Amazing Kids! Magazine

Lost and Found

By Caitlyn Mourcos, Age 13, Canada

 

Adrian had never been an adventurer. It seemed like his life always smelled of fish. He was forced out of the only schoolhouse in Varadero, Cuba to help business in the rusty old truck his dad calls a fish shack. Ever since he quit school, he fishes all day and then crashes at night. He had dreamed of seeing things and going places most people around there thought of as crazy. He knew he’d get a chance at something big. He just never knew exactly what that something was. One day after an atrocious night’s sleep, Adrian started at his work. He was alone on the boat, as always, and that was the way he liked it; nice and calm. With only the sound of waves and seagulls and the occasional horn of another boat to break the silence, he found himself at peace. After he drove the beat-up boat a little, he killed the engine and dropped the nets knowing by the bright cloudless sky that it won’t be a very fruitful fishing day. As he sat on the deck, he already felt his eye-lids getting heavy. He fought the relentless temptation of slumber but he could feel his eye-lids drop slowly as unconsciousness took over.

When Adrian woke up, he forgot where he was. He touched the damp uneven surface beneath him. He thought instantly of his boat. He knew that boat like the back of his hand. He looked up at the sky. What once was a sunny sky was now invaded by the darkest clouds he had ever laid his eyes upon. There was no telling how far the restless waves took him nor how long he had been sleeping. He took his trusty old compass from his pocket. The needle was going crazy.  He stood and observed his surroundings. Off the port quarter was a beautiful, recently polished, yacht. The engine made a calm purring sound, barely audible over the clash of waves against his boat. Whoever was in that ship could surely help him get home? He ran towards the cockpit, nearly tripping over that darn loose floorboard near the steps. As he entered the cramped room, he reached for the dangling rope just to the right of the worn cracking leather driver’s seat. He pulled that rope so hard it burned his hand almost as much as the earsplitting sound of the horn hurt his head.

He looked toward the yacht. It still hadn’t noticed him. He pulled the rope a second time. A third. Finally, he heard the yacht’s own horn go off in response as it neared his vessel. A white walkway extended off the starboard of the cruiser, curling around the gunwale of his trash-can-of-a-boat. He’d never seen anything like that in his life. It was like the ship had a mind of its own! An unfamiliar sweet and fruity smell emerged as a door slid open from the opposite side of the pathway. He found himself staring, mouth open, at the lady in the doorway.

She had perfect peach colored skin with a splash of freckles across her nose. She was wearing khaki shorts and a blue-green tank, complementing the auburn curls spilling from her messy bun. Behind the loose curls were hypnotic blue eyes. The sweet fragrance was clearer now; strawberries and coconut. Wow. He must’ve been thinking out loud because her cheeks instantly filled with color. She moved toward him on the walkway, clutching her left wrist awkwardly. A back pack was slung over her shoulder. Adrian wondered what she carried in it…

“Hi. My name’s Aria Johnson. I need your help.”

Aria was guided toward a moldy bench by the handsome gentleman named Adrian Suarez. She laid her heavy knap-sack on the bench beside her. She certainly did not like the style of Mr. Suarez’s boat. There was a constant creaking as the boat rocked, which made her dizzy.

What were you expecting in the middle of nowhere? Luxury? she thought to herself.

She had explained to the fisherman that she had stolen her father’s boat to avoid being wed to a man she did not love. She admitted that she had lost her way and had no real destination, except away from her family’s manor off the coast of Miami, Florida.

“Really? I happen to be in the same sort of situation as you.”

“Your parents are forcing you to marry?”

“No! I’m lost. I fell asleep while fishing.”

“Have you tried the GPS?”

“Huh? What’s a GeePeeEss?”

“Oh God…”

They went on and on about their lives and the GPS until it started to rain. They found themselves soaked to the bone within seconds, their clothes sticking to their skin uncomfortably.

Adrian snapped out of his trance and remembered his father’s words; “Rain is good for fishin’ but not for the fishin’ boat. ‘Member to always check the hatch for any leaks. Otherwise, you’ll be sleepin’ with the fishes instead of catchin’ em.”

He ran toward the hatch and opened the door. There was water hiding the stairs and the water level was rising by the second. He closed and locked the door. Adrian heard the familiar click of the unstable deadbolt. He knew it wouldn’t hold for long…

He ran toward the huge bucket where he found the few fish he had forgotten to unload the day before. He dumped the contents in a plastic bag full of ice and shoved it toward Aria. “Put it in your bag, we’re sinking and we’re going to need all the food we can get.”

She put it in her backpack, too stunned to say a word. Adrian looked around for the fancy cruiser.

