Excerpt from "What I Learned in Tuvalu"

This had to be a dream. There was no possible way the sultry, curvacious, supermodel Vanessa Brubach was in MY bedroom masaging MY shoulders. She was a bikini model and I was a 16-year-old affluent male drooling over her perfect portions.

Wilson, the butler, entered carrying a bottle of wine and two glasses. He poured wine into one and ginger ale into the other.

“Wilson, I’d like wine also.” I ordered, speaking smoothly and refinedly.

“Sir, you are too young for wine,” he curtly replied. I felt defensive, no mere butler should chastize me! I was about to berate him, but was interrupted.

“Oh don’t be sad!” Vanessa cooed in my ear. My anger faded. It didn’t matter how old I was to Vanessa! I settled back into my chair.

“You give a wonderful massage.” I crooned suavely.

“I studied in India!” she bragged. “I learned a few other things in India, too,” she softly teased.

“Oh, really?” I smoothly replied, locking my eyes on hers as she got down on her knees before me and reached for my foot. Kinky. Then she tarted licking it.

“Vanessa!” I chided, trying to keep my cool. “What are you doing?!” She licked again and I tried to pull my foot away, but she held it fast. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t escape. I began to panic. Vanessa’s face turned evil. She frightened me, her eyes turned red, and her tongue began to wrap around my foot. I tried to kick harder. I jerked myself to consciousness.

Bright light invaded the edges of my eyelids as I rolled over. I squeezed them tight and rubbed the sleep from them, then blinked awake. Vanessa had disappeared but the licking had resumed. I sat up. A medium sized, muddy, mangy mutt was thoroughly enjoying the taste of my bare feet.

“Ugh!” I yelled and kicked at it. I pulled my feet towards me and it ran off. My brain began to awaken. The first thing I wondered was why I was not wearing shoes, or socks? I looked at my feet. They were relatively clean and well manicured. I had gotten a pedicure this month. But I usually wore socks to bed. I looked at the bed I was on. It wasn’t my bed! It wasn’t even A bed, it was a pallet! I was sleeping on the floor! There was some kind of wooly, hairy lump on the floor beside me. It must have once been my covering, but it looked more like a hide than a blanket.

This wasn’t my room! I looked at the thatched walls and ceiling. It reminded me of a tiki hut at an overdone tiki party I had attended last month in honor of a friend’s birthday. Was I passed out in that hut? What did I do last night?

I remember being at a party, of sorts. It was just a family and close friends get-together. But it was at my house. We had served roasted pork. Maybe this all was just a roasted pork dream. I pinched myself. It hurt. I was NOT dreaming. So how did I get here?

I had gone with my cousins and friends down to the pool house. We swam and then called some girls over to relax in the hot tub once the adults had drank enough to settle in the family room and not worry about us. We found beers and wine in the basement bar, unattended. We all had a little to drink, I suppose. But something prevented us from partying as late as we wanted. What was it?

Dad! Dad found us, and the girls, all drinking, and he was very mad. He yelled, but I laughed. Oh no! I had been sloshed and laughed at my father! I don’t remember what he said to me, but I will never forget his face. It was red, frowning, shouting, and the vein in his forehead was throbbing over his left eye. Somehow, then, it seemed funny, since I didn’t feel anything but serene and bubbly. Then what? I don’t remember what happened next.

Where am I?

I stood up. My head swam. I sat back down. I suddenly felt like retching. I moved the fur hide out of the way and leaned over as my stomach rolled and pained. I’ve never felt this bad upon waking! Maybe I had been drugged! The dirt floor didn’t seem like such a bad place to be sick. Not that I cared where I did it, I never had to clean it up. I couldn’t hold it down, not that I had tried to, and I hurled up pure liquid bile. Even after my stomach was empty, I heaved and heaved for what seemed like a half hour with no effect until my ribs hurt with each effort.

When the dry heaving finally abated and my head’s throbbing began to subside as well, I stood. I decided to find out whose summer party hut I was visiting. I stepped into the blinding sunlight and squinted into a dense tropical rainforest. This was some secluded summer home locale! I rubbed my eyes again, trying to figure out where exactly I was, maybe spot a skyscraper over the trees, or hear a car zoom past. A very colorful bird flew right in front of me from a tree and screeched. Startled, I caught only a glimpse of bright yellow and green feathers, as the screech echoed in my skull, making me close my eyes and duck, the shrillness shooting streaks of painful white lightening across my eyelids. It was that obnoxious bird that made me realize I was definitely NOT in any place I had been before! In fact, I was probably not even on the North American continent!

The shock of this realization hit me full force as I looked back at the hut and then again at the forest. I turned to see more huts which, including mine, formed a ring around a central smoking fire pit, sending a thin stream of smoke upward.

Like a camera panning back, I began focusing on the bigger picture. Beyond the hut ring was a sparkling blue sea. One long, skinny, crooked pier stretched out from a tiny beach. It was in disrepair; planks were missing in several spots. I had the distinct feeling the pier was flipping me off, “Ha ha! You are stranded here!”

The End

3 comments about this story Feed