By Megan Finsel
They found the first message scribbled on the underside of one of the many shards of metal. This was probably from the nosecone, they assumed. But the wreckage was scattered across the beach, and each piece was a puzzle that slowly explained the unexplainable. The first note sounded as shocked as to be expected. It read:
We have crash landed. Fred hit his head and I tried to save him, but there was too much blood. Unfortunately, he died a few hours ago. There is very little left of our plane and from what I can tell we’ve landed on some island, in the middle of the Pacific. I think we’re off course. It is almost sundown and this will be my first night sleepingoutdoors. But I refuse fear. She signed it A.E., and that was all.
They pictured her as she emerged from the twin-engine Lockheed Model 10 Electra, blinking in the evening sunlight and clouds of smoke. Had the palm
forest anticipated the crash? Had their fronds seen the craft coming, smoke boiling from its engines as it fell from the Heavens? Had the seas stirred when
the plane met the shore, scattering seashells, foam and sand?
The second note was scrawled on the back of the only half of the propeller which was to be found. They could imagine her sitting there besides
the campfire she had made, writing the message with the only pen she could find in her meager supplies.
I buried Fred’s body today as well as I could, she wrote. There was sadness in her handwriting, and they could feel her pain. This was my first full day here. There was nothing else written.
The next note they found was on the left aileron; they couldn’t find the right one. It read: I slept in the plane last night, or what was left of it that hadn’t burned. It was not comfortable but bearable. It’s hotter here than I thought it would be. In my imagination I always assumed it would be romantic to be stranded on a deserted island, but it is growing lonesome. Today is day two.
Another message was found on the right wing flap and the handwriting was excited, or frightened, or most likely a little of both.
I decided to leave the plane today, it read, and it was productive. I found some fruit. Four coconuts, a few bananas and what I think is a mango. They could imagine her wandering the sandy shores, the surf lapping at her ankles, the sun glistening through her hair. Perhaps this island isn’t all bad, but I will need to find fresh water soon. Salt water, I discovered, is undrinkable. This
is day three…
I’m getting sunburned, my skin is pealing, my eyes hurt and I am always hot. There is no relief. I ate the last banana today and now I’m unbelievably thirsty. I keep thinking of Fred and how he died. This is my fault. And you, George, I think of you. I miss your voice and your eyes; all the little things I never imagined I could miss so much. This is day four… no wait, five… I can’t remember…
Then they found several messages written on the fuselage in short, panicky handwriting which was beginning to fade either from a drying pen or the remorseless sun. They were both frightening and disturbing messages; something to be concerned of.
I don’t think I am alone here on this island. At night I hear strange noises, like voices, but it could be the wind in the palmettos. And there is what sounds like drumming in the distance. Or it could be thunder. I can’t tell anymore, and I’ve lost count of the days….
They pictured her huddled within the wreckage, scrawling these messages while peeking through the broken windows out at the night with wary eyes.
…I went on my walk this morning and there was more rustling in the brush today; I think I was being followed. I definitely hear the voices tonight. They’re singing or chanting or something. I need to protect myself… somehow…
Then the messages began to fade and cut off, as if she were unable to finish her sentences.
The rustling was louder tonight, and when I came back from my walk I found footprints around the wreckage… I might be in danger… I don’t think I’m alone…all I have is a little piece of metal I sharpened… I think I heard something…
The one they found on the fin was the most alarming yet; it was more a scribble than a cohesive message and they could imagine her kneeling in the sweltering noontime sun, writing it out in a panic.
This is for anyone who finds these messages… I am definitely not alone on this island. I don’t know who or what they are, but I’m sure I saw eyes in the dark of the woods, and I know they know I’m here. I have to hide…
The last one was written in brown, possibly dried blood, on a tiny piece of the rudder, and it was smudged almost beyond legibility. They could only make out three little words, and they decided they had enough evidence to put to rest the mystery of her disappearance and provide closure for her husband. It was tragic to end a legacy like hers in this way, yet history would remember her for the heroine she truly was. Abruptly upon reading it, they packed up and left the island. The message read:
They’ve found me.
Bio: Writing is my passion; it’s my way to share with the world how I see, and help people see and feel things they might not otherwise. To me, words contain great power, and I want to use that power to change feelings, to make smiles, and to create new perspectives. If I’ve made even one person feel better through my writing, then my job is complete. I’m working on my A.A degree and hope to someday become a Special Education teacher. Ultimately, I just want to inspire others 🙂