My island in the sun


I was fourteen years old when my life changed forever. That’s how old I was when my governess and myself set out from Southampton aboard a steamer headed for Australasia. I was to join my mother and father after being apart from them for two long years. I boarded the steamer, my spirits high. I tasted freedom. Freedom from the strict and iron hand of Miss Featherstone. Even the prospect of the long weeks at sea didn’t dampen them. I should I suppose introduce myself, after all I was brought up to be a gentleman. My name is Joshua, Josh. I won’t bore you with my family name, after all when you are a thousand miles from nowhere it really doesn’t matter whether or not your name was Barton-Smyth or just plain old Smith.

I’m sure you are all wondering how I came to be stranded on this strip of land in the middle of nowhere, so I will start at the beginning.

The voyage.

Standing on the deck watching the English coast fade into the horizon was a heart-warming experience for me. Yes I was leaving my home, but I was going somewhere much better. A place where my mother and father waited patiently for my arrival. An impatient grunt behind me served as a reminder that I was not yet free and I turned from the rail knowing that my governess would standing behind me, her fingers laced together and a disapproving look on her face.

“Just because we are not at the house Master Joshua, that does not mean that you will be allowed to become slack and miss your classes.”

Looking back I find the situation comical. There I was a strapping boy of fourteen. Although thin, I equalled her height and was more than able to look her in the eye and yet this woman terrified me. “No ma’am,” I never met her eyes, I knew all that I would find was gold steel grey, where no passion or feelings burned.

“I believe our rooms are ready for us.” She spun on her heel and started to strut off down the deck towards our apartments. I watched for only a second then followed her black clad form at a respectful distance.

We settled into a routine very quickly. Classes lasted most of the day and were generally conducted on deck. “A boy needs fresh air.” Miss Featherstone insisted. The fact it was freezing and my fingers grew numb from holding my pencil never seemed to matter to her. My nights were occupied also, under my governess’s strict guidance I was forced to read the bible for two hours by the light of a single oil lamp before I was allowed to turn in for the night.

My boyhood yearned to go exploring, to walk the decks from prow to stern. Maybe venture into the forbidden darkness of the lower decks and see the giant engines that powered the steamer, but that was just a dream. Miss Featherstone would never allow me from her sight.

“Your parents entrusted me with your spiritual and physical well being as well as your education. I do not intend to betray that trust.” So miserably I accepted my lot.

It was during one of my lessons that I saw him for the first time. I took my eyes from my book for a second and caught sight of his golden curly head peering at me from behind a table. He hooked his fingers into his mouth and pulled it open, wagging his tongue at me. I suppressed a giggle and stuck my tongue out at him, making him snigger in return. Miss Featherstone’s cane struck the table. “Joshua!” she snapped.

I bent my head back to my book as she stood over me. “Hands,” she demanded and I groaned. Slowly I put down my book and held out my hands palm up. Her cane cut through the air stinging each one in turn and I blinked back the tears.

“Now maybe you will concentrate on your schooling.”

“Yes ma’am,” I whispered as I picked up my book, trying to ignore the burning stripes that now graced my palms. I risked a look to where the little boy was still hiding. His little lip trembled and his massive blue eyes were filled with tears. I gave him a brave smile before hiding my face back in my Latin book. By the time I dared to look up again he had gone. I sighed sadly, true he was just a little boy, no more than ten I would say, but still close enough to my own age that we could have got into mischief together.

“Time for your nap master Joshua.”

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes knowing it would just get me caned again. Fourteen and still forced to take an afternoon nap like I was three years old. Reluctantly I followed her back to our staterooms and retired into my own small bedroom.

It wasn’t long before monotony took hold and I found myself hoping that the little curly head would appear once more, but it didn’t.

“Joshua, I am waiting for you.” miss Featherstone’s shrill voice cut through the door to our bathroom.

“I’m coming ma’am.” I studied myself in the small mirror, remembering one of the last conversations I had with my mother before she had left to join my father in Australasia.

“But why do I need a governess?”

“Oh darling, I know you think you are a grown man but you are still a little boy.”

“I’m twelve.”

“Yes precious, twelve. Certainly not old enough to be left alone.”

“But mother, the Fatonie boys are working in the factory already and Joey is younger than me.”

My mother sighed and pulled me into her arms and ruffled my hair. “Be thankful Joshua that it is something you will never have to do. Poor little Joey works long hours for very little money and what he does earn has to go towards keeping the rest of his family.”

“Well when will I be old enough not to have a governess?” I asked, pouting heavily.

My mother lifted my face and looked into my eyes. “When you can grow enough hair to cover your chin, then you may dismiss Miss Featherstone yourself.”

I studied my chin once more before letting out a long sorrow filled sigh at the two hairs that were present. Before we had left England I had asked my governess why I hadn’t yet managed to grow a beard when both Fatonie boys had health growths even though they were the same age and younger than me.

