The following is an ongoing story started by Teresa . This is my first time taking part in one of these Finish the Story collaborations, and it was fun. I hope I will be asked to contribute again.
Teresa started the story:
Night had fallen on the Atlantic, James and Patrick leaned back against the barrels and ropes, looking up at the night sky.
“Did you ever think we’d see this?”
James smiled. “Not in a million years. Always figured the brightest thing I’d ever see in the night sky was the search light.”
Patrick chuckled. “Remember when they were scanning the rooftops for us after we nicked the beer from that little bodega on the corner.”
“Yeah,” James laughed. “That old guy was really nice.”
Patrick watched a shooting star fight for it’s life in vain and took a long, deep breath of salty air. “Great-grandpa would be proud, don’t you think?”
“I guess. We’re a lot older than he was though.”
“Yeah, but you know what I mean.” Patrick squinted at his younger brother. “He signed on with the navy when he was twelve, but –“
“And we were robbing little old ladies at twelve. I don’t think that’s the same thing at all.” James kicked Patrick’s foot. “Stupid.”
“Who are you calling stupid?” Patrick stood and raised his fists as a loud siren blew from the crow’s nest.
“Something on the horizon, Captain,” the night watch shouted and pointed.
Captain Young stepped away from the wheel, lifted his spyglass, gasped, and shouted, “…
Here’s Di’s addition:
‘We’ve found it!’
James and Patrick, their banter forgotten, joined the others to stare at the sight materializing out of the grey mist in front of them.
‘What the hell is that?’ James cried. ‘If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was Moby bloody Dick and it’s coming right for us!’ Patrick replied. ‘No it’s not,’ the Captain said with a surprising amount of calm. ‘It’s an island and we’re going to head towards it and land. We can do with supplies anyway.’
The crew were both excited and cautious as there was nothing showing on their maps or charts, and no-one understood how Captain Young seemed to know exactly where they were. They dropped anchor in the small inlet bay and decided to wait until morning before going ashore. The sky was clear so no bad weather was apparent and they all hoped to get a good night’s sleep.
Next morning, Captain Young was up and ready to leave with the first boat.
Leaving the First Mate on board, it was decided to take two boats ashore so that the second could be filled with supplies and return to the main vessel whilst the Captain and members of his senior crew stayed on the island.
Jones was a bit miffed about that, but it went with the job so he kept quiet. James and Patrick were in the second boat and having a laugh about supermarkets and trading with beads for beans. Neither had any idea where or how they were going to find supplies, but their Captain seemed to have all the answers and sent them off into the trees with a few of the others.
It was quite beautiful and eventually they came to a clearing. The water in the pool was crystal clear and as James cupped his hands to take a drink, he heard a scream behind him and turned to see……………………..
Melanie’s addition to the adventure on the lost island.
……There, sitting in a big tree, was the strangest looking bird James had ever seen. He started to call for Patrick, but something seemed to hold him back. James was the quieter of the dubious duo, and the one doing most of the following when something was planned.
He didn’t mind really, it was easier to let Patrick, with his sharp, but evilly bent mind, to lead. Patrick would no doubt hatch a plot to capture the strange, beautiful bird. James would be expected to do all the work of course.
James softly backed away from the pool. Sat down beside the gigantic tree and did something he rarely did, reflected on his life. He wasn’t pleased by the pictures in his mind … robbing old ladies, stealing beer, committing petty crimes where ever he was. He took small comfort from the fact that Patrick was clearly the instigator. But it irked James that he, James, had never done his own thing.
“AUGGGGHHHH!!!” Patrick shrieked as he leapt into the clearing. James banged his head against the truck of the big tree in shock. “F%@$!! Don’t you ever just say “hey” or something? Do you ALWAYS have to be playing the fool??!” cried James in anger. Patrick had espied the odd bird, which was shuffling back and forth on the branch. It uttered another soul piercing scream and flew away.
“What’s wrong with you?” inquired Patrick, unperturbed. He took a long drink from the beautiful clear pool and thoughtlessly shoved a few leaves and some loam in it. “You’re starting to get up my nose!” shouted James. “You mess EVERYTHING up! Just leave me alone!” James stomped off in high dungeon, in search of solitude.
Puberty is difficult for both boys and girls. Fourteen and sixteen, the brothers were almost past blaming their hi-jinx on puberty, but James was just learning to have his own voice. It was tough going against his big brother, but it was the better idea, as James would learn.
The two teenagers heard shouting and the sounds of fighting, and ran to the source of the noise. They were dismayed when they found the beach and saw their Captain …
…….. And most of the crew that was in the first boat, engaged in fierce fighting with the locals. The weapons they were using were as surprising as the fact that there was a pitched battle. Instead of guns, they had swords and knives. No one seemed to be injured but there were loud battle cries heard from both sides. Was this real?
James and Patrick looked at each other in confusion. They just stayed behind the trees, trying to decide what they should do when a pair of hand gripped both their collars from behind. They were dragged forcefully through the trees. Both tried to resist but whoever had them in his grip was very strong and powerful.
