Fiction logo

Who Do You Trust?

Faith Coupled With Reason

By Emily Marie ConcannonPublished 2 months ago Updated about a month ago 13 min read
Who Do You Trust?
Photo by Dalton Smith on Unsplash

Give me oil in my lamp,

Keep me burning,

Give me oil in my lamp, I pray!

Give me oil in my lamp,

Keep me burning,

Keep me burning

Till the break of day.


Sing hosanna! Sing hosanna!

Sing hosanna to the King of kings!

Sing hosanna! Sing hosanna!

Sing hosanna to the King!

-A. Sevison

The waves pounded on her back, pouring salt water into her wound. She cried out in pain, which caused her to inhale a mouthful of salty seawater. She coughed as she struggled to open her eyes and figure out where she stumbled.

She could not remember who she was or how she got here. She rubbed her eyes and struggled to her feet as the waves continued licking the shore. A small island was lying before her, with a forest of palm trees surrounding a large mountain in the center.

There was a bag on her back, which rubbed against her injury. She didn't know where the bag came from, but she knew she should keep it. It might be important.

She could remember absolutely nothing except a song. It was a bouncy song, where the chorus rang with, "Sing, Hossana! Sing, Hossana! Sing Hossana to the King!"

Who is the king? she asked herself. Was she sent here to find this king?

She walked slowly up the beach, hoping to gain some protection from the beating sunlight. Her throat was so dry she felt like it was slashed with a knife. She needed water badly, but there was none to be found.

As she felt the cool shade of the palm trees caressed her skin, she remembered a phrase:

O God, thou art my God;

early will I seek thee:

my soul thirsteth for thee,

my flesh longeth for thee

in a dry and thirsty land,

where no water is...

"No water...." she stammered as she collapsed and fell to the ground. The world became dark, and she felt her mind slipping away. Just as she was about to pass out she suddenly cried out, " Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?"

By James on Unsplash


She did not remember falling asleep, but Juliet opened her eyes to the splash of water on her face. She opened her mouth as rain poured like a waterfall from the sky.

She allowed herself enough to satisfy her thirst but knew she couldn't overdo it, or she'd throw up. Her expertise as a biologist taught her such things. She reached into the pack she had on her back, which she managed to grab as the plane plummeted from the skies. Her body shook as she remembered the harrowing experience.

The gash on her back was getting more and more irritated as the bag rubbed against it. But she was glad she didn't throw the sack away. She pulled out a water collection system. She strung it in a large tree, which had a heavy trickle of rainwater.

That would probably allow the water vessel to be completely filled before the end of the rainfall. For now, she knew she had to reach shelter. She moved north, closer to the mountain, careful to mark her path with red bits of material.

She reached a small cavern at the base of the mountain. There was no evidence of animals or humans living inside. She slipped inside and pulled out her thermal blanket from her backpack. She wrapped herself in the blanket as she shook with the cold.

Instinctively, she wanted to pray, but quickly pushed those thoughts away. She was an atheist and solely relied on her logic. Having been raised devoutly catholic, she left the Church while in college.

Now, she was more alone than ever before. Closing her eyes, she drifted off.

By Moritz Kindler on Unsplash


Opening her eyes she was pleased to notice her throat was no longer parched. Swallowing, she enjoyed not feeling intense pain as her saliva traveled down her esophagus.

Standing up, she saw she was inside a cavern carved into the side of the mountain. She reached out and touched her head, hoping she could remember what brought her here.

There were no signs that she was dragged here by someone. Although, there were some red strings tied to the trees surrounding the area. She puzzled over them for a moment before realizing they led back to a large sack hanging from a tree.

Who put these red strings here? Why is there a bag hanging from the trees?

She looked at it for a long moment before deciding to climb the tree and check it out. Sliding up the palm tree, she managed to hang next to the bag. It was definitely put here by a human and had several gallons of water inside it.

Confused about who could have it there, she decided to unlatch it and bring it down from the tree. There was certainly enough water in there to last her several days, but she felt bad drinking someone else's water.

"Maybe I should take the water back to the cave," she said aloud. "If they come back, I'll make sure they know I was desperate to get something to drink."