“They are not English Joshua,” she said distastefully. “They are immigrants from Italy, do not compare yourself to them.”

“Are you from Italy too,” I asked innocently. It was worth the four stripes on my bare bottom when later I caught sight of her with her small vanity mirror and a pair of tweezers pulling hairs from her chin.

“Joshua. I will not call you again. Come out right now or you will go to bed with no dinner.”

I took one more look in the mirror just in case then joined her to go for dinner.

We had been seated for about ten minutes when I caught sight of the little curly haired boy, he was walking between a man and a woman, both of them holding tightly to his small hands. I realised they were headed our way and started to stand much to Miss Featherstone’s disgust. “Sit down Joshua, you don’t stand for their kind.”

Baffled I sat back down.

“I do believe that these are our seats for tonight.” The man had a deep southern American accent and a warm smile as he pulled out the chair for his wife. “May I introduce myself? I am Paul Howard and this is my wife Miss Lynn and my son Justin.”

Everyone at the table introduced themselves except for my governess and myself. The lady, Miss Lynn looked at me expectantly. “And who are you sweetie?”

I blushed unused to being spoken to in such an affectionate way. “I am Joshua ma’am and this is my governess, Miss Featherstone.” I jumped slightly as I received a sharp kick to my shin and I closed my mouth and lowered my eyes. “Boys of a certain age should be seen and not heard.”

I snuck a look at Justin who was kneeling on his chair so he could reach the table comfortably. I gave him a little smile and he grinned back.

Dinner was conducted with polite conversation between the adults, interrupted on occasion by the sweet voiced golden haired child who constantly vied for his mother’s attention. Miss Lynn obviously doted on her child and pandered to his every whim, under the loving and supporting eyes of her husband.

Miss Featherstone glared at him throughout the whole meal as if he was some rag-a-muffin that had crawled in from the streets.

Justin reached over the table and tried to lift his glass of milk, a look of complete concentration fixed on his face. The glass was too big for his little hands and slipped, spilling over the tabletop. His eyes filled with tears and he began to cry. Lynn swept him up into her arms and hugged him while his father did his best to mop up the mess, I of course helped best I could along with everyone else.

“If the child cannot conduct himself in the correct manner then I suggest that you feed him in private.” The shrill voice of my governess cut through the air shocking all into a stunned stillness.

“My son is quite capable of eating in public Miss Featherstone.” Lynn’s protectiveness of her little boy bubbled dangerously near the surface.

“Well obviously he cannot or he would not have spilt his milk everywhere.”

Lynn’s eyes glared and she started to stand up and was gently pulled back down by her husband.

“There was no real harm done, madam.”

“You do not even punish the boy!” my governess exclaimed angrily.

“And what would that achieve, Justin did not pour the jug of milk deliberately over the table and he is fretful enough.”

“We are leaving. Joshua!”

My eyes rested on the sweet trolley that had just arrived at our table and in particular the slice of chocolate cake with whipped cream that had my name written all over it. “Joshua I will not tell you again, move.” I took a final look at my cake then stood slowly.

“Goodnight ladies, goodnight gentlemen, thank you for your company.” Sadly I left the dining room wondering if Justin would get my cake now.

I had to listen for two hours as I was lectured on the evils of the common classes before I was finally allowed to go to bed. I was being punished for what Justin had done, that didn’t seem fair to me. I had just got into bed when a small tapping attracted my attention. Thinking I had imagined it I turned over and closed my eyes. I sat up when I sounded again and then again. Curious I pulled a chair over to my porthole, climbed on it and looked out. Miss Lynn stood outside with Justin by her side. “Joshua sweetie, Justin wanted to say sorry that you never got to have dessert.” The little boy held up a plate a big grin all over his face. My cake. She lifted him up so he could pass it to me. “Have a nice night sweetheart,” she whispered as she lowered him back to the deck and taking his hand disappeared into the night.

Never had cake tasted so sweet, I even managed to sneak the plate back to the dinning room with out being caught the next day. Much to my disappointment and Miss Featherstone’s relief we never shared a table with the Howard family again, although I did catch sight of his curly head once or twice.

Life went on the same as before for me, my hands constantly stinging from my governess’s cane. Only the weather had improved we neared the equator now and I watched in envy as some of the passengers took part in a ceremony of types designed for those crossing the equator for the first time.

I watched as Justin, squirming and giggling had icy cold water from the ocean poured down his back. Even Miss Lynn participated, squealing when the cold water touched her spine. I looked to Miss Featherstone, pleading with my eyes to be allowed to join in the festivities only to be put back in my place with one glare of her cold grey eyes, a look much icier than any seawater could possibly be. So I bent my head back to my book and tried to block out the laughter.

We were getting close to our destination now. I climbed into bed and soon fell asleep, lulled by the gentle rocking of the swell. A loud explosion shook me from my slumber and I ran to my door, pulling it frantically only to find it had been locked.

