Then it wasn’t. The yacht stopped. I didn’t think much of it. Then the crew got edgy. In the distance the storm was approaching fast. Oh, fuck… It was real. I looked up and left; my whole being froze. I can’t believe I didn’t notice etiler escort him at first. He was curled up at the other end of the boat. His face was buried in his legs that were held up close to his chest. He wore shorts and a shirt; barefoot. I didn’t need anything else to recognize him besides his dark blonde hair. It was Calin Murphy; the 15 year old son of Sean Murphy, the owner of the boat. We’d maybe spoken a total of 4 words to each other. I’d kept to myself on the boat; besides chatting to the crew and to Sean. That, and it was mainly because he’d kept to himself, too; hardly coming out of his quarters unless he needed food. A few evenings he’d come out to watch the sunset. That was pretty much it. He was quiet, reserved. I hoped he was fast asleep and nothing worse. I gently shuffled towards him; he was breathing. I felt relief fill my being; but that relief was quickly replaced by my panic. We were on a lifeboat, in the middle of the pacific. No phones, nothing. I went through the compartment again; just to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. I hadn’t. I stood up; the lifeboat was decently sized, and as far as the eyes could see all around us was nothing but blue ocean. I was thankful it was calm; not even a small breeze. There were two oars on either edge. There was an adjustable roof that I could pull over half the boat for cover. The floor of the boat had a small layer of water; presumably from the storm. I also noticed a small dent in the raft near where Calin lay. I sat down and felt numb; only the feeling of the lukewarm water on my feet kept me aware of my very existence. What now? Eat rations till we starve? No phones. Maybe shoot the flare. But was there anyone around? Maybe. There had to be. It was the only thing I could think of at that very moment. Just a glimmer of hope that lay in my heart. That was better than anything. I grabbed the flare; looked at it. It was confusing. I had to take one of the four parachuted rounds, and load it in. It took me a few minutes, but I got it eventually. It loaded with a satisfying click. I couldn’t help but let off a small prayer as I pointed it at the sky. It was loud. A massive woosh sounded as it fired into the air. So much so, I heard Calin startle awake. After a moment of confusion his eyes found mine. Bright, blue orbs; filled with fright. There was a second of no movement as he processed. His face looked etched with worry. He didn’t look around in shock, like I had. He’d been awake before me. The fright disappeared; it was replaced with sadness. I knew then he’d already gone through the process I’d just gone through. His eyes looked up, finding the red dot as it soared higher and higher. My eyes followed his; we watched as it climbed up, and finally exploded, sending off three more orbs in separate directions with a loud pop. “Do you think anyone will see it?” came a light voice from the boy. I couldn’t help but swallow hard as I contemplated my answer. “I hope so,” I said. Still, watching as the bright red sparks descended slowly. There were a good few seconds of dead silence as we watched. My eyes looked back down to him; watched him as he looked at, most likely, one of our last hopes of being discovered. His smooth skin was lightly tanned; gently touched by the sun on our trip. His short, silky hair was a little messy on his head. He was skinny; his bare arms and legs had little to no fat; basically hairless. “Are you okay?” I asked. I meant it. He looked at me. His eyes told me the answer. His delicate face looked like he’d etimesgut escort seen a war. He basically had. So had I. He gave me a shrug. “I don’t know,” he answered honestly. I nodded slowly. “Yeah… me neither,” His head tilted a little as he looked at me. “It’s… Nathan, right?” he asked. I nodded my head with a small smile. “Yeah,” I said. “And you’re Calin,” I told him, more than asked. He gave me a small nod, looking at his hands. They were intricate; well kept. He seemed to move out of focus, rather staring into nothingness as he vanished into his thoughts. I felt my heart pang for him. But of all the things I felt at that moment… Thank you, God, that I wasn’t alone. He didn’t say anything else. He shuffled against the side of the boat, pulling his legs to his chest and holding himself tightly. He was still processing. Hell, so was I. I didn’t know how I felt. Such a wide variety of emotions; sadness, disappointment, confusion, anxiety. I just… didn’t know how to feel. No one saw the flare. No boats appeared in the distance. No planes flew overhead. The sun was baking down on us. I took the time to pull the cover up; it covered half the boat with a thin white material. A blessed relief from the baking sun. Calin moved under, curling up in a ball again, staring into blank space. I didn’t know what to say to him. I wanted to make him feel better. But how could I do that when I felt such a wide range of shit myself? We sat in silence. It wasn’t awkward. Just… processing. That was all. A few hours passed; I pulled out two sets of rations; handing one to Calin. He looked at it; smiled thankfully. The smile made what we were going through just that much better. Such a sweet smile. We sat and ate; dried food wasn’t all that tasty, but it was all we had. We drank a little bit of water. I took some time to stand at the bow, gazing around for any sign of anything. The sun was starting to approach the horizon. I sent up another flare. Watched it as it exploded high in the sky. Waited. And waited, and waited. Two more hours passed, and no one came to help us. The little bit of hope in Calin’s eyes seemed to slowly start to vanish. I wished I could say something; anything. Give him a hug, tell him everything is going to be fine. