Cast Away for a Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is the story of a man who experiences several distressing events before things go from bad to worse.

Submitted: July 17, 2014

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Submitted: July 17, 2014




October the 15th was the day my life actually had meaning. However, for the people who were closest to me, it was the day my life ended. The experience that I faced twisted reality to its limit. I will never forget all the things that I learnt during that occurrence. Unlike many stories, mine does not end happily although it does in fact end with a sense of relief. I guess you could call it a revelation, (I certainly would). Anyhow, you may be wondering who I am. My name is Peter Saunders; I’m an airline pilot for ‘E.M.F Airlines’ and I’ve been face to face with hell.

It all started October 13th 2003. I was at ‘Hooters Bar and Disco’ in Albany drinking my ass off. It was our pre-graduation party. Rob, head of aviation tutoring rented the place privately; it was full of pre-graduates and a lot of attractive women. I was hanging by the bar with Rob guzzling down the hard stuff. I spent virtually the entire time at the bar as I do have an addiction to alcohol. The music was so loud that it was almost impossible to talk to anyone. The bass was pumping, people were jumping and the lights and smoke machines were purely amazing. “Ding! Ding! Ding!” said Rob’s glass as Rob indicated to the DJ. The music went quiet and a concentrated spotlight shown upon him. Rob spoke: “I would just like to make a toast to our future pilots, may you embark on a journey that will bring you happiness, proficiency and hot girls.” Everyone laughed and giggled before applauding loudly. “Thank you and be considerate about tomorrow” replied Rob as he winked at me. Now I’m not the smartest guy in the world I mean I only got into this line of training through a friend but everything that Rob said went straight through one ear and out the other. My highest priority at this time was to get wasted and seduce some pretty babes. By the end of the night, I had prepared myself for one hell of a hangover. I called it an evening and toddled outside with difficulty where I then found a taxi. I nearly threw up on the taxi driver while trying to pay him but at least I was now home, safe and sound.

The sun spawned, it was now morning. I slept face down in the toilet; there was vomit everywhere, yellowish white, chunky and disgusting it was. My head felt like it had been filled with compressed air like a tyre being inflated. It was pulsating and incredibly awful. I struggled to get up but eventually did. My watch said 9:37 but all I processed was twenty three minutes until Rob attacks me mercilessly. You’ve probably heard the saying ‘Don’t mix drugs with alcohol’ right, well like I said I wasn’t any more intelligent than a thirteen year old despite being twenty five but I’d most likely won the award for the worst hangover and I wasn’t going to go five more minutes with this pain. I took a shot of whisky and then an aspirin which was followed by my daily anti-depressants. The clock was ticking so I sprinted to the bathroom, had a shower, brushed my teeth, did my hair and put on my graduation clothes before departing from my home. Now I’m one of those guys who puts himself before anything else so besides girls I have to have the most expensive custom made car that I can get my hands on. My Porsche Carrera GT was my baby; I spent a lot of my Saturdays just maintaining and caring for her. I pulled up into the airport in my astonishing piece of metal; the loud roars that expelled from my exhaust pipe gathered everyone’s attention and let me just say that we weren’t talking about a few people here I mean I had never seen so many people in my life ever since I went to that Foo Fighters concert back in 96. I quickly made sure that I looked exceptional then powerwalked over to the area where everyone else was. The eyes of the audience were fixed on mine and I couldn’t help but feel a little tense in that awkward situation. I arrived just after the airport manager welcomed everyone so I quickly took my seat before he continued. An hour had passed and many speeches had been exchanged here and there. I was beginning to feel a little strange, it was a bit of a surreal feeling and it was distorting some of my senses. I was now reacting to the mixture of drugs and alcohol and really did not like it. Since I was sitting near the side of everyone else, I was able to sneak off. I wondered over to the bathroom and splashed some water over my face. It felt ice cold but seemed to help for now. I snuck back without anyone noticing and felt refreshed. It had come close to the end of the ceremony and all graduates were asked to form an alphabetical line according to our last name in order to receive our diplomas. Of course I was near the back of the line but there were quite a few people behind me. I kept trying to see if the line was moving forward because it didn’t appear to be moving at all. I noticed that Rob was eyeing me down and the look on his face spelt out everything. He was pissed off with me for being late and I knew I was going to get it later.

