Chapter 1 -
I couldn't see a thing. There
was a sensation of heat against my face and a
dazzling light causing momentary panic while I felt
disorientated. Where there was once clear sky there
was now to midday sun beaming into my face. I had
slept all morning up on deck damaging my delicate
soft skin. Within a flash I sat and up started
feeling around for my sunglasses which often had the
tendency to vanish upon this trip. I suspected all
too well who must have borrowed them without
permission. My straw hat was missing too but luckily
I found it just behind my head. A sense of grogginess
as well as flushed heat caused my body to wobble as I
heaved myself up from the sun lounger. I had to stop
for a moment holding back the urge to feel seasick
before making my way across the deck of the small
hired yacht towards the sounds of my friends who were
drinking at the vessel's stern. If it wasn't for the
ruckus of laughter I'd probably still be fast asleep.
"Sara was it you who
took my sunglasses?" I asked knowing full well
that it was.
There was hesitation before
her response as I made my way closer, my blue deck
shoes causing the wet deck to squeak beneath my feet.
The laughter stopped as though I had caught them
doing something they shouldn't like a bunch of
naughty children being discovered by a strict school
Sara shook her head yet
responded in the positive.
"You said I can borrow
them, remember," she quickly said while lowering
them from her eyes.
I gave her a stern look that
could appear both angry and cheeky at the same time
causing her not to be certain of how I really felt
upon the matter. I was annoyed and wanted her to know
it but respected our friendship enough not to let it
anger me too much.
"Borrow is one thing but
to remove them from my face while I was sleeping is
another," I said as I sat down opposite her
pouring myself a drink.
All four of us gave one
another awkward looks around the small fold away
table as I took a sip of white wine. Rhonda stroked
her wavy hair.
"They were on the deck
beside you," Sara replied softly then started to
pour herself another drink of her own.
There was another awkward
silence and the only sounds came from the gentle
rhythm of the waves lapping the sides of the yacht
and the occasional gulp as we drank.
"So what's on the agenda
for today?" Julie quickly asked me before
turning her gaze at Sara and Rhonda in turn, "We
can sail around the islands again, drop anchor
somewhere, explore some of those golden beaches."
Rhonda shook her head.
"We did that yesterday,"
she said while continuing to twirl her hair.
"...or we could hang
around here and get on each other's nerves,"
Julie added in a flippant tone.
Sara let out a very audible
sigh and took a larger swig from her wine glass. It
was clear she had already had enough but it may have
been boredom rather than alcohol that was making her
act that way.
"We could return to the
mainland," Rhonda suggested, "Hang around
the bars and casinos, may even make a bit of money."
"The whole point of this
vacation is for us to spend some quality time
together," I quickly said, "This boat cost
an absolute fortune to rent. We didn't come all this
way to blow all our money in a casino."
There was then another
"It's decided then,"
Julie said calmly, "We'll explore another island,
have a nice swim, collect some coconuts, soak up the
sun and have some fun."
Chapter 2 - The
From within the yacht's small
bridge it was difficult to see what Julie was
pointing at as she waved her finger while up on deck
at the front of the vessel. The sound of the engine
was a distraction too. I wiped the small window from
within the cabin of the bridge then called out.
"Which way are you
pointing?!" I said whilst exaggerating my lip
movements in the hope Julie could make out what I was
She continued to wiggle her
finger while pointing her outstretched arm to the
"This isn't the same
island as last time, is it?" Sara said whilst
standing at my side.
I knew it wasn't for we at a
totally different location of the sea but part of me
wished it was, for there had been lots of spiders
upon that island which Sara was none too fond of. I
smirked as the thought entered my head.
"No, no, don't worry,"
I replied, "I'm sure this island will be fine."
We exchanged glances.
"Really," I added
as I gently turned the yacht's wheel, "The
islands around here are smaller, mainly beach, no
wildlife other than a crab or two."
"I don't like crabs,"
Sara said softly.
I smiled to myself and
manoeuvred the yacht closer towards the small islands
that grew into view in the distance as the sky blue
sea around us beckoned us onward. I sensed something
unusual, as though fate wanted us to head for a
particular island, not the one Julie was pointing at
but one to the right. The way its palm tress were
spread across its beach gave me a warm feeling inside.
It looked like the ideal holiday resort, yet totally
Julie lowered her pointed arm
up on deck then raised her other hand above her eyes
to shade them from the sun while looking ahead.
She called out.
Chapter 3 - Beach
It took no more than ten
minutes for us to arrive at the beach and lower
anchor before stepping onto the golden sands. The hum
of the boat's engine ceased allowing the sounds of
the sea to become all the more audible. There was a
fresh salty breeze that filled my lungs.
Within moments Julie was
hurrying across the sand, leaving footprints from her
flip-flops in her wake, while holding her white hat
against her head preventing the small breeze to flip
it off. Her red shorts and white t-shirt partly hid
her hour-glass figure beneath which to be honest I
felt a little jealous of.
She called out with a joyful tone while swinging her
arm back and forth.
