This is actually a 'text-story' my boyfriend and i wrote, and i formalized for a writing class.
There I was minding my own business, when this guy, obviously from the city, starts yelling at me. What the hell? “Hey!” he yelled, waving his arms like a lunatic. I looked at him. “What’s your name?” he asked, walking towards me. I can run faster than this bozo. I turn and book it towards the ocean. “Hey! Slow down!” he yells again. There’s no way he’s catching up to me. “Go away!” I yell back over my shoulder. “Who are you?” I can hear how hard he’s trying to catch up. Sucks he’s not going to catch me. “You don’t stand a chance out here,” I yell back, putting on a burst of speed. “How do you know?” He’s getting fainter now. He must have stopped. “We haven’t even met yet. Can you stop for a moment?” No way in hell. I keep running. I can hear the waves beating on the cliff ahead of me. I smile to myself. He’s in for a surprise. “Stop following me.” I sprint to the edge. “STOP!” He yells, frantic, “You’re going to fall!” “Just watch me!” With that I leap into the air, squealing in delight. I love cliff-diving. I’ve done it a thousand times. Like an acrobat I twist gracefully through the air, finally slicing through the water below. I surface, looking up at the cliff. “Ha! See you follow… Aw sh**!” The guy freaking jumped after me! What an idiot. I swim far enough away to not get caught under him, but close enough to help if he needs it. I hear him hit the water with an angry slap. Then nothing, not a sound. Crap. I swim towards where he should have landed, and sure enough, there he is, floating unconscious on his stomach. G damn it. I flip him over and start towing him back to shore. So not what I wanted to do today. We get back to shore and he’s still not awake. “Wake up you stupid guy! You weren’t supposed to follow me dumbsh**!” I start trying to perform CPR. I could never really understand how to do it when they taught it in class. He starts to make incoherent noises. Apparently I’m doing something right. I lean up and brush some hair out of his face. “What? Come on…” I beg. He tries to sit up and starts to cough. “Oh thank god,” I sigh in relief, “You need to get all the water out of your lungs. Keep coughing.” “No, it’s alright. I’m fine,” He manages to get out between coughs. I can see a pool of blood on the ground behind him. I tear off part of my shirt and start to wrap his head with it. “We have to get you to a hospital. Your head is bleeding.” “No it’s nothing I’m fine. This cloth works fine.” He tentatively reaches up to touch the wound. “Obviously not. Your head is f*ing bleeding! You have to get help. You’re already bleeding through it.” I slap his hand away “Don’t touch it.” “Don’t worry about me. I’m ok,” He says, trying to stand. He gets to his feet, then falls flat on his butt. “Sit down! You’re in no condition to go anywhere,” I insist, looking around. I don’t remember much about the surrounding area, but there’s a lot of dead wood around to use for a fire. That’s a good thing. “Fine,” he looks down, then at me, “Aren’t you cold?” He shivers. “Of course not. I jump off that cliff all the time. I used to swim most of the way home,” I ramble, gathering wood “What? Really? I thought you were trying to commit suicide to get away from me or something,” He lays back, shivering slightly and watching me curiously. “You’re obviously not from around here.” I sit across from him and start making a fire. “What’s that supposed to mean?” He reaches up to rub his head. “Don’t rub it! You’ll tear the bandage. Everybody cliff-dives. There’s not much else to do around here,” I say, engrossed in my failing fire. I guess all my kindling is wet or something. “Where exactly is here?” He moves to get up. “Here let me help you with that.” I glare at him. “I got it. Sit down before you hurt yourself.” My fire finally lit. Kudos to me. “How do you not know where you are?” I ask, sitting a few feet away. “I don’t know. I’ve never been around here before.” He sits down unhappily. “Huh.” I look down, drawing shapes in the sand. “Yea.” He’s watching me. I don’t like this. “So where are you from?” I ask, hoping to end the slightly awkward silence. “A bit of a ways away. I’ve been walking for a couple of days now.” He looks at his hands. “I don’t quite remember but where are we now? That might trigger something.” “We’re about a half-klick from town,” I point off to my left, “but there’s a ranch a quarter-mile that way,” I gesture farther inland. I pull out my hunting knife. “Hand me that stick would ya?” Gotta find some way to get dinner. “I live quite a ways away, nowhere near here.” He glances at me, sharpening the stick. “Is that yours?” He asks nervously. “Yep. A girl’s gotta fend for herself out here. You learn a lot when you don’t have someplace warm to go at night.” I reply sharply. “What do you mean? You don’t have a home?” I look away from him, gazing out over the water. “I don’t want to talk about it. What about you? Why are you out here? You don’t get a lot of city kids this far out.” I return to my stick, sharpening it with increased vigor. When he doesn’t reply I look up at him. “I decided to give up that kind of life. It wasn’t for me, so I left looking for something…better.” He said