To whoever finds this note,
I washed up on this Godforsaken shore some three days ago with few memories of what happened that dreadful night and fewer resources to help my survival. Aside from this pen and paper, a few tins of meat paste and one of Millicent’s slippers there’s very little to go on. In truth, I am astonished to have held out this long.
I’ve tried to embody the spirit of those heroes from the great stories; Scott, Shackleton, Cooke, in an effort to keep going. Stiff upper lip and all that. After all, there’s no use crying over spilt milk, and I’m here now and must try to make the best of it. But it is so dreadfully lonely and there’s so little food that it’s hard to keep one’s spirits up.
I write in the hope that one day a passing ship will find this, but, with no clue as to my coordinates and no food to get me past this next week, chances of salvation are slim. The only thing that may survive is my story.
I’ve built a driftwood shelter on the beach. It’s not much but it keeps the sun and the worst of the wildlife off. I’ve rationed the meat paste and bulked it out with some of the black, flaccid seaweed from the beach. It’s truly vile, but necessarily nourishing.
That night! That terrible night! The storm flew up from nowhere and we were playthings of the seas, tossed relentlessly on the desperate, raging waves. My only thought was for survival. In these scenarios, it’s every man for himself. I ran to the deck, leaving Millicent and the ladies panicking below, a wadge of cash in my pocket. I knew the way to the Mate’s heart.
I found him unlashing the lifeboats, preparing for the worst and I bellowed my proposition in his ear. On seeing the cash the man’s eyes widened and I thought I had him. I thrust the money at him and darted into the uncovered lifeboat, certain, now, of my place among the saved.
But the wretch flung the notes back at me and I watched them flutter away into the storm, his eyes filled with fury. He grabbed my lapels and, with his seaman’s strength, plunged me into the broiling seas below. I remembered nothing more until I awoke here three days ago.
A boat on the horizon! I screamed and to my utter delight they set a course in my direction. They are nearly here and I see it is a pleasure party on a day trip. The women are wearing bright, pretty dresses and the men are puffing cigars. They may have food aboard…
It is the blasted Mate! He, Millicent and three others from the bloody liner, sipping cocktails and having the time of their lives. I can hear them laughing - they’re singing for Chrissakes! Have I been left here on purpose? Bastards. Can I submit to this indignity? This outright mockery? When I’m aboard I’ll furnish them a piece of my mind. I won’t stand for this!
The dinghy has gone. They drew close enough to hear my bellow of rage, then turned and sailed away again. I am alone again with only the tinned meat for company