The opening of Abigail, story about a girl who drowns and wakes up on a fantasy island
The very last thing Abigail could remember, was getting knocked right off her fishing boat by a big wave, and falling into the ocean and drowning. When she woke up after that, her body was gently drifting to and fro in warm shallow water, but her head was perfectly dry and rested peacefully on her hands, which were folded together above the sand, and soft and warm from the sun. On the boat it had been a rainy and cold evening, but wherever this place was where she had woken up was in summer, and once she crawled out of the ocean and onto the beach the heat quickly became unbearable and sweltering. Under her heavy waterproof clothes she was as sweaty and slimy as a piece of wet scrambled egg, which made them stick to her like clingfilm. And she felt that if she didn’t take them off right then, then she might start to melt straight into the sand like a fleshy puddle, then get swept up by the tide and dragged back down to the bottom of the ocean where she belonged.
She pulled her clothes from off of her body and heard that horrible unsticking noise as she peeled them from her arms and legs. Stood there in her underwear, feet in hot sand, with eyes fixed onto a single point in the ocean, and so tired she couldn’t bring herself to move them one way or another; she had not realised how unwell being drowned and dragged up onto a strange island had made her. That calmness she had felt a moment earlier, being rocked in the ocean like a little baby and warmed by the sun like a cat on a porch, was quickly melted away by the heat around her. The island became completely humid and airless, and quickly began to suffocate her, like she was drowning again but on dry land. She took one big breath in but it burned her throat and lungs like lava, she went to breathe out again but no air came out, she tried again but instead of air came vomit, which burned her again and landed all over her legs and the shore. Wholly drained of energy, she gazed out at the ocean that she longed to wash herself in, the water must have been less than a metre away from her but she took one step forward and instantly found herself overcome with a feeling of sickness and dizziness so that she could no longer see in front of her, and she fell bumfirst back into the sand. She propped herself up on her hands and clenched the sand to try and ground herself, and feel it run a bit between her fingers. For a few minutes, she did nothing but taste and savour the air and breathed deeply in and out like she was a newborn baby trying it for the first time, and watched the ocean gently lap at her vomit, which slowly drifted into the ocean.