This story was written by Lisa Thompson for ABC Open 500 Words: Ending writing challenge. It’s a short story that explains how she ended up deserted on an island for three days with nothing but water and rock oysters to eat. Voiced by Kim Kleidon, production by Dan Battley.
Story photo by Photographer: John Jodeery
Marooned on a deserted Island
By Lisa Thompson · 3 min read · From 500 Words: Endings
I can’t breathe, I’m petrified. Water bubbles are rapidly rising over my head. Down I go, dragged into the icy cold depths of the ocean, water fills my lungs.
It’s Saturday morning, I feel like Bridget Jones after too many wines. I’m on my third cup of coffee. My friend’s perched on the kitchen counter, she’s set me up on a blind date for this evening.
All I really want to do is crawl back into bed and sleep. “Come on”, she says “it’ll be fun”. I put on a brave face and try to share her enthusiasm, day dreaming about my blind date, my friend yells “we are going to be late”, I’m quickly jolted back down to earth.
Butterflies roll in my stomach as we skip off to the jetty. I hear the fast cat slowing down, dock and the passengers disembark. Two handsome blokes amble toward us.
Introductions are made; it’s clear who my friend desires, they act like two long lost lovers.
I steal a look at ‘my date’, he looks awkward. I give him a friendly smile and he smiles back, my heart melts.
This chance meeting on the jetty will quickly turn into two people falling for each other inseparably.
A month later I find myself on a plane to Palm Island, my heart skips a beat. The door of the plane opens and I can hardly contain my excitement almost tripping up on the steps. I’m swept up into his arms and after a few short moments put back down again, held at arm’s length he asks, “how ya been kiddo?” “Oh just fine”, I reply with a smile on my face. “Would you like to go fishing in the morning?” “That would be terrific” I say.
That evening I have an unsettled sleep, an honest sense of something dreadful is about to happen.
The next day we get ready for our fishing trip, the boat is hooked up. “Is she sea worthy I ask?” “Nothing to fear kiddo”, he says in response. The boat is launched and my worries are mildly averted but ‘that feeling’ still hangs in the air.
It is a perfect day for fishing, bright blue skies and crystal clear waters. We whiz along the water and finally slow down to find a place to anchor.
We are having the time of our lives, fishing, laughing and eating our picnic lunch. The day is quickly coming to a close; we pull up anchor to head back.
The boat doesn’t start, “what’s wrong?” I ask, “Oh nothing much, just the battery lead, an easy fix”. The boat starts and soon we’re on our way.
Shortly after a horrific sound comes from the back of the boat, the steering cables snapped. There’s water leaking into the boat. “Quick get your life jacket on kiddo”.
The hours escape us and it isn’t long before it’s pitch black, the heavens open up the wind is blowing a gale and it’s now pouring rain.
I fumble to get my jacket on; my adrenalin is rushing through my veins. The boat gets swamped, “JUMP” I hear. My life jacket is caught on what is left of the boat, I can’t escape. I get dragged down into the icy depths of the ocean, my breath is taken away, “this can’t be the end” I thought…
I feel myself being pulled up. I’m desperately gasping for air and my lungs are on fire. I’m saved, for now. All of my senses are reeling; I can’t think straight, it’s the dead of night, now we must swim to shore, in shark infested waters.
We finally make it to land. I’m cold, terrified and extremely nauseous; I’ve swallowed an extensive amount of water.
We’re safe and we embrace each other. I’m crying with relief; he comforts me and holds me close. We build a shelter and make a humpy. Hopefully it’s only temporarily.
For three days we were stranded with nothing to eat but rock oysters. We are fortunate to have a supply of fresh water but I begin to get the feeling we were not going to found.
Three days later, we hear and see a plane, it flies in the wrong direction. I feel lost, abandoned.
I wonder, Is this the end?
On our fourth long gruelling day we are finally rescued by fishermen. I’ve never felt so relieved and alive in all my life.
Arriving back at Palm Island, ironically, the police had given up their search and had just begun filing a coroners report.