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Beach bum versus CEO

Chew on this.

By SJ CoveyPublished about a year ago 6 min read
Beach bum versus CEO
Photo by Xavier Coiffic on Unsplash

The alarm pierced the quiet of the cockpit. Terry looked up from her laptop, removing one of the enormous ear defenders from her right ear to ensure she was hearing the noise and not imagining it.

"We're going down; brace for impact." The pilot screeched over their shoulder at her.

"What, no. You have got to be kidding me. I didn't go through all this to die here—not like this. No." Terry refused to believe him. Her ice-cold stare, usually enough to silence anyone, had no effect.

The pilot had turned his back on her and wrestled with what looked like a joystick Terry had as a child.

Oh crap, he wasn't kidding. Terry thought when seeing the lights on the control panel lit up like the Griswold's house at Christmas. The spinning of the cabin was the next item for her to tick off the list of 'he's being serious. We're all going to die.'

Terry was flung from one side of the cabin to the other. A vicious backdraft snatched the helicopter, then silence...The rotors must have stopped. A dramatic plunge sent Terry hurtling down the cabin then everything went black.

The bath tap dripped on her foot, but she was too relaxed to move.

Drip, drip, drip.

The sand beneath her felt warm on her face.

Drip, drip, drip.

Ah it's not a tap; it's the waves. No sand in a bath.

Lap, lap, lap.

Am I dead? Terry remembered the accident. Oh no, my laptop, all my work.

You're lucky to be alive. Who cares about your laptop? Am I alive?

With a great effort, Terry peeled open her eyelids, snapping them shut again. The glare of the sunlight reflecting off the beach burned her eyes.

"You're awake, are yer?" a gruff voice asked from behind where she lay sprawled on the sand. The effort it had taken to open her eyes, she wasn't sure whether turning to see who the voice belonged to was an option.

"It would appear so. I don't suppose my laptop was saved, was it, or at least my mobile?" She very elegantly rolled onto her stomach. Every part of her screamed in protest, and she pushed up onto her hands and knees. Slowly her head raised, and before her was a bleached blonde and bronzed godlike figure of a man if your image of god had dreadlocks and a beard.

"Anything I found is over there." He pointed behind her.

Terry glanced at the pile of rubbish, which didn't look to have anything of value to her.

"Give me your phone. I have to make a call." She held her hand out.

His laughter rattled around the palm trees lining the beach. But not as much as it rattled Terry's brain. Her head had started to pound.

Once he had managed to control his hilarity, he explained. "I came here to live off the grid. Bringing a mobile would kind of defeat that object, now, wouldn't it?"

"Oh." Terry stood, taking a lot of care to move with the speed of a snail with a broken shell, wary not to tip over and crack it further.

"Joe." He jumped up, putting her pace to shame and thrust his hand at her.

"I'm guessing it's a no to painkillers, too, then?" Her face wrinkled up with the question.

His nod meant her shoulders dropped in defeat. Terry took a step, and her ankle gave way, plunging her back onto the sand.

"I have some herbs." His voice was thick like he wasn't used to speaking.

"How long have you been here?"

"Five years, I was fed up with how the world was going, so I checked out."

"Brave, don't you get lonely?" Terry asked.

Joe was examining her ankle he stopped.

"It's busted; I know some basic first aid." He rushed off to the tree line.

"What about booze? Tell me you have booze." Terry shouted after him.

After what felt like hours but was only ten minutes, Joe returned. He gave her a stick and she looked at him with no clue what he wanted her to do with it.

Yes, the sun had started to sink into the water turning the beautiful blue tranquil water to crimson. But did he want her to start a fire? She didn't have any idea how to.

"For your mouth." He nodded.

"My what?"

"This is gonna hurt like hell."

"Super." She lied, clutching the branch between her teeth and clamping down.

The pain of Joe setting her leg onto a splint and strapping it together was the most excruciating pain Terry had ever experienced, and she had given birth to eight-pound twins ten years ago.