After I obtained my diploma I think I was the first one to leave as I didn’t have family or many friends to chat to. My stomach was finding it hard to settle itself so I boiled the jug, sat down on the couch and watched the game on my beautiful 55 inch high definition plasma TV with surround sound and 3D capabilities not to mention its wireless internet function crossed with my brand new 52H1 high speed broadband router. Yeah, now would probably be a good time to tell you that I’m a technology geek, I just cannot live without all my electronic gadgets, it’s like heaven. After about eighteen minutes, the effects from the drugs and alcohol came back but this time worse. I began experiencing hot and cold flushes; I felt unbalanced, nauseas, tripped out if I may say so and just death teasing me. I decided to go for a fly to clear my head so i swiftly drank my tea and left. Back at the airport, everyone from the ceremony had gone which was a relief to me and Rob was nowhere to be seen. I showed my license to the security and managers before being escorted to my aircraft. She was a fine piece of metal, very modern but rather small. A one seater with a single propeller, auto pilot, air conditioning and user friendly controls run by a computer. The security and managers must have had a long day because they completely left out my drug test but being an irresponsible twenty five year old, I didn’t care at all in fact I was happy because I could fly my plane without having to take those stupid tests. Before I could blink, I booted up the engine and drove over to the runway point where the traffic controller was waiting. After a quick check of the planes fuel level and maintenance chart, the traffic controller gave me the thumbs up and removed the wood blocks from under the wheels. I replied with thumbs up and pushed on the throttle. The plane gained speed and then suddenly… Lift off!

The sights were repeatedly mind-blowing; everywhere I looked had Mother Nature written all over it. I was feeling really relaxed so I put the plane into autopilot and plugged in my iPod. The sun had just set and I got to see it from above, oh it was beautiful; I’ve never felt so sympathetic. As nightfall seeped in, I noticed that the fuel was getting a little low. I guess it was time to head back. I sat up ready to take the control again, unplugged my iPod, pressed the button to disengage autopilot and… “Huh? That’s odd.” I thought. It didn’t disengage. I tried it again and again but still nothing. My only option was to pull down the manual override switch but it was located within a contained panel. Fuel levels were dropping so I searched through my tiny tool box for a screwdriver but couldn’t find one with the right head type. I began to panic. I booted the panel with my shoe which drained a lot of my precious energy but I managed to tear it off. I pulled the lever when suddenly the plane went psycho. It swayed this way and that really violently. Before I had time to aid my aching foot, I grabbed the control and steadied the furious thing. I was freaked out of my mind. I was shaking, fuel levels was dropping and somehow during my rapid reactions, I managed to sit on my balls which is like the worst pain a young male can physically endure. Well, at least things couldn’t possibly get any worse right? WRONG! All of a sudden my greatest fear in the world of flying turned into reality. The engine didn’t only stop but the propeller actually broke off. I hadn’t even been aware off the strong winds; I was just focused on relaxing. By this point I couldn’t see a thing because it was pitch black outside and the smell of thick black smoke started entering my lungs. It was hard to see and painful to breath, I thought I was done for. There was one small, dodgy looking parachute in the back. I fastened it to myself and prayed for a split second before bailing out of the door. We did get trained for these types of conditions but I never once paid attention. I must have been falling at like thirty six kilometres per hour but it felt a lot faster. As if things could not go anymore wrong, they did. “Oh my Holy Crap!” I shouted. I could see water a few hundred meters below me. I almost forgot to deploy the parachute since I was so scared but I did and my speed gradually decreased. When I hit the water, a chill travelled along my spine followed by a stinky, humiliating sensation. Yes I did indeed soil myself as well as redecorate the ocean with a warming summer yellow. The water was so cold; I was freezing my front tail off. My testicles had shrivelled to form the appearance of a ripe prune while my skin alone felt extremely tight. The only thing that was visible was a small amount of fire high up in the sky moving in a zigzag fashion before transforming into an explosion when my plane crashed into the side of a mountain. My bag seemed to float so I held onto it while I shivered my brains out. It was going to be a long night ahead.