After quenching her thirst, she tried to start a fire. She couldn't remember anything other than some Bible verses and songs. Unable to recall anything about who she was, she assumed this faith was very important to her.

"God," she cried as she gave up on her fire-starting attempt, "I'm in dire need of a miracle. Please help me."

Starving and exhausted, she felt her mind grow fuzzy. She pulled a stick close to herself and started drawing in the sand. She drew a strange-looking fish and wrote next to it:

"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

Yawning, she drifted off once again.

By NOAA on Unsplash



Juliet rubbed her eyes, annoyed she fell asleep with her face in the sand. She found it strange that she kept falling asleep without remembering walking to the places she wasn't in before passing out.

How did I get here?

"Honk! Honk! HONK!"

"Goodness, what the hell?" Juliet shouted as she spun around to face the honking noise. A large seagull was standing a few feet away from her. It had three fish on the ground, which it seemed to be giving to her.

Noticing her stomach growling intensely, she leaped instinctively at the fish. The seagull didn't really respond other than jumping back a little. Juliet knew this was odd for a bird that was very territorial over its food, but she didn't stop to think about it.

Just as she was about to bite into a raw fish, she remembered the firestarters wrapped in a waterproof wax in her backpack. This might seem odd, but Juliet was always very afraid of flying, especially in private planes.

So, she always brought a small survival kit. Of course, commercial jets usually don't allow these kits, which is why she chose a private jet. That was a mistake, it seemed, but at least she brought some supplies.

She thought about her fear of flying as she used her fire starters to cook the fish. As a rational scientist, she despised her irrational fear of flying. She always recited statistics about how incredibly safe it was to fly. But that didn't stop her from avoiding a commercial jet because they wouldn't allow her to bring her survival kit.

As the fish cooked, she glanced over at the seagull. It was odd for such a greedy bird to share its food like that. She wondered what possessed the bird to share these fish and not try to get it back.

As she walked towards the odd bird, she noticed something scribbled in the sand. Part of the words was washed away, but she could make out the words:

Follow me...

The strange words made her heart skip a beat. She realized that not only was someone here, but they spoke English! Excited, she picked up a large stick and wrote:

My name is Juliet. I'm lost here on the island. I have two fish to spare and water.

She added a small drawing of a map to direct the reader to her cave. She didn't want to miss the person, so she chose to sit on the beach and eat her fish. She hoped the stranger would see her fire and come to her.

No one came, though. As the night continued to creep in on her, she lost hope that anyone would come. Tears started to come to her eyes as she realized she might be alone forever.


Juliet jumped, startled by the call of the seagull. The weird bird nestled beside her, enjoying the warmth of her body and the fire. She smiled and decided to pet the small creature.

She didn't realize she had fallen asleep, but soon you could see the body of Juliet curled up, fed, and sleeping with a seagull on the beach.

By Peter F. Wolf on Unsplash


The girl woke up as the sun crested the horizon. She was on the shore with a sleeping bird nestled beside her. It looked cute, but she didn't know why the creature rested beside her.

"Did you give me these fish?" she asked the bird, who looked at her compassionately. She smiled broadly and gave the bird some of the fish flesh.

"You're an angel, aren't you?" she said as she petted the white bird. It glanced at her knowingly as if saying, "how'd you know?"

She stood up, happy she managed to wake up before the sun got too high in the sky. Her stomach no longer rumbled despite the fact she could not remember eating. This struck her as strange.

There were fish bones near her fire, so she assumed she had eaten them. But when?

As she walked towards the cave, she noticed more writing near where she wrote Jesus' words.

My name is Juliet. I'm lost here on the island. I have two fish to spare and water.

Besides these words, there was also a map scribbled in the sand. She was shocked to see this was the same cave she called home on this island.

Hold on, she thought aloud. If this is the same cave and I ate fish but don't remember, could Juliet be me?

The thought struck her as so odd, but there didn't seem to be any other logical explanation. She wondered what Juliet was like. What did she believe? Did she believe the seagull was an angel?

"Hi, Juliet," she wrote in the sand. "I don't know my name or anything about who I am. But I believe we might be the same person. I keep falling asleep and waking up in different places. I ate fish and don't remember it. And you live in the same cavern I live in..."

