Racing to the Boat – Day 340 – Island Boat

Foot to the floor we sped toward the ramp. The car became airborn. Camping gear jumbled around as the ferry ramp began to close. But the tyres hit the floor of the deck just in time. We smashed into the cars parked in front. Car alarms rent the air and my toothbrush slid under the car in front. I picked it up as I got out and like Indiana Jones picking up his hat, I put it in my mouth proudly before exchanging insurance details with the other car owners.

I’ve been staying on an island and today we nearly missed the boat back home. It was a mad drive to the barge which we just made before they left. It was like an Indiana Jones scene – I kept thinking about what would have happened if you tried moves like his in real life. 

Air Turtle – Day 339 – Kris/Island Vibe

I was sitting under this for shade today and met the man Kris who helped make it. He made it with a large community group out of basket weaving and bark.20141101_135857

The air turtle patrolled their community. It would ask the sun to shine for them, though it wasn’t hard, the sun is a bit of a show off. And it would convince the grumpy clouds to rain when they needed it most.
One day the clouds were feeling very bloated. The hail they were carrying felt heavy and uncomfortable. They threatened to unleash it on the community but the air turtle pleaded with them. The small bark huts might not withstand it. But the clouds couldn’t hold on any longer.
The turtle flew underneath the clouds and let the hail shatter on it’s back to save them.
When the clouds had cleared the community was safe but the air turtle landed with a thud. Its shell had been broken.
The community cried for weeks tending to the turtle’s every need but they could not repair the shell. Until one day the old basket weaver had an idea.
The turtle roams the sky once more clad in an intricate basket weave and the clouds even apologised.

Gripping – Day 335 – Susan (Mentor)

At the start of the year I met with my old writing lecturer, Susan (read full story here). Today I met again with her to ask her how to survive after this challenge. She said “tenacity”. In the dictionary the first definition for tenacity is the ability to grip something tightly.

No one knows exactly what is on the island, but anyone that manages to get in never comes back. It was rumoured to get in, you must prove our tenacity by hang on to a rope dangling over the water for as long as you can. The safekeepers of the island will then judge whether you have enough to enter or not. Some people believed this to be the path to great riches but most thought it was a fairytale and a sure fire way to be eaten by barbarians.

Lu was born without arms and lived on the street. She hated begging and stealing. The only thing she liked doing was imagining the island, the way trees might look and the smell of the grass. One day she decided she had nothing to lose. So she stole a small fishing boat early in the morning started the engine with her teeth.

When she arrived two children came to meet her.

“We are the safekeepers.”

“But you’re kids,” Lu said.

“We are the wisest. Would you like to live on the island or not?”

“Yes,” answered Lu.

The two children looked at the space where Lu’s arms would be.

“Er, you know the deal with the rope don’t you?” one asked.

“I still have tenacity,” said Lu. “I can grip things with my mind.”

Lu began to describe how she had imagined the island.

“The bark on the trees have fingerprint patterns, the purple grass smells like rust after it has been washed with soap…”

At first the safekeepers just laughed, but ten hours later most of the island had come to watch her all through the night till her voice was just a husky whisper. One man even broke the rules to give her some water. She described for another day until the safekeepers spoke.

“We see you have much tenacity, welcome.”

When Lu walked through the gates. Everything looked just as she had imagined.

“How could I be right?” she asked.

“The island is what you imagine, most people just see a generic city with money or cars,” answered a safekeeper.

“Yeah all I see is a bunch of trampolines,” said the other.