Sara appeared to be taking
her time while climbing from the back of the yacht
onto the small wet rocks that surrounded the island.
As of that moment I wasn't sure where Rhonda was let
alone what she was getting up to. My guess was that
she was still up on deck, literally above me on the
roof of the bridge, likely soaking up some sun.
"Hold your horses I'm
still not..." Sara called back to Julie whilst
still clambering across the rocks, "Just wait up
Part of me hoped she would
slip up but I dismissed the thought as that would be
mean. Maybe a slip of embarrassment perhaps but not
to the extent of her getting hurt. The thought passed
the moment I saw her through the window making her
way closer to Julie.
As they stood side by side,
chatting about something that I was out of earshot to
hear, the contrast of their looks was all the more
striking. Sara was at least a foot shorter than Julie
with a plump tummy that overhung her red bikini
bottoms. Her skin was pale too, not as pale as my own
but far lighter than Julie's rich tan.
To my surprise I caught sight
of Rhonda scampering across the beach towards them,
carrying something with both hands, with a look of
excitement about her. After a momentary conversation
with Julie and Sara she then raised the item next to
her mouth as to mime she was drinking from it then
let out a giggle. I realised she was holding a
Leaving the bridge and
clambering over the side of the yacht I hurried over
to my friends. The sand felt hot beneath my bare feet.
"Fresh is always best
but we could do with a mixer," I overheard the
end of what Rhonda was saying as she dropped the
coconut onto the beach.
"We'll need a way to
break it open," I said calmly as I made my way
closer then glanced my eyes down at it making me
realise Rhonda had already given up on the idea.
There was a momentary silence
as we exchanged glances with one another while Julie
still held her sun hat against the top of her head. I
wondered where my own hat had gotten too, I must have
left it onboard.
"It is a beautiful
island though, don't you think?" I said whilst
looking beyond Julie who stood in front toward the
palm trees behind her.
Julie smiled with a wide
"It sure is!" she
responded in an exaggerated tone.
"I'm going to catch some
rays," Sara calmly said then made her way back
towards the boat.
It was then that I noticed my
sunglasses protruding from the back of her bikini
bottoms. I wasn't sure I wanted them back now I
realised where she was keeping them. I then began to
imagine how often I chewed the handle of my glasses
whilst holding them and wondered if Sara often kept
them tucked beneath her bikini. The thought caused me
When Sara returned from the
boat she was carrying a large beach towel with her as
well as a bottle of suntan lotion. Julie copied her
idea and headed for the yacht while Rhonda wandered
further up the beach among the many palm trees.
"Sara?" I said
calmly while she laid the towel across the sand.
responded as she sat herself down.
"It's silly for us to
argue over sunglasses," I said, "You can
keep them, I don't use them much anyway."
"Thank you," she
said then slid them out of her bikini placing them
upon her face.
I sat down beside her as the
afternoon sun shone down warming the top of my back
and shoulders. Julie made her way back up the beach
but rather than carrying a towel she held a wine
bottle and some glasses.
Chapter 4 - A
A number of hours later I
awoke from my unplanned siesta to some commotion,
which I ignored at first until my name was mentioned.
Letting out an internal sigh I forced myself to sit
up from Sara's towel I was using as my bed and stared
at Rhonda and Julie standing above me. Sara was
standing further down the beach next to the yacht. I
yawned while leaning against my elbows waiting for
someone to say something.
moaned resting her fists against the hips of her jean
I glanced towards Julie then
back at Rhonda.
I asked calmly.
"It's not too bad!"
I heard Sara call out while standing tentatively
alongside the yacht trying to peek inside without
having to step upon the slippery rocks.
"Our only transportation
off this God forsaken place has sunk that's what!"
Rhonda said firmly with a look of anger, fear and
worry all rolled into one.
Glancing my eyes down the
beach, and at Sara who appeared to be attempting to
board the said vessel, everything appeared normal to
me. It was possibly water upon the deck or something
trivial. There was a water pump for such
"Fine," I responded
calmly while heaving myself up from my comfortable
position, "I'll take a look."
Rhonda continued to stare at
me as if wishing me to hurry as I brushed loose sand
from my body while Julie already started making her
way towards the boat.
"You must have cracked
the hull while parking," Julie said calmly as I
hurried myself towards her side, "It's not too
bad but I doubt it's sea worthy."
A sense of calmness filled my
body when I saw Sara clambering about the top of the
yacht just above the bridge only to be replaced with
panic when I noticed a pool of water filling the back
of the boat. It must have been three feet deep at
least. I closed my eyes while thoughts flashed
through my mind as to our next course of action.
"Well there goes my
deposit," I said matter-of-factly while shaking
There was silence as we all
stared at the water. It was clear the yacht wasn't
going to totally submerge due to its proximity to the
beach, but without a crane and a repair team there
was little chance of it carrying us back to the
said firmly from behind.
"Let me think for a
moment," I said calmly.
Rhonda jerked up both her
arms in one swift action, clenching her fists tightly,
then tutted loudly before making her way back up the
beach towards the palm tress.