Beads of sweat ran in rivulets down her face, mixing with the tears from her eyes. Joe looked apologetic while working but didn't stop even though she begged him.

"That's the best I can do, sorry." He produced another two sticks and quickly and skillfully fashioned them into a crutch. Helping her to her feet, he allowed Terry to lean on him and led her to the paltry supplies that had washed up from the helicopter crash.

A tiny bottle of Jack Daniels was amid the wreckage, like an alcoholic's mirage.

"Why the hell didn't you give me that to numb the pain?" Terry wacked out at him with her crutch forgetting she needed it for balance. Joe caught hold of her before she could fall. She laughed, and he scooped the JD up, cracked the lid and offered it to her.

"Thought you'd appreciate it more afterwards." He shrugged.

Terry took a huge gulp, polishing off half of the miniature bottle and passed it to him.

"You'll be drunk from that if you haven't had a drink in five years." She giggled.

With a nod, he threw his head back and swallowed what was left in the bottle. A shudder ran through his whole body, from his toes to the tips of his dreadlocks.

"What do you do, Terry?" He helped her to a clearing where it looked like he had made several fires during his stay on the island.

"I'm the CEO of the largest legal practice in the world." She flicked back her hair from her face. She was sure it didn't have the same impact covered in soot, sea and sand as when she did this in the boardroom.

"Oh, a big wig, hey? Not gonna do you much good here, though, is it?"

"Just because I'm not a child of the land like you doesn't mean I don't have skills. I wasn't born in the boardroom. I did have a life beforehand, you know." Had she been able-bodied, she would have strutted off into the trees. She wasn't; therefore, she stayed where she was.

"Shhhhh." Joe put his hand over her mouth. She shoved him away.

"What the..."

He put his finger to his lips. His eyes were wide. Joe came close to her, and she felt his warm breath tickle her ear when he whispered, "Pirates."

"You have got to be kidding me. Can this day get any worse?" she whispered back.

What did pirates want with Joe? He hasn't even got a phone. Terry thought.

She was about to voice her thoughts when from behind them, three people emerged from the trees.

"On yer feet." One of them instructed.

Joe helped Terry shuffle and, leaning on her crutch of branches, struggle to her feet.

"What 'av we got 'er then?" Another said, coming in close to Terry.

"Leave her alone," Joe stepped in front of Terry. She grabbed for him, swaying without his support, and he returned to her side.

Pirate one, not how she had imagined a pirate to be. Terry looked much more pirate with her peg leg and crutch. He had a clean-shaven baby face and freckles with a mop of ginger hair.

He got within arms-length of Terry, and she leaned against Joe, swinging her crutch with all her might. Her connection was like a good solid croquet shot. The noise his head made sounded like the ball being punted towards the hoop. His eyes rolled back in his head, and he fell to the floor unconscious or dead; she wasn't waiting to find out.

Pirates two and three, two had darker ginger hair and looked older, while three had jet black hair, ran towards Terry and Joe and their fallen comrade. Terry fished around and whipped out a gun, firing once, then twice. Both men fell to the sand. They were not unconscious.

"Who the hell are you?" Joe stared at her in disbelief.

"I told you I wasn't born in the boardroom." Terry winked, "I'm a survivor."

Short Story

About the Creator

SJ Covey

FamiLIES, SJ's debut NA book was released 20th Sept 2023.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (4)

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  • C. H. Richardabout a year ago

    So I just imagined Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock playing Joe and Terry! Loved this story and wanted it to continue. Please let me know if you do a followup. Terry is hilarious as a character and a bad ass too. Well done my friend! Love it !

  • Whoaaa, Terry is a badass! Amazing take on the challenge! I loved your story!

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    Well that was cool. Nicely done.

  • Babs Iversonabout a year ago

    Awesome story!!! Brilliantly written!!! Loving it!!!

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