At least, that’s what she assumed when she found herself on the sand. She assumed she must have been on a plane that crashed, but for some reason, it wasn’t here now. The blazing sun had already stung her back, so she must have been there for a while. She pulled herself up, looking around at the abandoned beach. There were a few palm trees and viney grass overtook the sand near the center of the small island. Brown, wrinkled fruit hung from the middle of the palm trees.
She tried to remember what happened last. Nothing struck her head as recent, but she had memories. Her name was Mia, for instance. She lived in California, with her father and her older sister. She attended Roseville High School, where she was a straight A student with enough service hours to be equivalent to the gains of sand in an hourglass. But nothing explained why she was here, sitting on an island that was barely enough to hold her. She started breathing heavy. This isn’t right. I shouldn't be here! Where is Dad? He wouldn’t let me go off on my own yet, I’m not even 16! She stood up and began running to all edges of the island. Where am I? Was I on a plane? Did we crash? Where is everyone else, then? She leaned up against a nearby palm for support, trying to make sense of what was happening.
I’m alone on a small island, in the middle of the Pacific. No wait- I don’t even know that! I could be in the Indian Ocean for all I know! Tears burned in her eyes and she crumbled to the floor. She wanted her father to come out of the shadows and tell her she was just feet away from home. She wanted her friends to say she crashed while surfing and they just left her to rest. Heck, she even wanted her older brat of a sister to come and comfort her in all her puns and annoyance. She just didn’t want this reality.
She tried to calm herself. She really did. She knew deep inside she should get up and find water and wait for someone to come. But she couldn’t. She couldn’t bare the reality of being alone forever on an island the size of a pea. She crumbled to her knees and let the tears come, still holding the palm tree. She looked up at the sky, the tears in her eyes refracting the sun and making her vision blurry. Why am I here? Am I being punished? What did I do, God? She sobbed her grievances, angry at the bitterness of reality. What did she do to deserve this? She was a perfect child, a perfect student, a perfect girl. She’d never cheated, and though she wasn’t in a relationship now, she’d always be loyal. Faithful.
Perfect. Her sobs began to turn into dry heaves. Rubbing her salty checks, she looked around. The tide had risen a little, shrinking her already small island. She watched as the water lapped at her feet, licking her toes. She frowned at it, taking its perhaps comforting gesture to be teasing. She forced herself to her feet, looking around once again for something to be productive at. Maybe there is something left over from the crash, she thought as she walked over to the center of the island. Maybe a radio. She broke into a jog and reached the other end of the island, ducking under a palm leaf. She felt the tears burn at her eyes again. Nothing. She ran around the diameter again, confirming her thoughts. There’s nothing here, she thought as she held back tears. Why is there nothing? Did we crash in the middle of the ocean? Why am I here?! She noticed the tears trickling down again and brushed them away in surprise. Clenching her fist with a sudden blot of anger and frustration, she pushed back the tears. This is so unfair. I have nothing, no one, and no hope. She looked up in anger when something caught her eye. She whirled around, trying to catch it again. A glimmer of light hit her perfectly. Searching around still, she noticed another island. Realizing the source of the light, she noticed there seemed to be buildings on the island, one of them reflecting the light. She got up, hope soaring through her veins. Rushing to the edge of the island, she raised her hand to block the sunlight. There must be a mirror or a piece of glass, she mused rationally, and they put it there to help call people over. She frantically turned for something that could be used as a boat. The palm trees were too fresh to be cut down, and the viney grass was close to useless unless she could find something to bind them to. I can always swim, she thought before another thought struck her head. I don’t know what I could be meeting over there. It could be abandoned, or it could be cannibals. She stopped think for a second. Do they still have cannibals? She shook off the negative thoughts. There must be something, or else they wouldn’t have built there. She turned to look at the island again. There appears to be palm trees there too, so I won’t need to bring any over.
Standing at the ever-shrinking edge of the island, she looked down at her clothes. She had determined to keep them on, even though they would get wet, because it would be too difficult to carry it. I should try to bring something. Maybe they’ll like me if I bring them food. She turned around to the trees, the object of her selfish flattery. She stood at the base of the tree, studying the bark and considering how to climb it. An idea came to her with a hint of a blush. She looked around, looking for invisible eyes. Taking off her shirt carefully, she looked down at her chest ashamedly. The girl was on the Roseville Track Team, so she was in good shape, but not in the eyes of the beholder. She sighed and put her arms around the tree in a hug, holding her shirt around her hands. She put her legs at the base of the tree, pushing herself upwards. Her stomach rubbed against the rough bark, not enough to be painful, but enough to be uncomfortable. She pulled herself upward, pushing with her legs and hanging on with her shirt and arms. Slowly, she climbed higher and higher up the tilting trunk, keeping herself on the top side. Breathing heavily, she gripped the bunches of strange yellow-brown fruit, yanking downwards with a snap. She put her hand around the second bunch and pulled downwards, waiting for a snap. No snap was audible, so she yanked harder, holding on with one hand and the shirt being held down with her elbow. Her elbow moved, slipping the shirt from underneath its safety hook. In an animalistic attempt to prevent her fall, she gripped on the date branch, holding on for a split second before falling with the branch. She hit the sand and the trunk of the tree, scratching her underside and hitting her chest with a thump. She wheezed, attempting to catch her breath before it left her lungs with no avail. Laying on the beach in pain, she gripped her hands around the fruit of her efforts. She sat up slowly, trying not to aggravate her newfound cuts on her stomach and chest. The sharp stinging contrasted the dull throbbing pain from hitting her back. After a minute, making sure nothing was broken, she stood up. She glared her grievances at the tree and picked up the dates, looking for her shirt. It lay by the base of the tree, taunting its owner with the shame of how she fell. She picked it up, bending her knees instead of bending her back to keep from aggravating it. She put the dates down and pulled the battered cloth over her head and shoulders. The beaten shirt betrayed memories from her home- it had her school on the front of the shirt on the left pocket. The back was covered in multiple benefactors and sponsors from around the city.
