Wednesday 16 May 2012

'Lonely In Paradise' By Annie Evett

I scratch, irritated by the prickly heat, by the boredom; but mostly by the lack of hygiene I now cared about. Through squinted eyes over the horizon, I fancy I see a sail. Four full turns of the seasons and none have come any closer than to tantalise and tease me; make me scream till my throat is raw. All in desperate hope they see me. Lonely in paradise.
I stand and stretch, unwilling to seek the sail that by now disappeared; if it had ever been there. A dark hollow space grows within by chest; its creeping tendrils threatening to snake around my neck to strangle the last bastions of hope I harbour. 
As the afternoons warmth withdraws I must set back to camp. Though nothing larger than I lives on the island; the jungles inky darkness with its strange smells and noises still frighten me. I furtively glance back out to sea, ready to accept the crushing blow of an undisturbed horizon. 
Quicksilver threads it way throughout my body. The tiny sail is attached to a skiff. I rub my eyes and stare. Two figures sit bolt upright; nestled into the bosom of freedom. 
The afternoon breeze brings them closer. The sail billows and strains like a fisherwomans undergarments. I flush at my vision of a voluptuous woman exposing her breeches. 
A seagull screams in my ear and I scurry down the cliff track towards the beach. My heart hammers, not from exertion; but in fear, in excitement, in relief. 
The waves suck at my legs as I splash outward towards the boat.  I stop; catching my breath as I see the wind caressing a golden curl underneath a wide brimmed hat on the boat. Her pastel printed gown, starkly contrasts with his roughened jacket. They are still too far away to view their faces and have apparently have not yet seen me. 
I flush. One woman between two men for an undermined amount of time on this island?.  My strict Catholic upbringing tears at my morality.
I shout out a greeting, not knowing what to say first. The sheer giddiness of being able to converse with another human being makes my head swim. The two figures proudly face one another; oblivious to me, or to their impending landing. 
A seabird swoops and lands beside the figures. Another chooses to perch on the gentlemans head. Their squawking quarrels are unheeded by the couple.  A cold dread rises from my bowels. 
I watch as the boat is swept by the waves onto the beach. The figures stare at one another; deaths eyes torn by seabirds. They are bound hand and foot with chain. Fingers are intertwined; shreds of legs still stretched out towards one another.  Rope fixing them to their seats.

Lovers set adrift for crimes, now only shared by them.
I pull the boat past the tide mark, fix it securely and leave the seagulls to their meal.

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