Following several days adrift at sea, Sebastian makes it safely ashore a small island. But he’s not alone. He soon discovers that the island is occupied by a flock of strange florescent green pelicans. And as he ventures to the opposite side of his little speck of land, he discovers a second, much larger island. But it lies far across a deep blue lagoon. Sebastian’s dinghy was ripped apart as he crossed the sharp coral of a protective reef. And though he’s an excellent swimmer, it may be difficult, if not impossible to reach the other shore without a boat.
Later, while exploring his new home Sebastian finds the bones of a previous castaway; and a map. But there are signs the dead man may have gone insane and before his first night on the island passes, Sebastian may know why. Things here aren’t what they seem. The strange green pelicans aren’t really birds. And the flying creatures that occupy the large island across the lagoon are not friendly.
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“I suppose you’re the welcoming committee.”
The pelican opens and closes its beak several times as if answering.
“Are you and this island going to disappear again?”
The pelican shakes its head several times left and right. Sebastian suspiciously eyes the bird, looks around then gets to his feet. His entire back side is covered with sand. He looks up and down the beach.
“I’ve never seen a green pelican before.”
The pelican cocks it head.
“Or maybe you’re not real. Maybe this place isn’t real either.”
The pelican takes flight and soon disappears around the far end of the island. Sebastian again scans the tree line up and down the beach.
“Hello! Anybody here?”
He scans the jungle around the clearing and steps to the cast iron pot. Peeking into the pot, he’s horrified to find the still-aligned bones of what clearly had been a human foot and ankle.
Sebastian puts a hand over his mouth to stifle a scream. He turns to the skeleton where, for the first time, he notices one shin bone has been hacked off well below the knee joint. Sebastian grabs the large knife and takes off running from the clearing.
Running low to the ground on all six limbs, Beanie moves quickly through the dark vegetation and Sebastian struggles to keep up. His fishing rod catches on a bush and is yanked from his hand. Turning to retrieve it, Sebastian sees the first of the flying creatures approaching the motu.
Snatching up the rod, he stumbles through the overgrowth and into the clearing where the little alien stands next to the large tangled vines, motioning him on. When Sebastian reaches the tangle, he sees Beanie crawl between two large roots and he follows, yanking his belongings through with him.
Once inside the tangle, Sebastian is amazed to see a very large, dark metallic-looking object protruding from the sand. Flush with the upper surface of the large object is a wide hatch.
Beanie is already climbing through the hatch. Sebastian takes one last glance back and tremendous fear instantly fills his face.
“Diarrhea!”A huge furry flying fox with red glowing eyes and elongated ivory teeth hits the ground just outside the tangle. The fur and the bat-like wings begin to peel away…
“Help! Someone help me!”
Sebastian finally cowers in a corner, breathing heavily and snapping his claws open and closed. He raises one claw and smacks it against his head several times.
“Stop Sebastian. Think...think. There must be a way to undo this.”
Coconut crab Sebastian crab-walks zig-zaggedly back to the middle of the lab.
“The pod. I’ve got to get back onto the pod!”
He crab-walks to the base of the pod and scurries atop his pile of clothes. His eyes bob up and down expectantly and he waves his claws through the air.
“C’mon machine. Work! Give me a break here!”
The sun has moved high in the sky and the pail is filled to the brim with fish. The pelicans, each one now the strange fluorescent hue of green, are gathered in a semi-circle around Sebastian as he drinks in the last drops of liquid from his coconut. He drops the empty nut onto his slicker and picks up the pail.
“Okay. As promised, we’ll share the feast. But you’ve gotta be civil. I don’t want to get bit, so line up, one at a time.”
As if understanding Sebastian, the pelicans begin forming a line and he begins stuffing one fish each into their open beaks. Beanie is the last in line and Sebastian drops a fish into his open beak.
“There you go little guy.”
Sebastian pulls the last plump fish out of the pail.
“I shouldn’t tell you this, but I saved the tastiest one for me.”
The sun has nearly reached the western horizon, casting a long shadow aside Sebastian as he hovers over his creation, four large letters atop the sand fashioned from driftwood, rocks and un-husked coconuts: HELP
He looks skyward, turning in a circle as if judging how a passing aircraft might view his work. His attention then briefly turns to the island across the lagoon and the setting sun. He shivers, though not because he’s cold.
Heading back down the beach toward his shelter, Sebastian notices Beanie kicking sand onto his fire. He takes off running.
“Hey, what are you doing? I need a fire to stay warm tonight!”
When Sebastian reaches Beanie, the fire is extinguished under a small pile of sand.
“Why did you do that?”
The little alien points a long skinny finger across the lagoon. Sebastian stares across and sees several of the flying creatures circling in the sky above the island.
“They aren’t afraid of fire, huh?”
Beanie grabs one of Sebastian’s hands and tries to lead him toward the jungle.
“Thanks, but I’m going to sleep in my shelter tonight.”
The shrill and tormented cries of the flying creatures begin echoing across the lagoon.
“On second thought, I don’t want those things to chew up my stuff again.”