October 15th, 6:58am. My head slowly tilted upwards. My mind went blank but was left with disbelief and a single question that radiated around my brain. “Where the hell am i?” My watch wasn’t even water resistant but it was still working. Everywhere was just sand, a little forestation and an extremely tall mountain which was the small island’s centre point. To the right was sand and forest and the left was basically the same excluding plane wreckage. My left leg was lifeless; I had to punch it to wake it up. I limped over to the heap of mess but couldn’t find a thing that was useful, all of the equipment had been incinerated on impact and all I had on me was a dead cell phone and a pocket knife. After a few minutes, I actually clicked. I was stranded on this place and would have to put everything I learnt about survival (nothing) into use. “This isn’t good!” I mumbled, “This isn’t good at all!” I ran around in circles screaming to the top of my lungs for help. It really hurt my throat and wasn’t doing any good whatsoever. There was nothing that could help me; I had no phone, no gadgets, nothing but me and this treacherous island. I fell to the ground in sorrow, my knees dug into the soft sand and a tear ran down my cheek. All I ever did in my life was fly planes. How was I supposed to get out of here? Suddenly the ground shook aggressively, there were loud roars coming from the mountain. “Could this place be volcanic?” I wondered. The shaking stopped and the sounds died down. I thought to myself: “If I was high up in the air then I would probably have a better chance at being spotted but would it be worth climbing a volcanic mountain?” It would be a risk that would most likely end in death so why did I choose to proceed? My main priority at that time was to get off this island and get home. Scaling the mountain would be one thing but then avoiding death would be an even bigger challenge.

October 15th, Midday. I was getting close to the halfway mark during the climb; I was well above the trees and sand but with no safety gear to support me. The mountain was covered with jagged rocks; it was painful to move about with my hands being pierced and dark red blood oozing out everywhere. It felt even worse than slitting my fingers on sharp oyster shells. I had to get to the top of the mountain fast while the sun was still present. All of a sudden the volcano erupted. The roar was deafening while my attempt to hold onto the rocks proved to be quite a struggle. A gigantic cloud of ash covered the mass of the island and a large area of the ocean. It was so hard to breathe and see. My reflexes kicked in, as I went to rub my eyes, I made the mistake and let go of the rocks. I could have fallen to china and back. One hundred, no one thousand possibly even more meters. I just never seemed to stop until finally SPLAT…

I awoke, submerged under water. How could this be? The last time I checked, the ocean was at least fifty meters out from the mountain. I quickly returned to the surface for oxygen before being greeted by glowing red streams of lava. It destroyed the entire forest and almost covered all areas of the sand. Things were getting worse by the second. Now I had no way to build a shelter, no food or drinkable water and no chance of getting out of here. I had lost all of my energy, all hope, all meaning. Clouds were now bonding and light was escaping, a storm was surely approaching. “Is this the transition into the evening?” I asked myself. It was darkening and started pouring with winter-like rain. My hands felt numb and looked disgusting because of all those cuts and punctures. I knew that I would soon be dead. The rain had cooled the lava and had turned it into solid rock. I sat in the sand recalling many of my happier memories. New thoughts now filled my mind. ‘Who am i?’ ‘What is my purpose?’ I was losing it; Insanity was lurking around the corner. I had hardly any skills; I never respected people I mean I couldn’t even pass my general knowledge test back in high school. I was one pathetic loser.

