I keep doing this. Why? Do I enjoy failure that much?
The nature of this cruel competition is listed above.
Anyway …. here’s what popped out.
Waiting to be Saved
(Lovers sail away from their lives only to become marooned on a tiny island to contemplate the meaning of rescue.)
The wind had blown with a gentle warmth from the east during the day but now, as the sun began melting into the ocean, it had shifted to the south and soon it would become a freezing gale.
She moved closer to him such that the bare skin of their shoulders touched, and they shared their warmth whilst looking out from the clifftop at the rising seas.
There would be no rescue tonight.
Out on the edge of the reef the splintered ruins of the hull were occasionally visible between passing swells, but the mast stood defiant above the waves as a monument to foolish love.
From the wreck they had salvaged only a single blanket, food and water, the ship’s telescope and an emergency flare. At night they shared the blanket beneath a thousand miles of sky.
“It is over,” she whispered to him. “Either we will be saved, and I will be forced back to my marriage … or … we will die together clinging to this rock.”
During the morning watch, as she slept, he looked through the telescope again, searching the horizon for passing ships to signal. It had been a week, so far, and he had seen nothing. But he could not rely on such good fortune to continue.
He stood atop the cliff and dropped the telescope and the flare. He watched them fall and shatter against the rocks before disappearing into the ocean.
For he was prepared to die.