A very, very short tale about a mysterious island…
A towering wave slammed down on the small fishing boat, like a giant fist smashing a toy in a tub.
Ben’s last memory was the sounds of screaming and the roar of killer waves punishing the ship and everything on it. Then blackness.
The storm raged on through the night.
A sand crab scurried over Ben’s face and he realized he was alive. He was half buried in the soft sand and surf that gently licked the pristine beach. Seagulls cried out greetings. Something sticky glued his left eye shut.
His muscles were so sore that he was barely able to pull himself up from the sucking surf and into a kneeling position. He quickly surveyed his surroundings. Left. Right. The beach looked deserted.
He strained his eyes searching for several minutes. Then he saw some movement. Coming over a sand dune that separated them was Art, his brother-in-law! He slogged along painfully. One arm in a sling. Stopped. Saw Ben and weakly waved.
Standing up was a bit of a challenge, as Ben felt curiously dizzy and his one good eye had a hard time staying focused.
“See anyone else? Ben asked hopefully.
“No,” Art said. “No sign of Bill, Carl, Eric, or the Captain. We won’t know for sure what happened to them until we check out the rest of the beaches surrounding this island.”
“How do you know we’re on an island? This could be the coast of some country.”
Art looked at Ben more closely. “You suffered a pretty nasty gash there Ben. Let me take a look at it.”
A livid open wound ran from the crown of his head to just above his left eye. Crusted blood covered his eye, cheek, and beard. He’d be surprised if Ben didn’t have a concussion.
“The reason I know we’re on an island is that I went inland, through the jungle, and found a little mountain top with a view of the entire island.” Art explained, as he studied Ben’s wound.
“C’mon…if you’re up to walking I know where a steam of fresh water is and you can clean up and quench your thirst.” Art said.
In the days ahead they explored the island, discovering a variety of eatable fruits and roots, and small animals like monkeys. It was a beautiful island. The kind of island you could easily call a tropical paradise.
In their travels they found Carl and Eric’s bodies laying facedown in the surf. A few pieces of driftwood from the boat were scattered around. They found a fishing pole, with reel and string intact.
The weeks turned to months. The months to years.
The men had forgotten what their homes looked like. People’s names. Events. They went about each day staying busy foraging for food, making crude tools, and bowls from coconut shells.
And waiting for nightfall, and the dreams.
From their first full night on the island they both had fantastic dreams. Beautiful women with exotic names like Peisinoe and Thelxiepeia came to them and they made love all night. Come morning they were weak and pale, but strangely satisfied.
Ben and Art soon referred to the island as Paradise.
All their worries had left them and they were living tranquil lives. Not that it would have mattered to them, but the real name of the island they were on was Sirenum scopuli.
The Greeks also called it Monster Island – in mythology – because it was said to be populated by the Sirens whose irresistible songs lured mariners to their destruction for centuries on the rocks surrounding the island.
No one really knew the full story of the island. It was both a myth and a mystery.
What the Greeks weren’t aware of was that many of the sailors survived those shipwrecks. Those lucky (?) souls were given a second chance by the so-called sirens, who were actually vampires with great voices and strong sexual appetites!
As It Stands, sometimes an old myth needs a little updating.