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


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

the outside world

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2008-10-06 - Updated: 2008-10-06 - 997 words - Complete

To Justin Black, crab never tasted so good.

Max sat on a log across the fire from him, watching him chow down, amused by his own memories of how starved he was during his early days here. Bandit had long since curled up near the fire and nodded off as the two castaways talked on and on. The sun was setting, and the shadows of the trees stood long as they finished their supper.

Here on the Isle of Paradise, Justin had eaten his first meals in years that he hadn’t had to run or fight or do someone else’s dirty work for. Since Max first told him what he called this place, he had wondered what this guy knew about it. Having noticed that such roundabout questions seemed to be the way to start a conversation around here, Justin asked, “So Max, what do you think is out there?”

“I don’t know,” Max told him after a moment, trying to take stock of what he did remember. Tales, mostly. “I hear there are lots of different places.”

“I used to hear a lot of stories when I was in the market, and before I got left behind, the Skerry used go lots of places. But I don’t remember much about it… A lot of people talked about Centralict Island, and a city called New Cali.”

Justin could tell from look on Max’s face that he had definitely heard of those places.

“Isn’t Centralict a really big island?” Now that Justin mentioned it, he was pretty sure that Robert and Alida had been there before.

“Yeah, that’s what I’ve heard. I think I might’ve been there once when I was little. I’ve never been to New Cali, but everyone says it’s the biggest city in the world, with towers that reach into the sky.”

“I wish I could see it…” Though Max remembered his father talking about it. Meeting Justin, and hearing news of the outside world, had made all those far-away places feel more real to him than they had in years. The more they talked, the more names he remembered. “The Foghorn Islands, Elyria… the Islands of… Kara Danjo?… Ashton, the Abalah Desert… Andros… I heard a lot of stories about haunted places…”

“The Isle of Paradise?” Justin intoned.

Max’s thoughts and remembrances came to a halt. Justin tried not to laugh at the sheepish look on his face as his mind chased its own tail for a moment before finally realizing what Justin meant.

“Oh! I thought you meant here…”

“So you did name this place after the Isle of Paradise! As I thought.”

“Oh?” But Max didn’t hear any meanness in Justin’s voice, just the satisfaction of having guessed correctly. “Yeah. Of course… I kept thinking about it, and…”

“Yeah.” Justin looked around, thinking about his last couple days here. “Yeah, I can see it. This place is really quiet.”

Though he was beginning to appreciate the freedom this place afforded him, and he could see how someone would become enamored of this peaceful island. The thing that cut into the tranquility of this setting was knowing the one thing he wasn’t free to do: leave.

“Yeah, I guess I did get shipwrecked on the Isle of Paradise…” Max had simply been calling the island that for so long, just out of habit, that he hadn’t thought much about it in years.

“So what do they say about Paradise where you come from, Max?” Justin had heard many stories that were basically about the same thing. Treasure, eternal youth, beautiful women. Though so far, he had seen none of those things on this island.

“Well… they say lots of things,” Max told him. “I guess the tale I like most says that on the Isle of Paradise, you get to meet everyone you parted with along the way.”

Justin was silent for a long moment. There was something in Max’s wistful expression that he couldn’t quite place. Those you parted with along the way… There was certainly none of that to be found around here, either.

Finally, he said, “Well, I guess I’m still lookin’ for the one with tons of gold and jewels and stuff.”


“Why? Why not?” Justin’s jaw nearly dropped at what had to be last question he was expecting out of anyone about that. “I’d be rich! And I’d never ever have to live like that again.”

“Oh.” Max thought about that for a moment. He hadn’t really given it much thought before, but he had to admit that Justin’s plan did make some sense. And based on the few exotic treasures he had seen in the Islands, part of him was overwhelmed with curiosity, just to see more such things. Unconsciously taking his cue from Cleo, he said, “That would be pretty cool.”

“Yeah,” Justin remarked, “and I get half of everything we find!”


“There! You said it. Now I get half of all the treasure we find.”

“Umm…” Max tried to piece together that last part of their conversation, then told him, “There isn’t any treasure on this island.”

“I know that,” Justin replied. “I’m just sayin’. I mean, you really don’t think we’re gonna be stuck here for the rest of our lives, do you?”

“Well… no…” And in spite of five years of just that, Max found he didn’t believe he would be, though he couldn’t explain why.

“So when we get outta here, we’ll hunt for treasure, how does that sound?”

“I suppose,” Max replied.

And so they spent the rest of the evening telling each other about what they remembered of places they had heard of. Justin didn’t want to talk any more about the mines for now, but he would tell Max the rest in the morning.
Sign up to rate and review this story