I banged and screamed for my governess to let me out but I got no reply, unbeknown to me she had locked my door so she could go for a walk without worrying about me going off on my own. Terrified at the screams and shouting that was going on outside on deck I dragged a chair to the porthole and climbed up, shouting for help only to be ignored. The steamer was sinking, that was obvious, I couldn’t stay where I was I would drown. I hoisted myself up twisting until I got my shoulders through the narrow opening. I screamed in horror and frustration as I lost my leverage and couldn’t get any further.

“Help me please help me,” I pleaded to the other passengers hurrying past. A man stopped and took my outstretched hand yanking me free.

“Get to the boats young un, she’s going down fast,” he yelled as he sprinted away saving his own life. Confused and frightened I wandered around aimlessly, batted aside as people ran for their lives. It was then I saw him. His bright blond curls dulled in the night-light, he was curled against the unmoving body on his mother crying piteously and begging her to get up. His plight spurred me into action and I fought my way to him.


“Joshua.” he threw himself at me wrapping his arms around my neck. “Momma won’t wake up.”

I disentangled him from me and crouched by Miss Lynn’s side, checking her pulse.

“Justin we have to go, where is your daddy?”

The little boy looked at me with big soulful eyes, “momma said daddy was with the angels.” Dear god the child had lost them both.

“I will look after you Justin, hold my hand we have to get off the ship.”

He tugged at my hand trying to get back to his mother. “Momma,” he cried.

I lifted him up holding him so he automatically wrapped his legs around my waist. “Your mother has joined your father with the angels, you must stay with me now.” His little face looked at me seriously and he nodded in understanding.

All the boats were gone by the time we reached the boat deck. Truly scared now I I could see the water creeping up the deck and the ship began to tilt. A door that had been torn from its hinges slid down the deck and floated. With out taking time to think I carried Justin to it and put him on top of it, climbing on myself. “Help me Justin. We have to get as far as possible from the ship before she sinks help me paddle.” Between us we managed to put some distance between us and the steamer. With one final scream of tearing iron the steamer slipped beneath the waves and Justin and I were left alone in the darkness.

We called for help for a long time but no one came, eventually we fell asleep in each other’s arms.

I woke up to the sun burning down on me. Careful not to capsize us I sat up and scanned the horizon for signs of life but was greeted by nothing but ocean. Justin stirred against me and moaned; already his small body was dehydrating. I giggled insanely as the phrase ‘water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink’ sang its way through my brain. I had saved Justin from a watery grave just to let him die of dehydration. Pulling him to me I lay next to him stroking his curly head and whispering soothing, reassuring words to him until I joined him in oblivion.

Our Island Paradise

How long we drifted on that door I have no idea, fading in and out of consciousness as the sun blasted down on us. A much welcomed rain woke us one day and we both sat with our mouths open trying to swallow as much fluid as we could. Lucky for us the sea remained calm though out the downpour and it sustained us for a while.

I woke to the sound of waves crashing on a beach and I forced my aching sun burned body into motion, gazing around me in wonder at our new surroundings. Justin moaned, whimpering as he tried to turn. “Justin, Justin wake up we’re safe, we’re on land.”

The little boy tossed feverously. “Momma, “ he moaned. I knew I had to get him out of the sun and find him some water or he would die, it was a miracle we both survived this long. Painfully I lifted him into my arms and carried him to the tree cover at the edge of the sand, fanning him with fallen palm leaves. When he settled I ran back to the waters edge and dragged the door further up the beach, so we wouldn’t lose it to the tide. Then I set my mind to finding something to drink. A thud by my side sent me sprawling back. I picked up the offending object that had narrowly missed hitting me on the head and turned it over in my hands, a very fluid sound reached my ears and I shook it harder to be sure. There was fluid inside this green husk. I started to tear at the skin with my fingernails, almost crying with frustration when I failed miserably. I sat looking at the fruit for ages not knowing what to do, and then Justin moaned once more. Picking up the husk I hit it repeatedly against a rock, not giving up until the green split revealing the dark brown shell inside. I cried out again as my attempt was once again thwarted only the thought of my companion dying because I wasn’t good enough spurred me to continue with my efforts. It took me forever but eventually I cracked the shell and drizzled the fluid between Justin’s dried and cracked lips, feeding him it all except one mouthful, which I took for myself. The water seemed to calm him and I now felt safe to leave him and explore a little, the coconut milk was fine for now but it wouldn’t do forever. Making sure Justin was safe I took off my pyjama top and began tearing it into strips. I didn’t want to risk getting lost. Armed with my bundle of rags I ventured into the bush.

Somewhere in my short life I must have done something very good because I hadn’t been searching for more than half an hour when I stumbled, well fell into a stream. As soon as that sweet water touched my lips I began to cry and I sat splashing around before I remembered Justin. Having nothing to carry the water in I took off my pants and washed them before soaking them again. Justin could suck on the cloth until I could carry him here. Gathering the remains of my clothes I went back to where I left the small boy. He had curled up and was hugging himself as he whimpered with thirst.

