Patron Short Story: Set Sail [April 2019]

This month’s short story is brought to you by a prompt from Jim! I hope I did his idea some justice. The words sort of wrote themselves for this one. Enjoy!

Set Sail

Erin remained seated as the sailboat got closer to the island. She eyed her husband, Bill, who stood on the end of the boat gazing at the tall palm trees.

“Where are we?” she asked.

Bill shrugged his shoulders not looking back at her. “I think the waves pushed us toward this way when the wind died down.”

“How we do we get out of here?”

Erin wasn’t much of a sailor. She didn’t know anything about boats or the ocean. In fact, she got motion sickness easily. She only came along for this ride because it was something Bill enjoyed and he had been nagging her for years to go sailing with him, just once. They were celebrating their 10-year anniversary so Erin thought this would make a great present for him.

Bill turned hopped off the boat landing in the water, which was up to his waist. He grabbed the rope on the boat and started pulling it toward the shore. “We wait for the wind to pick back up again.” He grunted at the weight.

Erin held onto her seat. “Okay, so let’s wait for the wind. What are you doing?”

“The wind most likely won’t pick back up for another hour or so. Might as well go exploring.” Bill said. He pulled the boat onto the sandy shore and wiped his hands together after letting go of the rope.

“Are you nuts?” Erin said still sitting in the boat.

“Why not? It could be fun. I doubt there’s anything on this island that’ll chase us or kill us or whatever.” Bill explained.

Erin grumbled to herself. She stood up and wobbled her way off the boat and onto the sand. She hated how Bill knew her so well. She didn’t have a problem exploring if they went for a drive. If they got lost, that’s what the GPS was for. She did have a problem with exploring unknown areas without a getaway car or even a boat with a motor for a quick escape.

They had no idea what was on this island. Rabid animals could have been hiding in the trees. The bushes could have poisonous thorns or berries. A storm could suddenly happen overhead. Lightning could strike a palm tree and they’d be stuck on the island!

“Are you okay?” Bill asked putting his hands on her shoulders. He broke Erin out of her downward spiraling thoughts as she nodded.

Bill curled one side of his lip into a half smile. Erin could tell he knew she was lying.

“Come on,” he prompted taking her by the hand, “let’s just take a quick walk around the shore. We don’t have to go inside the little forest. If we see something that spooks you, we can head right back to boat.”

Erin sighed but reluctantly allowed him to lead her away from the boat.

As they walked the perimeter of the island, Erin had to admit it was a beautiful sight. The sun was shining brightly, the palm trees were lush and swayed slightly in the calm wind, and the ocean sparkled endlessly before them.

“This is probably the most beautiful date I’ve ever taken you on.” Bill said with a chuckle. Erin grasped his hand tighter. She put her head down on her shoulder.

“This is a beautiful place.” She agreed. What were the odds this would be such a happy accident?

They wandered the perimeter of the island, talking and laughing with one another. It was almost like they were on a honeymoon on some tropical island somewhere. They were enjoying each other’s coming up until the moment they made it back to where they started.

The two stood side by side staring at where their sailboat had been. At least, they thought they left the sailboat there.

Erin’s body started to shake in fear. Bill kissed the back of her hand, gave it a quick pat, and jogged over to the water’s edge. His actions showed he attempted to reassure her, but his lack of words told a different story. Erin followed slowly and when she made it beside Bill again, she sighed.

Their sailboat had shrunk as it drifted farther away in the ocean.

“Um…” Bill tried to break the silence and refused to look his wife in the eye.

Erin folded her arms over her chest. She looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Well, I know I’m not swimming.”

Bill cast a frown toward her. He sighed, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek.

“Be careful.” Erin said.

“I’ll be back.” He said gloomily as he stepped into the water.

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know in the comments below. If you’re looking for more short stories, you can check out my Short Story Sundays which is posted once a week.

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