Better Than Gold
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I love to fly more than anything else in life! And sometimes, I like to write too. "Better Than Gold" is a serial-style short story I've been writing for nearly a year now, purely for fun. A new part will be typed and posted here when I can find the time.

Monday, August 22, 2005

PART ONE: The Rescue

There was only one open exit from the tent. It sat directly across from Jasper, facing east, where the sky was the darkest. If he still had his knife there would have been two exits, and the second would have faced west, away from the sea, away from the beach and away from its carousing lodgers and their blustery fires.

It was a squally night. White-capped waves struck the beach and smashed foam high up onto the sand. The wind was low and strong. The smell of algae and brine swept through the tent flaps and struck him across the face, flooding his hair and nostrils. The warm prickle of rain lingered in the tropical air, filling the tent with the muggy haze of an unshed downpour. The heat was terrible.

Something wet trickled from Jasper’s armpit all the way to his hip. He knew it wasn’t sweat, the same way he knew that not all of the creepers running down his scalp and over the back of his neck were flies.

The tent flaps pouched gently in the breeze, giving him a glimpse of the long, sloping beach and the shell-shaped inlet. The sand was soft and littered in footprints. A fringe of nodding ginger palms lined the shore, hedged in thick island underbrush. The ocean was choppy and black. Whitecaps speckled the surface of the water like stars in the sky. Lightning lit up the heavy clouds that hung overhead with papery brilliance.

Jasper stared at the beach longingly through his one good eye. Were his feet not tied he could have stood up and crept to the entrance of the tent and pushed aside the flaps and seen the whole south end of the island. He could have put his nose to the wind and sucked down deep draughts of night air, and smelt the wood smoke from the fires dotting the beach, and the rich cocktail of cooking scents lingering over the campsite, like grilled fish and potatoes splashed with red nut beer and onions and chipporil herbs. He could have heard the brawny laughter coming from around the fires, the shouts and clatter of voices, the plink of tin plates and cups and the brisk crackle of flames, the death rattle of pistols and knives and belted sabres.

And were his arms not tied behind the stout wooden post at his back he could have freed his legs and bolted out of the tent without stopping. He could have run straight down the beach and into the foaming surf, where he knew a flight of scruffy seaplanes were anchored, braced high on their floats as their rode the waves and jerked their noses against their tethers.

And were four of his fingers not broken, he might have been able to push one away from the beach and start it before being discovered.

And were he a pilot, he might even have managed to fly it.

2 Comments:

Blogger Cibo said...

oh, the imagery~ <3 such a pitcha, painted with words. :D

5:58 PM  
Blogger btg said...

Haha, thanks! I always get worried about little short bits like this not being able to give an idea of the scene in description, so I'm glad to know that this one worked, at least :D.

4:14 PM  

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