"It's not too bad!"
Sara said from atop the boat, "Nothing's changed,
we've still got food, water and our beds and stuff.
Just radio for a rescue boat."
"Thank you Sara," I
said softly while looking up at her and tilting my
head to one side letting out a half smile.
It appeared she was the only
one who was thinking straight. I couldn't fathom as
to why I hadn't thought of that myself. Maybe Rhonda's
sense of panic was effecting me.
Julie took it upon herself to
climb into the back of the yacht ahead of me with an
eager sense of excitement while I followed from
behind. I could feel Sara's eyes staring down at me
as I waded through the waist high water within the
Picking up the handset of the
radio I clicked it on and off a couple of times out
of habit then twiddled the frequency knob.
"Mayday, mayday!" I
said into the handset confidently making sure not to
sound too afraid, "This is the..."
I hesitated before mentioning
the name of the yacht on account that it sounded
stupid. I felt silly saying and under the
circumstances it sounded a whole lot worse. Now wasn't
the time for jollity.
"Mayday, mayday!" I
said again, "We're not in immediate trouble, but
our boat has sprung a leak, we cannot..."
I adjusted the frequency of
the radio again trying to make contact with anyone
but it was clear to me, and to Julie who was standing
at my side, that the radio wasn't working. It was
totally silent, not even static.
I turned and looked down at
the engine compartment of the yacht which was now
underwater then looked back at the radio which was
totally dry upon its shelf. I wondered how it was
powered and if the battery was wet.
"Well don't give up,
keep trying!" I head Sara's voice as she made
her way across the roof of the bridge cabin then down
the metal ladder splashing into the water.
"It's not working,"
I said softly with the handset still firmly grasped
within my hand.
"Give it here,"
Sara said budging past Julie and taking the handset
Sara switched the radio off
then back on before twiddling the frequency knob at
random then clicking the handset button repeatedly.
She had no real idea what she was doing, it was more
of a case of copying what I had done.
coastguard, anyone," she said holding the
handset right up to her mouth, "This is The
Hairy Beaver. We've grounded our ship and are stuck
on an island, north east of the Costa Rican mainland.
Is anyone out there?"
Julie cradled Sara's hand
that held the handset and lowered it.
"The radio's dead,"
she said softly.
"But we've got to try
something, we can't just give up," Sara
I made my way over to the
side of the boat then sat myself down, allowing my
feet to dangle over the side. I needed time to think.
Chapter 5 - Taking
Sara was still within the
yacht's cabin speaking to the dead radio while I
remained in my position sitting on the side of the
deck wiggling my feet within the sea. Julie had
already made her way up the beach and was sitting in
a heap, intentionally not allowing herself to get
comfortable. Rhonda on the other hand had hidden
herself among the trees repressing her anger and
shading herself from the afternoon sun.
I still wasn't sure what to
do and part of me hoped another boat would sail by
while I was still in thought, but it was not the case.
Other than the other islands within the distance
there was nothing upon the horizon. Jumping from my
perch, splashing into the water, I made my way up the
beach towards Julie who was laying in a very awkward
position upon the beach towel. She startled herself
to an upright position as I began to speak.
"Okay, may I have your
attention everyone?!" I called out knowing
Rhonda was hiding somewhere, "The radio's busted,
we cannot make repairs to the yacht, all we can hope
for is rescue. This is a tourist destination there
are bound to be passing boats within the next few
days. It's just a case of remaining calm and being
Rhonda's eyes peeped out from
among the bushes staring at me. It was difficult to
tell what she was thinking.
"I assure you this isn't
a life and death situation!" I continued, "This
is simply an inconvenience. We still have plenty of
canned food and drinks aboard, and there's coconuts
abound, we're going to be fine!"
Sara had already given up
with the radio and started making her way up the
beach to join me. Julie was still laying on the towel
covering her head with her hands.
"Ronny!" I called
out to Rhonda while holding out my arm beckoning for
her join us.
There was a few moments of
hesitation before Rhonda left the bushes and made her
way towards us. She appeared calm which I put down to
my comforting words. I felt pleased at the way I took
control of the situation.
"I'm fine staying here
for another few days," Rhonda said softly,
"It's no biggie. But the food won't last forever
and I've no intention of eating crabs and coconuts
for the rest of my life."
I glanced towards Sara
knowing full well she hated crabs, not that I was too
fond of them either.
Rhonda let out a deep breath.
"There's thousands of
square miles of sea and dozens of islands," she
said shaking her head, "Erm, we'll have to stack
some wood, and prepare a beacon to signal a passing
"Good idea," I said.
Chapter 6 - Nightfall
Having something to keep us
busy was a good way to take our minds off the
situation. We spent the rest of the afternoon
breaking small twigs from the trees and bushes
further up the beach, pilling them up ready for when
needed. We created three large piles surrounding the
small island. It wasn't long before the beautiful
sunset dropped below the horizon and we were plunged
into darkness. Not only had the sun gone but also the
heat, and it was a surprise to us all how cold the
small island had become.