“Where’s your yacht? We need get off of this boat!”

Aria had a moment’s confusion. Then she remembered the auto-pilot. The boat was sinking, they had no way out and it was all her fault! Maybe what her mother said was true. She can never do anything right.

“It’s gone! We’re going to die!” she was kneeling, the cold rainwater splashing against her face, or were they tears? Adrian couldn’t stand looking at her that way.

“Miss Johnson! We are not going to die! Look at me. We are going to be ok.”

Aria was having trouble understanding Adrian over the roar of the storm. Adrian was starting to wonder who he was comforting: Aria or himself. He looked up at the sky. The wind was slicing through his shirt like daggers and the rain was a constant torrent. He felt the sky weighing down on him. He glanced at Aria. She was motionless and sprawled on the floor. She was subconsciously gripping her bag beneath her. He tried to say her name, make sure she was alright but he felt himself give way under the pressure of the storm. Just as he was closing his eyes once more, he caught a glimpse of what looked like a hurricane and prayed that it was all just a terrible nightmare.

Adrian woke up to the sound of an oddly familiar voice crying. He began to remember his acquaintance, the lovely Miss Aria Johnson as he felt the warm sand beneath him. No more damp wood flooring, no more dusty concrete. Just sand. He had never been to a beach before and he hadn’t imagined his first visit this way. He glanced up at the sky. It was bright blue and the sun was placed right above his head. Noon. It was warm and unusually comforting, just the way he had left it the morning he had last been on his ship. He sat up and called out to Aria. She was trying to swim toward the broken pieces of the fishing boat. He walked over to the Aria’s knapsack, where she left it by the shore. Adrian tore it open and observed the contents. She had packed well: a pocket knife, a gallon of water, a flashlight, a variety of canned food, rope, a white box with a red cross on it and of course the plastic bag full of fish. The ice had melted and the fish left an unappetizing stench in the bag. For a rich girl, she really knows how to pack a backpack… he thought. He went out into the water and picked up the hysterical Aria Johnson and carried her to a shaded boulder, grabbing the backpack on the way. She was mumbling something about rotten luck and how it follows her around.

“Listen to me. We are both extremely lucky to have survived that storm. And the fact that we managed to keep the bag within reach is a miracle! Plus, we have each other! We can do this!” Aria let that sink in not breaking the eye contact between them. She subconsciously started nodding to herself.

“O.K.” Adrian sighed. Now that Aria had found her head, they had to create a plan. A survival plan. They had to make it out.

Aria was picking the fruit from nearby trees as Adrian created an SOS sign with rocks and branches. They had decided to stay near the beach so that if Aria’s parents sent a rescue party, an aircraft would be able to spot them.

I guess what they say is true, money is the way out, he thought.

As days passed by, their resources started to diminish, along with their hope. They were down to one can of food and about half a cup of water. Aria started to wonder if her parent’s even noticed that she had gone. She wouldn’t be surprised.  As time passed, the bond between the two young adults gained strength. They went together like cookies and milk. One hopeless afternoon, they decided that they would pack their bag and head into the jungle beyond the beach on a hunt for richer agriculture and drinkable water. They traveled for hours, fascinated by the strange plants and animals they did not dare to touch. They came upon a clearing. Perhaps they were hallucinating but they both saw wrecked boats, planes and other crafts, occupied with men, women and children. They couldn’t believe their eyes!

It was a whole city made of mud and vehicles! An Englishman wearing an adventurer outfit walked up to them. “Hello friend! Welcome to BTC, Bermuda Triangle City! We’ve been accommodating people from all over for years. We found each other after being washed up, crashed, and burned and everything in between! So we made survival easy and set up camp together. Those bloody whirlpools and tornados keep us from the rest of the world! The ancient Greeks used to call this island Calypso’s island where hurt heroes were sent to redeem themselves before returning to the real world…” he spoke like a tour guide for some fancy museum.

He kept talking but their attention was on the civilization outside of civilization.

“… let me show you where you two will be staying. We keep empty houses available, you see…” they followed him to a mud hut with a straw roof. Adrian couldn’t imagine how they built it. Inside, there were three rooms; a kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom.

“I apologize for the inconvenience but we only have one available hut for the moment, I do hope it is alright…” “Alright? I’ve been sleeping on a rock under a tree for the past week! This is perfect! Thank you so much!” Aria was ecstatic to finally have a bathroom.

For the rest of their lives, Aria and Adrian lived in the hut, exploring the island daily and expanding their knowledge. Aria got the family she wanted and Adrian got the adventure he had dreamed of. They were happy together.

Just ride the waves of life and good things will come your way.

 

The end