She felt uneasy as she wrote the last part of her message:

"Tell me, do you believe in God? I think he's been watching out for us and sent us an angel in the form of a seagull to rescue us. Do you believe this?"

She spent the rest of the day praying, sterilizing water, and drying the fish the seagull brought. She decided to call him Gabriel, after the archangel. As night fell, she slowly drifted to sleep with the little angel or seagull, whatever he was.

By Arturo Rey on Unsplash


Juliet woke up inside the cavern with the seagull resting near the entrance. She shook her head, shocked she once again woke up where she didn't expect.

She noticed fish and seaweed drying in the cave's entrance. She stood up and looked at them, surprised. She didn't remember doing this and wondered if the other person had hung everything up for her.

After looking at this food supply, she went down to the beach to see if there were any new messages. There was, but the words shocked her.

This other person seemed to think they were the same person! Shocked, Juliet weighed this stranger's arguments. She made some good points. But the last part bothered her the most.

"Do you believe in God?"

Sighing, Juliet figured there was no way they could be the same person. She left her faith years ago and studied science to help solidify her rational belief system.

She wrote back:

I do not think we could be the same person. I do not believe in God or any gods or goddesses. I'm a biologist, which helps me rationally reason around the mythic systems of religious books. I recommend that you use your brain and not your heart as we strive to survive on this island.

She went about her day as usual until she fell asleep late in the afternoon.

By Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash


Waking up late at night, she found herself face to face with a blanket of stars. She knew she didn't go to sleep out here and figured she must've moved here when she was Juliet.

She walked to their message board and managed to read the words by moonlight.

I do not think we could be the same person. I do not believe in God or any gods or goddesses. I'm a biologist, which helps me rationally reason around the mythic systems of religious books. I recommend that you use your brain and not your heart as we strive to survive on this island.

She felt slightly offended at her words and shocked. There was not a doubt in her mind that they were the same person. Nothing else made sense to her. But how could her alter-ego not believe in God?

She wrote back:

I don't understand how you could not believe in God. He's been watching out for us since we arrived here. Gabriel, the seagull, is our guardian angel! Please, pray and give it a chance.

By Rachel Cook on Unsplash


Juliet grumbled when she read the words etched in the sand. She had to admit that it seemed like this other girl was herself, since there was no other way to explain the strange phenomena.

However, she didn't feel like debating metaphysics with herself. She wrote back:

"I'll focus on survival. You can do the praying. Just know, it's my work that keeps you alive, not God or Gabriel, as you call him."

The seagull watched her closely as she wrote these words. She had to admit, this seagull was very strange and was the only thing connecting her to herself in another mind.

"Perhaps," Juliet mused as she petted the bird, "we'll complement one another. Maybe I need rationality and faith."


Legend says after this admission to the seagull, Juliet lost less and less time. Her mind seemed to come together once again as a single unit.

A few weeks after landing on the island, she was rescued by a passing ship. She brought Gabriel with her, feeling he'd make the perfect pet.

She told her fellow scientists about this strange bird once she arrived home. They examined him closely but had no explanation for the odd behavior.


Thank you so much for reading this story! I didn't think I would finish it, but I finally managed to!

I based this story on my personal experiences with faith and atheism. This isn't meant to be a rebuke of either belief (or lack of belief). I wanted to think about how these two things could come together and bring strength in times of need.

I originally planned this to be two different people, but I soon had the idea that it should be one person! I hope it reads easy enough despite this confusion!

Thank you so much for reading!! LOTS OF LOVE :) :)


About the Creator

Emily Marie Concannon

I am a world nomad with a passion for vegan food, history, coffee, and equality.

You can find my first novel on Kindle Vella here: :) I appreciate all your support and engagement! :)

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (2)

Sign in to comment
  • Moe Radosevichabout a month ago

    This story touched a memory or two, I majored in Biology 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️, anyway an absolutely fantastic story, love it ❤️ oh and FYI, I love seagulls 😂😂

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Nicely done. I like the transitions from Juliet to Juliet. Very smooth.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.