“Justin, baby open your mouth, “ his eyes opened, taking time to focus.


“It’s ok I have water.” gently I squeezed a corner of the soaked cloth into his open mouth and he reached for it sucking the moisture greedily. I let him drink till he had his fill then held him against me till he fell back to sleep, lying next to him till I too slipped into slumber.

When I woke Justin wasn’t next to me. In a moment of panic I jumped up and ran onto the beach calling frantically for him. His curly head bobbed into view a big grin on his face.

“I didn’t like to wake you, you looked so peaceful, so I thought I’d explore a little,” he explained.

I couldn’t believe my eyes; Justin had changed almost over night. Gone was the babyish qualities and he seemed confident and unafraid.

“You shouldn’t wander off alone, I was worried.”

Just grunted. “I am ten you know.”

“Yes well I’m fourteen and that puts me in charge.”

“If you say so,” Justin strutted off towards our makeshift camp. “We need to move camp nearer the water supply, I assume that these rags lead the way?”

“Didn’t I just say I was in charge?” the sudden change in Justin was confusing me. Just days ago he was like a baby and now he was challenging me.”

“You can be in charge if it makes you feel better,” he said sarcastically, “but I still say we should move to where the water is.”

Grunting I picked up my pants and put them back on. And started into the bush, “Well come on then know-it-all. Lets move camp.”

We settled into an easy silence as we followed my trail. Justin nodded approvingly. “This was a good idea Josh, you might have gotten lost.”

I bristled a little at the shortening of my name. “I didn’t want to risk losing you.”

“I haven’t said thank you yet.” I stopped, shocked at the maturity that Justin was now displaying. “You know for saving me, I guess I was in shock, losing momma and daddy like that.”

“You don’t have to thank me Justin, it was purely selfish reasons.”

Justin smiled “yeah, sure it was.”

Justin beamed when he saw the stream and ran jumping full pelt at it landing two footed in the water, giggling as he splashed me.

“Rules Justin,” I said loudly. “No pissing in the stream, no doing nothing in the stream understand me?”

Justin rolled his eyes, “yeah like nothing else will, it’s a stream it flows. But if it makes you feel better then I agree.”



“I’m hungry.” Justin just had to say the H word didn’t he? As if agreeing my stomach rumbled loudly.

“Well I guess there could be some fruit or something we could eat.”

“Fruit!” Justin exclaimed a pout on his lips. “I was thinking real food you know meat, fish.”

“Oh sure Justin, I’ll just pop down the road and get some for you from the market.”

The curly haired boy rolled his eyes for the twentieth time that day. “Ever heard of fishing or hunting.”

Heard of it yes, done it …… that was something new.

Justin sat cross-legged on ground his mouth hanging open. “You have never been fishing? Didn’t your dad ever take you?”

“I haven’t spent much time with father, he and mother travelled a lot.”

“Is that why you had the dragon lady?”

I couldn’t help but snigger at his description of my former governess. “Yeah, she looked after me while they were away.”

“She was mean. I told momma that I saw her hit you with a stick, it was all daddy could do to stop her from storming into your apartments and taking you away.”

“I would have like to have seen that,” I laughed.

“We settled for the cake instead.”

“Good choice.”

Justin beamed pleased with himself. “I told momma that you would like it. I’m still hungry you know.”

I sighed, “Justin I don’t know how to catch food, I’m sorry.”

The little boy grinned. “I do,” he said cockily and I knew I was never going to live this down.

Justin kicked around on the ground till he found what he was looking for. “Here sharpen that,” he said tossing me a long stick.

I looked at him flummoxed. Sharpen it … with what exactly? Following Justin’s lead I looked around on the floor till I saw something useful. I picked up the rock turning it over in my hands. Geology wasn’t a wasted subject after all. I struck the rock against another piece of stone splitting it cleanly. Justin shrugged and lifted his shirt, unclipping the biggest pocket-knife I had ever seen from his belt hook. “You might find this easier.” I was beginning to wish I had left him on the steamer.

“What is a ten year old doing with a knife like that?”

“A gift from my daddy, he said every boy needs a good knife, it could save your life.” He handed me the blade and I sat down, clenching the stick between my knees as I whittled the end to a point.

“Is this going to work?” I asked.

“Sure but we need to go back to the sea.”

We walked in silence me carrying the spears I had made and him gathering twigs and moss. “What’s that for?” I asked curiously as he picked up a piece of bark.

“To make a fire.”

I stopped dead this was just too much. “You know how to make a fire?”

“Don’t you?”

“No. I read about how you do it but I’ve never had to.”

Justin drew his eyebrows together “oh!” he said and carried on walking.

I watched fascinated as his little hands manipulated the small bow he made to rotate the stick back and forth on the bark. Every now and then he blew gently then started to rub again. Suddenly he added a small pile of dried moss blowing it gently until it caught.

