The Runaway Castaway

short story


3. Reunited

I opened my eyes, hardly believing that I was still alive.  Slow, calm waves crashed upon me.  Seaweed was everywhere, in my hair, under my fingernails, covering my feet.  I stood up shakily, and then, my head swimming, I sat back down again.  I looked around at my surroundings.  Right beyond the sandy beach I was sitting on was a massive forest.  In front of me was the bright blue open ocean.

I sat there for I don’t know how long.  My watch had been destroyed in my ride in the waves.  I checked my pocket.  I pulled out four soggy twenty dollar bills.  Great.  I had no money, food, clothes,  or matches,  and no way of telling time.

I got up again, slower this time.  I gazed at the forest, wondering if I dare go into its unknown greenery.  Then, I figured I had to.  And it was the only way to go.  Anyway, I had to find somebody.  Anybody.

I navigated through the thick shrubbery to a clearing.  Trees stood at attention around me.  There were many overhanging branches, creating a roof over the barren earth.

I stumbled over to one of the trees at the edge of the clearing and fell asleep, exhausted.  I woke up by the sound of someone’s voice, and it sounded all too familiar, a voice that I thought I would never hear again.

    “Harper?” the voice said.

    “Grandpa?” I asked, wondering if it was actually him.

    I leaped up and found that in fact, it was my grandpa.  My grandpa that I thought I would never see again, my grandpa that I thought was dead, the same grandpa that I had cried about for days, was here, right in front of me.

    “Grandpa!” I fell into his arms and my voice, muffled by Grandpa’s tattered shirt, said “I can’t believe it’s actually you!

    “Harper!  How did you get here?  Nevermind that.  I’ll take you back to the camp.”

    “What camp?” I wondered aloud.

    “Why, we got a whole camp filled with all the castaways who washed up here, just like you and me.”

    “How many castaways are there?” I asked.

    “Six, including us,” he responded.

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