From The Sea

The rolling and tumbling tore me from frigid oblivion and I gagged as seawater sprayed from my throat, burning in my sinuses. Again the waves tossed me against hard sand and this time my hands dug in, holding me against the backwash as water retreated from the beach. Sick, trembling I pulled myself up the beach, my hands still bound with slimy, rotting leather cords. Each pull of my arms drew me a bit further up out of the water, up in to the warm sun, until I reached dry sand and collapsed in to a shaking heap.

My mind tried to focus, unable to hold on to reality, fading in and out until the warmth of the sun began to seep inward, loosening the grip of the deep cold. With focus came the recognition of ravenous hunger, thirst so intense my throat cracked with every breath. I tried to pull myself up only to fall again- my feet were both missing from above my ankles. Dimly I recalled Gott’s cruel strength as he bound my feet, pulling the cords tighter and tighter until I shrieked from the pain…

They had tied a sack of heavy stones to my feet, those people… they had been pleased to have a young healthy female, but when years passed and I remained barren, and youthful, and healthy, there had come suspicion, then fear. Seven men in a long boat took me out to sea. They rowed until the land was but a smudge on the horizon. I begged them, offering all I had of myself to them, but they were not swayed. When they dared go no further Gott seized me by my waist and tossed me in to the cold gray water. I struggled in the foaming waters as he lifted the sack. His shoulders heaved and suddenly I was torn from the surface, darkness closing over me, cold and pressure growing, growing, darker and darker…

The hunger refused to allow me to sit. There were trees further up the beach, almost impossibly far, but I forced myself to crawl, my skin cracking and peeling, sloughing off in great scabs, the sun burning against the newly exposed flesh. I reached the tree line after what had to be hours of effort and continued inward, my nose leading me towards a tantalizing scent of rot until I came to a fallen trunk, half sunk in to the sandy soil. I cast about and spied a stone, seized it and wielded it with desperate strength, splitting the rotted wood to expose a wriggling, crawling mass of protein.

I lunged at the insects, gathering them in my cupped hands and shoveling them in to my mouth, chewing just enough to let the foul juices moisten my parched mouth before swallowing, then digging greedily for more. Next was water and I had good fortune since it appeared there had been rain very recently- small pools of rainwater collected in puddles and hollows cooled the burning thirst.

It was fully a day before I had the strength and clarity to examine my situation- the flora of the area was foreign to me. The night sky was strange and the sun was more directly overhead- I was far from the lands I had known. Could I have drifted so long? The cords on my wrists had parted easily once I had the strength and will to try- how long would leather retain its strength? And my legs; assuming I had been held fast until the flesh and bone parted, how long had I been lost? All questions I desired answers to, but all secondary to finding enough food to fuel the furious pace of recovery now remaking me by the hour.

2 Responses to “From The Sea”

  1. Who was Gott? The story posted on Friday, March 14, 2003 sounds horrific. When did this happen to you. How did you survive with stones tied around your feet? Are you TRULY IMMORTAL and cannot die? Your stories sound very descriptive…either you are an excellent author, or you actually lived and experienced these times.

  2. The above comment was first left on 05/29/2003 before being re-posted here.