An excerpt from my book, ‘Fragments of Fear Collection’

My tormentor sits beside me, mocking me.

“Come on, Ben, you know you want me, why don’t you just do it?”

I try to ignore it, work on my tan. The sun helps out by shining down as bright as possible, baking me to a crisp.

“Beeeeennnnn,” it sing-songs to me. “Why don’t you peel off this outer cover and do what we both know you want to do?”

Water splashes in my face, pulling me out of my delusion.

My mind drifts back to this horrible reality.

Alone in a life raft, adrift in open water, my companion who speaks so seductively is an unopened can of baked beans.

For three days I’ve stared at that can. During my less lucid moments, it mocks me and beguiles me.

Whoever loaded the supplies on this life raft was either stupid or one sadistic bastard.

They packed saltines, peanuts, canned food, but no can opener, and no water. The crackers and nuts were gone on day one. Now my throat feels like it’s swelling shut.

My stomach has stopped rumbling and sends jolts of pain now. I fear that it is slowly devouring other internal organs. But that’s nothing compared to my pounding headache.

I feel like I’m going to burst into flames any second. I don’t know if I could drink even if I had water.

The irony of dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean throws me into a fit of hysterical laughter…on the inside. On the outside, I only have enough energy for a weak smile.

Early morning day four, that’s when my miracle happened. The most commonplace of all miracles, water fell from the sky.

The first drop hits me on the cheek, and my eyes struggle to open.

I’m having another horrid, sadistic dream.

It wasn’t until I was soaking wet that I made a feeble attempt to open my mouth as wide as I could and allow drop after life-saving drop to slowly fill it.

I attempt my first swallow in nearly two days.

Try as I might, I can’t do it. My throat has swollen nearly shut. Breathing has become difficult.

Now my mouth is full of water that has begun to drip into my lungs.

Four days ago I would’ve just spit the water out. But then, four days ago I was able to swallow. Now I’m so weak I can’t turn my head and I can barely cough. Even when I do, a mere drop or two of water comes out.

After two feeble attempts, I can’t breathe.

Whatever energy reserves I have, go into one last cough.

It barely makes the water in my mouth gurgle. Panic fights exhaustion, and loses.

The rain comes down in torrents. What I thought was my savior has become my doom.

Lying on my back, I look like a fish out of water. My mouth moving, unable to breathe, slowly suffocat…




If you enjoyed this story, try another.

4 thoughts on “Open

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