Alone on a Deserted Island –short story with prompt

It’s been a while since I’ve written a story from my Piccadilly Write a Story book, but how do you choose from all the wonderful writing prompts held within the bindings?

I handed the book to my 15-year-old daughter along with one of my business cards. I told her to slide the card into the pages anywhere she wanted. When she handed it back to me, I asked her one last question.

“Left or Right?”

After only a moment’s consideration, she chose left. I opened up to the page she’d selected and read to her what she had chosen for me.

She laughed. My husband teased. And I wondered just how I was going to wrangle in this story and tame it into something coherent. I mean how am I supposed to stick all those words onto one deserted island? I’m not sure, but I’m gonna give it a try.


Alone on a Deserted Island

Include the following in your story:

  • book review
  • echo
  • organism
  • grimace
  • mermaid
  • inch
  • bother
  • march
  • decrease
  • pump

Book club. She’d been dreaming about book club. It had been such a simple pleasure. She’d run off to the local bookstore to pick up the chosen title plus an armful of anything else that caught her eye. She’d race back home again and start reading while she prepared dinner for her family. If the story was good, she might have a book review written by the very next day.

Her face folded into a grimace, and she began to sob. She missed her family. She missed her books. She missed all those annoying bitches in book club. She missed her life. She wondered if anyone was looking for her. How long had she been here?

There’d been a quick business trip. They’d flown out on the company jet. There’d been an announcement.

“There’s been just a slight decrease in cabin pressure. Nothing to worry about.”

The pilot had sounded worried. Then the oxygen masks had dropped, and everyone had started to panic. She could still hear the echo of their screams as they were going down.

There’d been a life raft. Most of them had made it, too. They’d been adrift on the sea. Their lips had been parched, their throats bled from dryness. They’d shoved people overboard without a second thought after they’d succumbed, most likely to dehydration. They’d left hunger behind.

When a storm had struck the raft had begun to fill up with water. There had been about an inch of rainwater collected in the bottom of the raft. She’d laid down and slurped her fill. She’d leaned over the side of the raft and vomited. Then, she slurped her fill again.

“You shouldn’t do that,” somebody had warned, their voice hoarse and unrecognizable.

She hadn’t the energy to respond. She’d slowed to sipping the collected rainwater. She considered the organisms that might be swimming in the water. She wondered if they might be nutritionally beneficial.

The rain had slowed to a trickle. She’d heard the faint murmur of a voice as she’d drifted off. When she’d awoken, she’d been alone in the raft, and it had had a small tear and was slowly filling with water.

She didn’t waste any time trying to manually pump the water out with just her hands. It would have been futile, and she would have been too exhausted for the swim that had followed. And swim she had. She’d swam hard. She’d swam like the mermaid her mother had called her that summer she’d refused to come out of the pool.

She’d swam until she’d found a beach. She’d dragged herself up on the beach and passed out. When she’d woken again, the sun had been setting, and the temperature had dropped considerably. She’d been cold and wet and shivering.

That first night she hadn’t managed so much as a fire. She’d shivered against a tree trunk, too terrified to sleep. Nothing bigger than a mosquito had bothered her that night.

In the early morning hours of the first day on her island, she’d built a fire and caught small crabs in shallow pools along the beach. She’d had to eat them raw because she’d had no way to cook them. As her strength had returned, she’d built herself a makeshift shelter that seemed to do the trick protecting her from the worst of the elements.

She had marched up and down the beach collecting supplies. She’d found a ship wrecked on the rocks not far from her beachside shack. That was where she had found the supplies she needed to start cooking, fishing, and hunting.

She’d learned the lay of the land and how to live off of it. She convinced herself every morning that today was the day she was going to be rescued. Rescue never came. She started to forget what faces looked like. She couldn’t even picture her husband or kids anymore.

Time moved differently on her little island. Life wasn’t so pressing or urgent. She lived her days out quietly. She caught food when she was hungry. Swam when she was dirty. She even befriended a local wildcat who came looking for belly rubs from time to time.

She went peacefully in her sleep one night. When her wildcat friend came for belly rubs, it discovered her dead. In its final act of love, it ate her.


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