"We should be getting
inside now," Sara said whilst hugging herself.
I nodded then we began making
our way down the beach towards the partly sunken
yacht. It was pretty well wedged against the sand and
rocks of the shallow water but I still felt concern
that it could somehow sink further or maybe get
dragged out to sea. I personally didn't want to risk
it, but as the captain of sorts of our little
excursion did I have the right to tell everyone to
remain on the island? The thought passed through my
mind a number of times before I decided to make a
"No one settle down yet
we've still got work to do," I said in an
authoritative tone, "We need a small fire to
keep us warm for tonight and we're going to remove
everything salvageable from the boat. Food, water,
clothes, everything. It'll be safe on the beach."
Sara had a look of
bewilderment about her.
"We'll just sleep
onboard," she said, "I don't care if there's
water covering the floor, the beds are fine, the
mattresses completely dry."
"Yes bring the
mattresses out too," I added nodding my head
trying to convince Sara it was her own idea.
"You're not serious are
you?" Sara moaned then glanced her gaze toward
Julie and Rhonda.
Julie opened her mouth but
hesitated before responding shaking her head with
"I just need to get my
head down," she said, "I'm dead on my feet."
"Then let's sleep now
and do this tomorrow!" Sara yelled then turned
her head away from me.
Rhonda had already made her
way over to one of the wood piles we had earlier made
then started to remove some smaller branches and
twigs gathering them together in a small pile. When
Sara realised what Rhonda was doing she hurried down
the beach in a huff heading for the boat.
"Bring some matches!"
Rhonda called out to her.
Sara raised her middle finger
flipping Rhonda off.
Chapter 7 - Bedtime
The crackling sound of the
fire felt comforting as all four of us huddled around
it, as though deep in thought, while staring at the
flame. Julie also had the only dry towel left
covering her shoulders while the rest we had hung on
the trees further up the beach. Some of our clothing
had gotten wet too but it wasn't a problem to dry
them out, the sparkling clear sea water wasn't enough
to dirty them. Our food was okay too, with most of it
tinned, so there wasn't an immediate danger within
our unfortunate predicament. As for our beds however,
Sara was wrong in her assumption, and our mattresses
were soaked through.
"What was that noise?"
Sara asked from opposite the fire.
I looked up and could see
nothing more than her silhouette within the near
darkness contrasted against the fire's flames.
"What noise?" I
"Nothing," she said.
We continued to sit still for
a few more moments listening on tenterhooks but
hearing nothing more than the crackling fire and the
sounds of the sea.
"I need to use the
bushes," Sara then said, "Will someone come
I understood what she was
referring to right away for we had been using the
bushes as a lavatory multiple times that day as the
chemical toilet onboard the yacht was flooded. I
wondered if it was possible to physically remove it
from the boat and make some kind of outside latrine
but the more I thought about it the more I realised
the impracticalities at doing such a thing. Digging a
hole in the sand behind the bushes would have to
"You can go by yourself,
you're a big girl now," I said in a cheeky tone
trying to lighten the mood.
"But it's dark and I may
trip," Sara quickly said.
I turned to Julie at my side
but she had already rested her head down on the beach
using the towel as a makeshift blanket. Rhonda was
twiddling her long wavy hair with her fingers staring
blankly at the fire not paying attention. It was
clear Sara wasn't worried about tripping over and was
simply afraid of being alone in the dark. I had no
wish to embarrass her so I decided to make up an
excuse to go with her.
"Actually I could do
with a quick pee myself," I said before heaving
myself to my feet.
Sara jumped up as I made my
way over to her. She held my hand tightly and we
headed up the beach into the bushes but made sure not
to stray too far from the glow of the fire. The soft
sand felt so cold underfoot compared to how it had
been during the day.
"Shall we share the same
hole or should we..." Sara asked before I
"No, no, no. We'll dig
one each," I said not relishing the idea of
peeing directly beside her.
"Okay but don't be too
far way," she added.
Scooping some loose sand
using my hands I dug myself a small hole among the
bushes next to Sara then crouched. I tugged my black
bikini bottoms to one side and did no more than a
trickle of pee before letting the elastic pull the
bikini back into place. Standing myself back up I
used my foot to slide the sand back into place as I
waited to Sara to finish. I could hear her trickle,
followed by silence then more trickles. I hugged
myself and wiggled my body for warmth waiting for
Sara to finish. She let out a breath.
"Are you okay?" I
"I'm just not used to
doing my business outside is all," she responded,
"Just give me a moment, and stop looking."
"I certainly am not
looking!" I said loudly but not with an angered
tone, "I was momentarily but only because you
There was silence for a while
before Sara stood herself back up. Even within the
darkness I could make out from her body language that
she felt uncomfortable.
"I could have done with
some leaves," she said.
"Yea me too," I
told her, "It's fine though, just leave it. No
one will know."
It was at that moment that I
realised what she was referring to and what part of
her body she was talking about needing the leaves for.
"Oh, I see," I
quickly added, "Erm, have a dip in the sea when
the sun comes up."
