Stay Away From the Riptide | Teen Ink

Stay Away From the Riptide

October 12, 2014
By emmakate45 SILVER, Avon, Connecticut
emmakate45 SILVER, Avon, Connecticut
6 articles 2 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”― Dr. Seuss

The mocking waves crashed upon the shore, their frothy whitecaps racing to reach the moist waterfront. Their thunderous roar seemed to laugh at the fool who thought he could possibly escape the pernicious island. As the ocean twisted and turned, a ship lurched through the harsh waves. Every person on board was praying for a miracle, but the sea wasn’t about to let them ruin its reputation. Mustering all its strength, it created a mammoth wave, wiping out all but one man, who swam so fast he reached the island almost immediately. The ocean sank back, resting, waiting patiently for its rematch with this man.
The man awoke in a puddle of sticky liquid. Upon sitting up, his head began to pound, and reflexively, his hand flew to it. To his horror, the liquid was trickling down his head. Standing up, the man felt an even greater pressure on his head, and promptly tumbled back to the ground. After resting for a few minutes, he felt stable enough to stand. Looking around, the man didn’t recognize any part of his surroundings. The colossal boulders and towering trees sparked absolutely no memory. Well, now what on earth would I be doing on an island? But then, who am I? An audacious explorer? A news reporter? I must not work some plain job, or I would never end up… wherever this is. A low growl sounded from his stomach. Food was the main priority over remembering anything. Perhaps with a good meal, I’ll think well. With this thought he walked off in search of food, a headache still hammering in his head.
As he walked on, it became apparent that food was not an abundant resource on the island. There had been no signs of any other life form but trees since he’d arrived at the island. There! Moving in the bush! Or two bushes? Two identical animals in two identical bushes? What are the odds? He pondered how to kill these animals without a weapon of any kind. A lack of judgment about him allowed him to believe that his pure muscle would be enough to kill the creatures. Vociferously, he ran toward the shrubs and was dismayed at the sight of his prey galloping away. The mental ability of this man was deteriorating by the minute. Each second without water left his mouth more of a desert. Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink. The idiom crossed his mind, while making eye contact with the endless, vicious sea surrounding him, providing him absolutely no benefit. Perhaps an island might have some type of waterfall or stream. I shall search for just that. He took off on his journey for water, swaying and zig zagging throughout his path, dizziness overcoming him.
Sometime between his journey to water and his pathetic walk back to his spot on the beach after an unsuccessful search, the man lost any sanity or sense left in him. There is no achievable way I can survive on this wretched island. Why not try to escape? Who’s to stop me? I’ll go promptly tomorrow morning. And with that he drifted off into a restful sleep, fully confident he’d be back home in a period of a few days, clearly neglecting the fact that the ocean was much too large an opponent to conquer.
He awoke with a smile, having had dreams about his lovely, heated home and his family, welcoming him back with affectionate arms. Standing up, he scanned the massive ocean for any signs of life, a sailboat, yacht, anything. He found nothing, and decided to aim for the much larger island miles away. The distance, possible for professional swimmers with years worth of training, was impossible for a man with his mental and physical capability. Still, he, of course, was not thinking of anything but his family, his home, returning to his life. He breathed deeply and walked toward the ocean. The sea awoke as he stepped into its frigid water. Cracking its knuckles, it prepared for the match.
This man was not a terrible swimmer. He had lasted the swim to the island from his ship, but this was a much longer stretch. He started out slow, freestyle, building his endurance to the algid water. However, when his body began to grow numb, he accelerated his speed, feeling a rush of adrenaline. The sea smirked at his attempt, and tossed a medium size wave right at him. Pulled under, he struggled to the surface, coughing and sputtering, gasping for the slightest bit of oxygen. I must remember my motivation. Keep going for family. He continued on, this time using breaststroke, in order to take in more air. He could no longer feel his arms and calves. Another wave, larger this time, was thrown at him, but only pushed him under for a few minutes. He recovered, and swam shakily on. The ocean settled for a few minutes, a fake out, then threw a final, massive wave. It snatched the man 15 feet under, his clothes weighing him down. His exhaustion finally caught up with him, and he lost any ability to move any limbs, no feeling left in his body. The sea gave a gentle wave toss to assure the outcome it needed. It settled, smug with yet another victory on its track. Ocean-many, humanity-zero.
The frigid waves crashed upon the shore, waiting expectantly for its next victim. The silhouette of a man lay motionless on the rocky ocean floor, the water surrounding tinted a murky red. A ship passed by, close to the section of sea where the figure’s accident had happened. Perhaps these men would take the sea’s writhing as a warning. Or perhaps not. I’ll leave you to decide.

The author's comments:

I wrote this piece for a school English assignment. As soon as my teacher assigned it, I knew exactly what I wanted to write. I had the idea for my first and last paragraphs done within 10 minutes, obviously with changes added on later.

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