She picked up the dates again by their springy stems. They did not look like much, in fact, she wasn’t even sure these were 100% edible. I hope that the people on the island know how to eat them, or if you can at all. She looked down at her clothes. She was wearing her shirt and bra, of course. The short sleeve shirt did little to protect her against the sun, but it was something. She examined her slightly red arms, noticing that her normal collection of bracelets and hairbands were gone. Looking down at her legs, she had even less on. She was wearing a pair of running shorts, typical for summer. The shorts were bright blue marbled with green so if she lost them in ocean, she was most likely would never be able to find them again. She pulled up the waistband of the shirt and stuck the branch of the palm in. It was scratchy, uncomfortable, so she pulled it out and examined it. Standing up, she balanced the branch under her foot and pulled upwards, snapping it in half. Taking the top half of it, she pulled off the little branches with not fruit on them and stuck them on the grainy sand. After a little bit of work, the branch was sustainably smaller. She placed it on the floor and worked on the other branch, though it was already smaller and took way less time. Once she was finished, she put the branches in her waistband and tightened it as much as possible with the strings. She had noticed the tide had slowly worked its way up, almost reaching the grass in some places. If I stay any longer, I won’t be able to stand on the island anymore. She began to head into the water, shocked by how cold it was in comparison to the blazing sun. When she reached the point where her toes could no longer touch, she treaded for a second, feeling her body lift in the water, and push forward, moving slowly to avoid the branches becoming loose. She swam lightly, saving her energy for the swim. The sun had lowered a little and hit the piece of glass perfectly, shining down on Mia like a halo. There was no one on the island as far as she could see, though the structures had to be made by human hand. All I can do is hope they didn’t leave yet.
As she got closer, she noticed more and more structures and details on the island. There were small cage-like sets across the edge of the beach, filling up with the newfound water from the tide. They appeared to be made of wood and vine and were pushed into the sand so they wouldn’t move. The branches on the trees revealed that the trees on this island were also palm. This island, however, was larger in diameter and had more plants. Plants of all kinds condensed in the middle, preventing her from seeing the other side.
She stopped moving forward for a second and tried to estimate how deep the water was below her. Pushing herself upward in a tread, she noticed a current swishing by her feet. It felt warmer and pleasant, refreshing compared to the frigged water. She began to move forward again, guessing that the beach shelf was close to where she was. Pushing forward, she felt her leg push up against something. It felt somewhat chilly and slimy. She felt her heart jump out of her chest when she saw the fin - recognizable from all the times she saw it present in horror movies and dramas. She froze in terror as the shark swished forward, coming close enough to the surface to see its back fin pushing itself forward. Holy frick- I’m going to die! The cold tail pressed up against her leg again, pushing her out of her fear. She dove forward, unconcerned about the goods in her waistband. The salty water splashed into her face as she dove to avoid the beast in the water. The wet sand smushed in her hands as she fought to get her way up the shore. Slipping and sliding, her hands finally reached somewhat dry sand and she shoved herself forwards as far as she could go. Breathing heavily, she fought down the panic and turn around, looking for the shark. A faint outline of the shark fin appeared about 2 meters away, trailing left to her and disappearing under the water ominously.
She let go of the breath she didn’t realize she was holding. Looking around, she got up unsteadily and checked her waistband. Dang it. One of them are missing. She looked around on the beach, hoping for a little bit of mercy among the blinding turquoise blue. Nothing. Dang it, I should have been more careful. She remembered what she was here for and ran over to the small structure that stood a little way from the water. This island must be huge when the tide goes back! The structure was bigger up close, but still not too large- it stood at about two of her. It was made of wood branches precariously placed and tied together with the viney grass she used before. Its teepee like shape kept it together, supporting each one of the somewhat tall poles. At the very top stood a small plastic pocket mirror, the bottom part tied down by more vines. She circled the teepee, looking for any footprints of signs of life. She noticed ruffled sand leading towards the dense foliage, not intelligible enough for footprints but enough to realize that someone was there. With how much sand that has been tossed about, there must be tons of us! She began to follow the steps when she was stopped by her thoughts. I wonder how we all got here. She shook off the thought. They’ll have answers when I get there. She moved forward and pressed though the foliage, avoiding getting smacked by the leaves.
Wherever “there” is, anyways.
Heya! I'm Dragon-Like-Tendencies. Long Lost is a book that I hope to publish one day, but for now, it will remain here. I try to update every two weeks, with a chapter full edited and written out. I hope you enjoy the story and stick around until the end!