Excerpt for 12 Islands: Episode One: Get the Girl by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


12 Islands: Episode One: Get the Girl


By


Eric Scott Johnston


© 2017 Eric Scott Johnston

All Rights Reserved


For:

Avalon Johnston


Edited by:

Graham@fadingstreet


This is a work of fiction. Anything that seems real, is not. This includes the people you read about. That’s just coincidence.


CHAPTER ONE

The air felt easy. The same way the air is easy on the first day of fall, or the day after you fall in love. The afternoon sun was easy too and it bathed the short ripples of the Indian Ocean and its sinewy reflections danced alongside the hull of the small sloop Allison Pratt stood aboard where she watched the wreath she dropped, in memory of her family's murder, float away.

Allison turned and looked over the deck for any other chores she needed to do. Everything was in order except for a line that secured the mainsail to ensure it would stay tightly rolled when not in use. She wrapped the rest of the line in a figure-eight around the cleat, then jammed the line by threading the last bit under a loop that was tight. She gave the line a tug and the last of her chores was over. She drew the easy air deep into her chest. Satisfied with the ship's condition, she got on with the next task. I got this, she reassured herself several times while unsheathing her rigging knife.

With it held tightly in her right hand, she pierced her left arm deeply enough to puncture the vein. The dark redness beaded up behind the edge as she slid it down and away. When she sliced the blade down her forearm, it made a sound that reminded her of preparing food. When the blood ran, it turned brighter in the easy air. The vein opened wide. The released blood flowed up and out then over her arm and dribbled onto the deck in a scarlet pool, then made a small stream that coursed across the planking, bending over the gunwale and down the side of the pearl-white hull until the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean diluted the bright red liquid. She decided to lie down. The teak deck felt warm and good on her bare back and she stretched out.

The blood was beautiful, she thought, and it flowed well. It felt warm on her skin and looked bright as it puddled around her. The puddle became large and fed the small stream leading into the ocean. Why isn’t this scary? Allison asked herself. She lifted her head up then felt her hair weighed down by the blood. She set her head back down. How long will it take? Some images floated into her mind about her family. A smile. Then she wanted to back out. Yes, I will keep fighting, she said out loud. Remembering the food and water had all gone and there was no chance of getting more, she quit that thought. I could try though. Should I try? She asked out loud.

Five days ago, she tried to port. The images of what happened then replaced the nice images of her family. The angry images. The hands in the dark and cold. Her body feeling the warm and angry hands in the darkness. The gripping hands. The hands holding her down while other hands removed her clothing. The warm and angry hands hurting her. Other warm and angry parts hurting her. Then no hands and she was cold and crying in the darkness. She would not try. It was now the same everywhere, she thought. And she would die anyway. Probably brutally.

It was difficult to hold onto a thought, she noticed, and it was getting darker but the sun was still shining across the water. The blue sky was growing bluer. Her thoughts became quieter and she felt very aware and part of everything around her. The teak deck felt good and sturdy under her and she was part of that. The blood all around redder and the stream slower and she was part of that. The mast seemed to stretch taller into the rich blue sky. The rich blue sky was getting richer and darker and the sun was still shining and she was part of that too. It was all very beautiful to be part of that she felt. Very beautiful. It was darker. The sun shining across the water. Still very beautiful and everything getting darker. Everything was dark now and the sun still shining across the water.

There was no thinking. And it was dark. There were no images of angry hands. There were no images of family. There was no fear and there was no peace. There was nothing beautiful. There was no rich blue sky and there was no blood surrounding her. There was no part of anything. Allison Pratt did not know she was on the deck. She did not know she was no longer breathing the easy air. The blood was no longer flowing and her body grew cold and pale in the easy afternoon sun.

Then there was pain. It moved up along her back and burrowed inside her head. There was coldness running into her arm. There was darkness and thinking. Allison’s eyes snapped open. She felt restricted and did not know where she was. She felt the cold teak deck under her and she felt a salty breeze across her face. Her left arm felt heavy and she touched it. It was inside something soft. There was a plastic tube with a needle taped to her right arm. She traced the tube to a plastic bag filled with liquid that had been hung from a boom above her. She removed the bag from the boom and rolled over onto her stomach. She felt hungry and hollow from which a pounding came up and into her throat. There was not enough light to see the deck of her ship and she tried standing but fell. She crawled to the hatch at the rear of the ship and hurt her knees going down into the cabin. Once inside, she flipped on a light switch. Her left arm bandaged and she was clean. Her clothing was different. Her shirt had a note pinned to it. She tore it off and read: ‘Not Yet.’

CHAPTER TWO

She grabbed hold of a rail near her and with her unrestrained arm pulled herself to her feet. She climbed the narrow and steep stairs onto the deck. The plastic bag filled with blood dragged behind her. The wind caught her hair and she listened. She wasn’t sure what she was listening for. The water was dark and calm and the only sound was the lapping water against the hull. A sensation of panic set in and made her stomach feel hollow again and she felt as if she was going to vomit.

Accompanied by the sensation of panic, she felt alone. She touched the bandage on her arm again. She dropped the note, picked up the blood bag and the inside of her head swirled. Her consciousness drained, her hands trying to grab hold of something to steady herself but a moment later she felt herself go limp, hit the deck, and everything became dark again.


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