There is something on my face. Pain. Repeated pain. Something is definitely pricking me in the face. The general ear – cheek area is what was being pricked, to be specific. Yes, after squinting through the sunlight I can see it is in fact a bird. A small bird with a yellow under belly, a black top half and face with a blue throat. A nice line of white ran from its beak, over its eye and down its neck. While it is a pretty bird it is an annoying bird as well.
Reaching towards the small delicate creature, it fluttered away. Focusing on the distance, palm trees swayed and the ocean made its presence known with a swell of water rocking against the boat gently but forcefully. What is this dream?
Finding curiosity rejuvenating, I pulled myself to the edge of the boat to see where my fate had landed me. A beach. Only in my new found luck could I be rescued and marooned on a beautiful beach. Perhaps the smile of the devil upon me is just what I was in need of all these years.
Perfectly undisturbed beach stretched for miles in either direction. The sun was bright and the breeze was wonderful. Climbing over the warming corpse of one of three men of the small vessel, I find new lungs and new longing for the world I am now set to conquer. If anyone can survive being stranded on an island, if anyone could be in want of a paradise it was I.
Blood had fouled a lot of supplies, though thinned by sea water. The water had probably done more damage than the deceased. Rummaging through the boat there were supplies, but limited. Perhaps they had only planned for a week at sea. Finding a back pack, I started to acquire the most useful items. I quickly abandoned this plan for a better one.
I found a large k-bar type hunting knife and went to work cutting. I should have begun this task prior to the sun feasting on the flesh. I am sure my task would not be as straining had the body not become so inconveniently stiff.
It became evident as I looked at the systematic breakdown of what I assumed was food in this mans spilling stomach that I should somehow remember him. More complex than a deer, more beautiful than a fish, but still freakishly at peace in his eyes and I can relate.
Some day I will be this serene. I feel the resistant cartilage as I pull the knife through his ribcage. I decide I will take a memento. Something that will signify that the moment is with me, that this is part of me. I trace my finger over his perfectly simple but important small piece of bone. The xyphoid process jutting from the ribcage is both complex and simple, as is the man.
My grip is both slippery and sickening. Sand mixed in clotting blood makes exact science difficult. The audible break when the bone is separated from its host spreads a surprising smile of achievement across my face as well.
With the body more compact and manageable, it was easy to find a box to fit the separated limbs in nicely. Waste not, want not. Only two more bodies to go.