Wind, as bitter as teeth ravaged the shoreline. Clawing at everything that wasn’t firmly battened down, it showed no mercy. Frothing the sea into an agitated cauldron of menace, it caught the spume and flung it, screaming in protest toward my meagre shelter.
Rain, driven by the unbridled ferocity of the storm scourged what was left with a fusillade of diamond-tipped needles. Each drop, so filled with malevolence, they burned like acid as they ate into my flesh.
This tiny crag upon which I perched, a tightly clenched fist of granite amongst an ocean of hate, dared to defy both tempest and sea. Stripped bare, it braved the swells as I dare not. I didn’t possess its fortitude.
Salt encrusted, my scabbed over wounds throbbed in bone deep agony. Cauterized afresh by every assault, the spray punished me, piercing rags and flesh alike with hornet stings.
Hunching low beneath my only blanket, I curled up as tightly as I could. Like a babe, cocooned in a womb of rough wool and stale vomit. It offered little in the way of comfort and no respite whatsoever from my suffering.
Peeking out from my cover, I eyed the crabs and gulls that skittered about among the rocks. They were patient and could afford to be. They could sense my fading strength with every passing hour. I know they lusted for more than the bruises and scars already ravaging my body. Drawn by the nectar oozing from my cracked and bleeding fingertips, they slavered and watched, pincers cracking, wings flapping.
“Better that I should have died with the rest than endure this slow death by attrition.” I mumbled to myself, momentarily succumbing to morbidity.
The stubborn fire of defiance kindled within me. Cursing myself through gritted teeth, I staggered to my feet, “No! I’m a fighter. A survivor. I’ll cling stubbornly to life, no matter what this cruel mistress throws at me. Through storm, through squall, and broiling sun, I’ll endure the gnawing hunger and bitter thirst and throw it back in her face.”
Stomping forward, I threw my arms wide and screamed into the squall, “I’ll prevail by sheer force of will if I have to. You’ll never take me.”
Turning my back, I refused the embrace which would end my hell on earth…forever.
Andrew P Weston is a military and police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.
He is a writer of both fiction and poetry, and has the privilege of submitting regular educational articles for Astronaut.com
When not writing, Andrew enjoys Greek dancing and language lessons, being told what to do by his wife, and drinking Earl Grey Tea.