Chapter Thirteen

Joma awoke with a coughing fit and the unenviable taste of seawater in his mouth. His ribs ached but was otherwise unscathed. He was lucky to have survived, he thought.

The storm had passed, though its path of destruction was evident. It had laid waste to the beach he found himself on where trees lay strewn on the shoreline. Then there was his prized boat. Or, what was left of it.

The hull had been shattered and resembled firewood more than anything else. Of his supplies, only a small fraction had survived. Some was better than none, Joma thought as he salvaged the remains.

The robust main sail had endured the carnage and with it Joma formed a shelter slightly inland with the help of some sturdy trees. Hunger soon pervaded his thoughts. It had been some time since his last meal.

Recognising the gravity of the situation, Joma rationed fresh water along with brined fish and dry biscuits. Never had such a plain combination tasted so good Joma reflected as he ensured not an iota was wasted.

With his stomach satisfied, it was time to explore his new home for resources or his escapade would be a short and sad one.

He wondered if the island was inhabited. It looked to be devoid of human activity but the same could be said of regions of his village. Then there was a noise, a light crunching of sand. A footstep. Joma turned quickly. He was too slow, and for the second time in a matter of hours, everything went black.

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