“That’s amazing Justin.” I truly was impressed by this child, he knew things that even full grown men would be hard pressed to know.

He carried the flame to the fire I had prepared, following his instructions. Care fully he teased and nurtured it until it blazed away brightly. “Now we fish,” he said. Taking up his spear he waded out into the sea until he was past the breaking waves. Then he stood perfectly still, his balance distributed equally through his split legs, the spear raised above his head. He stood for what seemed to me hours, not moving, not speaking. Then suddenly with a downward thrust he plunged the spear into the water bringing it up with a wriggling fish on the end. He came trotting back up the sand and wrapped the fish in a palm leaf placing a rock on top of it. I must have looked confused. “To stop the birds stealing it while we catch more,” he explained. “Come on Josh, I’ll teach you.” he grabbed my hand and dragged me to the shore. Later when he had caught three more and I still hadn’t managed one we waded back to the beach. Again he surprised me as he took out his knife and gutted the fish, cleaning them out. I was about to spear them so we could cook them when he stopped me.

“You never cooked on a camp fire either have you?” Rolling my eyes I had to admit I hadn’t. “Wrap the fish in palm leaves first them spear them on the spit. That way the fish will cook without burning.”

“How do you know all these things Justin, you sure as hell had me fooled with your little boy act.” I asked him later as we were tucking into the succulent flesh.

He looked into the distance and sighed. “Ever since I was tiny momma and daddy have travelled across the states preaching the bible to the savages. I grew up on a reservation, so I learned what the other boys learned. How to hunt, fish, and make a fire. Never thought I’d ever use it, well not yet anyway. My parents led a dangerous life, you never really knew how you would be greeted and they needed to know that I would be fine if anything ever happened to them.”

“They would be very proud of you Justin.”

He wiped a tear from his eye. “I know I gave the impression of being childish, but it was for momma really, she loved to hold me, baby me and she gave me so much that I played along. Daddy knew the truth, he knew she wanted to keep me as her baby as long as possible.”

I sighed sadly, “you’re so lucky Justin. I hardly knew my parents. I was brought up by the rule of spare the rod and spoil the child. I can only remember a handful of times that she actually hugged me.”

A wicked gleam filled my companions eyes, “wanna play?” he asked knowing that it was one thing that had always been denied me. He stripped off all his clothes and ran towards the sea.

“Come on,” he shouted.

“Jup what are you doing? Put your clothes on.”

“What for? Besides I don’t wanna sleep in wet clothes. Come on Josh, dare you.” Laughing I stripped off my clothes too and charged him knocking him under the water with a huge rugby tackle. We both surfaced laughing and proceeded to play and splash until the sun had nearly set before staggering exhaustedly back to camp our clothes still balled and in our hands as we waited for our bodies to dry. On reaching the stream we drank then settled together for the night, his small weight on top of me and his head on my chest.

Weeks turned into months and the months into years. We had built ourselves a small hut to ward off the seasonal rains and explored much of our small but well stocked island. We had even built a pen and trapped some wild pigs that we kept for when we couldn’t be bothered to fish and some deer that provided us with some very nourishing milk. Justin had long ago discarded his clothes completely, maybe it was the hidden savage in him, it was some thing I couldn’t quite do. I still clung to my pyjama pants even though they were now way too tight. I did go naked at times. Especially when teased relentlessly by the brat. It was during one such teasing session that I gave up my pants completely. Justin was walking ahead of me and turned to pick fun at my paisley covered legs when he lost his footing and slipped off the rocks into the sea. Panicked I dove in after him dragging him from the waves. He had knocked himself out and ripped open his leg, left with no other choice I ripped up my pants and used them to bandage his wounds. For three days and nights I sat by his side as he was consumed with fever. I cried and prayed for his life, afraid that he would die and I would be left alone. On the forth day he opened his eyes and I cried again.

An Uninvited Guest

Time passed as it had a habit of doing and Justin grew up, before I knew it he was as tall as I was and stocky with solid muscles. Still retained my skinniness, but my body had become defined with muscle from the years of hard work. Our sleeping habits had changed too. No longer did Justin snuggle into me, but me into him, he had long ago gotten too heavy to lie on me. I didn’t mind somehow it felt right; it was hard to remember when we hadn’t slept entwined in each other’s arms.

So we carried on living our simple life, fishing and hunting in the mornings and playing and eating in the evenings. It was during our morning fishing that we saw him walking up our beach towards us. My heart began to pound; I had grown used to our peaceful life I didn’t want to go back to civilisation. As he closed in I could see the pistol hanging on his hip and the hunting knife in his hand. Instinctively I pushed Justin behind me.

“Well looks like me old mates had pity on me after all, providing me with such pretty chickens to feast on.” The man was a pirate. Not like the pirate of old that sailed in the tall ships, but the modern day version who sailed in steamers and plundered and murdered any settlement they discovered.

