THURSDAY: Pebbles

BY D. B. ROBERTSON

Copyright is held by the author.

Day 1
I have no idea what I’m going to do. I’m stuck on this island and I’m the only one who made it here. The raft is in no shape to take back out onto the water, but I have enough supplies from the emergency kit to survive until help arrives.

Day 1 (Cont.)
The flare gun doesn’t work. Awesome.

Day 1 (Cont.)
I built a lean-to near the beach out of sticks and the emergency blanket from the kit. I’ll look for food in the morning. These protein bars aren’t going to last forever.

Day 2
Taught myself how to make a fire today. I broke an embarrassing amount of waterproof matches trying to get it started, but it turned out to be a pretty nice fire. I have to say, I’m proud of myself. Now I just need to learn how to hunt. But I don’t think I can catch animals with the pocketknife from the emergency kit.

Day 3
Spent the whole day thinking of ideas on how to escape the island. I got nothing.

I’m considering pulling a Jack Sparrow and making a raft out of sea turtles.

Also, I found some bananas growing from a tree. I’m not excited because bananas taste like ass, but hey, it’s food.

Finally, I found a nice pet rock to keep me company; I’ve decided to name it Pebbles. (I almost named it Dwayne. Get it? Like “The Rock”?)

Day 3 (Cont.)
Sorry. Captain Jack Sparrow.

Day 4
Had my first full meal today! Caught a nice, juicy rat.

OK that’s a lie. I found a nice juicy dead rat and cooked it. I’m gonna be honest, I’ve had better. I offered some to my pet rock. It politely declined.

However, on a more serious note, I’m running out of bottled water. I need to find some coconuts because coconuts have milk in them (or at least they do in the movies). But no matter what, I need to find something to drink soon.

Day 6
Can’t find a single coconut anywhere. And my pet rock isn’t helping at all. It just sits there like an asshole.

Day 7
Finally found some coconuts today and Pebbles actually made itself useful. The coconuts were really high up, so Pebbles climbed the tree and brought them down for me.

Or, you know, I kept throwing the rock at the coconuts and hoped one would fall.

Day 7 (Cont.)
I got extremely confused when I cut a hole in one of the coconuts. Turns out coconuts have water in them, not milk. Who knew?

Day 11
Got bored. Stood in the ocean for an hour and screamed, “Wilson!!!”

At least Pebbles thinks I’m funny. Probably.

Day 12
Pebbles saved my life today. I was resting on the beach cooking another rat when a creepy looking lizard appeared in the sand. We were having a stare-down until it started charging me. Without thinking, I picked up Pebbles and crushed the lizard with it. I’d eat it, but I’m not sure if it’s venomous or not.

However, Pebbles is actually pretty useful. I think I’ll keep him around.

Day 17
Spent the whole day telling rock puns to Pebbles. Stupid rock didn’t laugh once. I told him that he was probably stoned (See? He didn’t even laugh at that one. That’s comedy gold).

Day 20
I actually caught a live rat today! I built a cage out of sticks and lured one in. After killing it, I tried to teach Pebbles how to make a fire.

I don’t think he retained much information.

I still have no plan on how to escape the island. For now, I’m just going to continue eating rats and drinking coconut piss.

Day 26
My lean-to got blown over, so Pebbles and I spent the whole day building a new one. He held the sticks in place as I hammered them into the ground with a stone. Hopefully, this lean-to is sturdier than the last one.

Day 26 (Cont.)
As I was sleeping in my lean-to, I woke up and saw Pebbles sitting on the beach alone. I felt guilty (he did help me build the thing), so I grabbed him and brought him into the lean-to. Pebbles cuddled up next to my head and I petted him until he fell asleep.

Day 29
Found some more bananas as we were searching the island. After we grabbed them, we brought them back to the lean-to and decided to rest for the day. I ate my banana, but I had to stop and help Pebbles (he seemed to have trouble getting his open). I gave it back to him and went on eating mine. But I feel like something is wrong with him. He didn’t even touch his banana.

Day 37
I’m afraid that Pebbles might be sick. He doesn’t seem to enjoy our daily walks like he used to. I’ve tried giving him bananas and even petting him. But he just sits there, moping. I wish I knew how to cheer him up . . .

I hope he starts feeling better soon.

Day 41
I yelled at Pebbles today.

