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Nixie Lands on an Island

Jean Valjean

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NIXIE DRIFTED UP ON THE BLUE, BLUE SHORES OF SOME DISTANT LAND. Her raft was ruined, and her thick, curly hair in her face. She was unconscious and incapable of really noticing that she had come to a stop. It was a while before she woke up. The calm, peaceful sun beat down upon her. She peered out at the world from behind her dark brown eyes, not really feeling anything, other than a deep desire to feel the sun as a gift of comfort and not as a reminder of her dryness and her lack of drink.


She got up. Looked around. Shook her head.


There was nothing but the green of tropical trees, the light tan of the beaches, and the aquamarine color of the see. It was beautiful, like some sort of paradise. She was alive.


Yet for now, all she could do was roll off of the raft and sit there, her bottom in the sand, her hands on her lap as she looked out into the vast infinity of the see. She would need food and water soon, but before that she just needed to ponder what she had lost.


No, she hadn't lost anything. Her friends and her younger brother were still out there, just out of reach. She new she would see them someday. it was just a matter of having faith and starting to search.


Somewhere across the waters...


She got up and grabbed her bag from the top of the raft. Its strap that was supposed to hoist around her shoulder was broken, so she used it as a rope and just dragged it across the sand. It formed a line, and the line disappeared into the trees.


She had managed to spot without much difficulty the highest point on the island. It was a large rock outcropping, like a spine coming out of the earth. Along the way, she found strange new fruits and gave them a try, risking her life on the hope that they weren't poison. She tried their bright orange and yellow and green juices and was replenished.


Ah, that was so much better. It wasn't enough to lighten up her head quite yet, though, so she decided she would make camp.


That wasn't so difficult, since the leaves on this island were huge. In fact, some of them reached eleven feet across, by her guestimate, since they were about twice her length. It would be easy to make a tent out of them. But not here in the forest. No, she picked a few, rolled them up, and set them out on the beach and set up a tent there. There would be no bugs and no creepy things to crawl over her while she slept.


The next day, she ate some more and gathered up food, and then she went back to the tall rock she saw. It took a bit of climbing, and her grip was only so strong, but she wanted to give it a try. She saw the jagged face of the rock through the trees and ran up to it, then looked for a foothold. She then, through force of determination, found a way up, and endurance came to her through the form of a continued sense of wonder. Once she was halfway up, she saw the world around her in an outstanding beauty. The bright blue area where the deep see came up to the sandy beach was beautiful. The island wasn't that large, but she couldn't gather its exact size until she got to the top of the rock that afternoon. She stood there, on a narrow pathway, able to look southease and northwest of the aisle, out upon the surrounding isle. It was about five miles across.


"Hello?" she cried out. "Is anyone here?"


No answer.




There looked to be no sort of settlement on the island. She figured she would leave, then. It wasn't worth staying if there was nobody here to help her. It was best to just pack up fruits onto the raft. She climbed down the rock to get back to the raft.


"Hey, wait," said a voice.


She looked around and saw a golden bug on the rock, about the size of the palm of her hand. It had eight legs along a segmented body, and then a front area like a centaur, which had pincers for arms and these two beady eyes on the ends of stalks, which swiveled about comically. He looked like a scorpion or a crab of some sort. It was a bit strange, but she had seen a lot of strange and unexplainable things since she had left home.


"Hello, who are you?" she asked.


"I'm the only person on this island," said the bug person.


"But you're a bug," said Nixie.


"A bug person," said the bug person. "What's a matter. Haven't you ever seen a dichester before?"


"Have you ever seen a human before?" asked Nixie.


"Come to think of it, I have no idea what you are," said the bug-person-dichester.


"Well I'm leaving this island," she said.


"I'm coming with you," said the dichester. "And my name is Jetty."


"Nice to meet you, Jetty. My name is Nixie. And yes, you can come with me, but I'm leaving this island."


"I know. I figured that you came on a raft, and I've been lonely for a while now."


That evening, Nixie sat under the tent with a fire started to keep them warm and cook some fish that she caught, while she recorded her thoughts into her journal, the sole item she carried with her in her bag. She bit into a golden apple, and its juice dripped onto the pages, right on top of her brother's name. Then she stopped and contemplated it all. Where she was right now, the encounter she had with Jetty, and the leap of faith she was taking by setting her raft out onto the open ocean again.


She came out of her tent and called out Jetty's name. He came scurrying over, leaving little dots for tracks behind him. They ate what food was left, but it was a quick meal. She wanted to drift into the night time and make as much use of the cool moonlight air as possible.


