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    Vikki
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The story has some explicit contents and graphic details. Along with nudity and profanity. Reader discretion recommended.

Men in Paradise - 8. Chapter 8 - The Cyclone

NASA's observatory discovered that Hurricane Walaka crossed the Hawaiian Islands about October 3, 2018, including an archipelago almost entirely reclaimed by the ocean about 900 kilometers northwest of Honolulu. In the Bay of Bengal, off the coast of the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta zone, South Talpatti, or New Moore, was a remote, uninhabited offshore sandbar island. In the aftermath of the Bhola cyclone in 1970, it appeared in the Bay of Bengal and vanished due to the cyclone around March 2010. The Maldives is an archipelago of far-flung, low-lying islands in the Indian Ocean. The life of the Maldives is seriously threatened by climate change and the current human capacity on these islands is reduced. Owing to global warming, several islands in Japan are under serious pressure. Once an island off the west coast of Africa was submerged, scientists found Mega tsunami taller than a 50-story skyscraper, the largest tsunami reported in history with 1720 foot tall waves swallowed up a sufficiently large chunk of the coast of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. An estimated 227,898 people in 14 countries were killed by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, making it still the worst natural disaster of the 21st century. As per ancient history, an entire continent was once swallowed by the ocean between Asia and Africa. Tamil literature stated that Kumari Kaandam on the Indian Ocean was devastated by a Tsunami, along with its capital city Kaveri Poompatinam.

Justin Pierre's PoV

I have always been pretty damn straight, I never thought I had a wee bit of gayness on me.

If anyone told me that I would be living with three unknown guys and sharing a bed with them for days, I would not have believed it. And furthermore that I was finding comfort by hugging another guy, by no means I would have believed that story, not even for million bucks. But then things were not normal on that island. Our life was incomprehensive.

I lived in an upscale lifestyle in Louisiana for 17 years and then a cosmopolitan in Dubai. I was aware of different sexuality and what it implies. I knew the terms 'Feminine' or 'Gay' or 'Cross-dressing' etc. We used to joke around during my school days. But I thought the jokes were stereotypes. I hate toxic masculinity and the pressure it creates to play predefined gender roles. I never gave a fuck to what they think, I always did what comforts me. Ever since I attained my puberty, I was always into girls. Boobs passionated me. Its softness and shape aroused me as nothing else could. I knew I am straight, but I hate to carry a label on my forehead like a charade, you know what I mean?

I lost my virginity when I was 15 with a classmate during a party. I don't remember her name now, but I remember fucking her with every ounce of my cells on its sense. Her vagina gave me the warmth that my hand was refused to provide.

I had a couple of short-lived relationships with a few girls from school. I have had my fair share of attention from girls owing to my good looks, curly hair, and height. And on top of that, I played basketball for my school and labeled as 'Jock'. Like any other jock, I had my fair bit of advantages to find girls.

It was when we shifted to Dubai and joined college I met Marissa. She came from Sweden whose father worked in the oil fields near Sharjah. She was an interesting girl. She was below average in height and I was taller, but our differences in height were downplayed by our likeness towards horticulture and music. We both loved Arctic Monkeys. We loved reading Darwin and Lamarck. And on top of it, we had abundant sex. Over the past 10 days, I missed touching her body and especially her big boobs. She fulfilled me intellectually and physically like any other human being could not.

Hugging Afridi that night was an act of warmth and compassion. Brotherhood without complications. I didn't think it was sexual then. And Afridi was chilled about it too.

I hardly made any Arab friends back in Dubai, they carried a lot of attitudes and show off. I never liked them much. But Afridi on that island was different. With all his modern looks, braided hair, stupid comments, and social media obsession, he still looked vulnerable and acted mostly innocent. I played beach volleyball made of coconut coir and went running with him every day. We wandered around the island and joked with each other. We went to the water stream and swam for hours. For time being, life was good with him. An undefined friendship was developing between us thick and fast.

