Categories > Original > Fantasy > Tradewinds 03 - "Shipwrecked"


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

Justin's tale

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2008-09-30 - Updated: 2008-09-30 - 787 words - Complete

Max was up with the sun, and with a stretch and a yawn, he took off with Bandit to the pond.

So when Justin woke up, he was all alone. He glanced around warily, then saw his power rifle lying on the ground next to him, and he relaxed a bit. Just to be on the safe side, though, he checked and made sure his power clip was still there. He didn’t really expect Max to do such a thing, but with everything he had been through lately, he didn’t quite put anything past anyone.

He sat there for about ten or fifteen minutes before Max returned, soaking wet, damp hair still hanging in his face.

“Where the hell have you been?” Justin demanded.

“Swimming,” Max told him. “I tried to wake you up, but you just kept muttering at me. Anyway, I got us some breakfast, too!”

Max had brought back a full pot of berries, and he and Justin dug in.

“I remember,” Justin declared out of the blue.

“You remember what?” asked Max.

“The name of the ship I was on before I wound up in the Triangle State.” He had been mulling it over in his head since he first woke up. It had been dancing on the tip of his tongue, just out of reach, and then he remembered it a moment ago. When he woke up, he also had a few fleeting memories of his dream before it all went skittering off into a confused jumble of vague images. “It was called the Skerry.”

Scary?” asked Max, “What was so scary about it?”

“No, not scary, Skerry…” Justin looked around and spotted a stick on the ground. He no longer remembered where he learned to read, except that he already knew a bit before he was left high and dry, and that he had learned a little more from a traveling teacher who later vanished without a trace, likely a result of her outspoken opinions about the Authority. “I remember the name.” After all, it was proudly displayed all over the ship. “It was spelled like this…”

S-K-E-R-R-Y, he drew in the dirt.

Max simply stared at the word.

“I don’t know what it means,” Justin told him, “but it always sounded kinda, well, eerie to me.”

“So how did you end up in the Triangle State?” Max asked, hoping that perhaps his new friend remembered more.

“Like I said,” Justin told him, “I don’t remember a lot. I think I got left behind…” The only really distinct memory he could dredge up was of wandering around the port of Benton, and not being able to find stem nor stern of the Skerry. “I guess I got lost or something.”

Just thinking about it conjured up this image of the Skerry sailing away while he was off aimlessly wandering every crooked corner of his unsuspecting new home…

In Justin’s words, Max heard the same sense of abandonment and confusion he had felt in his early days here in Paradise. As he had not felt in a long time.

“It was a big ship,” Justin continued, “I always felt lost… but not like I was in trouble or anything… I don’t know. It all feels like a weird dream. We went to so many places… I could’ve got left behind at any one of them.” He snorted, snapping out of his reverie. “But I had to get stuck in that hellhole…”

“It was really that bad?…” Max could feel the resentment and bitterness dripping off of Justin’s last words, and wondered what the Authority could have done to him…

“You have no idea,” Justin told him. “I spent most of my time hiding in the woods, outside of town… I had to steal food, clothes, shoes… I had to hide from the guards, or they’d just force me to work all day… I had no choice. I had to go into town to find food… and… and… You really don’t have any idea, do you?”

Max had been listening, and his jaw dropped steadily as Justin described a life he could barely begin to imagine.

“How did you stay alive for so long?” he finally managed.

“I did what I had to,” Justin replied. “I spent so long, just wanting out. I hated it…”

Max stood there for a long moment, then said, “Come on, Justin. I’ll show you around the island, and you can tell me what happened.”

“Okay.” Justin figured, why not. After all, no one had ever asked to hear his side of the story before. “I guess you could say the whole mess began one morning…”
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