The Lost Island by Nicolette Wong



My grandmother’s childhood was floating away on a boat. The moment she looked back at her brother on the shore, a bony figure waving goodbye in frantic pantomimes of love, she knew her fate was sealed. There would be no going back.

The strange woman by her side had chosen her because she was fair, the fairest child on the island. In the years to come she would grow into a solitary teenager who haunted the wood and cry by the sea until the well within her ran dry. Tall, erect and sparkly, she would break into Baptist churches in the colonized land to steal water before dawn, and tread between trampled bodies of soldiers before the first killings of the day began.

On this day she remained a small girl rocking to the waves in fright, and her tears made a magnifying glass through which she saw cruelty on the woman’s face. The middle-aged woman had travelled through mud and rain, in search of sweetness to bring into her barren household. A looming presence at the dinner table, waiting to receive the love that would forever elude her grip. The wind was in her eyes as she turned to look at the child.

‘My husband doesn’t like children crying,’ she said. ‘Dry your tears before we land.’

My grandmother never did what she was told. After all, she was headed for war times.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “The Lost Island by Nicolette Wong

  1. Missy

    What a beginning! —–“My grandmother’s childhood was floating away on a boat. The moment she looked back at her brother on the shore, a bony figure waving goodbye in frantic pantomimes of love…”

    That alone made me want to keep reading. Well written.

  2. Randal Houle

    I was locked in from line one. So much more story here. I hope you continue with it.

  3. “her tears made a magnifying glass” I loved this story! Like the tears, it becomes the magnifying glass to peep into a very deep theme of family, political and colonial issues!

  4. Strong piece, Nicolette. You’ve created a character we want to reach out and comfort.

  5. Len

    this was really great, nicolette, packing so much in with the baptist church water stealing soldiers killing magnifying glass. “my husband doesn’t like…” pierced me.

  6. I like that the grandmother never did what she was told. Strong character.

  7. I really dig this one too. Agree with all that has been said, and love it more each time I read it. Thanks Nicolette!

  8. Kim Hutchinson

    Love that she was chosen because she was fair, such an unfair situation, and I also love that she never did what she was told. Great story.

  9. A little rebel. Love it, love her. This smacks of a novel. Lots more to tell. Peace…

  10. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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