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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 27, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 27, 2017




I was trotting on the side of an old crumbling asphalt road used for maintenance. It was three in the morning and I was taking the three-mile journey to the N?pali coast on this hidden pathway. “This is going to be so awesome!” I exclaimed. Once I reached the native grandfather Banyan tree I took a left. I made sure that the trail was fully studied before I went out, so I wouldn't get lost. After a mile of walking northwest, I came upon the massive twenty-mile coastline. A neon sign warned me of riptides, but I was already in the sand, carefree.


After an hour of playing, I sat in the sand and pulled out my mint-chip Clif bar. I gulped it down in a minute. I felt the soft, cool, jade-colored moss brush against my bare back. The sun was starting to rise, bringing warmth to my body. I stroked my long cocoa hair so that it would stand upright and out of my face. I noticed my farmer tan and chuckled lightly. My goggles sat on my lap. They had a clear background, tinted like the color of the ocean. The plastic lenses had a blackish tint to keep the sun repelled. The silicone strap had my name engraved in it as well, Jay Manning.  I grabbed and pushed them under the sand playfully.


Waves slowly rising and falling on the shore contently. I could feel the salt from the ocean air travel through my nostrils and into my lungs. Seagulls called boastfully overhead. A few stray noctilucent clouds began to turn into average cirrus clouds, as the sun rose.


I knew this was time. The ocean encouraged me, it begged me to experience the natural pull. I stood up and brushed the sand off my new navy swim shorts.  I bent down and pulled my goggles out of the cool, grainy sand. Once I was ready, I started strolling towards the ocean in my bare feet. Luckily, I had the whole entire coastline to myself. I would savor the ocean on my own terms. There were no humans to rush me.


I stuck my big toe into the cool water. The ocean was sucking my body into it. Before I knew it, my entire body was engulfed by the water. I remarked at the water. The fresh morning sun penetrated the unclouded water all the way to the rippled sand. Even though I wasn’t treading water my body was starting to float out to the little speck of a buoy in the distance. I embraced it. At the time I thought it was normal to drift out to sea so fast. Oh boy was I wrong…


I snapped the goggles onto my head. It pinched my hair, so I untightened it the silicone straps to make myself comfortable. I took a deep breath and went under. What I saw, I will never forget, ever. Ecosystems of coral. The spongy, rough, straight, and even brain like coral swayed in the light current. Each one had its own marvelous color; every color of the rainbow had to have been down there. Then, the fish. There had to have been fifty different species in just this single reef.  Clownfish frolicked in the coral. Blue Tangs strolling with their mates. Baby pufferfish playing around Brain Coral, with mothers watching carefully nearby. Even a shark, prowling for his next meal. Some fish were weaving in and out of little passageways and gaps in the coral.  My lungs screamed at me to get more air. So I went up.


The sun was a little bit above the horizon. It was warming the air up steadily. I went back under just as quickly as I came out. I couldn’t get enough of the ocean. After a couple of dives, I came upon a massive Sea Turtle. She cut me off, then swam gracefully ahead, almost taunting me to follow. So, I chased with all my energy!


After a while, I started to trail behind her. She kept consistency, I couldn’t. My arms stiffened and cramped with overuse. My jaw and temples ached because I held them clenched whilst holding my breath; And now I was all alone, somewhere in the ocean. Coral was nonexistent. Below me was bland sand. I must have passed the warning buoy long ago, as I couldn’t see it. I was lost…


Now midday, I was starting to fret for my life. The only man-made objects I encountered were a single bright red Air Jordan shoe. It was way too big for me to wear, and the laces looked like they had been used as a scratching post for a fellow neighborhood cat. No wonder why no one wanted it. So, I decided I wasn’t going to get any use out of it. I let the shoe float away in the never-ending current. I also found some used cigarettes, a dented, empty coke can, and a compressed plastic bottle. I let all these items float away also.


By late afternoon everything was still until I made out a floating, rotten pallet, about two-hundred-fifty feet away. My instincts kicked in. My brain signaled my overused legs to move it. I paddled until I reached the floating junk. I clambered up on the pallet in the middle of the Pacific. It was layered with rotting wood and peeling at the ends. The pallet barely held my weight without sinking. Luckily, all of the six boards were intact and nailed to the two 2 by 4s. Not noticing that there was a cherry red hermit crab basking on the middle board, I landed smack dab on top of him! He pinched me, hard! He scuttled onto my lap as if I didn’t just sit on him. This guy! From this moment forward I had a new best friend. While laying on the rocking pallet, in the baking sun, in the middle of the Pacific, I named the cherry red hermit crab Jerry. After my uncle Tom. I thought it was humorous. Tom, the uncle, and Jerry the hermit crab! I felt Jerry pinch my torso and I came out of my imagination.


“Oww,” I scolded Jerry, “that hurt!” I rubbed the injured area noticing that Jerry was resting my chest. The pain that I was feeling is hunger.


Around dusk, Jerry and I had a few engaging conversations. It was just us on that tiny pallet in the huge ocean, so I had nothing else to do except talk to good old Jerry. Every once and awhile, I would scream for help; but only fish could hear me.


So far, we had calm weather. I knocked on the pallet to not jinx myself. The setting sun made the clouds look like they were on fire, Sheens of lavender, crimson, and turquoise also were prominent. The surface of the ocean gleamed and sparkled as the sun set. Jerry crawled to my side and fell asleep contently at my side. The pallet rose up and down in unison with the ocean’s waves. I let my eyes close gently.


I woke up instantaneously with my swimming trunks drenched and dripping with ocean water. The sky was letting loose heavy rain on top of the entire. It was pitch black. I could only make out myself, the pallet, and Jerry. Waves that were mere pleasures, turned into massive, life-threatening monsters lifting and dropping my little pallet. Huge thunder clouds blocked the stars with unforgiveness. A piece of my pallet broke off and immediately fell into the ocean abyss. I was clinging onto this weak, peeling, rotting pallet with only my two arms, as my legs were flung around in the fierce water. Lightning flared up the sky, giving me just enough eyesight to see a bulky, oversized, tsunami-like wave towering over me. I had no time to prepare. The wave shattered my pallet into a million wooden shards. I got pummeled by the wave, sucking me under. I opened my eyes underwater. I didn’t have my goggles on, so saltwater seeped into my eyes stinging them horribly. Not prepared to be underwater, my lungs already needed fresh air. Every time I kicked up, I desperately tried to grasp some form of oxygen. What seemed like minutes, I reached the surface, only to be swept under by another monstrous wave. My lungs burned in agony from gulping in too much salt water. If I didn’t paddle up, I would drown surely...


By sunrise, the storm had passed. I was fatigued, tired, and starving, but I could do nothing about it. Not to mention I had nothing to float on. So, I had to constantly tread water. I coughed up water mixed with saliva out of my stomach and lungs. I can’t believe that I survived that, I thought to myself.


A bird squawked above me. I looked up and saw a big white pelican. I remembered, when you see birds, there is land! I rejoiced at the pelican and made my way to where she was coming. Now, I had loads of energy. I might be saved! My incentive was sweet land. Once I was on land I would never leave I thought. Never without someone else, at least. I gawked at the little masterpiece sitting smack dab in the middle of the ocean. An island with seven trees, a little spring, a few berry bushes and an outlining beach. I swam faster than Michael Phelps to that small safe haven. I clambered out of the salt water and buried my sunburnt face right into the cool sand. I got up, then I walked around the island twice, assessing my situation. I picked and ate strawberries until I was full. Then, I slumped right under the tallest palm tree and shut my eyes.


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