The two crew members and the five passengers survived the storm. They were washed up on a tropical island far out of the sea lanes and with no means of communication.
They counted themselves fortunate that the island had abundant fresh water and plenty of fruit to sustain them. They were able to fashion crude shelters to protect themselves from the elements. All went well at first.
Maybe it was the heat. Slowly, they all seemed to descend into madness.
One guy thought he was some sort of super genius. He walked around with a coconut, hallucinating that he had somehow fashioned it into a radio.The two oldest passengers had delusions that they were the richest people in the world. They became withdrawn and suspicious of the others. One of the women thought she was a movie star. The other imagined she was making delicious cream pies all day, but her pies were really just old hubcaps filled with muck from the lagoon. The worst was the captain. He seemed to think his first mate was constantly thwarting rescue attempts. But there had been no rescue attempts.
The first mate was the last sane person left on the island. He didn’t mind. It gave him the perfect excuse to do what had to come next.
In 250 words or less, tell us a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.
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5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Marooned”
It hadn’t been hard, since the captain had been engrossed with the ladies on board. Just surreptitious movement of a magnet and the first mate had the boat heading right where he wanted.
His subservient act paid off when the boat grounded roughly on the island. The island he had been trying to return to years. The others bewilderedly gaped at their newfound status as castaways, and the mate moved the equipment satchels from the hold and found the cave. When he heard the growling from within, he knew things were as he had left them.
After setting up his gear, he brought some fresh fruit and water back to the others. One still had to play one’s part, didn’t they?, he thought. Later that night, he snuck out of camp and went back to the cave. The cave was still occupied. With the pneumatic launcher he assembled, he fired a small dart into the cave. A squawk was followed by a thud.
He then reached into his other satchel and withdrew a helmet-like device he put on his head. A flick of a switch and fiber-optic lines glowed neon green all over it. There was the sound of scuffling from the cave.
“What are you doing out here, Gil…?” The fresh-faced young girl stopped abruptly.
The mate smiled sorrowfully. “I like you. I was going to save you for last, but…”
The girl didn’t have the time to scream as the velociraptor leapt for her, his teeth sinking deep.
Only after exhausting all the other possible resources for leaving the island safely, did the George decide he must go to the other side of the island and explore the mysterious forests they hadn’t yet explored.
He approached the others about accompanying him, but they were all against leaving their hard-earned establishments to help, all except the “professor” who carried around his coconut fashioned with bamboo and limp weeds right up against his ear all the time.
When they reached the other side of the island, George left Peter there with the people who offered their help. He then returned to inform the others of their success in getting rescued, though the older “rich” passengers were too skeptical and refused to simply accept his word at it. The captain, “movie star” and “pie maker” decided they would follow him to civilization and one would return for the others who were left. On the way, George didn’t know how the people would treat the ladies, so he took the captain first, then the distracted pie maker, then Grace.
Peter and Penelope had been distracted and were the easiest, save for Mr. and Mrs. Howard who had been left alone back at the shabby camp and were really old. Grace had screamed a little bit, but no one had heard her. The captain was old and fat, so he was easy prey, as well. George found his hardest kill was his own self, with the materials he had.
“Stranded on a deserted island with the man I love. What could be better?” She ran her fingers along his arm.
“We have the radio to call for help, but we should at least pretend we’re going to be here for a while. Maybe stay the night?” He kissed her softly.
“Well, I am sorry for hitting that rock. I didn’t see it until it was too late. I’m sure there’s some way I can make it up to you.” She smiled.
“At least we made it to shore.” He said.
She pointed ahead. “How about we explore a little? Let’s walk the shoreline and see how big this place is. It’s terribly exciting, don’t you think?”
“Perhaps we’ll find lost treasure or an undiscovered tribe.” He laughed .
“Maybe a few castaways.” She smiled, nudging him with her elbow.
They walked for a while, and the shore began to bend around the island. He stopped abruptly when he saw another ship wrecked on the beach. “Looks like someone was here a long time ago.”
“Now!” She yelled.
An arrow zipped through the air piercing his heart, and they were instantly surrounded by a group of eight women.
His knees buckled as he gasped for his final breath.
She smiled to the group. “I liked this one more than the others, but mother was right, you can’t get attached to dinner.”
“Who goes for the next one?”
The first mate pulled on his hat and set off to find some coconuts. The outlandish bickering from the captain and the rest of the passengers baffled him. It seemed almost as if the moment they set foot on the island, they all went mad.
If he could get back to the boat, he could at least try the radio again…and he could grab one of the fishing poles and catch dinner. For some reason, each time he approached the boat, they’d block him. He scuffed his feet along the beach. Why didn’t they want him on the boat? It didn’t make any sense.
Everyone had been fine when they left two days ago. The send-off brunch had been cheerful and uneventful – absolutely no clue that the bunch was comprised of total lunatics. But the captain, too? He’d known the skipper for ten years. This was completely unlike him.
Finding no coconuts or signs of food, he headed back to the crash site. He knew he was going to have to get back on the boat. It was their only hope.
When he came around the corner, he stopped short. The castaways were piled on top of each other, clawing and screaming like a pack of rabid coyotes. He eyed the boat. He eyed the group. There was a ten foot stretch of sand separating the two. It would be risky: just not worth it if they turned on him.
Instead, he waded into the water and swam to the stern of the boat. He crawled up the beach and then pulled himself up and onto the deck. Once at the instrument panel, he noticed the satellite phone was flashing. He pressed the screen to reveal a text message: Return to port ASAP. Party consumed contaminated shellfish. Require medical attention.
At this point, it was too late. He knew it. The neurotoxins had already reached their brains. He just needed to stay hidden and wait it out. He peered over the bow. The guests were now covered with blood, hovering over a body which had to be the captain. Soon they’d all be dead, except for him. He was glad he didn’t like oysters.
Benny twisted the last bits of salvaged wire together. He wanted to hang with his friends before heading to college. Instead he ended up as first mate on a tour boat. His dad’s idea. Leave it to Captain Hill to shipwreck them on an uncharted island first trip out. Of course everyone blamed Benny, especially the captain. As if he controlled the weather.
That was nearly a year ago. The others had slowly lost their minds, even the captain, but Benny had a firm grip on reality. At least he thought he did. No one else on the island could see the pretty woman who claimed to be his dream guardian. She had helped him fix the radio. Maybe he was hallucinating. He’d know soon. Benny just needed to keep that loon Caractacus Potts away from the radio. Potts thought he was some kind of genius professor.
It wasn’t easy getting the sea charts from the captain, but Benny had managed. He paid Barron and Baroness Flemming with Truly Wood’s mud pies to get their extra coconuts. Movie star wanabe, Dee Dee Scrumptious, loved them. Scrumptious distracted Captain Hill while Benny snatched the charts. It had taken months to plan. Now Benny knew exactly where there were.
Tiny bubbles surrounded the taro root battery powering the radio. Benny crossed his fingers and flipped the switch, then transmitted their identification and location. It didn’t take long to get a response.
Damn. The captain must have noticed the missing charts.
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