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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2318442
Jenna finds herself stuck on a deserted Island. Or is it?

The sun's warmth floated across her face as light as a feather, causing Jenna to stir. She rolled over away from the window and reached out for her partner. Eyes closed, she groped around for his muscular back and came up with a …tree branch.

“What the hell!” She sat bolt upright, forcing her heavy eyelids to corporate so she could figure out where her drunk ass spent the night. She had to have been drunk last night to sleep outside, right? As her eyes focused on her surroundings, alarm crept in in an icy trickle down her spine. She used a hand to shade her eyes. Water lapped the shore, so perfectly blue and foamy, enticing in all its magnificentness. She scanned the shoreline, following it around as far as she could see, and nothing. No buildings, people, roads, park signs, or boat launches exist.

Jenna jumped up on her feet, and that’s when it happened. A searing pain shot through her entire body, rippling up to her head and back down to her foot, specifically her big toe. She fell back onto the sand, noticing the swelling and deep purple bruise.

“Just great!” She screamed and threw herself back on the sand.

After getting her bearings, and nursing with the throbbing pain in her foot, she took a deep breath. Memories of last night filtered in. Jenna dancing on the beach surrounded by her friends and boyfriend, Max. The enormous bonfire and neon light show coming from the outdoor hotel bar, and the bet.

“Oh, God,” she moaned.

Max’s best friend challenged her, and after all the bragging she’d done about what a fantastic swimmer she was, how Jenna could survive a sinking ship if the water temperature was right, led to a challenge she could not walk away from.

“Damn Irish Pride,” she muttered. When would she learn how to walk away from these stupid challenges? For a measly one hundred dollars, she had to swim to the buoy that marked off the swimming area. She’d done it a dozen times in the last two days, it wasn’t a big deal until it was–until now. She remembered swimming, Max begging her not to, but there was a cute purple dress in the store she wanted to buy for her cousin’s wedding. The hundred dollars would pay for the dress and that was all the encouragement Jenna needed.

She flipped her flip-flops up into the air, and with a laugh and wave, she ran toward the water, waded out waist-deep, and dove under. The neon lights glittered over the dark water, inviting, and invigorating as she did smooth breaststrokes, the buoy calling to her. She remembered reaching it, swimming around it twice in triumph, and yelling back to the shore. A sharp pain hit her foot like it had the night before. Was she bitten by something? Stung? Something happened to her out there in the water at night.

The pain was intense, pulling her under as the current pulled her further out. Jenna struggled to stay afloat, constantly dragging her injured leg. She wasn’t strong enough to fight the burning pain that traveled up to her knee, and the current at the same time, though she tried, struggling to be pushed back toward shore. She couldn’t say how long she tried to swim into the circular path, hoping to hit the furthest wrung and get off the water speedway.

Taking another big breath, she pushed all thoughts of the previous night out of her mind. Now she needed to focus on getting the hell out of there. There had to be someone here, something, anything to tell her where the hell she was and how to get back to civilization. All she wanted was a nice hot cup of coffee and some pampering by Max. He gave the absolute best massages. That would be her focus, the key to her survival, wherever she was.

Behind her were untamed trees and brush, not inviting in any way. Her best bet would be to walk the shoreline and see if any boats or ships were nearby, or if she might’v ended up on opposite side of the island. That could be possible. Right?

Jenna limped her way down to the shoreline, let the warm water lap at her toes as she looked out over the vast see to see nothing but water for miles. There had to be something. She couldn’t have gotten here any other way. She had to be close, and by now, someone was bound to be looking for her.

Which direction should she go? To her left? To her right? She didn’t have a clue as to which direction it could be anyway. She picked the route that had that turned first. As she hobbled on, keeping her weight on the heel of her bruised foot, the grew hotter as it rose in the sky. What she wouldn’t give for some sunscreen, sunglasses, even a hat. Her tanktop, bra and skort would not protect her from UV rays.

She trudge on for what felt like hours, taking small breaks along the way, cooling off by going into the water, careful not to encounter another sea creature that would bite her again. This felt like looping around in a circle. How long had she been walking? Her throat was dry, her head and foot hurt, and her skin felt like it would burn right off.

It was stupid not to pay attention to where she started. She should’ve marked the starting point somehow to know if she was just running in circles or not.

A blaring horn sounded. Jenna spun around to see a big ship off in the distance, but heading in her direction.

“Oh, thank, God,” she said. She started to run, forgot about her foot, tripped over and treebranch, and face planted in the sand. Any other day, it would’ve been comical. She rolled onto her back and lie there, staring up at the unrelenting sun. Damn she was tired. A cool glass of water and a comfy bed was all she could think about. If she lay there any longer, sleep would take her and she might miss her rescue.

