All Washed Up
by Evan Carlton
Jesse is getting uneasy. Up until now he's been talking a mile a minute, but the talk has all but dried up now. He looks out to sea and then back towards the tree-line. He's trying to work out whether we should stay here and make it easier for them to spot us, or whether we should head away from the beach and find shelter in case another storm hits.
"We need water and food," I say. "It's going to be hours before they send help anyway."
"Yeah," he says. "Water is the most important thing. We can only go three days without water, then we're gonna be in trouble."
"Yeah," I say. "We need water."
He stares out to sea, brooding.
"We can leave a message above the tideline. 'HELP'. That way a plane will spot us," I say.
"Yeah. In the sand or with rocks?" He asks, looking around to see what we could use to make a sign big enough to spot from the air:
"In the sand," I say. "I can't see a single rock we could use. Can you?" He shakes his head.
"It's going to get dark in a couple of hours. Let's get started." I'm already getting up, so I offer him my hand to help him up. The cut on his thigh looks worse than it is, but he still winces and keeps his leg stiff as I pull him up.
An hour later we stand back and look at our handiwork. Each letter is about six feet square.
"That should do it," he says, throwing aside the paddle we've been using to dig out the letters in the sand. "Let's hope the weather holds, otherwise it'll wash away."
"Then we'll dig it again," I say, trying to keep the atmosphere positive.
He smiles at me for the first time and I smile back. "You're being pretty cool about things," he says and I feel a surge of pride.
"Well we made it this far and they'll be here soon enough, won't they?"
"Sure they will. The boat had a GPS locator beacon on it and I think my last radio message went out. I'm pretty sure it did anyway." I can tell he isn't sure at all, but I let it ride.
"Let's get the rest of the stuff from the dinghy and see what's on the other side of those trees," I say. "How's your leg?"
"It stings but it's not too bad. It looks pretty clean." While he's talking, he pulls up the blood-smeared leg of his cargo shorts and unties the makeshift bandage covering the four-inch cut. It's still bleeding, so he ties the bandage around his leg again. It's about a quarter of an inch deep, and we both know that infection is more of a problem than loss of blood.
"The medical kit should have some antiseptic ointment in it," I say. "We can clean it properly once we find somewhere to sleep for the night."
We strip everything we can carry out of the dinghy. The medical kit's wet but not damaged. Jesse flips down a panel under one of the seats and pulls out a red box. "Jackpot!" he exclaims. "Lookee here. A flare gun." He holds the box up and waggles it, grinning from ear to ear. He breaks the seal and lifts out a heavy looking pistol. "There are only two flares but that should do it. If we hear a plane we can fire one off."
"Your dad thought of everything," I say.
"Yeah, he did," Jesse says, replacing the gun in the red box and clicking the lid shut. "He's gonna be so mad when he finds out about the boat."
"Don't say that. He'll just be glad you're safe."
"Your mom too."
"Hopefully she won't even know we're missing before we're rescued. Otherwise she won't let me sail again till I'm eighteen."
Jesse laughs and shakes his head. "More like thirty. Let's get going."
We trudge towards the tideline and the palm trees. There's plenty of driftwood up here and I ask Jesse if we should use some to fill up the letters we just made in the sand to make them more permanent. I can tell his leg is hurting a lot, because his mouth is clamped shut and he's breathing through his nose. He needs a while before he answers.
"Let's get settled somewhere first. We need to start on a shelter in case it rains. If we have time, we can come back."
Jesse and I have known each other most of our lives. His dad, who's also my godfather, runs a diving and sailing company for tourists in Nassau and my dad worked for him until he died two years ago in a diving accident. He wasn't even working, just out with some buddies. They told me he had a pulmonary embolism. Jesse's dad's been really cool since then, helping my mother out financially and making sure I got into a good school. Jesse's been like a big brother to me, I suppose. If you discount the fact that I'm black and he's white, of course. He's ten months older than me, so he's way ahead of me in the puberty race. He already grew about four inches in the past six months, so he's way taller than I am now. His silver blonde hair has turned straw-coloured this year. I don't know why, but since he turned fourteen I've been catching myself looking at him differently. When we strip off to swim, I can't seem to take my eyes off his flat stomach and the six-pack that's starting to show there. He wears his swimming shorts low around his waist, and the V-shape where his stomach dips under the waistband is something that's been making me get kind of horny, if I'm totally honest. Last time we changed together, I had to turn around to hide the fact that my dick was suddenly getting hard. The feeling was kind of like a gut punch and I wasn't sure if I liked it, or what it probably meant.
"Quit daydreaming and help me carry these palm leaves. We can make a shelter between those two trees."
