Henry awakes from the bed in an extreme daze. His head pounds in severe pain. Unaware of his circumstances, he takes a look around. He sees he is in a small room made of wooden walls, with only two windows. An old man in a white coat sits at a nearby desk, looking through a dusty book. He turns to see Henry stirring.
“How do you feel?” The old man asked Henry.
“Where am I?” Henry demanded.
“You are in my cabin,” the old man replied.
“How is it I came to be here? Last night I fell asleep in my own bed.”
“There will be time for explanation later. You must recover. Fear not, for you are in good hands.”
Henry looks down and sees his right thigh bandaged. Suddenly it begins to hurt. Henry becomes irritated.
“I demand at once to know exactly where I am!”
The old man frowns.
“I cannot accurately tell you that. Here, drink this. It will make you feel better.”
The old man offers a cup to Henry. Henry knocks it away angrily.
“Please my friend,” the old man begins. “I beg that you drink this. It will help your wounds. I will try to satisfy you with what I know later.”
Henry takes the cup from the old man. He looks down into it, wary of what might be in the mixture. Henry splashes the cup in the old man’s face, gets out of the bed, and quickly limps toward the front door.
Henry emerges from the cabin, blinded by the bright, hot sunlight. He continues limping into the forest, determined to get as far away from the cabin as he can.
Just when he thinks he can’t go any further, he begins to see a clearing; it is the end of the forest. Henry steps past the final tree.
“It can’t be.”
Henry’s feet are swallowed by sand. Fifteen away from him is a vast ocean. There is nothing but blue water for as far as his eyes can see. He drops to his knees and begins to sob. The fog that filled his head disappears.
“I saw your ship burn,” the old man emerged from the woods behind Henry. “A huge fire filled my horizon and the metal melted into the water. I found you washed up on the shore. You were the only one.”
Henry is devastated. He remembers everything. He remembers his friends in the crew. He remembers how the engine on his barge was damaged. He remembers fuel leaking. He remembers the explosion.
“I too have been stranded here,” said the old man. “My ship crashed and sank. Going on thirty years now. Welcome to my island.”