by Drima Waye
The story of John's redemption. Part One.
| The long hours which had passed since the man on the beach last saw light seemed infinite with the lack of life and energy in the endless beach he was in. His watch was wasted long ago, and he now used it as an ankle guard. The titanium Rolex only served to weigh down his diseased leg, and John limped pathetically despite his now emaciated frame. His bloodied hands hung limply by his sides. Many times he had fallen down and many times he had bit back a curse as the coarse sand forced itself into his palms and into the wounds he already had.
He stopped in his tracks and looked around cautiously. He was sure he felt warm breath on his neck. John, get a grip. You’re alone. A cool breeze wafted past and the man called John stood still. The smooth sensation eased his raging fever, and gave him the courage he needed. He resumed his shamble to wherever his feet took him. He just hoped he would not get another one of his fainting spells again. He had to find civilisation; the dehydration was tearing his body apart, and he was so hungry, he had even contemplated eating his tongue.
He felt the lump of something big from the toes of his left foot, and stopped. He held out his weak hands in front of him and felt around. He felt a familiar rough surface, and he searched what was left of his disconnected memories for an association. Rock. He walked to its right and found that it was about two arms length wide. It was slightly taller than him and when he tried to feel for the top of the rock, the relatively fresh wounds on his arm (palm) stung. Water! they cried.
John ignored the searing pain that followed, as he tried to cup some water into his shaking palms. After one gulp, the sore in his throat felt worse, and he knew he needed much more than that to ease the fever he had. Several gulps later, John felt the pressure in his loins and he turned around by instinct. There’s no one there- just do it. As he relieved himself, John wondered about the Voice he had been hearing since two nights ago.
He did not know anything about where he was or how long he had been there. Everything seemed as blank as the darkness which enveloped him. Despite its many comments, John had only figured out from the Voice what his name was. It felt strange to call himself by a name he was not even sure was his. It was worse taking instructions from a voice he hardly knew, but John knew he was not dreaming. If the last few days were anything to go by, it was more of a nightmare in reality.
He had found himself fully clothed in a white shirt and a pair of denim pants. The boots clad on his feet were a tad too tight for comfort, but nevertheless, it had served him well those two days, never failing him. He had had a wallet in his hands when he came to but it was empty, save for a scrap of paper and a set of formless keys. The paper had some writing on it which he did not understand. Yet. Although it might turn out worthless, John had kept it safe inside his undergarments.
He felt the voice convulsing with laughter, and consternation rose inside him. His entire frame was vibrating, and John wondered why. It was not the shivers of fever, but rather the kind of vibration a church bell has when something heavy has been knocked on it. The ceaseless movement aggravated his headache, and John willed the voice to be silent. It did.
(He vaguely remembered) With the throbbing in his temples eased, John could finally hear the gentle breaking of the waves on the sand and its regular sound comforted him. As suddenly as he had heard the waves, John felt sleepy. He slowly sat himself against the rock, careful not to press his hands too hard on the sand. As John laid his tired body to sleep, he felt the gentle caress of a lady’s hand against his stubbly cheek. With his fingers curled tight around his wallet, and breath still, John clasped his eyes shut…
…and woke up to the majestic glory of a new day’s sunrise. The warm hues that splashed across the skies carved a smile on his face. His eyes held a promise for a better day ahead. Slowly, achingly, John moved towards the sea, and rested his legs in the slightly warm water. Only his feet and calves felt dry and warm by the protection of his trustworthy boots. He gazed upon his reflection and felt a little surprised. He never thought he looked like what he was seeing. He saw worried brown eyes and thin red lips. His nose was not long, but it was not short either- definitely not perfect. The two hollows under his cheekbones made him look like corpse. His face was smooth, with no sign whatsoever of stubble. This worried him greatly as he thought of the lady’s hand on his cheek.
He walked out of the water as soon as the light splashed on the waves. Taking several more cups to drink from the rock, John then proceeded to climb onto the spherical rock. It was an arduous task that left his stomach rumbling and his newly formed scabs opened. The dip inside the generously huge hole comforted him. It was only when he was soaked to the skin with his clothes on that John wondered how he was going to get out of the hole.
End of Part One
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