Sara held out her hand and we
both made our way in the darkness across the thicket
heading back towards the fire which appeared all the
more inviting. Sara's hand felt a little moist which
I hoped was due to sweat but I knew it was likely to
be something else. Under other circumstances I would
have been annoyed or made a joke about it but didn't
feel it appropriate. I could tell her about it after
our rescue then share a laugh.
"Wait," Sara said
while we were still out of earshot of Julie and
"What is it?" I
"Just..." she said,
"Um, I don't know. We're not going to die are we?
If we are I want you to be honest."
I took a step back while
facing her then took a deep breath.
"Now that's just
tiredness talking," I told her, "Let's get
back to the fire and get some sleep."
I held her clammy hand with
both of mine cupping her palm. I smiled too which was
probably difficult to see in the near darkness.
"Now no more speaking
silly now," I said.
As we made our way closer to
the fire it was clear Julie was already fast asleep
while Rhonda kept nodding herself awake using her own
knees as a pillow.
"You get any more twigs?"
She said in a very quiet voice to Sara and myself as
"No," Sara replied
while slowly sitting herself back down, "It's
too dark to see anything."
I glanced at the fire. The
flames were dying down but there was still plenty of
glow in the ashes. I guessed sunup wasn't too distant
so wasn't worried.
"It's fine, you should
get some sleep," I told Rhonda.
"We should have gone to
the casinos," she replied letting out an
In a daze of tiredness Rhonda
heaped up some sand behind her to create a makeshift
pillow then rested upon her back. She mumbled
something beneath her breath and let out another
chuckle. It wasn't too long before she was sleeping.
Sara continued to sit
stretching her hands out toward the flickering flames
of the fire. I was reminded of her damp hand and took
a mental note of washing my own first thing in the
I slid myself over next to
Julie and laid beside her wishing the bath towel she
was using as a blanket was larger. Closing my eyes I
forced myself to keep the thoughts of our predicament
clear from my mind. I needed to sleep and I was
certain things would be better in the morning.
"Did you hear something?"
Sara then said.
"Go to sleep," I
"I'm not used to
sleeping outside," she said.
I could still hear Sara
talking as I drifted into slumber.
Chapter 8 - Coconuts
I awoke to the sound of
something being hit very hard. At first I imagined it
to be a hammer but as I sat myself up I could see
Rhonda doing something further down the beach. She
caught my eye contact.
"Are you lot going to
lie there all day?!" She said while making her
way in our direction.
It was then I realised I was
laying between Julie and Sara with the beach towel
stretched lengthways across our bodies. It wasn't the
position in which I laid the previous night and I
guessed Sara must have had something to do with it.
The fire to the left of us was no more than a pile of
"What time is it?"
I asked while heaving my way up from my sleeping
friends letting Sara's arm flop away from my body.
"Half ten," Rhonda
"We should prepare
breakfast," I suggested.
"Already on it,"
The sun felt comfortably warm
against my skin, I only wished there was a way to
store the heat for use at night. As I approached
Rhonda I kept an eye out toward the horizon seeing if
there were any signs of distant ships, but alas there
was nothing. A creepy feeling of us being alone, on a
very small island, in a vast ocean chilled my spine.
I shook myself.
"Cereal is off the menu
today," Rhonda continued, "Unless you want
sea salt flavoured corn flakes. We have tinned corned
beef, sardines, baked beans, spaghetti, ketchup, wet
fruit which should be okay... or, fresh coconut."
Coconut sounded a wonderful
idea, and was a good way to make our existing food
supplies last longer. I looked on eagerly as Rhonda
retrieved a coconut from the sand and started
throwing it against a rock.
"Are you sure that's the
best way to open them?" I asked, "You don't
want to spill any of its contents."
Rhonda placed both hands on
her hips and turned to face me.
"Well unless you have
some kind of tool what other choice do I have?!"
She said in a firm tone.
I shook my head.
"It's fine, it's okay,"
I said calmly, "You're doing a splendid job."
There was an awkward silence.
"I know," Rhonda
quickly said, "We can't drink sea water, I'll
try not to spill any coconut water okay. You don't
need to tell me."
I gave her a smile. I sensed
her frustrations beneath a shallow surface which
could explode into anger at any moment. It wasn't as
though we were short on coconuts anyway for they were
scattered all over the island.
"Here," Rhonda said
holding up a piece of pre-smashed coconut still
attached to its husk.
"Thank you," I said
before biting into its white fleshy inner surface.
It was tough, with a rubbery
texture and tasted bitter. It was either far too
fresh or way beyond ripe, I couldn't tell. It was
surprisingly more juicy than expected however so I
licked my fingers as moisture ran down my hand.
"What are you eating?!"
Sara called out while waving her hand further up the
"We're having a coconut
breakfast!" Rhonda called back to her.
Sara came running down the
beach looking like an overexcited child. Her grin was
wide and it was good to see her in such a happy mood
under the circumstances.
"I'm just going to have
a quick dip in the sea first," Sara said, "I
can't wait to tuck in, my belly's been rumbling all
It was then that I realised I
had yet to wash my hands.