Throughout that night rain poured out of nowhere like cats and dogs. A strong wind blew through our shelter trying to remove its structure but failed in its attempt. Sakthi's strong hands must have done their magic on the roof. Coconut trees were dancing around trying to wither the storm. Thunderstorms and lightning were the most frightening part that made it look like all hell broke loose that night. It was noisy everywhere that could terrify even the strongest man alive. We weren't exceptional and definitely not Afridi, he was shaking a lot. He was a kid after all.

"Don't be afraid" I whispered to him.

"I just want to go home," he said with sadness crept into his tone.

I didn't know what to say to him, but I understood his feelings.

I wanted to go back home too as soon as possible and sleep in the comforts of my bed and Marissa's boobs. But I didn't know how that would happen.

The thoughts of missing Marissa and her boobs invoked strange feelings. Hence I hugged Afridi even tighter and pulled him closer to me. I was amazed to find that his skin was so soft and warm than I have anticipated from another guy.

Sunlight appeared the next morning, I didn't know at what time. But the rain stopped a wee bit and noisy winds had disappeared drastically. I woke up and came out of the shelter. But realized it was drizzling nonetheless. I assumed that cyclone might have passed ashore when I saw dark clouds above the ocean disappeared night.

The cyclone left its destruction on the island as much as it could. Plenty of Coconut trees were fallen. They were lying on the ground exposing their damaged roots. Its branches scattered across the island and the beach. Plants and herbs were damaged completely.

I went inside the shelter again and found Jai was awake.

"How does it look?" He asked me.

"Bad," I told him with a grim smile. He got up from the bed and went outside with me to take a look at the island. His eyes popped open wide when he saw the scene.

"Man" he exclaimed.

And then he complained "How can I make the fire on this wet ground, it's still drizzling"

"Is that what you are worried about?" I asked him in amazement.

"We got to eat something right? we need fire" He replied to convince me.

"Don't worry, we will find a way out," I assured him.

He was the youngest among us, but he looked stronger than his appearance. Definitely stronger Afridi. He also had that calm aura that I couldn't comprehend at that time. He spoke a few words even though his English was not bad. He was always active and energetic even during tough conditions. I noticed he was busy involving himself in activities like cooking, climbing trees, exploring the seashore like a typical teenager. Unlike Afridi, he was different and less trouble.

We took a stroll on the seashore. The tides were much calmer than last night. In fact, we noticed it had receded inside the sea at least 50 meters away from the beach than we saw last time.

Seashells and dead fishes were scattered around everywhere on the shore. Jai was overjoyed to find seashells on the beach. They were everywhere in different shapes and sizes. I carefully picked a big dead fish from the shore which I figured had lost its life last night.

Jai pointed his fingers in a direction where I found few objects washed ashore too not just seashells and dead fishes. We ran faster and reached that spot to get a closer look. It was a metal trolley with plastic mold which was used by the air hostess to serve us food on the flight. It was floating on the tides. I picked it up swiftly by not giving another tide a chance to take it back.

Also, we found a couple of suitcases and one of them belonged to me.

I was excited. I brought my research materials and academic certificates in a suitcase. And I thought I lost it on the flight. But somehow it managed to find me. I opened my suitcase and checked if the certificates were alright and not spoilt. Fortunately, it didn't. The file I kept the certificates was made of plastic and leather which protected them from the water. My research materials such as fertilizers, seeds of medicinal plants, and few important vegetables, my study books, notes, and other items were also safe. Most importantly I found three boxers of mine inside the suitcase.

Jai picked a couple of boxes and I picked the trolley and my suitcase. I kept the fish inside the trolley and carried it back to our shelter.

By the time, we reached the shelter, both Afridi and Sakthi were wide awake. They were sipping tea. Last night Sakthi made tea in the pot and kept it in the thermal flask. The flask was one of the items we found in the luggage box.

"Look, what we found" I shouted at them excitedly. I showed them the trolley and my suitcase.

