Chapter 5: Captain Nathan Beck has been adrift for more than five days. At last he has come ashore in Aruba…
Finally, he was head and shoulders out of the ocean. Only a few inches of water skirted the sand. The place he wanted to go was amidst a grove of low trees. He took another rest. It felt wonderful to be on solid ground. Looking at his bare feet, he wondered what the other parts of his body looked like. He had to be a fright for whoever was going to see him first.
He sat up and stared in the direction of the music. Between the trees he saw shapes dancing. A man leaned over a bar. Beer bottles clanked as two guys toasted one another. Just a few more feet and he would be there among them. He would be safe, alive to tell the tale.
Forgetting his previous failure at walking, he tried to get up again. He heard voices, a man and a woman, very close. He looked up and there they were, a couple dancing on the beach. They stopped and the man turned the young lady to face him. He kissed her. They were so close Beck could hear their lips smack. Why couldn’t they see him?
He wanted to find out. He struggled against the all-powerful force of exhaustion that pressed down on his shoulders. His vision blurred as he wobbled upright. A screeching roar filled his ears. The distorted view before him tilted one way, then the other. He went light-headed, dizzy to the point of retching. He put his arms out to break the coming fall.
He collapsed on the beach with his feet in the water. He caught a glimpse of the moon before it went black and took all the stars with it.
“I didn’t drown,” he whispered into the darkness.