This Island
Francine Witte
Tapas Winner

On some obscure knuckle of the worldhand, is where Carly waits for Tim.  Let's run off! he had said.  So she quits her 9 to 5 and swims herself out the middle of the sea. Sharknips and boatfoam all the way.  Fish look up as she passes over them like a steely jumbo jet.

 She finally reaches the island.  Not paradise, like Tim had promised.  Just an earthblob, thick with branch and bramble.  Not a coconut in sight.  She finds a clear patch and sprawls herself out.  She blurs a bit and starts to halfdream of Tim.  How he wanted to leave everything behind.  Let's be unknown to others, he had said.  We'll close the eyelid of the world.   When he said that, she fell even deeper in love.

So deep that she could blind herself to those other texty, women she thought Tim might be trying to hide.

 Now, through the branches, only broken sun, and hunger starting to bite at her, steady as the sharks that are circling the island.  Where is Tim? she wants to think, but stops herself.  He promised, and he will be here.

Light winks as she fades now, still thinking of Tim, who had stood there with her back at the water's edge, all set to go, when his phone rang. 

"You get started," he had waved her off.  "I just have to take this call."

First published: May, 2011
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