Adventure Science Fiction Romance

Five bone dice crumbled to dust before their eyes.

“What was that?” Thom’s mouth gaped.

Silence descended. No insect or bird sounds. Then it started; the earth beneath them vibrated, then shook perceptibly. The three looked at each other.

“I don’t like this,” said Victoria.

“I think you should both leave the Island. Who knows what will happen? I’ll have to stay,” said Marcus.

“What about the others?” she said.

“They’ll fend for themselves,” said Thom. “There is the boat and a plane if they decide to go. This dilemma will distract them. What will you do, Marcus?” 

“There is a village in the hills. I know the bridge over the river is broken, but I’ll swim if I have to.”

Thom opened his eyes in surprise. “Were you ever going to tell me about it?”

“Victoria will tell you the whole story. I think you should go now. I’ll be fine.”

Victoria clung to her father. “I’ll never forget this. I love you. I hope you find what you are looking for.”

He kissed her on the forehead and hugged her. “I made a promise to get you back home. Off you go. Thom will get you there.”

“Thanks, Marcus,” said Thom. “We’re off.”

Victoria snatched up the parchment next to the disintegrated dice before dashing away with Thom.

They stepped gingerly through the hole in the barbed wire fence and ran towards the beach. Victoria's black hair streamed behind her. When they arrived at the path, they darted behind a tree and picked up their prepacked bundles of belongings and provisions. As the path reached the settlement, they saw several of their group running out and heading in the opposite direction. They carried what they had grabbed in haste, presumably with the same idea of leaving the Island, at least temporarily.

“They’re leaving by plane,” said Thom to Victoria.

They continued running while the ground still churned beneath them. The pier came into sight, and they all struggled down the dunes, their shoes filling with sand. Closer to shore, the sand became moist, and they trekked across it, up the steps and down the vibrating wooden planks. 

Thom pulled the key out of his pocket, unlocked the padlock, threw the chain aboard, and untied the bowline, releasing the yacht from its mooring. He then threw their bags aboard, and they both jumped on.

“I hope you know how to sail this thing,” said Victoria as she hurried over to raise the anchor. “Hoist up the mainsail. Wind seems moderate.”

Thom leaped into action. “I wouldn’t have volunteered if I couldn’t help.” 

Victoria noted the others hastily boarding the other vessel. Before too long, their sail was up. Victoria had steered the Redemption into the wind and set sail. “Life jackets,” she yelled to Thom, “in the locker over there.”

Victoria manned the steering wheel, and Thom brought her jacket over. They swapped while she donned hers.

“How is this going to work?” said Thom. “We’ll be like ships in the night getting this craft back home, with only two aboard. It won’t be a day at the beach!”

“Don’t worry. We’ll get sick of the sight of each other soon enough. We’ll have alternate shifts, and I’ll make sure you have hot drinks and food so we can catch up with things. On still days, with little wind, we may have more time together.”

They looked over the water and saw the other boat heading away from the Island. Thom looked back at it. The mist topped mountains and the verdant hills, serene giants with wisps of greying hair, didn’t seem to be moving.

“I bet the others are worried how they’ll tell if the earthquake is over.”

“It’s not our problem. We have a radio, and you can let the others know that with Marcus still on the Island, heaven knows where, I want to go home and can’t do it alone.”

“I guess that’s my best way of deserting, without worrying them . . . In fact, I’ll probably be in massive trouble.” He looked wistfully at the Island, gradually receding. “My biggest concern is how you’ll feel about me when we’re home.”

“Don’t worry. My Dad and I haven’t always got on, and though we are like cabin bread versus carrot cake, we arrived at the Island without having killed each other. Look, if you’re worried about deserting, just tell them I overpowered you, stole the gun you held, and forced you. My father didn’t turn up, so we left him behind.”

“I know you can overpower me no probs. Thank goodness I wanted to come with you.” He looked behind at the Island, eyes opened wide. “Look, the Island is disappearing.”

They both stared openmouthed as the Island gradually faded from sight.

Thom looked at Victoria’s face. Tears streamed down it, and her sobs heaved. “It’s like B-Brigadoon.”

“My darling, your father . . .” He pulled her closer to him and continued steering.

She shook her head. “It’s not that. It’s remembering something that happened before.”

“What is it?”

“If I tell you my reason, you’ll think it’s nonsense.”

“So much about what has happened is strange and unexplainable.”

“The last time I left the Island, I left Marcus behind, but he could have come. He happily stayed and sacrificed himself for me and my children to have a better life. There was someone who loved him, but that’s not why he stayed.”

“You have children? I’m confused.”

She looked him in the eyes and said, “I can only explain this to you if you suspend your disbelief.”