We backed away, our hearts pounding. I kept my eyes fixed on his gun, wondering how many shots he had, trying to decide if he would shot both Justin and me. Making a decision I snuck a look over my shoulder. “Run,” I whispered. Justin’s eyes opened wide and he shook his head. “RUN!” I screamed pushing him into motion. I spun round wrestling with the pirate giving Justin the time he needed to get away. With strength I never knew I had I held the man back until he wrenched the pistol from my grasp and hit me on the temple, I went down and he hit me again sending me into darkness.

I woke with a throbbing head, my hands tied behind my back and a vine fastened around my neck. The pirate sat nursing the remains of mine and Justin’s fire and eating the fish that we had caught earlier for our supper. I took great pleasure in seeing that he had burned it black.

“You speak English boy?”

I turned my head not wanting to look at him. I was worried about Justin, I hoped he wouldn’t do anything stupid, that he would go to one of our other camps and hide out. I suppressed a cry as the pirate seized my jaw forcing me to look at him; he leaned in close, his breath rank on my face.

“Asked you a question boy, you speak English?” I kept my mouth shut and he threw me from him. I pushed myself up against the trunk of the tree he had secured me to, watching him carefully. He licked his lips and reached out taking hold of my ankle. I screamed and kicked out making him laugh as I struggled to escape.

“Don’t worry chicken, I’m too tired right now, but Smedley will save some strength for you tomorrow.” he snuggled down next to the fire, his hand on his pistol. “Goodnight chicken.”

I couldn’t sleep fear consumed me. I was helpless, Justin and I had long since gotten used to being naked but now with a stranger in our mist I was frightened and vulnerable. The vine on my throat irritated and chafed at my skin. I was still awake when the sun came up but still Smedley slept, his snores echoing through the early morning air. My bladder protested at waiting and I struggled to my knees turning my back on the sleeping man, relaxing my bladder and relieving myself. “Now that’s a pretty picture.” I jumped, as Smedley’s voice took me by surprise. “I could hold that for you.” he moved closer and I yelped whimpering in fear, my eyes wide and terrified. “I’m hungry chicken get on your feet.” he pulled me up and pushed me towards the sea. Taking his knife he cut the bonds on my wrists and pushed my spear at me. “Fish,” he demanded. He levelled his pistol at me. “Go on chicken, catch me my breakfast.” I looked at the pistol then at the water before wading in. Smedley kept a tight hold on my leash making sure I didn’t escape. I made sure the fish I caught were few and stringy. I took my time making him yank my leash impatiently till finally he hauled me back to shore. He pushed me to the sand pulling my hands behind me once more, tying them tightly before dragging me back up to the trees, securing my leash around a trunk.

I had timed it right while he had been watching me the fire had burned out, Smedley swore angrily and dropping the fish I had caught, strode over to me seizing me by the throat. “Light it,” he hissed. I gave him my blankest look and he slapped me hard across my face in disgust. I fell to the ground my eyes shut and pretended he had knocked me out. I watched him through slit eyes as he choked down raw fish and felt great satisfaction and even though my own stomach was empty I determined not to let him know.

The next day was pretty much the same, he forced me to fish for him and also to scale a tree and cut him down fruit, carefully I picked the worse and threw them down at him. In temper he tugged at my leash and I fell. Again luck was on my side as I did little more than bruise my hip, thinking back it was stupid of me. A broken bone would be life threatening on the island. He hauled me back to his makeshift camp, dragging me along the floor, not giving me a chance to get onto my feet. He straddled me punching me in the face and then turned me over fastening my hands once more. He rolled me onto my back and stamped down hard between my legs, causing me to curl up, my eyes filled with tears and left me gasping to breathe.

“Time to teach you a lesson chicken.” He rolled me back onto my stomach and forced my legs apart with his knees. “I’m going to make you scream chicken, I’m going to ram my cock up your ass and split you in half.”

Panicked I began to scream and struggle, but he had leverage on me and despite my strength I was helpless. He pressed my face into the sand, suffocating me as he pushed inside me. “When I fucked the life out of you chicken I’m gong to find me that golden haired pretty and do the same to him.” I couldn’t breathe; sand was in my nose, my mouth and swallowed my cry of agony as I was impaled callously. Then suddenly I could lift my head and a gasped hungrily at the fresh air, my eyes steaming. I found my voice screaming as I was rolled over and gathered in loving arms.

“Josh, oh Josh.”

Fingers wiped at my eyes clearing them of the sand and I blinked and blinked. “Justin …. Justin he … he… get away Justin, before he catches you get away.”

“he won’t get me Josh, he won’t ever hurt anyone again.” he lifted me so I could see Smedley’s body, his own knife sticking out of his back.

“oh Justin!” I began to cry, hanging on to him. My saviour just held me tight and stroked my hair, hushing me softly, eventually lying me down to sleep.

“I never left you Josh, I was always here, watching, waiting for the chance to save you. I’m sorry I couldn’t get to you sooner, I tried really I did but he took me by surprise. I’m sorry.”