He stole one of the last bananas that I was saving for myself. I looked all over for it but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I was upset, but he didn’t know any better.

I shouldn’t have yelled.

I quickly apologized but I could tell I upset him. I tried to bring him into the lean-to but he refused. I’m going to apologize again in the morning.

Day 41 (Cont.)
I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to check on Pebbles, but he was gone. I think he just ran off looking for more bananas. He’s a good rock, he knows how to get back home.

Day 42
Pebbles hasn’t returned. I have no idea where he could’ve gone, but I’m sure he’s going to come back soon. I’m just going to wait by the lean-to and drink some coconut.

Day 46
Pebbles is still gone. I’m getting worried. I hunted for rats today to try to keep my mind off of things but I can’t help but think about my poor pet rock.

I hope he’s OK.

Day 48
I decided to go searching for him today. I searched all over — sunrise to sunset.

I found nothing. No trace of him at all. I’m scared something bad has happened to him.

Day 59
This is all my fault. If I hadn’t yelled at him, he would still be here. I’m so alone. At night, I move my arm to pet him but my arm finds nothing. I end up crying myself to sleep. I just wish I had another chance to tell him I’m sorry. He’s been the best pet I’ve ever had and I just want him to know that.

But I’m not giving up. I’m going to find him.

Day 65
I decided to try to signal Pebbles. Let him know that I am looking for him.

I only had a couple of matches left, so I gathered everything I could find: the emergency blanket, the raft, giant leaves, and as many sticks as I could carry. I piled them all on the beach and lit a match. Once the fire started, I kept feeding it until it grew into a massive inferno. I stared at the bonfire with satisfaction and watched the smoke rise into the sky. I knew that Pebbles would see the smoke.

Without my lean-to, I simply curled up on the beach next to my fire and waited for Pebbles to return.

Day 65 (Cont.)
I awakened to find the fire still burning. Sitting up, I looked around the fire and saw no trace of him. Sadly, I lay back down in the sand and turned away from the fire. I started to cry until I saw a familiar rock a few feet away.

Pebbles.

I ran over to him, picked him up, and apologized as quickly as I could. My tears rolled down onto him as I hugged him tight. I lay on= the sand again and Pebbles retook his old cuddle spot next to my head. I petted him until he fell asleep.

Day 66
I awoke with Pebbles still cuddled up beside me. Off in the distance, I saw a massive ship anchored off the coast. They must’ve seen the smoke-signal I made for Pebbles.

Rejoicing, I picked up Pebbles and we spun in a joyous circle. I turned to notice a small rescue raft making its way toward the island. As I waded into the water to meet my rescuers, Pebbles lightly resisted. I stopped and looked at Pebbles. Again, I tried to wade into the water and again he refused.

Confused, I asked Pebbles why he didn’t want to be rescued; then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw two rocks lying underneath a tree: One rock smaller than Pebbles and one very tiny rock sitting next to it. And at the foot of the very tiny rock was the banana that I had lost. That’s when I realized that Pebbles had a family. And this entire time, he had just been trying to provide for them.

I looked at Pebbles again and understood that I couldn’t take him away from his family. I walked over to his family and set him down next to his wife and child. With a tear in my eye, I said goodbye and petted him one last time.

I walked back into the ocean and met my rescuers. After thanking them, they turned the raft around and steered towards the ship. I gave one final look at the island and waved goodbye to Pebbles until he vanished in the distance. I wiped the tears from my eyes and climbed aboard the ship.

I’ll miss you, Pebbles. You were a good rock.

4 comments

  1. frank

    This was fun. Witty. Simply told. Tongue so firmly in cheek it came out the other side. I read it quickly, enjoying the 10-minute ride. The writer wasn’t trying to impress me with his writing skills. It was all story.

  2. JAN

    Frank,
    On your last point — I’m quite sure that writing skills and story-telling are not mutually exclusive.

  3. D.B. Robertson

    Dear Frank,

    Thank you so much for the comment. It’s always humbling to know that somebody enjoyed my story-telling. I’m happy to know that the story I conveyed was fun and witty. Glad to hear you liked it!

    – D.B. Robertson

  4. Michael Joll

    Loved it. I looked for deeper layers of meaning, metaphor and that sort of stuff and, glad to say, came up empty.

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