Adrift

For authors, by authors, one word at a time

Adrift

January 9, 2013 Master Class Writing 30

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. It’s not what you think though. I’m not in a house or an apartment. I’m not in anything anyone would consider habitable. I’m sitting in one of those large metal sinks you’d find in a restaurant, used for cleaning dishes. There are three compartments and I am not alone, though I wish I was. The other two have already given up and succumbed to the heat of the sun. I am left surrounded by water and this nefarious odor from their decaying bodies that hits me every time the wind blows just the right way, which happens too often.

Every direction I look, there is nothing but sea and sky and the occasional dorsal fin. The smell, at least, keeps the sharks away. I see no other signs of life, nor have I in the days I’ve been adrift, not even a small fishing boat or an airplane rumbling through the sky. This is not a surprise considering the way the world went up in smoke. I’m still amazed that my two now-dead companions and I survived at all.

The days themselves have blurred into one and I lost track how many have passed since the holocaust. I can’t dwell on any of this, though, or I will go crazy. I’m already crazed from hunger and my tongue longs for a taste of anything besides seaweed. Even then, it’s been days since I consumed the last of it. As long as I can keep my wits about me, I can hope for rescue.

I refuse to give up.

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This week’s Master Class is from Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle with this opening line: “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.”

I’m also linking this up with #FridayFlash.

As always I welcome and appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts in a comment.

Thanks for stopping in!

 

30 Responses

  1. Tara R. says:

    Oh… gave me chills. Very apocalyptic.

  2. Marian says:

    this person really needs a tiger to show up to shake up the day-to-day monotony 🙂

  3. Carrie says:

    Interesting that it is a sink he ends up adrift in…I would expect a metal sink to well…sink (pardon the pun 😉 ) And once those dudes started to smell? I’d have tossed em to the sharks!

  4. 2old2tap says:

    That is just a chilling thought. Adrift in a sink. Especially since I’m very familiar with the 3-compartment variety.

  5. Eric Storch says:

    Yeah, the dead guys? Overboard before they start to smell. I think that’s drive me nuts more than the hunger.

  6. David Wiley says:

    I love what you did with this short piece. I agree with the others that the first choice would have been to topple them into the water when they started to smell. But then again, maybe the person longs for the company, even if it is of the decaying corpses. I can envision them having conversations beneath the hot sun while adrift.

  7. In a sink with the stink. Bummer.

  8. stankmeaner says:

    Ha, I love your dark side, seriously

  9. Oofda. I suppose at least she might be able to use the bodies for bait or something? Fish for the world serpent with someone’s head?

  10. Well, at least the narrator didn’t resort to cannibalism!

  11. t says:

    Really cool – leaves me wishing I knew how it ended (I mean, I can pretty much guess…)

  12. Tina says:

    Sharks are opportunistic eaters, aren’t they? I don’t know that they would shy away from the smell, but it’s been awhile since I watched Shark Week! I think that this is an awesome beginning to a new novel–I hope to read it some day!

  13. I read this just two days after seeing Life of Pi. Perfect timing!

    I liked the absurdist, funny approach to surviving…. whatever it was. I don’t have much hope for the narrator (rescued by whom, and how?), but it was neat hearing them rationalise it to themselves.

  14. ganymeder says:

    Wonderfully done. Very vivid.

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