Chapter 2


        Kiran spent the next bit adrift in the land of nod. Dancing and frolicking, and kissing and loving his sweet Llora. Everything was perfect and all was right in the world. And it was like that forever and . . .

        Then Kiran awoke, and reality came crashing in on him. It was the ever annoying call of a herring gull that stole him away from his dreamland Eden. He found himself afloat on a piece of The Marinella’s shattered skeleton. His head hurt like nothing before; the ache of someone who had just been through all that Kiran had just gone through and miraculously survived. He was severely sunburned and pruney.

        The gull spoke again, and Kiran’s wits came back to him. Land. It had to be close. For where there were birds, there had to be land. At least that’s what he sorta recalled someone saying somewhere once.

         He scanned the horizon. “Stupid, bird,” he muttered mostly to himself. “What good are you if you can’t even find--”  His search finally hit the one-hundred-and-eighty degree mark. “Oh, there we are.” Land! Sitting there behind him this whole damned time, just waiting to be found.

        Kiran let go of his savior as he planned to swim to shore, but his feet immediately touched down causing a cloud of sand to stir up. He took three steps toward shore and found himself atop the sharpest piece of something there ever was. An awful string of blasphemies could be heard as the water turned crimson.

        Hobbled, Kiran made it the rest of the way to the beach, screaming and cursing. Cursing and screaming. He plopped down in the sand and surveyed his split toe. A mere flesh wound.