Prompt 009: Sail Away

alex currie

Photography by Alex Currie, a talented young photographer and filmmaker whose work is rich in narrative, emotion and creativity. You can find more of his work at

Weeks turned to months of crippling insomnia as the anxieties of the day forced their way into her bed and helplessness surrounded her. Slipping in and out of reality she found herself desperate, took something to enable sleep. But with sleep came strange dreams with a stranger awakening. The most striking aspect was the inexplicable length of time and the inability to measure it.

To begin with she was contained within her loneliness and existed only in her mind, her body a cage for her consciousness. The rocks and the bare branched trees and the very earth on which she stood were of no comfort to her; nor the intricate, mystical beauty of the place of her isolation. The location a black rock that rose from the sea and up above to a plateau which held some ancient lake and waters which cascaded down beating the ground below with a roaring ferocity like hellbound percussion. She stood under the waterfall and stared out at the waves crashing on the coast in beautiful silence. In every direction she saw the rolling horizon of the ocean, the borders of her solitude.

She walked the island searching for purpose but found none. Took shelter in a cave and took to running in the darkness, chased by dried autumnal leaves which were withered and aged and they raked across the stone floors telling stories of past summers attached to glorious trees which she could not understand. So she tore down the trees to spite the leaves.

It was never light and it was never dark, the cycles of day and night replaced by a perpetual twilight that sank into her skin and her bones and seemed to dull her senses; of fear and happiness and sadness and hunger and thirst and the ability to age. So when the years passed she was able to maintain her tired approach to youth. On the wind she could hear laughter and voices and relationships and televised warfare; she had long lost faith in escape and the cohesion of her mind but if they were delusions she welcomed them. In any case they would not go away so what choice did she have but to accept them, live them as her own?

She blinked and on the horizon she saw the silhouette of a wonderful wooden ship with billowing sails. She asked it to come to the island to rescue her, to take her away, and the crew must have heard her pleas as it began to turn and grew closer. But on the approach the ship broke up on the rocks and if there had been anyone onboard none made it to the island. She blinked again and the wreck was gone; yet washed up on the shore she found a toy boat. It was elegantly finished and trembled with opportunity. She smiled and she knew that she could wake up soon.

© Nicholas J. Parr, 2015

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