“Haven’t I heard and seen the inexplicable already? An Island that exists but doesn’t and has now disappeared. I know you’ve been there before . . . but how, and when? I’m skeptical of the hundreds of years ago story though you obviously lived in the fallen down hut we went into. You already knew it existed.” He shrugged. “Marcus reversed a curse, the dice disintegrated before our eyes, and the earthquake started. That thing you said about time. ‘If we lived here but didn’t, it means this Island is where two alternate timelines converge.’ I’m a man of science, so it intrigued me. Why would you say that?”

“Because it’s true. If I try to explain, you may not want to have me in your life.”

“Did you commit murder or something? Seeing you in action at Uni and laying those guys on the deck with those moves, I can believe it. Are you superhuman?”

Victoria laughed. “Seriously, Thom. That was self-defense. I’m no one special.”

“So, what is it all about? I’ve suspended my disbelief.” He grabbed at something imaginary on the front of his jacket and threw his arm out in a release towards the ocean.

The yacht lurched a little, and Victoria grabbed his arm. He adjusted the steering.

“You’re not superhuman,” he said. “Hold on to me.”

“Once upon a time,” said Victoria, “Marcus and I came to the Island, to a village in the hills. On our way to the shore, where we intended to build a boat and return home together, we woke up back in the village. We had gone back in time a few days. Things happened differently, and both of us wound up dead. I won’t tell you all the places and people we met along the way until now.”

“Sorry, I’m not with you. You said you died.”

“We became the living dead.”

“Good grief! All this being cursed and living other’s lives business!”

“Suspend disbelief, remember . . . I went back to where Marcus and I lived before we were taken to the Island initially. Years ago, and without Marcus. Later, we both left from the same beach on this yacht, as we wanted to retrace our voyage and find the Island. You were the only one we told our true plan to. We had a curse to reverse. I already concluded that the Island is where two timelines converge.”

“Though I’m interested from a scientific point of view, the other stuff is too creepy for words.”

“I’ll illustrate. Moses led the Israelites through the Red Sea. The Egyptians in their chariots that pursued them didn’t make it. They all drowned when the walls of water collapsed. There’s proof it happened. Bronze from the chariot wheels is still at the bottom, below the water. Science has used facts about wind and water to explain how the sea parted. It’s too much of a fluke that Moses and his millions got through, and the enemies pursuing them perished at that precise time.”

“I see what you mean. It’s a miracle. Something unexplainable.”

“I traveled back to the ruins of Marcus and his sister’s castle and checked out its history. I found out the true history that I didn’t know about. Remember I told you we never made it to the cottage, but evidence showed we had? Remember you told me about a third boat partially built?” 

“Yes, you never knew about that one.”

“The partially built but abandoned boat is because a vessel stopped at the Island, and I returned home on it, leaving Marcus behind. Our life of living and dying is now over. I have remembered in detail what happened.”

“What did?”

“Marcus didn’t have to return with me. He returned to the village to someone who had promised to wait for him, but he had also promised to get me home. He did both.”

“Sounds familiar.”

“The paradox is that if he had returned home with me, my life would have been ruined. I could never understand the amazing historical facts I learned, as they are not part of the timeline I remembered. The curse, due to those damn dice, changed everything. The difference now is that I remember the alternate history that the curse took away from us. The Island is indeed where two timelines converged. Now, I remember the sacrifice Marcus made for me. I remember how I felt, which is why I cried. It’s how I feel about leaving him behind. I wanted him to stay by my side. We had been through so much together. Instead, on my arrival home, in the past, I claimed to have married him on the Island and said he had died there. I claimed my children, twins, were his offspring. I inherited his castle and lands, and it set up my children much better than if I had returned to my family a destitute woman with two children from a less-than-desirable union. I had my independence, thanks to Marcus. Wealth and reputation were everything back then.”

So . . . you lied. I guess Marcus back then wasn’t your father. Actually, I can forgive you for lying. So, who did you really marry?”

She shook her head. “We had just been married, and Marcus shot an arrow into my husband, and he died.”

“Why on earth did he do that!? Was it jealousy?”

“No. It was revenge. My brother cared about me. I didn’t want to be an unmarried mother, but it was not wise for me to marry the father who . . .”

“I guess you were willing to marry him . . . after being unwilling.”

“I’ve spent other lives being pregnant and unmarried. I never wish to revisit that situation again.” Her tear-filled eyes met his.

“Hence, you know how to deal with any man who bothers you.”


“You know, having a baby before marriage is no big deal.”

“I’ve spent most of my life raising my children without a husband, and I never want to repeat anything like it again.”

