Opening his eyes, he realised he was far from home. The man stood up, still dizzy and sand stuck to his skin. Where did all that sand come from?
He looked around him, the vast and empty shore he woke up to. His ears could listen to the thin wind blowing through them and the seabirds whose time of the day it was to dive into the cold and crystal water so they can catch their prey.
The man, jealous of them, dived into the wavy sea himself in an attempt to wake himself up completely. He got his long, blonde hair wet and scrubbed his pale and rough skin, getting rid of the sand.
He stood up, revealing the majesty of his slim upright posture as he looked around in curiosity with his emerald eyes like Adam waking up and seeing the world God had built for him for the very first time.
His ripped clothes were now useless to him and so he left them on a rock to dry.
What a peaceful island, he thought. And sat on the sand once more to enjoy the harmony nature was in. He, a small part of it.
Beyond a rocky cliff, from where the beach split in half, another man opened his eyes in terror. His memories of the last day's shipwreck hunted him in combination with the untamed wilderness that enveloped him, almost swallowing him.
The birds' chirps distracted his already puzzled thoughts as a hundred different problems arose before his mind, like unbeatable behemoths.
He ran towards the shore and frantically threw water on his face. The sand wouldn't go away and so the man sank his round head with the short, brown hair in the sea, getting some water up his nose.
He pulled it out immediately and coughed out the water as his body hair straightened in the cold temperature.
His wet and ripped clothes, the only trace of the human legacy on him, could not be abandoned. After cleaning the rest of his body, he wrung his clothes as best as he could and put them on him again.
He stood still, small like a rat in front of the neverending nature that towered over him. He, lost inside it.
"Are you alright?" the blond man appeared through the rocky cliff which he went over with much ease.
"Oh, thank god. A human..." The dark-haired man let a sigh of relief and his shoulders let go of their tensed position. "What's your name?" he added.
"Fred... and yours?"
"Ted..." he looked at the naked man before him with hesitancy.
"You are also from the shipwreck, right?" he took his look back to Fred's eyes.
"Yes, yes. Let me suggest you take off your wet clothes. You might catch a fever."
After that, Ted grabbed his cloth and tied it stronger together. " I don't feel comfortable being naked" he declared.
The blonde man turned his back on him, approaching the green forest that took most of the island. "We come to this world naked anyway," he responded with sarcasm and stood in for of a tree.
An anxious Ted approached him, finding that talking to someone made his pessimistic thoughts fade away.
"But they clothe us the second we come out, don't they?"
He tried to find somewhere to sit, but small bugs, mud and overall filth filled the place. At last, he found a rock that served as a good enough chair.
"But what if you were born on this island with no doctor to clothe you?"
"Then your mother would. Even if she was shipwrecked like is, she would find something to clothe her child with."
"In other words..." Fred snapped a branch out of the tree. "Clothes are inevitable, mandatory. And thus a prison cell."
Ted couldn't argue with something like that and resorted to asking him what he is up to.
Fred preferred to show, not tell. With rocks and sticks in hand, starting a fire was all too easy for him as well as sharpening some sticks.
"If you want to get out of here alive so you can write a book about this, we need to find food, and water, and build a shelter."
"Write a book?" was Ted's only question as he was armed with the stick.
"Why, yes. Going back to where you came from, nature that is, for more than several minutes is an achievement it appears. As well as being competent enough not to die." Fred scoffed. "So you must write a book sharing this wild adventure!" he continued with a dose of irony which angered Ted.
"I don't get your problem. Science progresses you know. You can't expect everyone to learn everything."
"And so the more humanity learns collectively, the less the individual has to," Fred concluded.
Even though they were in a feud, Ted could not deny he grew some respect for the man who so easily tied a branch of leaves around his waist and pulled apart the wood's fibres to tie them again into a rope, all to tie together a branch and a stone, making a small hatchet.
With the hatchet around his wrist, a lit torch in one hand and his sharpened spear in the other, he began exploring the insides of the forest. Ted was right behind him, hoping his navigational skills were as good as his crafting.
"We will find something to eat today as well as a clearing next to a river. Tomorrow we will settle in the said clearing." Fred ordered.
"Yes sir!" was Ted's sarcastic reply.
Suddenly Fred came to a stop. His ears twitched and with his spear pointed between some tall grasses, where a boar ate with great appetite. Handing his torch to Ted, he gestured at him to stay put as he made tender steps towards his prey.
The boar might not know it, but the moment Fred had come directly parallel to it, it was already dead. It couldn't have possibly seen the spear coming at an immense speed, piercing through its fat stomach. It panicked and screamed but its attempt to run fell short.
With the long spear poking out of either side of its body limiting its moves, Fred jumped on it with Hatchet in hand, slicing off its head. Ted remained a surprised spectator, who couldn't believe what he saw. So baffled he was, he didn't even realise the torch's flame almost touched him, making him feel the burn.
Fred returned to his newfound companion with the boar in his hands, declaring it is time for Ted to head home and cook the beast. "I will continue the exploration, and will find that river." He handed the bleeding, dead animal to Ted who held it with disgust. He looked away, wanting to go as fast as possible. But his feet were rooted in the ground.
"What's wrong? You know how to head back, isn't that right?"
"Yeah... but I don't know how to cook it," he replied in an embarrassed tone, like a toddler who apologises to his mother for the mischief he got himself into.
"Modern or not, humans need to cook to survive, isn't that right?" Fred grabbed the prey off Ted's hand and headed back to the camp. He was followed by a silent Ted, who looked down during the entirety of the walk.
The two of them sat at the beach while the sun began to settle. Ted was again and again left speechless by Fred's continuous knowledge. He made a small campfire with rocks as quickly as he made a small spit roast. And if that wasn't enough, using his hatchet he took down an entire tree just to make it into comfortable seats.
" I have to say" the dark-haired man admitted, "I am impressed."
"Of course you are..." Fred giggled.
"Please, don't start again..."
The men sat and began talking ever friendlier about their lives. Once the food was done and the smoke was long up in the sky, they began to eat. Fred gazed at the mesmerising waters, illuminated by the setting sun's light. The sun, ever more orange and red, slowly dived underneath the water. In front of it, completely red from the rays hitting it, was a small vessel, alerted by the deserted island's smoke.
"I think you want to look at this." He pointed at the boat and Ted jumped in excitement.
"That's our ticket out! Let's go Fred!" and jumping inside the water, he yelled and waved at the boat which fortunately appeared to be getting closer and closer. But to his dismay, Fred wasn't behind him.
"Your ticket out..." he said, still standing next to the camp "I am staying." and disappeared behind the forest.
Thank you for reading!
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