A mother & son struggle to resist their urges on an island

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I had never been on a ship before. It had just never come up. I had never considered them dangerous. Shipwrecks were something of the past. For ships made out of wood or before radar was invented. Now planes. Those were the crashes of the modern age. Or cars. Trains still derailed, I guess. Anything but ships sinking.

But mine did.


A hand shook my shoulder. My eyes fluttered open, stinging with salt water and staring into the bright sun. My stomach convulsed as salty water escaped my lips and I rolled onto my side. The hand still remained on my shoulder and a head blocked the bright sun.

‘Mum, are you okay?’

It had been a small cruise ship. Nothing grand like some of those you see in advertisements. Single mothers didn’t have many savings to spend on a holiday. Though if I had known that this would happen, I would have put more away.

‘Wha-‘ My voice was hoarse, but it seemed enough for my son. He rested his head against my shoulder as if to hug my prone figure.

As he pulled away I sat up, my head spinning. We were on a white beach. To each side, nothing but sand. Inland was a thick jungle with a rocky peak in the centre just a few metres above tree line. Where were we?

‘Thank god you’re alive!’ Kyle exclaimed. ‘I dragged you to shore but… but you wouldn’t wake.’

I weakly patted his arm.

‘Where are we?’

He stood up and looked around.

‘I don’t know…’

‘Did anyone else make it?’

I looked out to sea, but was met with an empty horizon.

‘I haven’t seen anyone else. I swam a long way to get here.’

I sat still and silent. I was lucky to be alive. Though, would anyone find us here?

‘We should see what’s here, I guess…’ He offered me a hand. ‘Are you all right to stand?’

‘Yeah, I’ll be fine,’ I said, still finding my breath. I took his hand and got to my feet. The sand was warm between my toes. I had been wearing sandals on the boat. They must have washed away when I went under. Kyle was barefoot too. Same situation, I suppose. Or he may have ditched them to swim better. He didn’t have a shirt either, perhaps that too had been washed away.

We both slowly walked across the sand until our feet met dirt and sticks and rocks. I winced every time my foot came down on something sharp, but it didn’t seem to bother Kyle. I could hear birds with exotic cries overhead. Hiding in the canopy. If they could survive here then hopefully we could too.

In the shade, my clothes felt much damper. My long, wet hair holding the water against my shirt. I wrapped my arms around myself to keep from shivering, savouring the rays of sun that pierced through the canopy.

Before long we found a steep rock face in the side of a hill, and as we followed it around we found an opening.

‘Just be careful,’ I warned as Kyle stepped inside. The opening was fairly wide, like the mouth of the rock face gaping before us. Inside it carved out a perfect little hovel.

Kyle inspected every corner before returning.

‘Looks like a good place to spend the night.’

‘Really?’ I grimaced at the thought, but I knew he was right. ‘What about, you know, search planes or passing ships?’

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