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Black_Board
January 29th, 2013, 10:12 PM
I am just wondering if there's anything recommendations you'd suggest to improve this piece. Anything you'd add or omit?


Sunday.

Iíve been eating pieces of myself. Not much, just enough. The waves are coming in and I think I see land just across the horizon. It had been there before, but I know now itís only my imagination.

My wife is at the brink of death. Weíve been without water for five days. Iíve been drinking my own urine for the past two. With me are an empty water bottle, life vest, a rope, a knife, a safety harness, compass, binoculars, camera, and a smart phone. I am typing this on a smart phone that had been disconnected because I had disconnected it due to the insurmountable bills we had to pay and couldnít afford. Stupid me. It had been tucked in my waterproof backpack, and, when I fetched it, I was elated but saddened. Could a single action lead us to our death? Stupid me.

My friends, Rick and Jaime, are gone. They were with us, but are now gone. Claudia, my wife is still here, and so is her sister, Zeta. Zeta is dead. Sheís been lying here at the foot of the life raft made from a floatable dinghy for only a day now. The stench is unbearable.

Monday.

What if I hadnít gone ahead with the scuba diving? What if I hadnít brought my wife along? What if she hadnít invited her sister over? What if this, what if that. I realize there are a lot of what ifs. Itís my fault. I was the one who suggested coming out to the ocean on that day. Now, after the storm passed and the yacht had capsized and was sinking at the bottom of the sea, weíre going to die. God, help us. Iím sorry for all the wrongs thing Iíve done in my whole life, and if I make it out of this, will promise to do anything you ask of me. Please, God, send a ferry, a helicopter, something!

I cut a chunk of my flesh. I ate a little around my scar. Ravenous, I ate more. I make another incision in my back leg, below my buttocks, and removed the meat there. Blood pumps out. I bandaged it with my clothes I had stripped earlier. The sun is hot. I need to feed my wife.

She ate it. She ate it! She ate it and licked her lips. Iím watching her now, her pale face, ashen lips, lying next to her dead sister, mumbling. Her fever is too high. What do I do Lord? What do I do? She canít keep the food down.

Tuesday.

Or is it still Monday? The moon is high up in the nightís sky. It illuminates the entire ocean surface, all the ripples and the waves, lapping against the inflatable rubber structure. Almost a week ago, I was talking to my friend, Rick. Heís dead now. Did I tell you that? I have no energy to move. Canít even reach my wife lying from across from me.
Rick, I said. You there?
Sure am buddy, he said, laughing.
Whatís so funny?
Remember when I told you how I shit my pants when I got the worse case of stomach flu?
Oh I remember, how can anyone forget that?
He cackled. I heard his laughter the way I heard the sound of the waves. I had gone in the water again, to see if I could catch again and soak in the cool water. The morning before, I saw fins. The same fins that took Rick. It mustíve been.
I woke up scared and shivering. I am cold. I swear I saw something move on the life raft. But what? Then I saw itósaw her come back alive. Zeta sat upright, her eyes purple and bruised. Her bloated belly appeared translucent so I could see what was swirling inside. It looked like baby sharks. Small, wriggling shadows. Her eyes opened and her pupils were black, so black, dilated, and as she opened her mouth, I saw the rows and rows of incisor sharp teeth.

I screamed, I swear I screamed.

Wednesday.

I have no tears to cry. Theyíre all gone dry. The heat is incredible. I taste salty lips. I shout, Claudia, Claudia, wake up. But she does not answer. I watch her chest if itís moving, up down, up down, just like this boat.
Sheís dead. Sheís dead. My wife is dead.
I ate her. Just as the sharks ate Jaime and Rick.
If only there were gulls to catch. If only there were ravens instead of gulls. Oh if, only.
I will make a break for it. Iíve seen a ship in the distance. Itís a big one. It says freedom on the side.

Ariel
January 29th, 2013, 10:41 PM
Creepy. It almost reads like a strange fantasy. Other than formatting I don't have any nits.

I'd italicize the days of the week. I'd also use quotations for the dialogue. Also, smart phones have an emergency call function that allows you to dial 911 or whatever other number you need to dial in an emergency regardless of service. I keep accidentaly dialing on mine when I use it as a flashlight in the morning.

Black_Board
January 29th, 2013, 10:45 PM
I did not know this. That's interesting. Thanks for your comment.

dolphinlee
February 1st, 2013, 02:29 PM
You have attempted a very difficult pieceand have done it well.

I’ve been eating pieces of myself. Not much, just enough. The waves are comingin (waves come in to shore. If you are in the middle of thesea they pass) and I think I see land just across thehorizon. It had been there before, but I know now it’s only my imagination.

My wife is at the brink of death. We’ve been without water for five days. I’vebeen drinking my own urine for the past two. With me are an empty water bottle,life vest, a rope, a knife, a safety harness, compass, binoculars, camera, anda smart phone. I am typing this on a smart phone that had been disconnected becauseI had disconnected (two disconnecteds) it due to the insurmountable bills we had to pay andcouldn’t afford. Stupid me. It had been tucked in my waterproof backpack, and,when I fetched it, I was elated but saddened. Could a single action lead us toour death? Stupid me.

