“On The Beach” Flash-fiction by Cherie White (Part 6)

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As we continued to try and get the attention of the people aboard the ship, I finally stopped. One way one, the others also grew quiet and stilled themselves. We noticed that the light on the horizon was growing dim again and we also realized that they were too far away to hear or see us even with the huge fire burning.

“No-no-no-no-no-NOOOOOOO!” I cried, watching the light grow dimmer until it disappeared completely, and raising the volume and pitch of my voice higher with each ‘no’ to the point of shouting in a high pitch.

“No way!” The lady with the dog cried in frustration.

“Dammit!” One of the male tourists shouted as he angrily threw an empty water bottle to the ground, causing it to bounce back up and flip in midair a few times before hitting the ground again and rolling to a rest.

“Forget it, guys! Let’s just go to bed and try again in the morning.” Another male voice said in English.

The islander who had been waving his shirt in the air, threw the shirt to ground, grunting angrily, then turned and walked back toward the fire. The other islanders just shook their hands in disbelief.

Later that night, after everyone crawled into their tents and under their lean-tos, I swatted a few biting mosquitoes, smashing them dead against my skin, then waved away another mosquito that was flying in front of my face. I then heard the tiny, super high-pitched buzz of another mosquito right next to my ear and waved it away.

As the fire continued to crackle softly and the natives who oversaw the turning of the roast continued to take shifts turning it. I got up and handed each of them a bottle of fresh water, thanking them for their hospitality. They nodded at me, smiled, and raised their bottles in appreciation before I nodded back, smiled, turned, and walked back to the lean-to that my friends and I had been lying under, huddled together.

I lay there and noticed that my friends had all fallen to sleep. Except for the soft crackle and pop of the flames, all was quiet. Just then, a thunderous fart pierced the quiet, followed by giggles and cackles. I raised up from my sleeping bag and noticed that the natives around the fire looked around to see where the fart had come from, then looked at each other and laughed. I snickered. Sound always carried at night, and you could hear even the slightest noise.

I then heard distant snoring coming from one of the tents.

Lying down is the last thing I remember that night.

The next I remember; it was daylight and cloudy. The clouds were thick and hung low. There was a fine mist in the air and the humidity was almost unbearable.

Just then, I heard the ever so distant sounds of aircraft and the noise slowly got louder. I jumped to my feet and ran out from under the lean-to. As the drone of propellers and the sound of jet engines got louder still, my friends came running as did the rest of the people.

We begin jumping up and down and yelling, waving shirts, leaves, anything we could get our hands on. By this time, the sounds came from directly overhead and had grown so loud they were almost deafening.

Sadly, the aircraft, although flying low, were totally obscured by the clouds.

The sounds of the planes then began to fade little by little until there was silence again. Sarah looked at me in disappointment.

“If we can’t see them, they can’t see us.” She said somberly.

(Continued in Part 7)

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