Blue-green waves lapped up against the sun-warmed sand, frothing slightly around the point where solid and liquid clashed. Joe looked down at his toes, bright orange in the deflected sunset light, and wiggled them.
“What are you doing?” A harsh, high-pitched voice broke into Joe’s thoughts and dragged him reluctantly back into reality. He turned to face the voice.
The sand led back calmly to the edges of a palm tree fringe. Tall scalloped trunks reached up into the deep blue sky, topped with massive dark green fronds that swayed languidly with height not wind.
It was, all in all, an idyllic desert island. The affect was spoilt only by the metallic gash across the beach that led to the mangled pile of debris that had been their transport. And the leaping, shouting, bloodied form of Joe’s companion.
Pwjlk was finding the sand too hot to stand on so was hopping from one of his four feet to the next in strict rotation. In consternation and anxiety Pwjlk was waving his two upper arms in the air while his two lower arms clasped and wrangled each other. The crinkled, layered face was beetroot red against the pale yellow of its skin and the single eye was stretched wide and unblinking.
“What are you going to do?” Pwjlk screeched again.
Joe sighed. He looked back out again to sea but there was nothing there. Only the faint streak of black smoke vapour trail in the sky remained to signify where they had come from.
Pwjlk hopped awkwardly down to the ocean’s edge, sinking slightly into the wetter sand but finding no relief in the relative coolness there. He looked up at Joe from his full metre high height. Joe patted him on the head and Pwjlk flinched.
“We wait.” Joe said simply. “We wait and see what comes next.” He started trudging back to the wreck of the ship.
“What if ‘they’ come?” Pwjlk yelped, running after Joe and pulling at the shredded remains of his jumpsuit.
“Then they come. We can’t do anything about it if they do.” Joe paused and frowned in thought. “Well, maybe we can see what survived the crash. You never know. We might get lucky.”
“Hmph.” Said Pwjlk. “Not likely though is it.”
Joe smiled. At least a cynically grumpy companion was better than a panicking one.
The wreck was still smouldering and Joe grimaced, remembering the instant of impact before they had started their enforced descent, searching through the still hot metal for anything that might be salvageable. He still couldn’t work out what had happened, what it was that had hit them and brought them so abruptly down. He did know that they had been in the middle of nowhere, looking down upon an unbroken expanse of blue ocean. So this island had been a very lucky occurrence. A chance in a million. His stomach knotted with the bitter sensation of disquiet. It was too much of a coincidence wasn’t it.