His back burned. He was not sure he could move. He spit sand out of his mouth and rocked his head up. His ship’s hull crumpled against the rocks. The sand around his middle was red and he touched his stomach gingerly. Red dripped down his fingers. He called out for someone. “Is anyone there?”

His daughter came running. Her pupils flicked back and forth in panic. “Please help.” He called out but it came out no louder than a whisper and then he broke out into coughs.

“It’s okay, I’m here. Everything’s okay.” She chanted everything’s okay several more times like it was a mantra she told herself. Her knees bent down and she reached his torso and tugged. He screamed. “I have to see it so I can make it better. Don’t stop me. I have to turn you.”

He let her and didn’t resist but his face tightened up as if someone were boxing it in. She turned him over. She had a first aid kit from the boat with her. She opened the box and look down at the contents. Her eyes darting around the inside of the box, until her eyes rested on the needle and thread.

She grabbed the topical anesthesia and rubbed a layer on the place the blood was coming out of too quick. And she poked the needle into the flesh. He screamed again and tears rolled down his weather worn face. But she continued to knit him back together. He moaned for her to please stop and just to leave him there. Then she was done and he went silent. She tapped the wound with a rag, mopping up any extra blood.

“Now go to sleep.” she said. Her face was lifeless and white now. He closed his eyes and moved his hand up even though it hurt his stomach to do so and grabbed her hand in his. A small delicate hand in his, calloused with deep lines carved in the palms. And he went to sleep. She sat bent over him, and when his breathing quieted she let herself break down and cry. Then afterwards when there was nothing left to release, she lay empty, next to him and slept.


If you would like write a story in the comments about characters who find themselves on a deserted island or a jungle being forced to find a way to survive.


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