This week’s Flash Fiction from Chuck Wendig’s blog: Randomly pick a setting from a list of 20. Write a story set there.
Out of the list of 20, I randomly selected:
An Island Far From Home
I woke up slowly. I kept my eyes shut and let the waving light filter through my eyelids, light and dark. I stretched and finally opened my eyes. I was alone, lying in long grass. The wind was blowing it back and forth across my face. Light and shadow, flickering. A seagull flew across the sky crying. The wind smelt of the sea.
I sat up. The wind blew fresh and strong in my face. I could hear the seagull and the crashing of waves on a beach. Around me was grass, prickly under my hands. I looked down – the bracelet was gone. I felt such a wave of ferocious relief I yelled out loud. I looked around to see if anyone had heard me – but there wasn’t anybody there. I rubbed my hand across my bristly head, nervous out here in the open.
Then I wondered, what bracelet? What was it, and why was I so happy to see it gone? I could see the marks on my skin where it had been. Red where it had rubbed for too long. I rubbed my wrist and stood up.
“It’s over, Rebecca, it’s over! Everybody else is gone, let’s go. We need to get the hell out of here before it’s too late.”
“What about the subjects? We can’t just walk out on them.”
“Everybody else has, and so am I. If you were smart you would too.” Running footsteps and slamming doors. A siren is wailing in the background, pulsing in time to the red light flashing in the hall.
My head was spinning, and the ground felt tilted. I stumbled sideways and fell. I put my head between my knees, panting and trying not to puke. I didn’t know what had happened in that hallway, but I thought it was a memory. Along with it had come a mix of fear and hope. I knew I had overheard those voices and had seen it as a chance to escape.
I stood back up and brushed dirt off my hands. At least I hadn’t thrown up. I wanted to stop thinking about my missing memories, and decided to look around. I didn’t know where I was, and that was something maybe I could find out.
I walked away from where I had woken up. I was at the top of a bluff, with long wind-swept grass all around. Far behind me was a line of evergreen trees. Straight ahead, it looked like the bluff went down to a beach and the water. I walked to the edge and looked down. The slope was steep, slippery with sand and tufts of grass.
The beach below was strewn with big rocks and driftwood. The waves came in and out, moving seaweed on the sand. There was nobody in sight. No footprints, no fire pits. Not a popular spot with the locals, I thought.
I stepped over the edge of the bluff. I fell more than climbed, sliding most of the way. By the time I got to the beach, I was tired and dirty. I sat on an old log and looked around. The wind whistled by, shaking the grass and stirring up small drifts of sand. A seagull walked along the water’s edge. It stopped and looked at me, head tilted.
“Run, run Robert! Come on, you can make it.” She has her arm around my waist and is helping me hurry down the hall. My feet are uncoordinated and I keep tripping over them. “It’ll be okay, you’ll be okay.” She is breathless. I am trying to hurry. I like her better than the others, she’s always been kind. A cynical part of me thought maybe that was part of the testing, but I wanted to believe it was real. “In here, there you go. Buckle him in!” She starts to climb in after us, but then her face gets this big surprised look on it. She starts to say something, then falls back with blood on her lab coat, and the pilot takes off, with the door still open and the screaming noise of the helicopter and the wind taking over everything.
I bent over again, and this time I did throw up. I stood up on shaky legs and walked to the water’s edge to wipe my mouth and face. The water was cold and salty, and it felt good. This memory had been more complete – I had been scared and confused, still with some drug in my veins, I think. Somebody had been drugging me pretty regularly, was my guess. I was nervous without memories and shaken by the ones that had come back. A small wave came up the sand and drenched my shoes; I jumped back, startled.
The wind was growing cool, the light fading. Rubbing my arms, I moved away from the water and walked further along the beach. I was in a small bay, like a crescent. At one tip of the crescent was a lighthouse. I walked around the bay, until I was just beneath it. I was able to scramble back up the bluff, and was huffing by the time I got to the door. I opened the door on squealing hinges. Inside was a spiral staircase going up. Everything was covered in dust, no footprints. I climbed up.
At the top was a rusty mechanism that must have turned around the big light bulb in the middle. It didn’t look like it had worked in a long time. From here I could see all around. I was on a small island. Deserted, quiet. There were some buildings in the distance, but no people or cars. I would head over there next. Maybe I’d find some people and some answers, or figure out how to leave here.
I didn’t know where I was, or who had left me here.
All I knew for sure is that I was free, and I was going to stay that way.