The castaway stands, looking around her at the island she finds herself upon. How did it happen that she is cut off from civilization? She knows not, and frowns at the horizon. Her brow wrinkles, and she shakes her head. She cannot remember how this happened.
Behind, to the west, a wall like a cliff face prevents her from going in that direction. Ahead, huge tumbled mounds of dirt and rock do the same. To either side, the way seems clear for a little way, but she's tried those directions and knows that each has its peril: to the north, a dense thicket of stakes cages her in, while to the south a deep chasm awaits, its sides a slide of loose rock and its floor a morass of deceptively soft sand.
She sighs. Today, like yesterday, there is no way out.
A wild cry echoes across the barren landscape. A woman in agony, calling out for help? For a moment, the castaway holds her breath, both in fear that the woman will die, and in hope for suddenly there are two upon the island. The cry sounds again, and with sinking heart the castaway realizes it's only the evening call of the peacock across the street.
Her eyes change focus and she sees once again the abandoned city street where she lives. Construction crews have been and gone for the day, moving the piles of dirt around, cutting new holes in already abused pavement. For a moment, she'd seen only ocean surrounding her, not this maze of rubble and asphalt. Either way, the story was the same. Getting in or out of her home was problematic and each day she wondered if this would be the one where she'd get stuck trying to drive out.
Or in. Sometimes the route changes in a day's working time.
Bit by bit, though, it's improving. Evenings are quieter. The view from the front yard is better. The ten or so houses trapped on this appendix-like street contain people who now wave at each other. Eventually, the island will be reunited with the continent it came from, and life will continue, differently but the same.
Copyright 2014 Michelle Hakala