April 15, 2013

No. 355

 Ralph Conner woke up with waves lapping at his feet. Upon feeling the cold water, his eyes snapped open and he rolled up to a seated position.

Another wave soaked him, this time reaching his knees. Conner scrambled back from the water’s edge, stopping halfway up the beach to consider the bizarre situation.

The last thing he could remember was leaving the pub after his 23rd birthday party. The pub was nowhere near the ocean. He rubbed his head in an attempt to clear his thoughts, but the gesture was of no use. Still having no idea where he was, or how he got here, he stood up for a better look at his surroundings.

The sandy beach stretched away, out of sight, on both sides. The angle at which is disappeared suggested that Conner was on an island. A thick band of jungle blocked the way further inland. If he jumped, he could just make out a tiny white speck on the horizon, possibly a boat. He began to collect as much wood as he could, with the intention of making a signal fire.


A man in the lab coat passed the binoculars to a woman wearing a black jumpsuit. “Subject 299 is adapting well to the scenario,” he remarked.

The woman steadied herself against the rocking motion of the boat and trained the binoculars on Conner. She watched as he tried desperately to light the soggy wood using a technique she knew wouldn’t work. “He appears to be more resourceful than the others,” she replied. “I’d wager he lasts a week, no more.”

There was an uncomfortably cold efficiency in her voice. The man in the lab coat had no doubt that she was correct.

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