But they saw her, right? They did blare the horn. Why else would they do that?

A sound from the woods caught her attention. Jenna didn’t move, holding her breath, straining her ears to listen, she waited. This could be bad.

Thwack, thwack. The sound became steady now, two strikes, then two more, a rhythm that stopped as quickly as it began. Jenna rolled onto her side, surveying the woods, hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever was obviously there. She heard the faint whirring of a motor, but that wasn’t coming from the woods, it was coming from the Sea.

She only saw two choices, hide and be stuck here forever, or present herself to whoever was coming and hope to live to tell about it. Option two sounded good to her. A glass of water was calling. A comfy bed was calling. Max. Max was waiting. She needed to get her foot checked out. Decision made, she pushed herself up off the sand and stood, winching at the pain that traveled up her leg as she gave it some weight.

Jenna stood her ground, waiting as the small boat approached quickly. From this distance, she couldn’t make much out, but as the boat drew closer, she could see there were at least five men aboard. She steeled her spine, ready for whatever came next. She doubted anything could hurt worse than her foot and head did right now. Besides, she had some money stashed away. Everyone wanted money in this crazy world. She was not above bribery for safe passage.

One shirtless man jumped over the side as the boat slowed, the engine a low a rumble. He moved to the front, grabbed a rope, guiding it closer to shore. Jenna inched her way closer, hoping they at least spoke English.

“Hello,” she called just a few feet form the shore.

He glanced over his shoulder, and turned back to the task at hand.

How rude! “My name is Jenna and I could really use your help. It seems last night, I…”

“We know who you are.” A few of the men laughed and they too jumped in the water to come ashore.

Jenna’s eyes buldged. So there was a search party, and Mr. Grumpy was here to rescue her.

“Great,” she said, hoping to make nice and get off that desolate Island. “How did you know how to find me? I mean, I could’ve…”

“Police put out a bulletin. Guy showed up needing help. Dude put up a reward,” he said turning to face her now. “And here we are.”
“Max,” Jenna said.

“We’ll take you back to the hotel beach as soon as our business is conclude.” He moved past her, two other men in tow, and made a beeline for the trees.

Jenna stood there, her mouth agape watching it all go down, as if this situation were someone just a normal day. How many woman disappeared and wound up on a desert island around here anyway?

One man remained on the boat, his head moving back and forth, constantly scanning the area as if he were expecting company to show up at any minute.

A few minutes later the other men returned carrying six crates. Jenna had a very bad feeling about all this, but wanting to get the hell out of there she’d have to endure these men a little bit more.

“Let’s go,” the first guy said, expecting her to follow like a lost pup.

Seeing no alternative, she hobbled toward the water, the other two men passing her by. Two crates were handed up into the boat, another two and then the last as the first guy started to push the boat backward into the water and set about turning it around.

Two men waited at the stern for her. When she reached them, they reached down for her. Mr. Grumpy pushed her up, hitting her sore foot. Jenna winched as pain shot up her leg again.

With eveyrone onboard, the boat took off at a high rate of speed heading toward the ship.

“You should have that looked at,” Mr. Grumpy said.

“I will. Who are you? Who sent you?” she asked.

He shook his head. “They were right about you”

Jenna gasped. He didn’t know enough about her to make any assumptions as far as she was concerned.

“The money dude. Said you’d have a million questions and that you could be bossy.”

Jenna stood, the boat went over a descent size wave thrusting her back into a seat.

Mr. Grumpy laughed. “Said you were clumsy too.”

“What the hell?” Jenna crossed her arms over her chest and remained seated. Max would get an earful when she finally laid eyes on him.

“What are you getting out of this deal?” she asked, irritation and anger bubbling together.

“You,” he said and turned, giving her his back.

Appalled. Jenna stood and did her best to march over to him and give him a piece of her mind.

“Listen, I don’t care what the money man may have offered you. I can give you double, but there is no way in hell..”

He held up his hands to stop her. “Are you the writer or not?”

Jenna swallowed the growing lump in her throat. “Well, yes, but.”

“You will be our guest and write one of your novels about us, then be on your merry way. But first, we get you to the ship, then a doctor. Hit by Coral is a real nasty mess.”

WC: 1962
PROMPT: ~ One morning you wake up and you're stranded somewhere on a deserted island. ~
(2000 words max.)

1. Use your imagination. Who are you? How did you end up there? Are you alone?
2. An unknown ship approaches the island. Who is on it? Do you stay to meet the crew or run? What are they bringing ashore?
3. A bargain is struck! Who made the deal? What kind of deal? o you get off the island or stay? Or something completely different?
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