Another piece of shrapnel for Writer’s Island on the theme of “Treasure”.
After rowing all the way out here to this remote Writer’s Island, I pull up my boat right onto the bank and look all round me uncertain which way to turn now. The sun’s beating down overhead and looking up I see a lonely seagull flying far above the isolated palm-tree growing near by. There are bunches of coconuts on it of course. I climb up towards the tree slowly, because I still doubt who I am or what I’m doing. I can tell the ground beneath my bare feet is sloping up - but that’s all I can tell, and it’s not much to go by. I’m not even sure if I’m a woman or a man, because although I’m dressed in ragged trousers and shirt I can’t tell whether they’re from the eighteenth century and I’m a pirate or if I’m a twenty-first century version of myself.
Standing in the shadow cast by the leaves of the palm-tree I can see a slight bump in the ground and I feel sure I know what’s inside. The map appears magically in my hand but I don’t even have to look at it; I feel around on the bump in the ground for a way in, for I know what’s underneath. Ah, here it is I pull the metal handle and feel myself falling through space. There’s nothing to stop me spinning round and round… I see the sky, the endless blue sky and the seagull screeching perhaps, and the sea by turns, sky, sea, then darkness. I sit up slowly feeling the ground beneath me as hard as granite. There’s no sunlight, it’s so cold in here, wherever I am. I feel uneasy but not too scared. Somewhere in my flight I dropped the map – but who needs the map anyway? As I blink my eyes, trying to bring them into some sort of focus I’m not a bit surprised to find my sight confronted with such a dazzling array of colours – not to mention textures – that I know I’ve found it. The treasure, the writer’s treasure, buried deep on the island. I stare at the jostling, dazzling jumble of assorted things, none of which I can give a name to – some of them seem to be tangible, made of metal or stone, or jewels even, maybe. Others seem to be changing all the time shifting incandescent areas of light, now bright, now a subtle soft glow like moonlight. I stare and stare so hard it hurts my eyes. I can feel the tears coursing down my face… perhaps I‘ll become Alice once again and be drowned in my own tears. That doesn’t seem to be such a tragedy in the circumstances.