Wednesday August 15th, 2012

The exercise:

Write about something or someone that is: stranded.

Went for a wander around the orchard this evening with my camera, hoping to come across the deer that have been hanging about lately. No such luck, but I did find this guy (or girl. I have no idea, really):


Spoke with Kat tonight, which was nice. Strange being apart from her, though I'm sure the time will do us both some good.

Mine:

He came to in a fire-lit night, disoriented and aching. With great effort he raised himself off the forest floor and attempted to determine his location, how he got there, and what, exactly, he was meant to do next.

The burning wreckage of the plane fifty feet to his right triggered a few memories. The mission, the flight, but not the crash. He limped closer, on what felt like a pair of badly sprained ankles, searching for other survivors.

Once he had completed the grim business of confirming the rest of his companions were dead, he sought out the communications equipment. He was not surprised to find it damaged beyond the point of utility, but it would have been the absolute peak of foolishness to leave his suspicions unconfirmed.

On second thought, perhaps enlisting took the seat of honor on Foolish Mountain.

From what he could remember, they had definitely crossed over enemy lines at some point. Possibly at dusk, but that was a foggy memory. Had they been shot down? Had a mechanical failure dragged them out of the sky? It was impossible for him to say with any certainty.

What he did know was the following: he was alone, a long way from home, with no hope of rescue. Oh, and he was pretty sure his name was Kelly.

He gathered what supplies he could comfortably carry, which was not much. After a moment's thought, he chose a direction that seemed as good as any and set out. Armed with a grenade belt, three sidearms, a Thompson submachine gun, and a vague remembrance of his German lessons during basic training, his life expectancy was not looking particularly good.

The American uniform he was wearing certainly wasn't going to help.

4 Comments:

Greg said...

I'm sure that that's a picture of a jackalope, which will be why you thought there was a deer hanging around as well :-P
Glad you got to eat the food from the unwanted box, that sounds like a better use of it that letting it go to compost.
I get a kind of Catch-22 feel from this beginning of a story today; perhaps without so much of the black humour, but certainly a theme of a man coping with ridiculous levels of difficulty. I like Kelly's thoroughness. And I'm very impressed he managed to walk on two sprained ankles!

Stranded
She tossed her hair, letting the wind catch it and pull it up for a moment. Then the wind changed and her hair fell across her face and into her mouth. She reached up and smoothed it all back, smiling a little. Her hair was red, her feet were bare, and she was feeling just a little bit liberated.
She looked round, and spotted the footprints in the sand. Her eyes followed them, and she smiled; there was a fallen napkin, and – she moved closer, enjoying the warmth of the sand between her toes – yes, there was a spray-paint can nestled under the napkin. Red could be very unsubtle when he wanted to be.
She picked up the can, checked the nozzle, and placed her finger on it as carefully as an assassin readying his rifle. Then she dropped the napkin over the top of her hand, just slightly hiding her intent.
A few minutes later she saw Red, standing out in the open holding a large wicker basket and staring out across the sea. Her first reaction was to wonder why he wasn't hiding, and her second was to move quickly and silently up behind him while he was preoccupied.
Red paint hissed out of the can down the side of his arm and he jumped, dropping to the ground and rolling over to see who was attacking him. For a moment his eyes were wild and she was sat back in a hotel room in winter, staring at the disturbing images of the Mayor found on a CD. Then he was Red again.
"The boat's gone," he said simply. "We're stranded."
"We've got food at least," she said, gesturing at the fallen wicker basket.
"Nope. That's just paint," he said, his face creasing with a boyish smile that she had no choice but to laugh at.

morganna said...

Emily tapped her foot angrily. How could Chris do this to her? He knew he was supposed to pick her up at 3 from the welfare office. She could only hope that he was delayed by a new job. After 20 minutes, she picked up her bag and started walking. She hated her heavy, pregnant body, that made everything that used to be a joy into a chore.

She trudged down the road, grumbling to herself. Suddenly she heard, "Can I help you, miss?" She turned to see a car pulled up beside her. The man inside was middle-aged and balding, but his eyes were kind.

Emily smiled despite herself. "Oh, no thank you. I'm fine." The man shrugged, like it was no big deal. But he didn't pull the car back into the driving lane and speed off. He stayed right behind Emily, idling along. She felt sick.

Suddenly she found all that running energy from before pregnancy. She sprinted down the road, listening to the car rev behind her. She swung into the police station, panting.

The officer at the desk eyed her. "Can I help you, miss?" she said.

"A man was following me in a car," panted out Emily.

The officer frowned and went to the glass doors of the entrance. Then she gasped, "Run!" and bolted back towards Emily, dragging her through a door just as the front entrance exploded in glass.

Cathryn Leigh said...

Interesting takes on the prompt everyone.


Stranded

“So, I’m actually here? Physically and mentally,” Sarah stared hard at Jason.

“Yes,” he nodded.

“This isn’t some sort of convoluted coma dream I’m having?” She did have to admit being here was feeling as real as being in her world.

“No, though as I have no idea what a coma is, I cannot be certain.”

Sarah slouched and glared at him slightly for that answer. How could he be so calm when she’d lost everything. Looking to the ground her eyes lighted on a branch and picked it up, intent on breaking it into little sticks.

~

“Sarah,” Jason softened his tone as he reached out and hesitantly touched her knee. “I know this is not the home you are used to. I know, like me, you thought our relationship was just our, our imagination,” he stumbled over the foreign word. “But,” she was looking at him, though his eyes were now down cast and he retracted his hand, “it is not.”

Slowly he raised his eyes to meet hers, carefully suppressing his own emotion. How could he be elated at her appearance here, when it meant she had lost everything.

“For better or worse you are here now, in the land I call home.” He reached once more out to her, taking her hand in his own. “As you once adjusted to your family ranch becoming a farm, I know you can adjust to living here.”

More potential conversations for my Phoenix trilogy :}

Marc said...

Greg - I quite like Kelly myself, if that is indeed his real name. Though I'm not exactly filled with hope when it comes to his chances.

Ah, Red and Emma B. I miss those two. They're often in my thoughts these days. We really should finish that story at some point, even if we have to drag Dark and Archie along with us.

Morganna - I see life has not quite returned to some semblance of normality for those two. If in fact it ever will.

I am deeply intrigued by this mysterious driver, and what he's up to, and why. You've got me hooked!

Cathryn - hmm, that is a rather complicated situation. I think Jason (are we back to that name again?) is handling it with the delicateness it requires.