Chapter 9 - Waiting
Rhonda was getting quite the
knack of hitting the coconuts against a small pointed
rock and splitting them in two, sometimes without
spilling the precious coconut water inside. It was a
way for her to feel good about helping us survive and
a way to vent her anger.
"Grr!" She grunted
hitting another coconut hard against the rock.
Sara had returned from her
brief dip in the sea and was eating coconuts along
with myself and Rhonda. Julie was still in the same
position she had slept in further up the beach but
she had managed to move the towel and lay on top of
it due to the sun warming the island.
called out to her, "Come and get some breakfast!"
She responded by moving her
body into a different position but made no attempt to
get up. All three of us looked on.
"She better not be ill,"
I said whilst trying to remain calm, "That's the
last thing I need on my plate right now."
"Our plate," Rhonda
"I better go and check,"
"No, we'll all go,"
I said while keeping my eyes firmly focused upon
Julie, "Bring some coconut with us."
Sara hurried ahead while I
and Rhonda followed on. It was then that I noticed
Sara's bikini bottoms sagging as though the elastic
had become loose. We still had more clothing, but as
of that moment they were still wet. The morning sun
would soon dry them out however.
"Go away," I heard
Julie mumble as Sara crouched beside her.
Rhonda said in a cheerful tone holding the remains of
two coconuts within her hands, "Rise and shine,
sleepy head. Time for breakfast."
Julie sat up bolt upright in
one fast movement practically hitting her head
against Sara's who was crouching beside her. There
was a slight pause as Julie gazed her eyes at each of
us in turn then looked out at the sea. She appeared
"Are we... are we about
to be rescued?" She said slowly.
Rhonda shook her head.
"Fat chance," she
responded, "It'll be some time yet. In the
meantime we thought you may enjoy some fresh juicy
coconut for breakfast. If you don't fancy that you
can have regular food, but we're on an island after
all so should enjoy the delicacies it has to offer.
Making the best of it."
Rhonda appeared unusually
cheerful which in turn caused me to smile.
"Come on Julie," I
said, "You haven't eaten since we got here."
"Just piss off and leave
me alone," she grumbled before laying back down.
"You're not ill are you?"
Julie didn't reply.
"Well if you do change
your mind you know where we are," Rhonda said in
a calm tone before turning and making her way back
down the beach.
I hesitated not knowing the
best course of action then followed Rhonda who had
already picked up another coconut ready to smash it
"Are you okay?" I
asked her as I approached.
Rhonda squinted her nose then
shook her head. Within an instant she let the coconut
drop from her hands onto the soft sand. She let out a
deep breath then knelt down.
"It's been less than
twenty-four hours and we're..." she said before
"We're what?" I
"She's given up hope,"
Rhonda said glancing her eyes back up the beach
toward Julie with Sara still at her side.
"She'll be fine don't
worry," I said remaining calm, "We had a
tiring night, she's exhausted physically as well as
mentally. She'll be okay after some sleep."
I wondered if it was possible
to sleep in the hot sun and whether we should suggest
she move into the shade of the trees.
"I hope so," Rhonda
said still keeping her gaze fixated upon Julie.
I still had a piece of
coconut within my hand so scrapped my teeth across
its surface letting some of its juicy coconut milk to
moisten my mouth. Its bitter taste still lingered
causing me to twist my mouth.
"I don't want to dig a
grave if anything should happen?" Rhonda said
"What?!" I said in
"I don't think I'd be
able to face that," Rhonda continued, "If
anyone, God forbid, did pass away I'd swim out to sea
never to return."
"No, no!" I said as
I knelt down to join Rhonda in her sitting position,
"Nothing like that's going to happen. We have
food, we have everything we need to survive, this isn't
a life and death situation. We just need to be
patient and wait it out!"
"And if Julie is sick?"
I glanced my head away not
knowing how to answer. Julie and Sara appeared to be
exchanging words. Sara then caught my eye contact and
tilted her head indicating that she wanted me to join
"Seriously don't worry,
it'll never come to that," I told Rhonda calmly
pressing my hand against the side of her shoulder,
"If it did we'll all, you know, swim out to sea
I wasn't sure if it was the
right thing to say but I was having to think fast. It
wasn't the kind of conversation I had ever had before.
As I heaved myself to my feet I noticed Sara already
making her way down the beach holding her bikini
bottoms in place with her right hand due to the loose
elastic. I wasn't sure if she had heard what me and
Rhonda had been saying or not, if she had she wasn't
"Julie wants to wait it
out," Sara said as she approached, "She
doesn't want to do anything until a rescue ship comes."
"And have you told her
that could be weeks, months, or possibly years?!"
"She's not stupid she
knows," Sara replied.
We all looked at one another.
"This is a beautiful
island paradise," Sara continued, "But we
can only enjoy it if we know we can leave at any time."
Chapter 10 - Stormy
Rhonda spent the day smashing
coconuts and wandering the island, her mood ranging
from happy to despair from one moment to the next.
