Short Story Continued – “Shipwrecked”

This is a continuation of the story I started here: https://theredlion4.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/short-story-first-scene-national-lighthouse-day-shipwrecked/

 

Addison Faulkner walked along the beachfront for what was likely the one-hundredth time. Behind him dragged a pile of wood upon a palm leaf lattice. Most of the wood he found derived from fallen branches, but recently he discovered a small cove where debris from past shipwrecks had washed ashore. It was a long trek from his camp, but it was well worth the trouble.

Addison stopped to rest and gazed at the horizon behind him. A bloody sunset rippled through the sky behind a silhouette of the lighthouse that had guided him here days earlier. In that time, he had searched most of the small island and discovered that this lighthouse was the only manmade object anywhere in sight. As if that wasn’t disconcerting enough, Addison hadn’t seen a single person since he arrived.

Eventually, the campsite Addison built emerged from behind an outcropping of island trees. His modest abode of tree branches and palm leaves leaned up against a large boulder a few feet from a flaming fire pit. The small shelter had leaked during the last rainstorm and left Addison swimming in his clothes the next morning. It didn’t matter though, he wouldn’t need the shelter much longer. His efforts had been almost entirely focused on a more imminent project.

Dragging his haul of wood towards the water, Addison admired his makeshift escape raft, fondly named The MacGyver.

“Help!” a voice called out.

Startled, Addison looked around. He hadn’t heard another person’s voice in what seemed like ages. A splash followed and he realized that the person must be in the water. Finally, he spotted a man thrashing about some 200 feet out off the coast. Stripping to his shorts, Addison yelled for the man to stop panicking and ran into the water.

It only took a few moments to reach the man, who was still splashing franticly. Addison dodged a flying hand and grabbed the man around the chest, pulling him higher out of the water.

“Relax, I’ve got you,” Addison tried to ease the man, but he continued to wrangle and scream, pushing his body up on top of Addison’s head. He felt the man’s weight push him underwater. Startled, he gasped for breath, but found only water filling his lungs. Survival instincts took over and Addison’s arms pushed the man away and guided his body toward the surface of the water. Upon contact with the air, he felt his chest lurch and he coughed up the contents of his lungs. Before Addison could even take another breath, the flailing man was rushing towards him again. There was only one thing he could think to do. He pulled back his right fist and swung it as hard as he could at the man’s face.

Addison floated the now unconscious man onto his back and slowly pulled him to shore, leaving a small trail of blood behind them.

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