Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2317542-The-Island-of-Dreams
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Drama · #2317542
It was supposed to be the perfect vacation until she met him.

         The last thing I remember is the tour guide gushing endlessly about the many uninhibited islands to surround the mainland; something about sun gods and moon goddesses mating and producing them during the formation of earth.

         I probably drank too much of that sweet wine they were passing around, I ponder as my body creaks in protest when I make an attempt to turn onto my side.

         The sensation of gritty sand against my skin, with some finding its way into my mouth, has me spitting out in disgust and wincing as my chapped lips protest the action.

         Christ! How long have I been out here? And how the hell did I end up here anyway?

         Sitting up with a grunt, I survey my person first. Clothes still intact – check – well except for the now ripped floral skirt I had chosen to wear for the outing. It had once been an ankle-length flowy number I fell in love with, at one of the tourist stores on the mainland, but now it feels flimsy and useless in the baking sun. The white short-sleeved blouse has no damage except for the remnants of clinging snake-like seaweeds that I am quick to flick away with a breathless squeak.

         My floppy straw hat’s gone, leaving my now salt-and-sand caked tangled hair to cling to my face in the most uncomfortable places. My sandals…no where to be seen.

         I must have washed ashore then, I deduce as I stumble to my feet; staring with growing dread at the endless – yet savagely beautiful – turquoise sea that surrounds me. If I wasn’t beginning to feel the bile of terror welling within me already, it would have been a great shot to take for the obligatory Instagram update. Pity my handbag, with my phone, is now lost within its depths.

         And what about the rest of the crew…and guests? I wonder with dismay. My feet, despite my body protesting each movement, continues to move on its own. They lead me further away from the sea and toward the clump of palm trees that seem to bow to the waters in solemn reverence. The shade is a welcome reprieve, but it’s the sight of low-hanging unripe bananas that has my stomach growling in protest. I will probably end up with massive diarrhoea, but at least the island has something edible to consume.

         Sitting gingerly on what could pass for a boulder, I take a bite of the fruit, wince at the slightly bitter taste, but swallow it stubbornly. I will have to find drinking water though, but I cannot afford to start thinking as if I’m going to be stranded here for an eternity. We have advanced technology, don’t we? I’m sure the authorities on the mainland will be sending a search party soon. Most definitely.

         I just have to remain positive and make the most of my stay here.

         Hunger, briefly appeased, I decide to investigate my new home – at least until rescue arrives. Best course of action (I have watched enough movies about this) is to survey the entire perimeter before going into the interior. I tear off a few banana leaves and spread them out on the ground. I place stones and sticks above them just in case they fly off, that way I know exactly where my starting point is.

         Luckily, my watch is still intact and as the hour hand strikes three, I begin my trek; not without finding myself a weapon in the form of a rather pitiful looking branch from a decaying tree. Fortunately, my only companions seem to be curious seagulls who peck at nothing in the sand or hop-splash against the shore. I spy a couple of eggshell-coloured crabs trotting inland; none paying any attention to the strange human in their midst.

         In less than thirty minutes, I spy my makeshift starting point again. The island was a rough circle of about two miles in all, which had me even more concerned. With a place this small, would anyone even come this way? I could see no other islands from here, so just how far had our ship gone off course?

         This is what I get for trying step outside the box, I bemoan in misery. All that money saved up for a vacation, I desperately needed, and I end up being shipwrecked on some abandoned –

         Huh? Wait…is that smoke in the horizon?

         I dash toward the shore, ignoring the crabs that protest my sudden disruption of their repose. My heart is a snare drum on acid in my chest, and not knowing what else to do, I grab a banana leaf and wave it as hard as I can. My voice erupts from my throat, forcing unused muscle cords to strain with the effort. A cluster of birds burst free from the trees at my screech, and in a way I’m grateful for it as the ship – yes, a big beautiful ship or yacht I guess – looms larger and larger.

         Oh, thank God! Thank God! Thank God! I am saved!

         I prepare a smile on my face, hands still waving in greeting, when my blood curdles in growing dismay. Instead of concerned or smiling well-dressed sailors or the yacht’s captain coming out to greet me, I see about five burly tattooed men – each with an armed weapon – pointed squarely at me.

         "Kto ty? Derzhite ruki vverkh!”1

         What the-? Russians? It sounds Russian to me.

         The one who spoke was the biggest of the group; with shocking thick white hair that was tied in a ponytail. His frown of displeasure does nothing to mask his scarred but handsome features, and as his deep blue eyes narrow with distrust, he snaps his fingers and motions for one of his companions to lower the anchor.

