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"The"

So, Joy sweetly commented that she was interested in knowing more about Ariana's Island.  So here is the clip where Ariana finds part of a name or a sign.  It is not polished yet, but you get the idea of what is happening.  Enjoy!
 



     Ariana set off through the trees and underbrush, headed for the beach.

     The southeast beach was the closest.  Ariana stepped out onto the sand with a happy sigh.  She truly loved it here on the island.  She kicked her shoes off at the edge of the forest and stepped into the loose sand with bare toes.

     Ariana took her time as she strolled along the beach near the water, picking up shells and other small things that struck her fancy.  The sand was warm, and it stuck to her wet legs.

     Ahead of her, a wave toyed with a piece of wood.  It was not a large piece of wood, but it caught Ariana’s attention.  She splashed through the next approaching wave and picked it up. 

     It was flat, like a board, and badly broken around the edges.  Ariana turned the board over in her hands.  The other side had the word “The” painted in fancy lettering.

     Involuntarily, Ariana’s eyes sought the horizon.  In all her months on the island, she had never seen any signs of other human beings.  She had never seen any other islands in any direction.  She had never seen a plane fly overhead.  It would not have been hard to convince herself that she was the only person on the planet.  And it was a lonely if beautiful place to be.

     Yet, here in her hands, was an unmistakeable sign of people.  Where did it come from?  How far had this solitary board traveled to reach her?

     Ariana looked down at the board again.  Gently, almost caressingly, she pulled a piece of seaweed from a crack in the board.  “Poor thing,” she said to the board.  “I bet you are glad to see me, too.”

     “The” was not much of a clue to its origins.

     “Someone who speaks English, anyway,” Ariana mused, pondering the single word on the small board.  “I wonder who they were.”

     In truth, the board could have belonged to almost anybody.  Ariana stared at the painted word, imagining where it may have come from. 

     Perhaps it used to be part of a sign that hung in front of a seaside diner, run by an older lady who was fulfilling her life-long dream of living by the ocean.  Ariana could almost see the old lady on the front walk of her diner, standing contentedly underneath a sign that said “The Conch Shell Diner” and waving to her patrons.

     Perhaps it was part of an old fisherman’s boat named “The Red Herring.”  Every day, he went out into the harbor with his boat and his nets.  Ariana imagined some epic fishing expedition, like “The Old Man and the Sea” or “Moby Dick” that caused the name of his boat to rip loose.  Of course, the old man would have made it safely home to tell the tale, and then part of his boat name floated across the ocean to Ariana.

      Or maybe it was part of an evil smuggler’s ship.  A shiver ran down Ariana’s spine as she realized that the board may be associated with a more sinister source.  What if such a person discovered her island?

     It was unthinkable, and Ariana decided not to think about it.  She patted the board.  “It wouldn’t be your fault anyway,” she consoled the piece of wood.  “You were only the boat.”

     The painted board was essentially useless to her, but somehow she couldn’t bring herself to throw it back into the water.  As remote as it seemed, it was still her first human connection in months.  She carried the board away from the water and deposited it at the edge of the tree line before resuming her beach stroll.


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