A Sudden Crush(5)

By: Camilla Isley


As I emerge from the jungle, the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen unfolds before my eyes. I’m standing on an immaculate white beach made of fine, dusty sand. And I have to shade my eyes from the bouncing light of the sun reflecting off the electric blue-green of the ocean.

The island—I’m guessing I’m on an island—is teeming with wildlife. From various birds pecking at the sand—seagulls and some other black and brown feathered kinds I can’t name—to small birds chirping happily in the jungle, to an entire colony of brownish monkeys that come in all sizes.

I could dote on this unadulterated, beautifully wild panorama forever. If not for the tiny drawback of the desolation that comes from the lack of any human contamination in this place. I think that right now one of those ugly concrete resort monsters, which I usually despise, would warm my heart to the core.

What should I do? I’m hungry, thirsty, and I don’t have the slightest idea how to survive in the wilderness. Okay, let’s stay calm here. The first thing I should do is check if I’m really alone. I mean, the plane had hundreds of passengers. There must be someone else around. Let’s not be overdramatic. Liam is probably just waiting for me around a group of palm trees.

As I move down the beach in search of someone—anyone—I suddenly hear loud crackling noises that don’t sound natural. I quicken my pace, excited, and run in that direction. My pulse quickens as I spot the silhouette of a man sitting on the sand. Could it be Liam?





4


Mr. Ogre


Unfortunately, as I come closer it becomes clear that the man is not Liam, but the ogre from the plane. He’s hunched over a pile of coconuts, and seems pretty intent on fumbling with some wooden sticks to open them.

“Heeyyy! Heeeeyyyy!” I call, running towards him, hope fluttering in my chest. I have never been happier to see another human being, or even troll in this case, in my entire life.

“Oh, I see her royal highness is awake,” Mr. Ogre says, getting up and watching me run towards him.

“You mean you knew I was here?” I stop dead in my tracks.

“Affirmative.”

“And you left me there alone in the middle of the tropical jungle!”

“It’s barely some bushes.” The troll shrugs noncommittally.

“You let a monkey pick the fleas off my hair!” I accuse him, indignant.

“You have many?” he shoots back with an infuriating smirk, looking at me from under his brows.

“You know what I mean.”

“Unfortunately, I do. You’re right. I should have warned the poor fella of what he was getting into.”

“Ah, ah. Very funny,” I retort, sarcastic. “You left me there hanging upside-down. Don’t you know it’s dangerous to stay like that for too long?”

“Also gives the brain a little extra boost. You look like the type who could use it.”

“That’s offensive, superficial, and you’re the most horrible man I’ve ever met,” I yelp, not able to control the strident pitch in my voice. “Why didn’t you wake me? I could have been dead.”

“You were snoring louder than a running tractor, and I checked your pulse just to make sure. Anyway, I wanted to do a reconnaissance of the island before I had to deal with you as well.”

“For your information, I don’t snore. And what do you mean ‘before having to deal with me as well’?”

“You do snore, and if somebody has told you differently they were lying to you. A truck driver with sinusitis would not be as loud as you. And by dealing with you, I meant exactly this—having a hysterical bimbo screaming at me for no good reason!”

“Who says bimbo? Nobody says bimbo anymore, it’s so sexist!”

“Still true.” He shrugs.

“I hate you,” I caterwaul.

“Very mature. Thank you for proving me wrong,” Mr. Ogre says, arching one teasing eyebrow.

I cross my arms and pout. Why am I behaving like a three-year old?

“Hopefully we won’t have to share each other’s company much longer,” Mr. Ogre continues.

Right, why am I even losing time with this troll?

“Liam. Liiiaaaaamm. Liiiaaaaamm,” I scream at random.

“Eek, eek! Eeeeeek. Ook. Hoo, hoo, hoo.” Only the monkeys seem interested in giving me a response.

“Stop screaming, you idiot. You will have the monkeys come down and attack us to protect their territory.”

“Oh, so now you worry about the monkeys. I thought you would get along well with your similars. Liiiaaam. Liiiaaaaamm.”

“He’s not here. Stop screaming! It’s just you and me.” He’s shouting, too.

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