slowly. I smile to myself. That’s not a good enough reason to leave. Especially if you don’t know what your doing. “Here,” I hand him the stick, sharpened to almost a perfect point, “Hold this in the fire, but don’t let it burn.” He takes it obediently, holding his arm at a weird angle. “Is your arm ok?” I move closer to inspect it. “It looks like you’re holding it funny. Injuries are very serious out here.” He looks alarmed. “What’s wrong with my arm? It doesn’t feel like it’s injured.” I feel up and down his arm, feeling for breaks and lumps. “Sometimes you can’t feel if you hurt it. That was a nasty fall,” I grab his other arm to compare. “Well…I wasn’t really thinking when I did it,” he said, embarrassed. I grab the stick from him, the tip nicely blackened. “Yea I noticed. You can’t react only on impulse out here. You have to use your head. Stupid choices could get you killed.” Maybe scaring him would make him leave me alone. I go to the water, about knee deep. “Well I didn’t know that you knew what you were doing! I just tried to save someone who might be in danger. What are you doing?” “Shh! I’m trying to concentrate.” There’s a big fish coming my way. Wait for it, wait for it. I throw the stick into the water, spearing the fish. Haha! I grab the stick and throw the fish to him, “Here kill that.” I go back to catch more. “With what?” He asks, confused and probably disgusted. “A rock, your hand, something. Unless you want gut it while it’s still alive.” I throw him another one. I hear two rocks hitting each other, and a wet bursting noise. “Where do you want it?” I catch a third and get out of the water. “Find a flat rock and put it in the fire. I’ll show you how to gut it in a second.” I sit down and wring out my shorts. He sets the dead fish on a rock and leans back, bracing himself with his hands. “So…AH!” I look up and he’s grabbing his arm. “Now I feel it.” “What! There was nothing when I looked.” I move closer to him, reexamining his arm. “You might have sprained something I can’t see…Give me your shirt.” “Alright,” he says, taking off his shirt and handing it to me, “It was a pretty bad fall. Who knows what happened.” I fashion a split out of the shirt and some unburned driftwood. “That should do it,” I replied, pulling the knot behind his shoulder tight. He winced in pain. “Try not to move it for a few days.” I turn and start to gut the dead fish. Nasty stuff, but it has to be done. It does no good eating the little bones, choking and dying out here. “Alright.” The only sounds now are the crackling of the fire and cooking fish. Then a hear him mumble something incoherent. “Hm?” I look up. “Did you say something?” He’s staring at me. “What’s your name?” Oh s**t. “Oh gosh. I actually don’t remember,” I lie, still fiddling with the fish, “It’s just been me and Scott for so long…” I look to the sky, searching for Scott. He’s been gone an awful long time. “Scott?” “He’s my bird. I lost him a while ago. He usually comes when he smells the fish…” I prod the fish, releasing some juices and the aroma. “Huh.” He leans back, watching the sunset dance across the clouds. “That’s pretty cool.” He looks over towards me, over my shoulder. “Is that him?” I look where he’s pointing. “I can’t tell. I miss him. He’s all I have.” I look down at the fish. It looks done, so I hand him some. “Here, I think it’s done.” “Thanks.” He takes it and starts eating. Then he asks, “How long have you been living like this?” “I’ve lost track,” I shrug, digging into my dinner. “It’s been a while.” “Alright then.” He says, staring out over the water. He’s a wacko. I stretch out over the warm sand. He looks over, gets up, and comes to sit closer to me. Uh, ok? “I told you not to move. You’re really hurt.” I move a little away. “I’m fine. I can move a little bit.” He shrugs. I look out across the water and see storm clouds rolling in. ”We have to find shelter. See those clouds?” I point them out. “That means a storm is coming. And it looks like a bad one.” He looks out, following my finger. “Alright. Where do we start?” “Well a cave would be ideal, but farther inland I think there’s a stand of trees that would be good to start in,” I say, standing and putting out the fire. He tries to stand up again, almost succeeding this time. “I’ll follow you.” “Are you sure?” I glance at him. “I’ll be back with some branches you can use to walk with.” I go to help him. He seems to be doing be doing ok though. “Ok,” he gasps, falling into me. “Where do you want me to go?” I slip nimbly out of his grasp, sitting him back down. “Just sit right there. I’ll be right back. I promise.” I run towards the trees. I see a large branch on the way, just about his height. It’s a little thick, but it’ll work. I heft it up. Its really not that heavy, I’m just tired. I drag it back to where I left the guy. “It’s not that far. Here try this.” I hold it steady so he can stand. He tries to walk with it in a little circle. He’s moving rather well. “It’s perfect.” “Cool. Follow me.” I start to walk away slowly. After a while, I glance back; he’s trailing farther than I thought. I slow my pace again. We’re almost at the stand of trees. “You might have a concussion. You need to be careful ok?” “Ok,” he responds weakly. “Why don’t you