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Castaway: Part 1
I woke up to a gently rustling sound. I thought I could hear the ocean. Odd. The air I was breathing was clean compared to what I was used to. There was sand underneath me, and it was cool to the touch. I sat up and brushed it feverishly from my hair. It took me a moment to remember where I was.
Oh right! A beach in….somewhere. I rubbed the back of my head and felt a large bump there. I winced and quickly lowered my hand. Slowly moving around each part of my body, I found that nothing else was sore or broken. Good. Everything was fine. Then why couldn’t I remember where I was?
I looked up and down the beach, but all I saw was a never ending line of sand and surf. I sighed, and groggily got to my feet. If I was going to remember big things like why I was here, I should start with small things like…what my name was for instance. I think it started with a K….or a C….
As I probed my mind for answers, I noticed I was wearing a small plastic wristband. I ripped it off and read the small print. ‘Dexter’. So that must be my name.....Not quite a K or a C but whatever. So that was taken care of. Now, problem two. I closed my eyes, hoping something would come to me, but all I got was a headache. I groaned and fell back onto the sand. Looking out to the sea, I noticed something odd.
There were two grooves in the sand leading from the ocean to where I had woken up. There was a set of footprints on either side of the grooves. Clearly, I had been dragged here. And, judging by the way the footprints turned and went back to where they came, I was alone, and abandoned.
“Well, that’s fantastic,” I mumbled to myself. Another small breeze rustled the trees behind me. They were actually part of a large jungle that seemed to span over the entire island. I faintly remember reading somewhere that man needs three basic things to survive: shelter, food and water.
Of course I’d have to find water first, because I could already feel my throat getting dry. And maybe while I was looking I’d remember what was going on. I stood up and slid the wristband that read my name into my pocket. All I was wearing was a pair of jeans, tennis shoes and a thin t-shirt.
I eyed the woods suspiciously. It was thick undergrowth and plants, and I had absolutely no idea what (or who for that matter) lived inside. But, in retch respect, I could either die of hunger and thirst out here, or die from being eaten by some animal in there. I went with being eaten. I’m not really one for going without food, and if I had the chance to make some hungry beast’s day better, what the hey.
I cautiously entered the forest. Then I realized that if I died now I would have nothing to lose, because I have no memories of anything worth living for. So I dropped my guard and walked into the trees like it was my own front door.
The trees started to close in the farther I went, but the ground also inclined a little. I was hoping I would run into a mountain stream or something of that sort, so I kept that way. The only thing I heard was the rustle of leaves, and a far off bird call every now and again. The trees offered enough shade that the sun wasn’t a real problem, but I still got hot fast.
After about fifteen minutes of steady going, I had to take a break. My tongue was as dry as sand paper. I wondered when the last time I had a drink was. Then I remembered I couldn’t remember anything, and proceeded to collapse onto the roots of a large tree.
My legs felt like lead, but I didn’t want to fall asleep. So far, the worst part of my day had been waking up, and I didn’t want to go through that again.
There was a small rustle far above my head. I looked up into the branches of the tree and saw a large bird. Its feathers were extremely colorful, and it looked at me expectantly, as if I was supposed to give it something. Suddenly the name for this bird popped into my head. A parrot.
“Hello,” I said with a smile. The bird blinked twice.
“Hello,” it replied. I must have jumped five feet. I knew parrots could talk, but those were only supposed to be the domestic ones. “Hello,” it repeated.
“Um…hi,” I replied. This bird must have learned to talk somewhere….so that means there must be people somewhere. And people meant water. Or so I hoped. So I just had to follow this bird wherever it went, and maybe I’d find someone. “Pretty bird…” I said softly, slowly getting to my feet. “Where are you from?” The bird eyed me suspiciously and I gave it what I hoped was a comforting smile. Suddenly it spread its wings and hopped to another tree.
“Hey! Where are you going?” I called. I followed him, and he jumped to the next tree and so on. Every time it landed, the parrot looked back at me and waited for me to get close.
“So, you’re leading me somewhere….” I mumbled as I followed it, tripping over ever other tree root I came in contact with. “So why can’t you pick an easier rout.” After five minutes of this, I felt my throat drying up again. I felt dizzy. I was losing energy fast, and I was wasting it following some stupid bird!
It called to me, and I tried to look for it in the trees, but I was sweating and my vision was blurry. I couldn’t find it and I could feel my heart beating in my throat. I felt my knees lock and I fell to the ground. My eyes were going in and out of focus and the trees seemed to blur together like a whirlpool. I fought to keep consciousness, but I knew I was losing the battle. Just as I started to black out, I heard something that didn’t sound like a bird call. There was some rustling to my right, and what I thought was a person broke through the brush.
“It’s alright!” I heard a voice say. “You’ll be alright!” and then I lost it.