A Morning Alone - A Short Story

a stranded message in a bottle
What would you write in your message in a bottle?

Writing prompt from r/WritingPrompts: "You live on an abandoned island, what is your morning routine?"

I feel a cool ocean breeze on my face. With it is the competing warmth of the bright sun. The two in conflict trying to sway my body to different temperatures. Though this battle happens almost every morning, it is one of the most peaceful wars a person could experience. As the cold and warm duke it out, I get neither too hot nor too cold. The waves of heat without wind and the refreshing chill of a gust keep the cycle fresh.

I hear a gull in the distance. Another great morning omen. It is going to be a great day. Truthfully, I know the gull is meaningless, but it’s nice to have these kinds of things. What should I call these “things”, though? Superstition? Religion, perhaps?

I suppose it is about time to open my eyes. As I open my eyes, the sharpness of the sun’s light sneaks through my lashes, and even if it is muffled by my eyelashes, it is still way too fucking bright. This is why I wish I knew how to make glass or some kind of transparent material. I just wish I could make some damn sunglasses!

“Hello world! Hello beach! And hello island! “ I smile as I sit up. “I think it is the perfect morning for a stroll on the beach. Maybe check the traps. How does that sound Pablo?”

Pablo looks pretty stoked.

“Alright well it definitely looks like you want to come with me. You know how much I hate bringing friends to work, but you are just looking extra adorable today. It is just a bit unprofessional I think. Anyways, let’s get a move on. I think I may go to the fire dance tonight, but I am just going to see how I feel when that time comes.”

I pick up Pablo. I actually just met Pablo. I needed a new friend after my falling out with Karen. I think I just get along better with guys.

“Of course you can come to the dance, Pablo. Honestly, it is probably going to be super lame. I bet you it will just be us two there, and of course DJ Fyre as always.”

I haven’t known Pablo for awhile, but what I do know is that he sucks ass at dancing. He is so stiff! I just don’t want him to embarrass himself. I’m not too worried about myself. I am not much to look at right now anyways. Sometimes it is really freeing to embrace the ‘no shave, no bathe’ lifestyle… Even if you really have no other choice.

Pablo and I approach the first trap.

“Nothing in this one. I never find catches in the first trap I look through… So turn that frown upside down, Pablo!”

We go through three more traps scattered across the island and nothing. Perhaps I will be a little hungry today. Thank god I am used to this now, but I probably shouldn’t go to the fire dance tonight. Last time I went to a party without food, man I was so hungover for the rest of the day. I promised myself I would never drink again. That was the weekend before the sailing trip. Though I didn’t really mean it when I said it would be the last time I drank, that really was the last time I drank.

I would kill for a rum and coke right now. Who would have thought someone could spend so much time on a beach without a rum or tequila? I feel like I am setting world records here: most sober beach bum.

“Shut the fuck up, Pablo! You are being so noisy this morning. Jesus, just give me a second. I am still waking up, honestly.”

The sober person screaming at a rock…

We approach the last trap and there is a small animal in it. I have no idea what these animals are actually called, but I have been calling them ‘bitch ass mcgees’ because I thrive in the maturity department.

“See, Pablocito? What did I tell you? Of course we were gonna have a catch today. The gulls let me know that when I woke up.”

Pablo responded.

“What does a rock know anyways? I think we should eat this in the evening. I might go get some small fruit in the trees for some brunch after we drop this off in the kitchen.”

We began the walk back. Should take about 13 minutes. Thank god I have such a busy schedule of being stranded on a fucking island. To top things off, it feels like it is going to be incredibly hot today. Shade and poetry time for me today.

A flash of faces appears in my mind. I know these people. I love these people. Frank, Jack, Ryan, Kelse, and Claire. My friends. Wow I really miss them. Its not that I am afraid of my feelings, its that in order to survive I must stay as positive as possible. That is why I have Pablo.

I don’t even know if Ryan is alive. He was with me on the sailing trip. He could have died when we capsized and wrecked, or perhaps he didn’t find an island as nice as mine. I wish he was on my island. This whole experience would be entirely different. But all I can hold onto right now is hope. Hope that Ryan is alive and hope that I can see my friends again.

But hope can fade. I’ve been here for so long. I don’t even know how long.

“I will kick your fucking ass if you mention how quiet I am today again, Pablo. I swear to god I will.”

I probably wouldn’t kick Pablo’s ass. Why would I do that to my only friend on this island? Especially after Karen went all psycho and then moved to the other side of the island. Whatever. I hope she is happy… Bitch.

We make it back to camp, and I put the small animal, aka the ‘bitch ass mcgee’, in a burried container at the edge of the jungle. That will keep it cool until I feel like cooking it.

“I am going to go for a dip. Stay here and look after things. Maybe think of a poetry prompt for me once I get back, Pablo.”

I walk to the ocean. I hate bathing in salt water, but the only freshwater on the island is a small creek coming out of a rock formation on the east side of the jungle. But I really need to at least freshen up and rinse all the dirt and grease off of me. It makes me feel more comfortable throughout the day. I hate sitting in my own grime. It makes me want to do nothing. Even though all I do is nothing, anyways. I want to do something.

The ocean feels a bit cold, but like the breeze, the chill is refreshing. In this part of the ocean, there are so many fish. I have no idea what any of them are named but I’ve already seen like 20 or 30 since I have gotten in the water. So much food, and food that I would much prefer. But I haven’t been able to figure out fishing at all. It fucking sucks, especially because I love the taste of fish. Before being stranded, I was a pescatarian, but not I eat so many ‘bitch ass mcgees’ that I definitely can’t carry that title anymore.

Instead of poetry, maybe I should focus on fishing again. Uggghhh. But I don’t feel like it. I just feel like chilling today, you know? I’m going to chill today.

I fully submerge myself one last time and start swimming to land. My eyes burning a tad and my mouth tasting salty. I will need to visit that spring after this. I am fucking parched. The most parched. The parchiest. Parch. Parch. Parch. Parch. That’s a funny word.

Parch. Paaaaaaaarch. Pachachacha. Charp. Oooh, I like that one. Charp. Man, I am charped.

Jesus, I am such a moron.

“How are things, Pablo? Any trouble when I was gone?”

Pablo responded.

“No, no, I know nothing would happen. I guess I was just making conversation. Hey, though! I am actually pretty thirsty. I gonna be right back.”

Pablo responded.

“Of course you can come dude! I was just kidding about the unprofessional stuff this morning.”

Pablo and I walk into the jungle. Pablo is pretty tight. I am glad I found him.

Meet the Author : John Knetemann

John Knetemann smiling in a suit

From Denver, Colorado. Educated in Rapid City, South Dakota. Living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The most epic and daring content writer you will find on the east side of the Amstel... And sometimes the west side too. I am from the land of mountains, but now live in the land of very small hills and canals. Truly a native of the internet, I work with companies to build adventurous content, engaging social media identities, and addictively informative email campaigns.

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