It was exactly what I’d wanted. A small place, private, isolated, away from the train wreck of the human race. With no phone, no television, no internet. Absolutely nothing. No one could call me, no one could knock on my door trying to sell me shit, no one could walk in, and shoot me in the middle of the night while I slept. No sirens could go off, no cars would wreck, and kill people.
It was perfect. I signed the paperwork, and plunked down every dime I’d ever saved. In a couple of days, I’d moved to my island. My own, private island. Hell, there wasn’t even a house on it. No hills. Nothing. And I didn’t care, because there were no people.
I sit on my beach every night, and watch the sun set. I watch it rise every day. A beach is only a short walk, in any direction. Sometimes, sea birds pass through. They eat everything, but that’s OK. I can always go fishing in my tiny boat. Sometimes, turtles show up. They nest on my island every year. I get to watch hundreds of tiny turtles dig out of the sand, and wander toward the water. They have better odds since I showed up. I tend to scare off the birds, and I’ve eaten the predators that were here. It’s kind of fun to watch over the nests, and see the babies hatch.
Turtles are simple. Birds to. Not like the humans I’ve abandoned. Lord, but humans are hosed up, aren’t they. Everything about money, and material goods, and each of them getting theirs.
I’ve named everything. Birds, turtles, lizards, fish, insects. There are a few insects I don’t like. Like that one with the nasty bite. First time I got bit by that thing, it was two weeks before I could use that hand again. Holy crumbs. I named that whole family, “Son of Sam”, because, they exist only to kill me. I see one of those, and I drop a coconut on it, like 500 times, to make sure it’s dead.
The spiders are fun, and they leave me alone. I get to watch them make their webs, in the brush. They make big caverns in the sand, and hide there, building little communities. And every year, when the babies hatch, little spiders hang from little parachutes, and the wind blows them who knows where.
It’s quiet here. I like that.
Marla, the one human I liked, told me, “You can’t move to an island in the middle of nowhere. You’ll never survive. We’re people. We’re humans. We need contact with each other.”
Ha! That was years and years ago. She wanted to have a job, work in an office with hundreds of other people, drive in the chaos each day. Cars streaming down roads, almost like blood flowing through veins, keeping society alive. Keeping the money flowing. And always needing a new car, and a new house, and new clothes, and new shoes. It never ended.
I got tired of it. The artificial nature of it. Of feeling like a single, useless cell in a giant life form, with no life of my own. Just another skin cell in the human organism, with no control over what that organism did, how it lived, what it cared about.
I wanted to be me. To feel alive. To feel complete. Whole. Independent. To decide everything for myself. When to eat, when to sleep, when to work, and what to work on. When to watch the clouds, or the ocean. I couldn’t do that in the world of humans. The world of people.
I can here. On my own, little island. In my own, little world.
Here, I’m free.
You can keep your world. Your societies. Your cities, and towns, and churches, and shopping centers, and wars, and guns, and everything else. Go ahead. Be the cells in some big, nebulous organism called society.
I don’t miss that at all.
It’s week 88 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. I never know what the picture will cause me to write. I get an idea, and have to let the words happen. This week, these words showed up.
You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.