Jetty got onto the recrafted raft while Nixie got out on back and pushed it into the ocean. After paddling along for a while, cutting her knee on a piece of coral, she pulled herself on and let herself dry off, putting herself at a distance from her bag so that she didn't get her journal wet.


And so they went off with the stars in the sky, ready to discover another of the many islands out there, hopefully one that had friends and support. And when they looked out, there were many stars, and they were reflected upon the water so that the division between the heavens and the waters was impossible to make, and it was all one swirling cosmos.


Nixie had seen this before, but this was during a vision where she was given sight over the entire universe, and she knew everything, and she knew where she was. She still wondered if that wasn't a dream, if it wasn't for how she had mysteriously came to a paradise once it was over. She could only wish that the same force was watching over her still, and she rolled onto her back and slept, with her new companion using her hair as a bed. It was a weird world out there, but it was also beautiful.

Edited by Jean Valjean
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  • 3 months later...

Hey, it's Zaxvo from the SSCC! Your story has been selected for a free review!My biggest criticism is the lack of story in the work. It can really be summarized as "Nixie lands on an island, meets a talking bug, and then leaves." That's not a story in and of itself; it would work very well as, say, a chapter in a longer epic.There were also some grammatical issues I noticed:"[the bag] formed a line, and the line disappeared into the treed." should be trees."She tried their bruit orange and yellow and green juices and was refurbished." Bruit is French for "noise" and it's a medical term to describe what doctors hear with stethoscopes. Somehow I don't think that's what you meant haha. Also, "refurbished" is more suited to inanimate objects; I would have used the term "reenergized" or even "rehydrated"."No, she picked a few, rolled them up, and set them out on the beach and set up a tend there." should be "tent", I think."That evening, Nixie sad under the tent" I believe you meant she "sat".So those are my negative comments out of the way.The thing I like most about this story is that it's completely and totally intriguing. Reading it, I was totally and completely enthralled, curious as to her story, her past, and how she ended up on a raft with nothing more than a journal. And that sort of intrigue is best suited to a longer tale in which you plan on giving the readers those answers.Really the only genre of writing where you can get away with making the reader wonder, with leaving them, permanently, with that many questions, is horror. And that only works because perhaps the greatest fear is the fear of the unknown.But back to your story; I really wish I could know more about Nixie. More about her friends and her brother. More about Jetty. And you give the readers a flash, a peek, at this ich and vibrant world, but then deny us the chance to learn more and become more engaged in the story.It's a good scene, yes, but in the end that's all I can really say. I wouldn't qualify it as a "real" story, because, to be honest, where's the conflict? What's the point of telling the tale?I look forward to reading more about Nixie and her adventures, because right now, it sounds like it would make a great story.




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:kaukau: As a short explanation, I wrote this as a 15-minute story for the Ambage to the theme of...I forget the theme. It might have been beaches or getting lost. I can't remember. Anyway, the point is, I never edit these, save for spelling and grammar mistakes. I prefer to just show these "as is". They're exercises, nothing more.


However, yes, Nixie is certainly a character who exists within a much larger context. I wrote this scene keeping in mind how it pertained to a particular point in a larger story, and as an exercise, it was just nice to write a scene with a character to find potential inspiration and a feel for a particular moment in a story. So really, it's just a scene, not a story, and you're completely right about that, but I definitely have no qualms. It's something I'm accepting of, since I wanted to work more on atmosphere and feel than anything.


What I'm really glad is that this intrigues you. Thank you, Zaxvo - that's very encouraging! It's part of the reason why I put these short pieces on these forums, to give people a feel and an interest for the worlds and characters that I create, and that someday if I write an extended story with these characters and put them on BZPower, I might have an audience, so this review makes me feel better.


On a final note, my chapters are significantly longer than this, closer to ten thousand words long. At least, in a published work, my chapters would cover about that much ground. However, it's an apt enough description for what this is and how it flows, since it is definitely set in the middle of something, and feels like a transition or a step along a journey. I have never read or seen The Life of Pi, but I really wanted to. A friend watched the movie and told me how visually appealing it was. Based off of his descriptions of the movie, images from documentaries I've watched, Nim's Island, and Castaway, I sort of took fifteen minutes to come up with this spontaneous imagery associated with this imaginary world of mine.


And yes, when you mention this sort of intrigue being suited for a long tale, the context that this takes place in is a very, very long tale.



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