sit down,” I gesture to a lone stump in the middle of the clearing. He sits while I gather some strong branches for shelter. “Is there anything you can tell me about you?” he asks, watching me work. I pull down some thick vines strung across the trees like a vibrant emerald necklace. “Like what?” I respond, not really paying attention. There looks like a good place to tie off the ceiling up just out of my reach. “I don’t know. Anything you’d like to share?” I leap and scale the behemoth in a deft movement. I wedge myself between the boughs, reaching up to tear off a strong branch to use as a cross-brace. “Not really. You?” I ask, tying off a length of vine and swinging down gracefully. “Not really. There’s not much to be said about me.” “Huh.” I bend the nearest saplings closer to my dangling vine, snaring them so they’ll stay. I climb the tree again, vine in hand, and wrap it around the cross-brace, and drop, bending the young trees even more. “Hey can you hold this while I find a rock or something to hold it down?” I glance at him. “Alright,” he winces, loping towards me. He grasps the vine and sits, grunting with exertion. Satisfied he’ll hold it tight, I move in search of a boulder large enough to keep the wall of trees from snapping back in the middle of the night, yet small enough for me to carry. I find one, heft it, and walk back to where he’s sitting. “Here, move but don’t let the trees snap back.” He moves, still trying to hold the vines back. I drop the rock on the tail, tying it down. “That looks like it’ll stay. Just try not to touch it.” I start to gather half- dead leaves and such to fill the gaps left between the bending boughs. “Where did you learn all this?” He asks me, trying to help while moving as little as possible. “Oh here and there,” I take his debris gratefully and start filling in the cracks, “and lots of experience.” “Huh,” he says, almost sadly, “Is there anything you need me to do?” “Oh no. I’m fine.” “Are you sure? I can help you. I’ll be fine.” He moves to help. “No. You sit. You shouldn’t move if you can help it.” I glance back at the horizon, observing the sky. “That storm is coming a lot sooner than I thought. But it looks like its moving north. We should be ok.” I sit near enough to him so he can see me in the encroaching darkness, but still far enough away that I don’t accidentally touch him. It still kinda freaks me out, being this close to another human. “Hm.” He follows my gaze, shivering slightly. “It’s getting pretty cold and dark.” He looks over at me. “Yea I was gonna make another fire, but it would have to be over there,” I gesture away from the trees, “So they won’t burn.” I stand and start to gather dead branches and kindling. “Here, let me help you with that,” he stands, trying to help again. I push him back down. “I got it its ok. Go rest.” He goes back sadly. I start humming a tune in tempo to the beat of my feet. It calms me and makes me forget there’s somebody else here. “What tune is that?” He asks suddenly, breaking my stupor. “Hm? Oh I don’t know. I’ve known it ever since I can remember.” I sit near the gently roaring fire, almost facing him. “Hm. Alright.” We sit in silence for a while. “Can I ask you something?” “Sure,” I reply, watching the sky change from brilliant red and pink to deep purple and black. “If you were running from me like I was someone dangerous, why did you save me?” I sit upright. This is unexpected. But then again so is everything about today. “I didn’t think you would actually follow me off the cliff,” I said, embarrassed. “That usually works. But after that I couldn’t just let you die.” I look at him. “Well thanks. I owe you one,” He nods and smiles. “No. You don’t.” I turn to watch the flames lick eagerly at the blacken wood, consuming it slowly, sap dripping down the sorry bough, as if crying in agony. What a crappy way to die. “Oh Scott. I hope you’re ok…” I whisper softly. “You saved me. I owe you my life.” He looks up to me, steadfast in his resolve. “I’m sure he’s fine,” he says, changing the subject. “I’m so worried.” I hug myself, pulling my knees closer. “He’ll be alright. I know it.” He moves closer to me. “What kind of bird is he?” “He’s a peregrine falcon. I’ve practically raised him since he was young. He’s usually not gone from me for so long…” “I’m sorry.” We sit in silence, he watching me and I watching the fire. “It seems kind of late.” I shrug. “I hardly ever notice anymore.” “Are you sure there’s nothing I can do?” he asks, pleading. I shake my head no. “I just hope he’s alright.” I lay back and roll away from him. After a long pause, “You should get some rest.” “Yea, ok,” I yawn. “Don’t let the fire go out.” “Ok.” He whispers. I fight sleep for a few minutes. “Sleep. It’s alright.” I hear him say, almost into my ear. I sigh heavily. “Don’t worry. Just sleep. Everything will turn out. I promise,” he whispers again. I start to hum again, slow and lamenting, drifting softly into sleep. I dance along the edges, riding the line between true sleep and full alertness, waiting for the sandman to push me one way or the other. Distantly I hear, “I’ll be back,” as if the dreams themselves are banishing me from their realm, falsely promising to once again bless me with their vivid imaginings.