I snap back to the situation we're in and pick up four big palm leaves. He strings a vine between two trees about eight feet apart and we start weaving the leaves in and out, making a makeshift roof. The wind is picking up now and we start working quicker, sweat pouring off us. We pull off our T-shirts and now we're almost running backwards and forwards between the tideline and the shelter, carrying more and more leaves, until we're done and you can't see daylight between the fronds anymore. We take a break, gulping down water from the emergency rations, catching our breath. The daylight's fading fast now, and we still don't have a bed to sleep on. Jesse's looking nervously at the treetops whipping backwards and forwards as the wind increases in strength. Somewhere in the distance, we hear a rumble of thunder.
"That's not good," he says. I can tell he's worried. "They won't be able to get a plane up to look for us if the weather stays like this."
I shrug my shoulders, acting like it's no big deal. "We can collect rainwater and store it. There are plenty of coconuts lying around. We won't starve. We just need to make sure your leg doesn't get infected."
He stares down at his thigh. "It's still bleeding."
"Well we just built a shelter, Jesse. Sit still while I find some stuff to sleep on, then we'll get your leg fixed up." I get up and start collecting the mossy flax from the palm trees. I collect five or six armfuls and Jesse spreads it flat, making a bed about six feet by four. Just as I'm about to go out and collect some more, the rain starts to fall. I find two broken coconut shells and place them in front of the shelter to act as makeshift bowls. They fill up in less than five minutes as the rain really starts to pummel our shelter. A few drops make it through, but otherwise it holds. I grin at Jesse. "We make a pretty good shelter, you know."
He grins back at me. "We sure do, Mikey." He's the only person who still calls me that. It was what my dad used to call me, and I insisted on Michael after he died. Somehow it still sounds good when Jesse says it, so I've never asked him to stop.
We drink the water from the coconut shells and I set them outside to fill up again. "Let's get your leg fixed up. Take your shorts off." He doesn't hesitate, pulling his cargo shorts off and folding them up on the makeshift bed beside him. He's wearing striped briefs. I try to ignore the bulge of his privates as I scooch over to his right side to get a good look at the cut. It seems clean enough, but I can see there's something small and dark inside the cut. I get as close as I can and pull the edges of the cut apart. "What is that?" I say, confused.
"I think it might be a piece of wood," he says quietly. "The spar broke and dragged across my leg. It was a piece of metal that cut me but the wood around it was splintered. You have to pull it out, Mikey."
I stare at him in shock. "You're kidding, right? We don't know how big it is. Can't you pull it out yourself?"
"Come on, dude," he says sharply. "Help me out here. You can see it better."
I suddenly feel ashamed at my own cowardice. I fish around in the medical kit for a pair of tweezers and disinfect them with some rubbing alcohol. "Close your eyes and don't move," I say, taking a deep breath. He leans his head back and stares up at the roof of the shelter.
"Do it," he says through gritted teeth.
I stick the tweezers into the cut as gently as possible, but he still jerks and hisses. I wait for him to settle down again and manoeuvre the tweezers around the dark object. I begin to pull, and a thick sliver of wood slides out of the wound. It's about an inch long and a quarter of an inch thick. The wound starts to bleed heavily again. He slumps back onto the bedding when I tell him it's out. I look up at his face and I can see there's a line of tears from the corner of his eye to his chin.
"I'm sorry, Jesse," I say quietly. "I have to look again and make sure I got it all." He sighs, nodding. The bleeding has slowed again. I get as close to the wound as I can, trying to make out anything unusual. The daylight's faded, but I can just about see well enough. "It's clear," I say finally. "I'll check it again in the morning, but I can't see anything in there right now."
"Okay," he says, laughing in relief. His thigh is trembling under my hand. "Can you clean it and bandage me up. Don't get any of that alcohol on my balls or it'll sting." I laugh as well and start dabbing at the cut with one of the bandages from the medical kit, soaked in alcohol.
"Jesus H Christ, Mikey. That hurts worse than you digging around in there like you're looking for buried treasure."
"I'm done now. Lift your leg up so I can get the bandage around it." He raises his right leg up, making a ninety-degree bend at the knee. Holding a piece of gauze in place over the cut, I begin to wrap the bandage around his thigh. Every time I go under and over, the back of my hand brushes lightly against his balls. He goes quiet. I can tell that he's starting to get hard. A few seconds later it's at full mast, pushing against the material of his briefs.
"Don't worry about it," I say cheerfully. "That happens to me every ten minutes as well. I think it's just happy that we're done here."
"Yeah well…thanks Mikey," he says as I crawl over to his left side. He tries to force his erection down between his legs, but it keeps popping back up. I hand him his T-shirt and he drops it in his lap with a sigh. "It has a mind of its own, I swear."