“But if you had a loving husband who stuck around and helped you?”

Her lips pursed as she thought. “I don’t need a man.”

He laughed. “You need me now, young lady. How on earth will we get this thing home if not together? You’ve already proven that you needed your father. I know you care about him.”

“Yes, I have to agree. At least with the shifts we will be keeping over the next weeks, we will both crash into the same bed . . . but never together.”

“You mean, never ever?”

“It depends how we feel about each other when we’re home.”

“About ‘each other’? I adore you, Miss Victoria.”

Victoria smirked. “You are growing on me, just a bit.”

“I’d like to hear more about your life sometime.”

“Yes, Facebook profiles didn’t exist in days of yore.”

“It reminds me of a joke,” he said. “Whatever problems Adam had, no man in days of yore could say when Adam told a joke; I’ve heard that one before.”

Victoria laughed. “That reminds me. I have the words Marcus read out when he reversed the spell. Let me take over the wheel, and you can read them.” She took the parchment out of her pocket, and they swapped places. He opened the parchment.

“Vengeance is mine, justice is wrought,

On those remaining of both peoples brought.

Revenge for Tabor’s traitorous mistake

Destroyed, but for one, when they made their escape

One from whom the two are born, far away beyond this shore

A child who is pale, with hair dark as night

The other, eyes of green and hair that is light

Both as opposite as two can be

Repeating their fate for eternity

Misery and bloodshed will be their lot

Over and over, never to stop

Until precious lives have been repaid

Of both the tribes which have been made

Every life cruelly destroyed,

Paid back by the lives of the two employed.

Until they all learn loyalty

Justice and love for you and me

Patience learned, forgiveness too

If only their forefathers could have been true

Return they shall to their father’s home

Forever to remain apart and alone

Only they can find the key

To reverse the spell and prophecy

Find the beginning of it all, behind the fence in the ivy wall

Fit the dice with skulls of white, turn and turn to make it right

Defeat the spell to end the lives of tragedy, misery, and strife

Vengeance on Tabor, revenge for all

In the end, we will not recall.”

“Wow. I feel like I’m living in a dream,” said Thom. “I’d really like to hear the whole story.”

“My lawyer has a copy of a letter to be opened if I don’t make it back. My Aunt and Uncle need to know the truth. The original is in a safe deposit box at the bank, with some other personal items. It’s a precis of the whole history. For now, I’m only interested in the present.”

“Right now, the wind is changing. Time to trim the sail, and tack. I’ll sort the sail and then go and radio the other boat to tell them what we’re up to. They won’t be going back to the Island either.”

“Aye, Aye, Captain Thom.” Victoria smiled at him and saluted.


March 29, 2024 08:54

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Darvico Ulmeli
17:38 Apr 12, 2024

Amazing story. Couldn't stop reading. Nicely done.


21:19 Apr 12, 2024

Thanks for reading, Darvico. And your comments. If you do want to read what led up to the situation in this story, an earlier one about these characters is also interesting. The Longest Promise.


Darvico Ulmeli
21:24 Apr 12, 2024

I just had to find the time. I tried to keep up with you guys. There are a lot of stories that had previous parts and I just have to catch up. But I will.


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Johann Blitz
15:27 Apr 05, 2024

Quite imaginitive! It's rather confusing who's who at the beginning, but perhaps that's what you intended? A few lines offering description and context at the beginning, to get a better sense of your characters, might help orient the reader without removing the suspense. The verse at the end is very creative. Good work!


19:32 Apr 05, 2024

Fair comment. Only three main characters mentioned so I'm glad you unraveled it. The story the Longest Promise should have been the one put into this prompt- I mean the prompt about a world where time functions differently. Already written so I reprised the characters from that story and did this one. The beginning of this is taken out of 'The Longest Promise' and the action continues. Didn't realize I'd clicked the wrong prompt when I submitted and with no time to spare tweeked the story a little to fit the wrong prompt about if a device ha...


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12:09 Mar 30, 2024

Oh dear, just realized that the prompt is the wrong one and only vaguely fits the story. I meant it to be the prompt about how time functions differently. Though I guess if the bone dice hadn't existed this whole scenario and what happened to the characters could not have taken place. A few tweeks could have clarified this better but it isn't the prompt I wanted to choose.


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Mary Bendickson
05:06 Mar 30, 2024

Intriguing intricate tale.


11:55 Mar 30, 2024

Thanks for reading, Mary.


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Alexis Araneta
09:40 Mar 29, 2024

As usual, a very creative piece, Kaitlyn. The flow really draws you in. Lovely job !


09:56 Mar 29, 2024

Thanks for reading, Stella.


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