"Nice" Afridi responded as if he was not too excited by our discoveries. I didn't care though.

"We also found another dead body washed aside," Jai told the guys.

"We will bury it once the rain stops," Sakthi told him.

And then he continued "I am worried about this shelter. Another storm like this could rip it apart"

That was true, we all knew it.

"Can we build a shelter that is much stronger and bigger like a proper wooden house?" Jai asked us in general.

"Instead, why don't we just build a boat and escape from this hellhole?" Afridi screamed out of frustration.

"Do you know how to sail and swim in the ocean in case our boat sinks?" I asked him mockingly.

He might not have liked what I said, but it was time for us to understand the real facts.

"Moreover, we will not be able to override the tides and navigate the boat as fishermen and sailor could. And on top of that, I don't know swimming. If our boat sinks, I am dead for good" Sakthi said as if he thought about it several times previously.

"And, we don't know where we are, how to navigate in the middle of the sea, we don't know if there any nearby land inhabited by people within a few miles. If not, we will be lost in the sea forever" I added some more.

It wasn't like Afridi didn't know it, he knew, he just blurted it out of desperation. He sat there motionless with his pouty face.

I took pity on him, so I went nearby him and put my arm on his shoulder. He didn't react much, just sat there trying to process everything on his mind.

On the other day when we went to the rocks and I found those ash sediments, I was certain that the island was once has been a victim of a volcano eruption. I couldn't guess the serious impact of it or the destruction it left behind, but I realized that the eruption changed the geography of that island in many ways. Because I managed to find similar sediments almost everywhere on that island. For a longer period, the volcano must have bombarded the island with magma and must have killed almost every single living thing.

Then the uneven weather conditions I have witnessed. It rained nonstop one day and the other it was all bright and sunny. The cold wind blew almost every night ever since we arrived there. These conditions were not good for humans or any other wild life to survive for a longer period. Some footprints and fossils could be found on that island that proves human and wildlife once existed on that island, but might be for a shorter period.

Another question that pondered on my mind was why there were no signs of any human visitors in the past. An island like that could have all the potential for exploration by scientists, biologists, and government institutions. But I couldn't find single plastic bottles or any other recently made items on that island. Which made me wonder if any human ever visited that island in recent times. And if not, why nobody made any effort to visit there? What was stopping them until then?

The reality was, we might have to stay on that island longer than we wanted. Until we get outside help or figure out to build a boat and sail away, we had to wait and survive there. Hence survival was the keyword for the time being then.

"Let the rain stops, we will start building a proper house," Sakthi said and we all agreed with him.

Then he turned and looked at Afridi "I promise you that we will find a way to go back home, please be patient", he said softly to him.

We cooked enough rice last night, we decided to just lit the fire and fry the fish to eat it along with it, we even had curd to mix it with the rice if needed.

When the rain briefly stopped, Jai tried to make a fire, wet wood didn't help him much. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any lighter in the luggage, since we weren't supposed to carry such objects on the plane, we couldn't find it. But Jai didn't give up rubbing the wood several times and finally succeeded.

I fried the fish and heated the rice again. Due to the cold condition, rice still was not rotten. Sakthi boiled hot water and made some more tea.

"I am detoxing, it's not like I wanted it though," he said to himself loudly holding a teacup in his hand, but we heard it too.

Jai chuckled lightly and I smiled back at him. Afridi smiled a little. I figured he was getting back from his sombre mood.

It rained the entire day and then the next day and continued for the next three days. And there were moments we thought that the rain would never stop. Our shelter was surrounded by rainwater. We could not get out of the shelter. Hundreds of frogs were screeching all night.

We were running out of fire and food. Things were getting out of control.

We thought we were left alone to die in that terrific, deserted place.

Our end was nearing. The day of reckoning was on its way.

Copyright © 2021 Vikki; All Rights Reserved.

I am publishing my story here on experimental basis. Readers feedback and comments are most welcome

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