Monday, October 7, 2013


The cries of seagulls roused Sylvia awake. Despite being pasted almost shut, she forced her eyelids open, tearing at eyelashes as she did so, regretting instantly her decision to do so. Despite its lower angle in the sky, the sun still beat down harshly on the open sea. Additional shorebird cries roused her further.
            A sudden epiphany roused her fully—birds meant land.
             Mustering what little strength she had left in her dehydrated and starved state, Sylvia rolled over in the life boat. Despite the blisters covering her hands and sunburn on the rest of her flesh, she managed to pull herself up onto the edge of the large inflatable life raft. As she had concluded, she was drifting towards a small island.
            Somewhere, deep down inside, she managed to draw upon a yet unknown reserve of strength and will. With this, she managed to reach down into the water, meekly propelling herself towards the shoreline.
            After a torturous infinity, she managed to make it to the shoreline. Looking back, she saw the sun was quite low in the sky. Realizing how little daylight she had left, Sylvia forced herself out of the boat and onto the sandy beach.
            Lacking the strength to stand fully upright, she managed to slowly crawl her way to the edge far edge of the beach where the vegetation started. Bunking her head against a palm tree, she half-flopped, half-rolled over into a sitting position up against it.
            Sylvia, despite all her fatigue, all her pains, couldn’t help but feel anything but gratitude for finally finding land. As far as she knew, she had been the only survivor of the plane crash. All of the passengers, including the pilot of the small sea plane, had been researchers traveling to the mid-Atlantic in search of a reportedly new species of aeonium.
            A group of Portuguese sailors had brought back a single plant and several harvested samples, claiming that it had medicinal properties. Initial testing had indicated that certain essential oils it contained could have drastic effects in the restoration damaged ocular cells, but the only living sample had unfortunately been lost due to a lab accident.
            Too tired to keep her head up, Sylvia let it fall to the side, the rest of her torso following.
            And then she started laughing uncontrollably.
            There, a mere few inches from her face, growing on the cusp of the vegetation line, was aeonium she had been seeking.

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