The sun burned through his skin, the saltiness of the sea almost acting as seasoning on his flesh, he could make out the birds circling overhead as his vision cleared. They were seagulls, not vultures. Still, they had a menacing look about them. He sat up and looked around the little boat, everyone was asleep, Michael wasn't sure whether this was due to exhaustion or whether they were trying to conserve their energy. One thing was for sure, that fireball in the sky was draining them of everything liquid in their systems. He stared at the sea and, for a moment, considered drinking the salt water, weighing this option against the raspy dryness that he was feeling at the back of his throat. The salt water could wait.
He stood up, and the sharp pain in his chest reminded him of the arrow he’d been struck with, it was gone now, but the pain still remained. The guys must have found a way to dislodge it, brilliant lot. There was ocean everywhere, no land in sight, no hope. For a moment Michael wished it was nighttime so he wouldn't be able to see far enough to realize that he had no hope of finding land anytime soon, and also that fireball wouldn't be tormenting them so. He stepped forward then caught his breath as something moved in the water.
A shadow almost the size of the boat swam under it. Michael watched as it glided, gracefully through the water. He had no idea what he was looking at, only that it was huge. A shark maybe? King fish? Both sounded dangerous, and both sounded like food. He was delusional, but hunger tended to do that to people. The food swam a few meters away, teasing him, and then circled back. He swallowed dry saliva.
‘What are you doing? You should be lying down, save your strength Mike.’ Modi spoke from behind him.
So that’s what they were doing, saving their strength. Food passed under the boat again and appeared on the other side.
‘Shhh… food.’ Michel whispered, pointing. As if he would startle a fish that was bigger than he was if he spoke too loudly.
Modi came closer. A shark fin broke the surface of the water and dipped again. They turned to each other and both had a mini-heart attack.
‘We should turn and head back to the island man, I’d sooner face those savages again than this killer of an ocean.’ Modi was saying, fear written all over his face. He grabbed his rifle and aimed at the water, but Michael stopped him.
‘Save your ammo bruh, we might need it. And anyway, we’re in a boat, it can’t reach us. Stop freaking…’ but before he could finish his sentence the shark had bumped into the canoe, tilting it slightly, ‘…GIMME THAT!’ he grabbed the gun from his friend and frantically pumped four shots in the direction of the fish, which swam hurriedly away, unhurt. Michael fell back into the boat, breathing heavily. He was a mess, the smell of the caked blood and that of the sea water finally catching up to his nasal senses, he threw up.
‘Bruh, I don’t think that’s wise… you need to keep that food in your body, not the opposite.’ Hamisi was saying. They were all up now, the gunshots playing the part of an alarm clock. Time to wake up and face an awful reality.
‘Shoulda’ just let me sleep.’ Juma said.
Mentally, they all agreed with him.
Keep your eye on this space...