“Peter” whispered a mysterious voice. My neck cranked to the right suddenly, there was no one there. I was certain I heard somebody. The mysterious voice whispered once more but this time louder. It sounded like it was in need of me. I anxiously stood up. Again the voice spoke, it sounded like it was coming from the volcano. I rushed over there hoping to find somebody. The voice yelled my name but this time it was like it wanted to kill me. I came to a Holt. My jaw dropped. From out of the rubble and burnt bushes rose not a relieving sight but what you would expect from a nightmare. With a glint in his eye and an axe in his right hand stood what I had been hoping to avoid. It was death, my vision of death who everyone knew as Mr Flight Instructor but who I knew as Dr Despicable. I tried to run but my legs felt so heavy. Rob came at me like a cheetah hunting its prey. What had come over him? Why was in such a murderous rage? I had just had enough of this misery, I wanted to kill myself. It was amazing how dark it got so quickly. Without warning, the volcano erupted once again and caused both of us to plunder to the ground. “I’m coming for you Peter” shouted Rob. I didn’t believe him as I watched the lava run down the mountain coming at high speeds towards him. I sprinted trying to make it to the ocean but unfortunately tripped over. I twisted my ankle and was in a state of temporary paralysis. As the lava devoured Rob, it sort of sucked him into it like it was alive or something. I was more worried about me because I was about five seconds away from being sent to hell. It was too late. The lava towered over top of me much like a wave but thicker. From this point onwards, I literary thought that I had become insane. “What the hell’s going on?” I gurgled. The lava! It was cold! This was the weirdest thing I had experienced. I couldn’t even get my head around it. I carefully stood up. I looked like I had been smeared with glow paint. I looked at the time but my watch was gone. I didn’t even take it off. What was happening to me? Rob arose from the dead and after a quick wipe of his clothes continued chasing me. I was so confused, I felt like I was in ‘Tron’ or something. Nothing made sense to me anymore, maybe I was dead and this was hell. From nowhere, my inactive phone starting ringing. I froze for a second then reached into my pocket, pulled it out and pressed answer. Nothing happened, it just kept ringing. I was so startled that I threw my phone to the ground smashing it into a million pieces. I turned around and Rob was standing right in front of me. I was too shocked to scream and fell backwards onto the hard rock. Rob kneeled down beside me, took a deep breath and then mumbled something. Out of the blue, he hacked at my chest with the axe. BZZZT! I received an awfully painful electric shock. I tried to get up but he did it again. I couldn’t move. He went to do it again and shouted at me “Come on!” The third shock made my head feel like my brain had melted. “KO!” yelled a voice in my head before I passed out. This was it I just knew it, I was a goner.

I struggled to open my eyes but got round to it eventually. My chest felt like it had been stung by a hundred bees. I was dazed and confused and practically out of it. I clenched my fist before I coughed up a mouth full of blood. I felt immovable. As I looked around, there were doctors and nurses around me aiding me every now and then. An ambulance blocked the view of the planes but I knew where I was. I was back at the airport, back at the ceremony with a huge crowd of people around me. Was my journey really just a hallucination? So it would seem and so it was true. To my left was the audience from the ceremony trying to get a glimpse of me. To the right was the other graduates huddled down by me and also Rob with an expression that probably meant “I’m glad you’re ok because now I can beat your ass!” As for me, I just lied there in my stretcher focusing on breathing and getting to grips with what I just went through. I had only been out for about forty minutes but it felt like forty days to me. I spent many years in rehab getting into touch with my sense of wellbeing while allowing myself to mentally recover. I had to be reintroduced to life but at least I was getting a fresh start. What I experienced wasn’t reality itself but more of a simulation of what would happen to me if I chose to live the way I had intended. I know now what I have to do to make it through life but the world of flying is just something that I’m not cut out to do anymore. I spend the remainder of my days writing inspirational books for younger audiences so that they don’t embark in the wrong destiny. To the pilots of the future: “May your journey take you places that are vibrant and real and remember to never miss a single day of training because you will end up paying the price. IM SERIOUS!”


Jason Salmon


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