Strike out for Land

The hazy heat of the morning sun woke her, the pain of her sunburn shaking her back to her senses. She thrashed about for a few seconds, before realising where she was. She smiled, glad to still be alive, cracking the crusted salt around her lips, tearing at the soft skin, making her wince. This morning it was calm, but still there was no sign of a coastline.

She started out to the west again, for the small chain of islands she believed they’d flown over an hour before it all happened. As she moved, half swimming, half floating into the afternoon, the sea grew warmer: perhaps the floor was growing shallower beneath? But with the warmth had come the sharks – just small ones so far, but hungry, and searching for more of the bodies they’d feasted on the night before. She’d been scraped more than once by their rough skin, and a graze had opened up on her left arm in the salty water. Moving slowly, trying to hold her bloody, alluring arm out of the water, she drifted, barely conscious, into the darkness.

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