They were released as suddenly as they were grabbed. Turning around, they saw that they were facing a savage looking man.
“Are you Patrick and James McCoy?” He asked
That this stranger knew their full names was such a surprise for the boys that, for a few moment they didn’t say anything. Then Patrick, cautiously said that they might be but who’s asking.
The man gave a huge grin and slapped Patrick on his back.
“What you don’t recognize your own great granpa?”
“You can’t be him, he must have died ages ago” sputtered Patrick.”Why if he were alive today, he would be a very old man not someone like you”
The man, McCoy smiled a evil smile and told them the secret of his long life and that of the forgotten Island they were standing on.
” You see boys, this is a magical place………..
Granpa McCoy turned and said, “Come with me, my boys, I want to show you a few things…”
The three headed back towards the crystal clear pool. Striding with strength and confidence ahead of them through the dense jungle, Patrick and James looked back and forth between the impressive figure of their Granpa and each other, eyes wide open in disbelief. Granpa had to be at least 60 years old by now, but he looked 40 at most.
They were back at the pond and so was the strange screaming bird.
“Hey there, Polly, thanks for coming to get me when me grandbabies presented their fine seafaring selves,” Granpa said to the bird.
“McCoy, tell the dark-haired one not to kick anymore stuff into the pond or I’ll have his liver for dinner,” said Polly.
Again, Patrick and James’ mouths dropped open. Patrick said, “The bird speaks?”
“My name is Polly, ruffian. Use it!”
Granpa burst out with a rousing guffaw, “This place takes some getting used-to. In a word, yes, Polly speaks, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll listen and listen well. I wouldn’t have made it without her all of those years ago.”
Polly ruffled her feathers and hopped from foot to foot, “Give us a kiss! Give us a kiss!”
Like an obedient puppy, Granpa walked over and kissed Polly’s beak. He turned back to the boys and said, “Now about this-here pond. It’s the water that keeps all who drink it as young as the day they take their first sip and for every day they sip it ever after. Twenty years ago, when I first got here, I was desperate to return to the sea, but over time I realized that I was in paradise.”
James said, “What about those people fighting with our crew on the beach? Do you have an arrangement with them or what?”
Granpa McCoy laughed, “None of them dare mess with Polly or any of Polly’s friends.”
“They’re afraid of a bird??,” Patrick scoffed.
In an instant, Polly was sitting on Patrick’s shoulder, nibbling on his ear. Literally nibbling on his ear. Patrick screamed and tried to brush Polly off. She snapped one of his fingers then flew back up to the branch she was on.
“My last warning, pipsqueak! Next it will be your tender bits.”
James was horrified and amused at the same time. Polly didn’t take any guff!
Granpa sat Patrick down on a log and tended to his dislocated finger, straightening it and wrapping it in a large leaf. “Polly rules here, Patrick, so I wouldn’t test her again. She’s a fair ruler but she doesn’t suffer fools lightly. Now come on boys, I want to show you the other wondrous things about this island! …
“But first,” Grandpa McCoy said, as he removed the tattered old seaman’s cap from his tousled head of deep russet hair and dipped it into the pond, “First, James here, must take his first sip from the pond. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up older than me someday would ya, my boy?”
James took a step back. There was something sinister in the way both his grandpa and his brother were looking at him. Something that made him certain that drinking the water was not something he wanted to do.
“Take it ya big sissy!” Patrick heckled, as Grandpa McCoy edged in closer, the savage look James had noticed when they first encountered him quickly returning to his eyes.
When he saw Grandpa McCoy lift up his free hand as if to grab him by the arm, James broke into a run.
“We got a runner! We got a runner!” Polly cackled as James bounded off across the sand with both Grandpa McCoy and Patrick in hot pursuit.
Grappling for breath, James reached the stand of trees where they had first encountered their Grandpa and quickly ducked into them for cover. Pausing momentarily to catch his breath he steadied himself against a palm and quickly surveyed his surroundings. Somewhere on the other side of these trees was the ship he had arrived on. But which side?
‘Something on the horizon.’ That was what the lookout in the crows nest had said when he first caught sight of the island. The sun would have to have been cresting the horizon for the lookout to spot the island, which meant East. James strained to see the position of the sun through the trees. It was not yet overhead which meant it was still in the eastern sky.
Renewed by this discovery, James took off running in the direction he now knew would take him back to the ship.
I tag Fandango to continue the story should he see his way clear to do so.
• Copy and paste the story as you receive it.
• Add the next segment or choose to finish it.
• Tag someone for the next installment.
• Have fun and let your imagination roam free.
Note about time frame: There is a one week time frame per tag to write another installment or accept/reject invitation to contribute. If you accept but cannot contribute within a week, that is fine but please leave the tagging party a note. I check contributing posts for messages between tags to make sure I don’t miss an installment. (per Teresa Grabs)