Nessie: Rocks at Sunrise

I woke up stiff and a bit groggy, but after my eyes had grown accustomed to the light I realised that I'd slept surprisingly well. Bree was asleep on her pile of leaves, tossing a bit. She got to sleep quicker than me the previous night, and even in my sleep I seemed to be conscious that she was talking and turning in some kind of mental distress. I got up and stood over her once, deciding whether to wake her or not, but just then she fell quiet, and I went back to bed.

So when I did sleep it was like a log, and when I woke at dawn I didn't feel bad. With a quick look at Bree, who didn't seem to be thinking about waking up any time soon, I exited our tiny hut and felt the sea breeze whip through my knotted hair.

I felt a thrill, and I closed my eyes for a moment just enjoying the morning. This life, despite the lack of those wonderful home comforts such as hot showers, warm clothes and soft beds, this outdoors was suiting me. I felt alive and alert as I had never felt before.

I walked over to the rocks and sat down on the highest I could find, lifting my head up and offering it to the sunrise.

Then my stomach rumbled, and I realised that being eternally hungry made you more alert, like a street urchin. And that made me feel sad, because somewhere my family, my sisters and brothers, my parents, and all my friends, were out there, and if we didn't get through this, they might never see me again. I rubbed my toe knuckles on the rock and the grating pain was oddly comforting. Then I banished my sorrows. I was here now, and there was little I could do about it, apart from keep myself alive for the time when someone would come and rescue us. They would, wouldn't they? Someone would come.

So I stood up and stretched my arms out, and let the first light rays of the morning greet my skin like a reminder that I was still alive.

Suddenly I heard suppressed guffawing laughter behind me. I turned sharply, but there was no one there. Narrowing my eyes, I turned more. Still nothing.

And then I caught a long shadow of a figure someone to my other side. Turning for a third time, I saw somone silhouetted by the sun, which was coming up orange now, standing on a rock to the side of me with their arms stretched out to both sides and their head tilted back, drinking in the sunlight. Jim Aporale. He was mocking me.

I didn't say anything, so I sat down again on my rock and ignored him. If Jim Aporale thought he was being funny, he could just go away and find some other girl to bother.

I saw contemplating on our situation, wondering where on earth we could be. We were evidently off in some remote ocean on some equally remote island. We couldn't figure out where we were from the stars, as Jim thought. The maps didn't show an island this small. It was only about a mile long, and a quarter of a mile wide. And it wasn't exactly a desert island either, not covered in palm trees with golden beaches and strange new plants. At least it was sunny at this time of year, otherwise we'd perish from cold and hunger. There were a few berries about, but none of us knew whether they were poisonous or not. The yellow raspberries were edible, and that's all I can say.

Without thinking my neck twisted back to the rock where Jim had been. I'd forgotten about him in my pondering, but now he was sitting on his rock like me, his long legs tucked up and his chin resting on his knees, his back bent in an odd position as he craned to adopt this position.

I ignored him again, and for the next half hour it became a battle. Neither of us was prepared to speak first. Neither of us was prepared to walk away first. We were both behaving like ten-year-olds, and I knew it. But I'm stubborn, and I refused to acknowledge him, having started on that path. I don't know why he was so persistant in his mockery. He's a flirt, over-confident and cocky, but I'm two years younger than him. I think he just wanted attention, and me being the only one there to give him that attention, I would be the obvious person to give it. So we sat on our separate rocks in various positions, him always copying me, to my intense annoyance, until the others woke up and graudally joined us on the rocks, basking in the sunrise.

It was our second full day, shipwrecked on the island.

The End

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