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it… because I didn’t know if I believed it. The night arrived as the sun disappeared behind the horizon. The sway of the ocean picked up, but only a little bit. It felt like a gentle rocking chair. I pulled out the emergency blankets, handed one to Calin; they were warm, at least. The evening wasn’t too chilly, though. More for comfort of mind than anything else. The orange sky turned nearly black as the sun disappeared. There was no moon in the sky tonight; but I moved to the bow again, sat and lay my head back to see the most beautiful night sky I’d ever witnessed. So many stars filled the void, it was mind blowing. I could see the milky way; the lack of any light pollution was mesmerizing. Most of all; in those moments the anxiety and stress left my mind as I admired it. I almost didn’t notice Calin as he came and sat right next to me. It was the closest he’d been to me the entire day. He lay his head back; I heard a small gasp as he saw the sky. In the light of the circumstances… It was a beautiful moment. I smiled. I didn’t know this kid from a bar of soap; yet here we were, stranded at sea together. For who knows how long. He fell asleep; curled up in the blanket. I prayed; just prayed, that no storms would pop up suddenly. I couldn’t etlik escort do it again; and in this tiny boat… we’d be good as dead. The stress of it kept me awake for a while. My eyes adjusted, I had the small solar powered lamp next to me. I couldn’t help but watch Calin’s face as he slept. Finally, he looked a little peaceful. His young button nose rested above a pair of gentle soft lips. He was pretty. A gentle soul; I could tell from a million miles away. A sweet soul, who certainly didn’t deserve something like this. As the hours ticked by, the sea calmed down, and so did my anxiety. I felt my eyes droop. It was time to sleep. I didn’t know what would happen; but there was no point in stressing about it now. Nothing was going to change this reality, no matter what. I lay down, watching the sky as I finally succumbed to sleep. I can’t say I dreamed anything pleasant. I just remember flashes. Water. No clear images. Just feelings. Panic. That’s all I could recall as I came back into consciousness. Or more, forced into consciousness as I felt something shaking me. I jolted awake; at first thinking it was the boat. But it wasn’t; it was Calin. “Wake up! Nathan! Nathan, wake up!” he was saying, shaking my shoulders. My eyes adjusted as I sat up. It was morning. The sun was starting to poke over the horizon, rising slowly. “What? What is it?” I asked, rubbing my eyes. `Land!” he told me excitedly; his form filled with more energy than I’d ever seen. I processed what he said – he pointed east. My eyes followed his finger; and as I came to see it, my eyes widened as I stood up straight. An island. A massive, forest-covered mountain stood on it’s right; the left was a massive patch of flat land, covered in nature. I could see the beach from where we were. I stood quickly. I couldn’t help but smile. “Would you look at that,” I said softly. I looked at Calin; the hope in his eyes radiated. Rather be on an island than out at sea. And maybe… What if something civilized lay on it? Maybe it was some billionaire’s island? The oars entered my mind. After I lowered the cover, Calin and I quickly grabbed them; there were two hooks in the compartment that slotted perfectly on either side to hold the oars; we started rowing. First turning the boat, then ever so slowly moving towards the island. It was further than we’d originally thought. The mountain grew larger and larger as we neared. We even took a moment to let the boat float as we looked up at the looming natural wonder. It was beautiful. Exotic. In the far distance, I could see a massive waterfall on it. When the boat finally lurched onto solid ground, the solid relief that filled my veins was unnatural. Calin and I jumped off the bow; our feet hit solid ground, under a thin layer of very cold water. With massive effort, we hurled the lifeboat up onto the shore. The sand was super fine; the grains felt gentle in between my toes as I stepped forward, looking at the high trees that loomed over us. My eyes looked to Calin; he gazed around in wonder. He looked at me; the smile that formed on his lips made my heart warm up. He moved towards me and wrapped his arms around me in a tight hug, burying his head in my chest. I wasn’t expecting it. His touch was soft; I wrapped my arms around his back and hugged him back. I could feel the relief in his soul as he breathed deeply. But… I knew something was up when he didn’t let me go. His grip tightened a little; and soon enough I felt him softly start to cry into my chest. I held him tightly; I started rubbing his back. Still… processing. I felt like crying, too; but nothing came out as of yet. It would eventually. But for now… I was just so glad to be on solid ground. This was so fucked up; I couldn’t believe that we were here, on an island. Stranded. It just showed how quickly life could flip itself on its head in ways that we could never imagine. ***

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