Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Marooned!

...I remember coming to on a sandy beach, a taste of salt in my mouth, and a ravenous hunger. I should have realized that taking that budget charter flight wasn't the smartest idea, and now I was going to pay for it. The little 8 seat airplane had run onto a storm, gone off course, and then down. I had strapped my seat cushion on, it saved my life. What happened to the plane and the rest of the passengers, I never found out, all I knew is that I had survived and made it safely here. Which was where? I stood up, carefully, I was bruised and sore, but no real damage had been done. I looked around, the beach was deserted. There was a narrow path leading up to the high ground, Thank god, this place was inhabited. I clambered up the path and at the top of the hill I was stunned by what I saw.

It was as if I had wandered into the neatest dump ever created. There were piles of small items: keys, pencils, socks and shoes, eyeglasses, and coins. "What place is this?" I asked aloud.

"Tis the island of lost personal effects!" from behind me came a piping cry. A most peculiar man, dressed in mis-matched clothes, came strolling up over the dunes. "And you must be lost yourself, to have arrived in such a curious place." his eyes twinkled as he spoke, "I'm Billy Ben Boyd, a castaway like yourself, and I've lived here for many a year- mind your head! Here comes another load!"

The little man pulled me back, just as a variety of small items came crashing down from the sky, a digital camera nearly hitting me. "Y'see, this is where all the things that people have lost ends up. It must be some kind of space-time warp!"
"All these things people have lost?" I said, as a bright red shoe came whizzing by, "H-How-why-where?"

The funny man laughed; "Hee-hee, how- don't know, nor why. But here is definitely the place for these trifles, the other side of the island has bigger things, even cars!"
"That must be dangerous!" I was thoroughly confused.
"Aye, 'Tis so, but the northern valley is the most dangerous place of all. I'd stay away from there if I were you."

As we chatted, I learned many things about the island, where to find food, clothes, even a bottle of liquor would float down on occasion. Billy was an agreeable companion, although he always changed the subject when I spoke of the northern valley. One day, when he was off gathering food, I resolved to see this place for myself.

I crossed over the last hill, and began my descent. I was suddenly stricken with a great sadness, and began to sob. I still pushed on, through a beautiful landscape of flowers and ferns, but finally I had to stop. I was weeping openly now, and my mind filled scenes from my childhood- pleasant scenes, yet somehow unbearably sad.

How long I remained in this state, I do not know, but when I snapped out of that sorry trance I was back on the hill, being pulled along by Billy. ""Oh, Billy! What was that place? Why did it affect me so?"

"'Twas the valley of lost innocence, and no man can stand to bear all that grief..."

Many days later, a fully equipped life raft washed up on shore, and I began to plan my escape. Billy would have none of it. "I've found myself here, I'd just be more lost back in the world."

When the time came, I bade him farewell, and after a few harrowing weeks at sea, I was picked up by a freighter, and returned home. Now, when I lose my wallet, or keys or any other thing, I know where it is, and that it is in good hands.

By Professor Batty



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