Sobbing I laid my head on his chest until I fell asleep.

Back to paradise

Justin took over the daily chores; the pain in my balls and the agony inside my ass prevented me from walking. My balls swelled to almost twice their size and ached constantly, but that was bearable … almost. The real agony was when I needed to relieve my bowels. I screamed and cried as Justin held me, rubbing the small of my back, not knowing what to do to help me. It was during one of these times a few days after Smedley had gone that he picked me up and carried me to the sea, standing me waist deep in the surf. I leaned against him heavily barely able to stand.

“I can’t play just … hurts too much.”

He held me in his arms. “Not play Josh, do what you have to, the water will ease the way and the salt will help to heal you.”

I looked at him in disgust he was telling me to foul our beautiful ocean, while he was in it.

“Josh, trust me.”

“But it’s dirty, disgusting!”

“Honey you don’t think other creatures take a dump in the sea? Have you seen the size of a whale? How big a crap do you think he has?”

His words reached my ears and I began to laugh. It felt good as he laughed along with me. My laughter subsided and I looked up at him.

“It’s alright Josh, I’m here.” My eyes filled with tears and I began to sob against his chest once more. “I know it hurts, but you have to.”

Nodding I tried to relax and let my bowels go, the pain started almost immediately but was soothed away with the warm salty water. I cried miserably and squeezed my eyes shut, totally disgusted with myself. Justin stroked my hair and whispered to me, reassuring me that I had done nothing to be ashamed of. He lifted me back into his arms and carried me back to the little hut he had constructed, so I wouldn’t have to keep going back to the fresh water stream. I was consumed with guilt, feeling that I had polluted something that was sacred. Justin lifted my face so that I had to look at him. “Josh, the tide washes from left to right, I took you to the far right, it would have been washed around the rocks almost right away. Please don’t cry, it hurts me so much when you cry.” His fingers travelled down the side of my face as he gazed into my eyes and I trembled as the pad of his thumb caressed my bottom lip. “Get some rest, I’ll be back soon.” He stood up and walked away leaving me reeling. What had just happened? My heart thumbed wildly in my chest as I brought my fingers up to my mouth tracing the path his thumb had made. These feeling were new, exciting, terrifying. I watched him as he walked away from me, his naked body bronzed by the sun and his hair glowing brightly like a halo around his head. He stopped and waved before he plunged into the ocean, spear in hand, only to resurface a few minutes later with a speared fish. He ran it back to me and threw his pocket-knife, which he kept on a vine around his neck, at me.

“If you are just going to sit there lazybones you can at least prepare supper.”


He smiled down at me, “Yes.”

“Would you come down here please, just for a moment.”

He knelt before me and without a thought he reached out again, caressing my face . I took his hand in mine and our fingers laced together. It was if I hadn’t ever seen him before as I studied our interlocked hands . Mine, with long delicate fingers, bony and wide spread, and his big strong hands, fingers thicker than mine, dwarfing my hand. When did his hands grow so much? I could still remember the tiny hands that juggled with the milk jug and lost. It was then I realised that in the sea I had looked up at him. I had to look up! When had he got so tall … and strong … he carried me … me!” My breath started to come hard as if I was going to hyperventilate and I gazed into his stormy blue eyes.

“Kiss me.” I whispered. For a split second he seemed stunned. “Please,” I begged.

Painfully slowly he leaned in and he rubbed his nose against mine, his breath was hot and sweet. I wanted to cry, grab him and press my mouth on his, but I didn’t. I wanted to know if he wanted to kiss me too. Our lips were almost touching …. Almost.

“Are you sure?” he whispered back.

“Yes … god yes.” I could barely breath anymore. His mouth covered mine and I couldn’t hold in my moan of love anymore. My fingers twisted in his hair as I let my lips part, inviting him in. Justin never needed to be invited twice and plunged his tongue as deeply as he could into the cavern of my mouth. The kiss intensified as he crushed me to him, laying me back on the soft warm sand.

When we eventually broke our lips kiss swollen and bruised, he gazed down into my eyes and stroked my chin. “You have enough hair to cover your chin now Josh.”

I giggled a little at his observation. “I guess I don’t need my governess anymore then,” I said softly.

“Not a governess no.”

“What do I need Justin?” I wet my lips with my tongue and his eyes followed its passage hungrily.

“You need me.” He covered my mouth once more, letting his wonderfully big hands swoop over my belly, tracing my abdominal muscles. “I love you Joshua.”

The words were barely a breath but they spoke volumes to me.“ I love you too.” He broke into a wide grin and let out a loud whoop. Suddenly fishing didn’t seem to matter, nor did the fish lying discarded in the sand. All that mattered was that we had each other and we spent the rest of the day making out under the sun.