"I know what you mean," I say. "Last week I got the worst ever hard-on at school just as Miss Marshall was asking me to go up to the board to write something. I had to tell her I couldn't just at that exact moment. Everyone was in hysterics." We both burst out laughing and the tension disappears.
"Are you cold?" I ask him when we've settled down again.
"Nah. I'll be okay". He pulls his T-shirt over his head as he's talking. We tore off a strip of the material to make a bandage after we clambered out of the dinghy, so the shirt only comes down to his belly button now. He pulls his shorts on, wincing. My T-shirt's still soaking wet, so I leave it off. We drink another coconut shell full of water and settle down to watch the lightning flashes through the canopy of trees. We talk about what we were going to eat when we get back home, and what our parents will say when they hear we lost the boat.
"There was nothing you could have done, Jesse," I reassure him. "That squall came out of nowhere. Your dad didn't see it on the radar either. And the boat's insured, so as long as we get back safe, that's all he's really going to care about. Do you want to try and get some sleep? I can get up early and collect some coconuts to eat."
We rearrange ourselves so that we're lying alongside each other, Jesse closest to the front of the shelter. Gradually the storm subsides and the rain stops. I begin to doze off, waking up every few minutes when a drop of water makes it through the roof to land on my bare stomach or my head. The third time, Jesse giggles and pulls me closer to him, so that our hips touch. We both start laughing as we struggle to find somewhere to put our arms. In the end I turn on my side, my butt pressed up against his hip. A few seconds later he turns over as well and I feel the warmth of his chest against my back. I sigh contentedly.
"Thanks for fixing me up," he whispers in my ear.
"No worries, Jesse," I whisper back.
I feel his arm move around my chest, pulling me closer to him, and then his breath on my ear. A few seconds later, we're both asleep.
I'm woken by the screech of a bird, loud and grating. I pry Jesse's arm off my chest and roll on my back. His arm instantly drapes itself across my chest again. I can tell he's awake by the sound of his breathing.
"I see what you mean about yours having a mind of its own as well," he murmurs. I look down and see the front of my shorts stuck up like a tent. I sigh and try unsuccessfully to push my morning wood down. "Don't worry, mine's like that every morning. It doesn't go away until you've peed," he says.
"How am I supposed to pee like this?" I ask, pointing at it.
"Carefully," he answers solemnly, and we both burst out laughing. I tell him I'll go first and clamber over him, trying not to hurt his wounded leg.
I walk a few yards from the shelter and find a place to pee. The sun is up, but only just. After about twenty seconds I manage to let loose a stream, sighing as I do so. On the way back to the shelter, I pick up four or five coconuts that look fresh. The storm must have brought them down.
Jesse goes outside to do his business, and then he helps me smash open four of the coconuts. We drink the milky water and then started pulling apart the flesh, devouring it hungrily.
Before we head back to the beach, I check his cut again, feeling the edges of the wound for any evidence of infection. Everything looks fine. I put some more alcohol on it and re-bandage it.
We head to the beach to see if our sign's still there. To our dismay, the letters have almost disappeared. I make him sit on a rock and watch while I dig out the letters again, and this time I put old rotting palm leaves in the grooves to make them more visible from a spotter plane. I'm sweating like crazy by the time I'm finished. I pull off my shirt and shorts and walk naked into the ocean to cool off. Jesse sits on his rock and watches me.
"Can I swim too?" he calls out.
"No, you have to keep your leg dry," I yell back.
"It looks so nice," he shouts sulkily. I grin at him and play around in the waves, taunting him.
Afterwards, I walk over to the rock and sit next to him, drying off in the cool morning sun.
"They'll be here soon," I say confidently. "The first plane will be here this afternoon."
"Yeah, this afternoon. Maybe this evening," Jesse says, nodding.
"I'll try and catch some fish for lunch."
"That would be great. Coconuts are nice enough, but I'm still famished."
I notice him staring at me out of the corner of his eye. It feels nice to have him look at me. I stretch out on the rock and close my eyes. He's still sitting, staring out to sea, looking for anything moving out there. He strips his T-shirt off and lies back on the rock next to me, shielding his eyes with his outstretched hand. Our arms are pressed together. I smile contentedly.
"It's almost like a vacation from our parents," I murmur. "No chores to do, no being told what to wear, what to eat. I could get used to this."
"Yeah," he says, "and we get to tell everyone we were shipwrecked when school starts again."
I catch three small snapper with the reel of line from the survival kit and gut them with the penknife. The knife is kind of blunt so the fish look pretty messy, but once we've roasted them on sticks over a fire a few feet from the shelter, they taste great. We drink more coconut water and then we sit down to wait for the spotter plane. It's only when the sun starts to dip towards the horizon that we realise they won't be coming anymore today. The search would be called off at sunset.
