No one knew how the boats got there; they just appeared overnight as if by magic. We were all stunned. We had been on this island for what seemed like an eternity, maybe it was an eternity….
There were eight boats, all rowboats; about eight to nine feet long and maybe three feet wide in the middle. They were unremarkable in all respects except for the signs on the top of the back of each seat: ONLY FOUR PER BOAT.
That made sense, there were thirty-two of us. All of us stranded here and most of us stranded differently. Myself, I was knocked overboard by shrapnel from cannon fire. I remember falling in the water, then I woke up on this beach. When was that? It seems like years; many, many years. Samantha was thrown from a plane over the Caribbean, she says she was sucked out, but we all have our suspicions to the contrary. While I have never seen a plane personally, I can only imagine it would have hurt, but here she is; walking and talking and arguing.
The boats, once they were here for a while, started floating farther and farther out to sea with each tide. We all voted and decided to get in the boats before they were gone. This might be our only hope. The only one who disagreed was Samantha, of course. She argued that we had been fine up to this point, that the island provided all we needed. She kept asking ‘Why would we leave this paradise?’ over and over.
Ignoring her complaints, we all lined up in front of each boat, four in a row, and cautiously climbed in. We all just looked at each other, there were no oars, no sails and none of these motors the others seem to expect; just seats in boats. We sat there for a while, wondering if the tide would take us away to where we needed to go.
Suddenly, the tide pulled us out to sea, surging to and fro with the swells; the mist of the water caressing our faces. The warm breeze felt refreshing on our lightly wet skin; a sense of renewal washing over us. We floated in peace, even Samantha was quiet, for many days.
Eventually the sky grew dark and a storm appeared on the horizon, threatening our solitude with chaos. It was at that moment that seven of the eight boats turned towards the sunset, leaving one boat, Samantha’s vessel, to continue on towards the storm. As the sun grew warmer on our faces, we could hear Samantha and the other three scream. We looked over and saw that the storm had grown to become a fiery explosion of smoke and bright orange and red columns of flame that reached into the sky as well as beneath the sea. Her boat was soon engulfed and the screaming stopped.
Our new path led us to another island with a large obelisk made of solid ebony marble. The island seemed very much like our old island save for the large pillar that adorned its sands. We left the sanctuary of our arks and investigated the towering obelisk. At the base, a door marred the perfect surface of the monolith; above it, a sign: WELCOME ALL WHO MAY ENTER
To me, this was an invitation, which I accepted. I opened the door and a soft warm light emanated from its hollows, drawing me in. The others gasped in delight. I walked in and was enveloped by the light and knew that I was no longer stranded, that we were no longer stranded. We had been found.
I wondered if others would ever have the same journey as we had.
Lost in peace, I drifted away.