We never discussed what Smedley had done to me, I blocked it out. If I never talked about it then it never happened. In the same way we never talked about the fact that Justin had killed the pirate. By the time I had come too his body had gone and the only things that were left to remind us that he had ever been there at all was the pistol, his long knife and the two water bottles. I think Justin would have gotten rid of them too, but they were to valuable to waste. We had become cautious, we now kept a watch for ships that may bring interlopers to our paradise. It terrified us to think that things could have ended so differently. No longer did we walk and play carefree. We used apprehension when returning from hunting trips. I always had the pistol by my side and Justin carried the knife strapped to his leg. Our love stayed strong though, we spent endless hours licking and kissing each other, but never going further than that. In our hearts we were both still children and our love was innocent. Justin was ever the adventurer, there wasn’t an inch of my body that he didn’t explore with his fingers and his tongue, spending hours just examining me, memorising every hair, every freckle. He brought out a side of me I didn’t know existed, a fragile side. One that wanted to be held and worshiped … and he was good at worshiping. Slowly the fear of Smedley or his like left us and once more we played and frolicked without a care.

Then one day we saw it. There on the horizon was a steamer, one not unlike the one we had been travelling on. My mouth went dry and I looked at Justin, waiting to see what he was going to do, since the day we arrived we had a signal fire built ready to light if chance of rescue happened b. now that chance was here. Justin let out a cry and ran to the small camp fire we always kept burning and seized a piece of burning wood. He then set off at a sprint to where the huge signal fire was built. I cried out and ran after him, not knowing what to do. If I stopped him, would he blame me forever and if I didn’t would I lose him?

He stood with the burning branch in his hands undecided. He looked out towards the ship, then at me. Tears rolled down my face as my eyes pleaded with him not to light it.

Tears began to roll down from his eyes. “What do I do Josh, tell me what to do.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?” he begged.

“Follow your heart Justin.” The words cut me like a knife but it had to be his decision. I knew now what I wanted. I would never leave our island, I would die here. But Justin was still so young, he had to make up his own mind.

“If I go will you come with me?” he asked choking back a sob. I shook my head sadly. “Why not?” he asked.

“This is my home now, I can’t go back, not after tasting freedom.”

Justin looked again at the steamer. “If you don’t light it now the steamer will be gone.”

“But if I do you will be gone.”

“I’m sorry. Sorry you can’t have us both, but it wouldn’t work. They would never accept us out there, and I will never love anyone one else the way I love you.”

Justin threw the flame from him, kicking sand over it , making sure it was extinguished. He rushed to me crushing me to him, covering my face with kisses. He had made his decision. He chose me over civilisation and now I had to choose him, put him first. Taking his hand I led him back down to our little cove. I kissed him softly, licking away the tears that still gathered in his eyes. Then I lay down on the sand, my legs slightly parted and held up my hand to him, silently begging him to join me. He lowered himself to me and our lips touched. “Make me yours.”

His eyes drank me in, wide and filled with lust. “But it hurt you so much.”

“It was rape Justin, that’s why. Love could never hurt like that.”

We ground our bodies together kissing and licking until I felt I was ready, then spiting on his hand Justin lubricated his cock. “if I’m hurting you tell me,” he whispered. I nodded, agreeing that I would. Carefully he lined himself up and softly pushed inside me. A small whimper from me made him stop and concern coated his face.

“Go on.”

“But Josh you’re …”

“I want you Justin, I want you inside me.” He leaned down and kissed me as he pushed all the way in. then he waited giving me time to adjust. We mad love for the rest of the afternoon first him in me, then me in him. We were covered in sand and sweat but we didn’t care . This was our world and no one could ever tell us it was wrong.


The two pop stars sat back in the half light of the cave they had discovered. The older with tear running down his face and the younger closing the old leather bound book he had been reading aloud. On the ancient homemade bed lay two bodies entwined, nothing more than bones now.

JC was the first to speak. “Did Joshua say what happened?”

“Justin fell, broke his back. He lasted only a few days before he died. Joshua said that he was writing this so others would know how much they loved each other. He said he couldn’t live with out Justin, he was going to kill himself with the pistol that they got from the pirate.”

Justin Timberlake scrubbed at his face not wanting to cry in front of his lover and band mate.

JC took him in his arms holding him tightly. “They were together right till the end. They must have been very happy here. Its so beautiful.”

“Don’t you find it spooky that they were Joshua and Justin and that they were almost exactly the same age that we were when we first met.”

JC thought for a while. “Maybe we are them, maybe fate is giving us another chance.”

The two men kissed, relishing in their love for a few minutes longer. “Come on, we should leave them to rest in peace.”

“What about the book?” Justin picked up the journal of the long dead teenager.

“Leave it. We know what happened, that’s all Joshua wanted.” JC held out his hand to his young lover and they walked out of the cave and into the bright southern hemisphere sunshine.

“Do you think we should tell some one?”

“No,” JC said adamantly. Then added softly, “but I may just start keeping a proper journal.”

The End.

Michelle Stories
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