Sara showed a caring side as she sat beside Julie
coaching her to eat while engaging her in
conversation. I myself was distracted by light
headedness most likely caused by the heat which I
tried to relieve by sitting among the bushes. The
clothing we kept hanging from the trees in order to
dry them out was still partially damp, so I took
advantage of the situation and wrapped a damp towel
around my body. It felt refreshing but I still couldn't
rid myself of my dammed headache.
"So where's Gemma got to?"
I heard Rhonda's voice within the distance.
"She's, you know, in the
bushes," Sara replied, "Diarrhoea probably.
Too many coconuts."
Rhonda giggled her response.
I was too ill and tired to
correct Sara's mistake so continued sitting on the
ground among the soft leaves taking care to avoid the
spiky ones. A canopy formed by a large palm tree
shaded me from direct sunlight. As I rested my body
back and stared up at the branches of the tree I
realised the sun wasn't being blocked by the leaves
at all but by the clouds. Either way I felt relief
then closed my eyes intent on taking a nap.
"Shit!" I heard
Sara's voice screech in the distance.
I hadn't slept for more than
a few moments before the heavens opened and the rain
stared to pour. There had been no warning, no gradual
build up, just a torrential downpour. Jumping to my
feet using the damp towel to cover my head I
hesitated deciding on what to do next. Thoughts of
getting back in the yacht flashed through my mind
before realising that was out of the question. I just
hoped it was a brief rainstorm that would soon pass
To my surprise, causing me to
startle, I saw Sara and Julie standing behind me the
moment I turned. Julie had her towel above her head
the same as I yet it was already soaked through with
water pouring down her face.
"Where shall we go? What
shall we do?!" Sara yelled in a panic.
"Erm," I responded
wiggling my body from side to side in readiness to go
somewhere that I hadn't yet decided upon.
My head still throbbed and I
could feel the rain pouring down my cheeks and back.
"Right, um," I said
staring at Sara hoping she would suggest something,
"Under something, let's make a shelter, use the
wood we prepared for the beacon fires!"
"There's no time!"
Sara shouted over the sound of the rain.
I should have planned for
this. I cursed myself for not thinking sooner. We
should have made a shelter on the first night.
"So, what do we do?!"
Julie was already on the
ground scrambling to get under the bushes not
realising they were the prickly kind. She didn't
appear to make any fuss however as the sharp leaves
rubbed her skin. Glancing at Sara then looking at
Julie I indicated that we should do the same. Sara
crouched down then scrambled into the bushes
following Julie. I was about to do the same but
caught Rhonda in the corner of my eye hurrying
towards us. She carried a pile of sodden wet clothes
she had grabbed from the trees.
"Ronny!" I called
The moment she caught up she
gave me no more than a mere glance before piling the
clothes over the top of the thicket. I did the same
with the towel I was holding and we tried our best to
squeeze inside only to end up being on top of one
another among prickly bushes.
"My bikini's fallen down!"
"I've got a thorn
jabbing in my leg," Julie then said, "It's
bleeding, I know it."
I felt I was about to puke as
my head continued to throb. I had to close my eyes
and concentrate to control the urge.
"Can everyone just stop
talking for a moment," I said softly.
"They're around my
ankles!" Sara added.
I took some deep breaths as
the chill of rainwater continued to splash against my
back. I felt disorientated. I was laying on someone,
either Julie or Sara, while Rhonda was in a contorted
position partly on me and partly not.
"Are you okay Ronny?"
I asked trying to remain calm.
There was a moment of silence
before she responded.
"Let's all just remain
perfectly still until this rain stops shall we?"
She said in an exhausted tone.
Chapter 11 - Stormy
With all our combined wills
we remained as still as possible as the rain pounded
down from above not letting off for even a moment.
Afternoon very gradually turned to evening and we
found ourselves still piled on top of each other
within the prickly bush as night drew in.
The area of my back that was
exposed to the elements felt numb yet I was all too
aware of the rain that continued to bombard against
it. No doubt it was likely red raw. There was also
something that occasionally jabbed against my side
with I put down to being Rhonda's foot which
occasionally twitched most likely due to cramp.
There was a feeling of warmth
among our huddle yet it couldn't hold back the sharp
draft of cooled air that found its way around the
entwining leaves of the bush in which we hid
ourselves. There was also a smell of urine and body
odour which increased the feeling of nausea within my
head while my lungs begged for fresh air. The feeling
of giddiness increased and I couldn't help spewing
out a line of spit, laced with vomit, onto whoever I
was laying upon.
"I'm sorry," I said
quickly clearing my throat.
"I've been waiting a
long time to hear you say that," Rhonda said
misunderstanding what I was referring to.
There was then moment as
though one of us was changing position. I gritted my
teeth as I rubbed my bare arm across a sharp leaf
then rested my hand against someone's shoulder.
Closing my eyes again I tried to calm my head in the
hope the dizzy feeling would pass. I needed sleep but
now was not the time.