"Hmm," says Jesse thoughtfully. "I wasn't expecting that. Never mind. We can keep the fire going all night anyway. Maybe a passing boat will see it." He seems embarrassed that he's failed to get us rescued. I try to tell him I don't mind, that another night on the island is nothing to be upset about, but he sulks for an hour anyway. As the fire burns down, I run through the remaining supplies in the medical kit, making sure I have enough to bandage his leg again in the morning, and then I check the box containing the flare gun. I don't want to miss the chance to signal t o a plane if one comes during the night, even though we both know they wouldn't be searching now it was dark. The fire's burned down almost completely and it's getting late. We're both exhausted. Jesse watches me from the shelter.
"Just close the fucking lid and go to sleep," he snaps. I stare at him, shocked. He turns away.
I bank the fire up as high as I dare and settle next to him on the makeshift bedding to sleep.
"I'm sorry," he says miserably. "I'm supposed to be looking after you and you've had to do everything. I really thought they'd come today."
"Forget about it," I say. "I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be right now than here with you. I'll miss this when we get home."
Automatically we both turn on our sides and I lift up my arm to let Jesse slide his around my waist. His skin is warm and dry against my back. I feel his fingers tracing the path from my belly button to the waistband of my shorts over and over again as we talk quietly. Suddenly he props himself up on his left elbow and I turn to look up into his eyes. The only light is from the fire burning brightly outside the shelter. I stare at him, unsure of what to say. Slowly he lowers his head and then I feel the soft touch of his lips on mine. I gasp and kiss him back, turning my head to one side. His tongue slips into my mouth and I marvel at the exciting warmth of it. I press back with my tongue, making him giggle with pleasure. I feel his right hand unbuttoning my shorts and slipping under the waistband. His fingers trace a line through the tiny patch of pubic hair I've sprouted since my thirteenth birthday, and then his hand is wrapped around my dick. Nobody has ever touched me there before, and the sensation is almost unbearable. He continues on and cups my balls in his hand. I reach over with my left hand and push the elasticated waistband of his shorts down. He raises his hip slightly and then they're past his thighs. He kicks them off and pushes his briefs down at the same time. With my left hand I tug my shorts off completely. With that, we were both naked. I watch as his eyes take in my body hungrily
"So beautiful," he whispers, his voice ragged.
"You too," I say, the words catching in my throat. His dick is about an inch longer than mine, and about the same thickness. He has more hair down there than me, but it's light brown and delicate, unlike my coarse black hairs. I stroke them in wonder, watching his dick jerk towards my hand. We are both trembling. We kiss again as our hands find each other's dicks and we begin to stroke each other. I feel his hand reach around to cup my butt, pulling me forcefully into him. We're glued together from our knees to our nipples, our dicks mashing together as we squirm against each other. We kiss passionately, and then small grunts escape our lips as we discover new exciting places to explore with our tongues; the napes of our necks, our earlobes, our shoulders. I cry out as he lets the tip of his tongue brush over my nipples. He pushes me onto my back and starting pumping my dick fast and hard, and a few seconds later I feel the muscles in my thighs start to tense. I groan as a wave of pleasure begins to radiate out from my groin, reaching my toes as I come with a loud yell. I feel a thin stream of hot cum splatter over my belly and I hear Jesse say 'oh'. He lets go of my dick and begins to wank himself quickly. He buries his head in my shoulder and I feel another, thicker jet of cum spray over my still pulsing dick. He groans into my shoulder as he shakes with pleasure. We're both panting and sighing at the same time. Eventually he raises his head and looks me in the eyes. We grin at each other.
"Well that was…" he starts.
"…fucking brilliant," I finish for him and we both fall apart, laughing like crazy.
I clamber over him and use some leaves and rainwater to clean my belly. Still naked, I crawl in next to him and pull his arm around me.
"You know we're going to do that again in a few minutes, don't you?"
"Of course I do," I say contentedly. "I think next time I'd like you to get messy though."
"Or we could just make sure it doesn't get wasted," he says, turning around so our crotches are level with each other's faces.
"Now that sounds nice," I say, opening my mouth to receive him.
At noon the next day, a spotter plane appears over the horizon. Jesse fires off the flare even as the plane dips its wings to make sure we know he's seen our message.
I stare at Jesse with a sad smile. "I guess we have to put our clothes back on," I say.
"For now," he replies with a wolfish smile.
This story is part of the 2016 story challenge "Inspired by a Phrase - Close the Lid". The other stories may be found at the challenge home page. Please read them, too. The voting period of 4 to 25 January 2016 is when the voting is open. This story may be rated, below, against a set of criteria, and may be rated against other stories on the competition home page.
This challenge was to write a story based on the phrase below.
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