         I dare not move; not sure I’m even breathing as I watch them clamber down the rope ladder and make their way onto land. I also realize my arms have been up all this time, and it’s beginning to ache a little. I try to lower it, but they all raise their guns again in unison. I think someone even cocked his. Good grief.

         “There’s been a mistake,” I begin carefully; not wanting to present anything but compliancy. “My boat crashed; I think. I was on a tour with some people from the mainland, and I don’t remember what happened, but I just woke up and found myself here. I might have washed ashore. I don’t know-”

         "Turistka takaya, kakaya ona yest'. Chto nam s ney delat'?”2 Mr. Ponytail explained to this crew with a snort. He spat on the sand and sniffed loudly before lowering his weapon. This time, when he spoke, his tone was actually a bit – dare I say – nicer?

         “You tourist person, yes?”

         I nod vehemently in agreement.

         “You know this – er- island?” he queries; his eyes studying my every move with care. Perhaps he’s testing me.

         “Uhm…some gods and goddesses created it?” I offer with a tentative shrug. “It’s what the tour guide said…God rest his soul.”

         There’s an awkward pause, and I blurt out quickly. “Please don’t kill me. I just want to go back to the mainland and take the next plane home. Please.”

         My request receives a quick retort from one of the men behind Mr. Ponytail. From his gestures and, obvious, agitation it would appear that option is off the table. However, Mr. Ponytail holds up a hand to silence his partner; his dark gaze still trained on me.

         “You are on our island,” he states, his lips curling into a hard smirk. “We leave our…er-supplies here. Top secret, you understand? Now why should I let you go?”

         “Listen, I swear I won’t say a word. I won’t-”

         And then it happens, the most embarrassing thing that can possibly happen in the midst of a tentative hostage negotiation. The unripe banana, I ate earlier, has decided to make its effects known as my stomach suddenly rumbles in protest followed by the loudest explosion of gas my bowels can release at the same time.

         The subsequent stunned silence – broken only by the innocuous lick of the waves against the shore and a couple of seagulls in chorus – has me turning a dark shade of red. They might as well just kill me and get on with it.

         After what seems like an eternity -

         “Er…you want toilet?” Mr. Ponytail asks.

         Oh, my God! I can’t even look at him! I can hear the barely concealed laughter in the question, and I swear a couple of his buddies are snickering as well.

         He snorts at my weak nod and turns to his buddies; rattling off some instructions in his native tongue.

         I can’t remember my walk of shame even as my escort gently leads me into the luxury yacht. If I wasn’t feeling so mortified, I’d take the time to admire the richness of its décor. Or wonder about the stack of heavy-looking black trunks some of the other men are beginning to load off the vessel.

         After getting myself as clean as possible in the bathroom – even the towels are monogrammed for goodness sakes – I let myself out and eye the heavenly-looking bed that just screams my name.

         For only a few minutes, I tell myself as I eye the hallway that’s blissfully empty. Guess they trust me enough not to have a guard on duty. I can hear them shouting instructions to each other in the distance. They are, obviously, in a hurry to get the job done. In the meantime -

         Only a few minutes of rest. I’m just so tired.

         I give up the fight and flop onto the queen-sized bed, hugging one of the six fluffy pillows to my chest and inhaling the sweet scents of lavender and vanilla. As I curl beneath the duvet, and my eyes begin to get heavy with weariness, I tell myself that maybe in another lifetime, Mr. Ponytail and I could actually have a thing going.

         He is cute as all hell-

         It’s a loud cough and a firm shake on the shoulder that jerks me awake. I sit up with a start; my heart in my throat, ready to face the machine guns that would take my life…only to find myself staring at the amused ponytailed salesman who had greeted me earlier.

         “I take it this bed is the one you like then,” he remarks with amusement. There is no scar on his face in this reality, but it doesn’t take away from his still dashing looks. Or that rather sexy Russian accent.

         I turn crimson and sheepishly slide out of the display bed set.

         “Yes,” I croak, clear my throat, and attempt to look as professional as possible. “Very…uh-comfortable pillows…and uh- mattress…it’s all on sale, right?”

         He grins and motions for me to lead the way to the check out desk.

         “Our tropical island set is the best bargain of the month, Miss,” he agrees wholeheartedly, and dare I say with a knowing wink tossed my way. “It really is one hell of a steal.”

WC: 1848 words


1  "Who are you? Keep your hands up!"
2  "A tourist is what she is. What do we do with her?"

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