My friends, Rick and Jaime, are gone. They were with us, but are now gone.Claudia, my wife is still here, and so is her sister, Zeta. Zeta is dead. She’sbeen lying here at the foot of the life raft made from a floatable dinghy foronly a day now. The stench is unbearable. (why are you keeping the body?)

Monday.

What if I hadn’t gone ahead with the scuba diving? What if I hadn’t brought mywife along? What if she hadn’t invited her sister over? What if this, what ifthat. I realize there are a lot of what ifs. It’s my fault. I was the one whosuggested coming out to the ocean on that day. Now, after the storm passed andthe yacht had capsized and was sinking at the bottom of the sea, we’re going todie. (You have written was sinking and going to die. Thismakes it appear as if the yacht is still sinking at that moment) God, help us. I’m sorry for all the wrongs thing I’vedone in my whole life, and if I make it out of this, will promise to doanything you ask of me. Please, God, send a ferry, a helicopter, something!

I cut a chunk of my flesh. I ate a little around my scar. Ravenous, I ate more.I make another incision in my back leg, below my buttocks, and removed the meatthere. Blood pumps out. I bandaged it with my clothes I had stripped earlier.The sun is hot. I need to feed my wife. (The tenses in this paragraph donot always match)

She ate it. She ate it! She ate it and licked her lips. I’m watching her now,her pale face, ashen lips, lying next to her dead sister, mumbling. Her feveris too high. What do I do Lord? What do I do? She can’t keep the food down. Nicely written

Tuesday.

Or is it still Monday? The moon is high up in the night’s sky. It illuminatesthe entire ocean surface, all the ripples and the waves, lapping against theinflatable rubber structure. Almost a week ago, I was talking to my friend,Rick. He’s dead now. Did I tell you that? I have no energy to move. Can’t evenreach my wife lying from across from me.
Rick, I said. You there?
Sure am buddy, he said, laughing.
What’s so funny?
Remember when I told you how I shit my pants when I got the worse case ofstomach flu?
Oh I remember, how can anyone forget that?
He cackled. I heard his laughter the way I heard the sound of the waves. I had gonein the water again, to see if I could catch (what??) again and soak in the cool water. Themorning before, I saw fins. The same fins that took Rick. It must’ve been.

I woke up scared and shivering. I am cold. I swear I saw something move on thelife raft. But what? Then I saw it—saw her come back alive. Zeta sat upright,her eyes purple and bruised. Her bloated belly appeared translucent so I couldsee what was swirling inside. It looked like baby sharks. Small, wrigglingshadows. Her eyes opened and her pupils were black, so black, dilated, and asshe opened her mouth, I saw the rows and rows of incisor sharp teeth.

I screamed, I swear I screamed.

Wednesday.

I have no tears to cry. They’re all gone dry. The heat is incredible. I tastesalty lips. (Would he have enough saliva to dissolve the salt on hislip?) I shout, Claudia, Claudia, wake up. Butshe does not answer. I watch her chest if (??) it’s moving, up down, up down, just likethis boat.
She’s dead. She’s dead. My wife is dead.
I ate her. Just as the sharks ate Jaime and Rick.
If only there were gulls to catch. If only there were ravens instead of gulls.Oh if, only.
I will make a break for it. (How?) I’ve seen a ship in the distance. It’s a big one. It saysfreedom on the side.

I assume that the ship like the land is anillusion/delusion. If so the last three sentences are a little too definite. Maybeyou might consider making them less so

This is an uncomfortable story to read but I am glad Idid. Well done.

LamentableBard
February 2nd, 2013, 12:20 AM
I really enjoyed this. You capture the panic and helplessness of being stranded with short and to the point sentences whilst instilling a sense of disconnection and numbness as the protagonist watches friends and family die. I loved the disturbing dream sequence and the ending is left open for interpretation. Any minor qualms I had have already been mentioned by those eagle eyed folks above me. Great work!

Black_Board
February 5th, 2013, 01:31 AM
Thank you for all your feedback and comments. I appreciate them. Is there a better title for this story than Ship-Wrecked? Cause that's some awful title.

dolphinlee
February 6th, 2013, 06:27 PM
"Adrift" works on so many levels.

Save.Face.
February 7th, 2013, 04:14 AM
Dolphinlee said it. The sentences involving the wife eating flesh made the piece, for me. I think that part holds the desperation of the piece together, makes one see just how far gone the situation has become.
The cell phone but is a tough one, but most cell phones, i phones and such, have a memo recorder function. No reason you're MC can't be mumbling or rasping these entries into a phone's mic because he has no service on the ocean. Mention a waterproof case and it's a solid alibi. And this was an uncomfortable read, but (i think) for the reason that we know there are three ways one of these situations can play out. Rescued at sea, island stranded, or dead. Anything outside of those parameters would be original enough I'd be compelled to read it just for the plot device.
All said, I enjoyed it.