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


by shadesmaclean 0 reviews

two friends

Category: Fantasy - Rating: PG - Genres: Fantasy - Published: 2008-10-08 - Updated: 2008-10-09 - 785 words - Complete

Morning gave way to an uncommonly hot afternoon, so Max and Justin had retreated up the mountain, only coming back down for supper, before resuming their training in the cool evening hours. Now they sat on a log Max had long ago dragged up near the cliff overlooking the beach both of them had washed up on. The two castaways sat with their backs to the fire, watching the last of the sun set and the stars brighten.

Justin was fast deciding that he liked this view better than from the former bunker of the Works; the whole sky, not just a slice of it. No more hiding. He was beginning to see why this view so inspired Max. That proverbial place where the ocean meets the sky, and anything seems possible.

Even leaving this place to see the world.

“Say Max,” Justin asked, without pretense, “did you ever have any friends… back in Layosha?”

It seemed to him as if Max had lived here all his life, but even he had admitted that he hadn’t.

“Well… yeah…”

Sometimes he even thought about them. Whenever he thought about it, his last day in the Islands… Hugging his mom goodbye, expecting to return the next day… Waving farewell to Cleo one last time on some unknown impulse… Being beaten in the driving rain… Watching as Ron’s life was torn away from him before his eyes… Dad’s victory against Slash— cut off by a cruel twist of fate… (Over the years, Max had largely convinced himself that Robert must have commandeered one of Slash’s marauders, must have…) Enduring two storms and an impossibly vast expanse of ocean in between…

Such a beautiful day… it all felt so unreal no matter how many time he looked back on it.

“What were they like?”

“Well it’s kinda hard to describe… but I remember their names…” And almost ghostly faces to go with them. Though he knew they must have changed, memory froze them in time, seeing them as if he had waved goodbye to them just the other day. “Mom… Dad… Lance… Cleo… Carlton… Ron… Uncle Angus…”

A lone tear slipped from the corner of his eye.

Time had made the idea of facing them again no easier to think about. Afraid and conflicted as he had been, he still felt responsible. Five years to ponder, and he still couldn’t decide which pain was greater— if they didn’t forgive him, or if they did. In a way, he was glad that the Islands were so hard to find the way back to; it meant that his life could go on as it always had.

Justin was silent for a long moment before he spoke. Thinking back to their conversation about the Isle of Paradise the other night, he remembered Max’s words: …to meet everyone you parted with along the way… and he finally figured out what that look in Max’s eyes had been.


“I never had any friends.” There was one whom he had thought of as a friend once, but Justin had written him off a long time ago, hadn’t even thought of him in ages, and didn’t particularly feel like thinking about it now. He could hardly believe he was saying what he said next, but he now saw a chance for something he had never really had, and wondered what it was worth. “I don’t know how else to say this, but… will you be my friend, Max?”

“Of course,” Max replied after a moment of trying to figure out what Justin had meant by that. Then it clicked. We were friends without question… “Of course, Justin. I guess I just already thought of you as my friend.”

“Cool.” Justin wasn’t quite sure what to think. On one hand, that had seemed too easy. On the other, a voice in the back of his mind told him, in spite of experience, that Max would not betray or abandon him, as all the others before had. “So, now that we’re friends… now what?”

Max considered his question for a while before he replied.

“You want out of here. And I want out of here.” Justin’s arrival had awakened a restlessness and wanderlust his years of tranquil solitude had slowly lulled to a dormant undercurrent in his heart. “I say we build a boat and try to leave this place.”

“Sounds like a plan to me.”

And so two friends spent much of the night talking about how they might salvage their wrecks and set sail into the Unknown, staring up at the stars and out at the shadowed Ocean beyond.
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