The Beach by Sophie Bowman

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
You think you know where you are, what you are doing. But is everything as it seems?

Submitted: August 06, 2012

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Submitted: August 06, 2012

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The short, sharp breaths. The attempt to surface. The struggle for life. Then the sudden realization that you are no longer there, you no longer exist.

It was the early morning, everyday breeze that woke me up, the same as it had done for the past two weeks. Flicking my sweaty hair from my eyes, and brushing the sand from the side of my face, I walked over to where I stood every morning, the same as I had done for the past two weeks. With the sea lapping at my feet, I looked back at what I couldn’t bring myself to call home, not yet.

The patterned rain dancing about the sky, the wind it’s artist, it’s creator. The wild water hugging at my small metal bath-toy exploring the bath-tub of the world. Then a sudden overturn, and he’s gone.

I can hear the screaming now. The high-pitched scream of my 7-year-old son, lost at sea, now to rest and lie with the fishes at his side. We went out on a trip. I remember how his face lit up, young David, when I said his Daddy would take him on a trip in his boat, to another country maybe. “Can we visit China Daddy? No, no, Australia! I want to see a kangaroo!”

“We’ll see son,” I had told him. Never did I know that all would go wrong and Australia was indeed, far from our fate.

I slowly walked into the woods that separated the beach from the rest of the stretching, never-ending island. I arrived at a stream- slowly flowing from the movement a small waterfall a few meters away, was giving it. With cupped hands I scooped up some of it’s contents and splashed it on my face. I looked up.

There was a small child, a girl, around the age of 9, 10. Just stood there, back facing me, staring into nothingness. This shocked me. As, for all I had known for the past two weeks I had been on the island since waking up one morning to find myself lying within its territory, that I was its only human inhabitant. I searched many miles, and found nobody, so just assumed.

“Excuse me,” I started, “Hey, are you alright?” Her small, delicate head cautiously turned to face me. Her perfect heart-shaped face was as white as a blanket off snow, and it was surrounded by soft, golden hair which fell to her shoulders. “Oh excuse me, I am fine sir. Are you ok?” With every word she whispered, it sounded like she meant every word, and made an effort to say them. “Umm, Yeah I’m fine, a little confused but fine. Are there, are there more people living on this island? And where is it?” She smiled, showing two lines of straight, white, milk teeth. “Don’t worry, I’ll take you to my people soon, I also believe you know someone with us. It’ll all be ok soon David.”

I froze, my fore-head turned to ice. David wasn’t my name. “That’s not my n-”

“For now I must be off, I wish to see you soon, nice to finally meet you David.” And with that she skipped off into the depth of the woods. And waited until her soft humming had died out. Why she had named me David of all names was beyond me. I kept telling myself it was a coincidence, that there was no possible explanation that that young girl had called me my dead son’s name. There was also the fact that she had said “nice to finally meet you,” and that somebody with her people knew me, or at least I knew of them. I needed more answers. Head over heels, I sprinted off over roots and twigs on the floor in the direction the girl went in, to catch up with her and question her with things taking over my head. I must’ve ran for ten minutes, but found nothing.

I made my way back to the beach, as so not to get lost too much into the heart of the island. Looking out to sea, I saw something in which I thought I must’ve been dreaming, or that all of this sea-air has finally got to my head.

In the middle of the waves, there were millions of bodies, floating on the top of the water, face down. Running towards the water, I glanced around to either side. Left- more and more bodies floating whereas to my right was a standing figure, the person I had been chasing for the past ten minutes at least. She turned, gave a nod and within that second, the bodies in the water had vanished.

She remained there, staring into my eyes. “What was-”

“It depends on what you saw. Not everybody sees the same when the look out there.” This I could not understand, I had looked out into the sea for weeks, yet had never seen some sort of vision or whatever that was before. “Look, all I want is some sort of explanation. All I want to know is where I am, where everybody else is, and what on earth I just saw was!” My voice was raising, and I never liked it raised. It reminds me of when I was at home all those times, with my David, and all those times where he had over-reacted about something like not being allowed to have a bag of sweets before dinner, or not being allowed out before his homework had been done. He would always throw, whatever he had in his hands at the time, down to the floor with maximum force, and then shout abuse at his father until it would wind me up so much I’d send him up to his room, ground him for a week and ban all junk-food. My voice would always be so loud at those times, so much so you could most likely hear it if you stood all the way down our street.

A tear sprung to my eye. It train-tracked down the side of my face and landed on my shoulder. A few followed after until I broke into a sob. “Can I have my explanation yet?” I yelled. The small girl looked down at her feet, all wrapped up in baby-pink sandals, complete with a tiny buckle at the side of each foot. “Don’t you think I deserve one? I have been trapped here for weeks, I’ve lost my son and have seen no human life or any form of rescue for the whole time I have been on this god-damn island!”

“Follow me.” So I did. We trekked through the trees, over streams and passed different kind of animals, must have been for about just under an hour we went on for. We arrived at the edge of a Cliffside. There were weeds scattered about the edge, dusty rubble as the floor. I gazed over the edge, and saw a drop about a mile vertically down. “Why have you brought me here?” I asked her, I slightly leant over the edge to see if there was anything down there I was meant to be seeing. From the corner of my eye I saw the girl’s hand coming in my direction as if to push me. I stepped away, shocked but lost balance. I toppled slightly, but waved my arms a bit and managed to stay on the cliff. But it was then, I realized something. “Why did you do that?” She smiles.

“I didn’t do anything.” She answered me, all innocently.

“You went to push me.”

“Are you sure?” Was I sure? I didn’t know. But what I realized swam back into my head. As I thought I was about to fall to my death, as I toppled slightly by the edge, all that could fill my head was, I didn’t really care. So what if I fell? I didn’t have a life anyway. What life did I have, if my son was dead and nobody had made the effort to come and find me yet? All my anger realised, I didn’t need her answers anymore, I had my own.

“Thank You,” I whispered, then took one look over the edge, and stepped over.

I must have known what I was doing for about a second, then all went black. I could not have died that quickly, I’m sure. But it wasn’t like I had passed out or anything, I could still hear, feel, taste. But I could not see. A few more seconds later I could see again, but I was not at the bottom of the cliff, about to die, I was on the beach.

I felt normal, healthy. Once again, I could feel the breeze in my hair, I could smell the fish from the sea and I could even taste the salt that those fish were swimming in. I couldn’t understand. “I don’t get it!” I yelled.

“Here,” whispered a voice from behind me, it was the small girl. “Try this David,” and she handed me a sharp flint. I took it and slashed at my wrist. “All-I-want-is-for-everything-to-be-over,” I spat in-between slashes. But as I looked down I realised something was missing.

“Why aren’t I bleeding?” The girl then took hold of my hand and I could see it all again.

In the middle of the waves, there were millions of bodies, floating on the top of the water, face down. Running towards the water, I glanced around to either side. Left- more and more bodies floating whereas to my right was a standing figure, the person I had been wanting for the past two weeks. He turned, gave a nod and within that second, he had ran into my arms to hug me. I was with my son once again.

Then the girl’s voice whispered into my ear from the side on which my son was not,

“The short, sharp breaths. The attempt to surface. The struggle for life. Then the sudden realization that you are no longer there, you no longer exist.”


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