"I've been keeping quiet
on this but I'm sure the others will agree, this
truly is your fault," Rhonda said, "While
we're stranded here I'll continue to cooperate and
help build a proper shelter and smash coconuts, but
once we're home again our friendship is over."
I was too tired to argue.
"I'm sorry you feel that
way," I said.
I felt movement beneath me
and realised it was Sara I was laying upon, and it
wasn't her bare shoulder that I had my hand rested
upon. I quickly pulled my arm back.
"Let's not blame anyone,"
she said, "It was an accident. If the boat was
poorly maintained it was the rental company at fault
"Well I'm sure the
rental company don't expect people to sail their
yachts right up to the beach," Rhonda said.
"I'm too tired for this
please calm..." I couldn't finish the end of my
sentence as the sound of thunder rumbled across the
"I've a feeling this'll
get worse before it gets better," Sara said.
The rain continued to pour at
a steady rate but something about the sound of
thunder put us all on edge. There was then a bright
flash soon followed by more thunder.
"I need to move, my face
is in mud!" Julie screeched.
"We need another shelter
now!" Rhonda moaned as she wiggled herself into
an upright position practically taking the bush with
her and exposing us all to the elements.
The crisp cold air bit into
my back removing all the numbness causing it to sting.
Rhonda hurried back towards the beach itself most
likely fetching some of the wood we had piled for a
beacon. I covered my gaze as Sara pulled up her
bikini bottoms then we both helped Julie to her feet.
"Where now?!" Sara
shouted over the sound of the rain.
"Ronny's gone to the
beach!" I replied, "Let's see what she has
I wanted to run but the
sodden wet sand wasn't stable. I, Sara and Julie
slowly headed for the beach taking one step at a time.
To our surprise Rhonda didn't appear to be where we
expected her, and the pile of wood remained
undisturbed. It was difficult to see anything clearly
however so we continued to the wood pile. Rhonda then
came into view as she stepped out from behind it.
"We should take some of
the wood back into the bushes!" Sara suggested
while addressing me.
"Why are you asking her?!"
Rhonda shouted, "Is she your boss? Do you need
her permission? It's Gemma that got us into this mess
in the first place!"
"Well if you've got a
better suggestion we'll do it your way!" I
shouted back to Rhonda.
I didn't care who was
supposedly in charge. I only wanted what everyone
else wanted, that was to survive long enough to be
rescued. If Rhonda wanted to take over I was
perfectly willing to allow her. I only wished she
hadn't made her feelings known at the worst possible
I walked over to her holding
out my arms in an attempt to calm her down, but I
never got that far when something struck me directly
against the mouth. Rhonda stared at me while I looked
back having no idea what had happened. I was in shock,
she couldn't have possibly done what I thought she
had. I must have been mistaken. Had she struck me?
Was it a gentle slap made worse due to the rain
against my cheek, or had it been a punch? It must
have been something else.
The rain continued pelting
down as the sky lit up followed by more clapping
thunder. We were all soaked to our skins.
"Stop it!" I heard
Sara yell at the top of her voice which confirmed
only too well my suspicion.
As the shock subsided the
delayed pain shot into my mouth causing me to lean
forward and scream out in agony. My front tooth was
dislodged, bent inwards and on the brink of falling
out. The taste of blood filled my mouth causing me to
gulp some of it down while dribbling some out. My
body trembled with rage but I bided my time, waiting
to give Rhonda the chance to apologise, but no words
of regret came.
"It's your own fault!"
Rhonda moaned, "If you hadn't..."
Within a flash I was on top
of her plunging her back first to the wet sand.
Pressing my knees against her shoulders I pushed my
full weight upon them.
"You fucking bitch. You
fucking bitch!" I shouted repeatedly while
pounding the underside of my fists against her face.
Rhonda frantically wiggled
trying to get me off her but due to our position she
was having difficulty. She couldn't even cover her
face as I continued to pound my fists against it. It
seemed like a long time but it was only a few moments
when Sara and Julie manhandled me, prising me away
from Rhonda's body. If they hadn't I wasn't sure if I
would have ever stopped. We all flopped onto the
beach in total exhaustion panting heavily. The
streaks of warm tears down my face were constantly
being washed away by the rain. The sky lit up and the
thunder continued to roar. I was actually relieved to
hear Rhonda crying as it meant she was still alive. I
crawled closer to her and flopped down at her side
unsure as to what I intended to do next.
The rain and thunder
continued while the sky lit up with bolt lightning
across the night's sky. There was another light too,
coming from the sea. It was a ship with its spotlight
illuminating the beach. Sara jumped to her feet and
started waving with her right hand at the ship
keeping her bikini bottoms in place with a firm grasp
using her left. Julie laughed with relief whilst
sitting in a kneeling position. I slowly heaved
myself up and looked on as the ship continued to
swing its searchlight to and fro across the island. I
grinned widely and allowed my loose tooth to fall
from my mouth onto the sand.
"Is it a ship?"
Rhonda asked in a timid tone.
I turned and held out my arm
helping her get to her feet. Her nose was bloody and
her lip split.
"It is," I told her,
"We're going home."
I gave her hand a gentle