Gelfrey got up from where he was sitting, not caring about the blood that dripped from his thumb on to the ground. He walked across the dirt path towards the village well. Lowering the bucket down into the well, he tried to avoid using his bleeding thumb, which proved to be incredibly difficult, with more blood dripping now and then on to the ground. Once he had pulled the bucket up, this time unable to avoid using his bleeding finger and soiling the rope, he carefully poured some of the water over the wound until he could clearly see it, and shook his head. It was long, and deep as well. The pain was kicking in, and he hoped that he had remembered to purchase a tine of salve. He pulled his handkerchief from his pocket and rocket several times around the bleeding finger, tying it in the end using his free hand and teeth to pull it tight.
“Not the best start to my exploration,” he said to himself. “Now back to get back to eating.”
He unhooked the bucket from the chain at the end of the rope, and carried what was left of the water back to where he had been sitting. Plopping back onto the dirt ground, he resumed eating his lunch. After he was finished, he decided to check on his thumb. The handkerchief had soaked through a little bit, but it seem to be holding steady now. He dared not remove the makeshift bandage, lest it start bleeding again, and decided that he was better off working with an over-sized thumb.
At last, he stood up, brushed the dirt off of his backside, and looked around. There was a lot of exploring to do, and he intended on getting started. Gelfrey readied his parchment and ink, and began walking. He left his pack by the remains of the house, telling himself that he had no reason to worry about anyone taking it. He had with him his shoulder bag, a pouch of tanned leather that his his most essential tools. For hours, he explored and mapped the area, sketching out the rubble village, wandering as far out as he dared.
It was strange, being in such a desolate place. Even while he kept himself busy with his work, it was not always easy to stay focus when there was not even a plant to break up the monotony of the dirt ground. He had seen ruins before, grand buildings crumbled down to random stones, but they had so often been overgrown. There was almost always moss, vines, weeds, trees, or at least grass growing around the site. On this island, however, there was nothing, and he was mapping out only the placement stones.
It was getting late in the afternoon when he began to see the glittering of the sea just ahead of him. Gelfrey strolled over the dirt until it became a fine sand that gave easily beneath his feet. He wondered whether there were any fish in that part of the sea.
“How far out does this lifeless desolation extend? ” he sighed.
He pulled from his pouch a fishing net and stepped further out across the beach. The waves lapped at his boots as he cast out the net and waited hopefully.
Shhhk shhhk came a sound behind him. Gelfrey thought nothing of it at first– Then he realized that he was supposed to be completely alone on th island.
Shhhk shhhk, like feet on gravelly sand. He turned and looked around. There was gravel a little to the west, but nothing else. No animals, no people. He was just as alone as he unexpected to be.
He pulled up his fishing net– it was as empty as the rest if the island– and wondered whether he should take the time to try again.
“What is that?”
He eventually told himself that it was just the way the ocean lapped at that part of the beach, and head over in that direction.
Once again he cast out the net, wondering if maybe the sound was some kind of indication that there were more fish over there. He waited what seemed like only a few minutes when we heard a different sound. It sounded like whispering.
“Don’t,” it seemed to say, but he told himself that it was just the way that the wind was blowing over the sharp rocks just a little bit further down.
“Don’t,” he heard again.
This time the wind seemed more insistent. Then the breeze settle down, and he felt his hair settle back around his head.
This time he really jumped. “Who is there?” he called out. Nobody responded.
“Don’t!” The word was called out louder, and before he could search around for who was saying it, he felt tugging on his net.