Seth Cohen raised his tousled black curls from the wet beach. "Where am I," he croaked, wiping sand from the adorable cleft in his chin. His cheeks were even narrower than usual due to his many weeks aboard the catamaran without food, accentuating his fine (if gruesomely sunburned) features.
He could barely see because of dehydration and sunstroke, but he could make out the blurry shape of a man approaching from a line of palm trees across the blazing white sand. "Help," Seth moaned through his full, horribly cracked lips. "Help me. I just want to go back to Orange County and read comics with Ryan. I miss Summer like Greedo missed Han. Except, y'know, with more of a sexual kind of vibe. Anyway, help me, please."
"Just relax, son," the man said. He knelt down, grabbing the shoulders of Seth's no-longer-too-small B.J. and the Bear t-shirt and turning him over. With strong yet gentle hands, the man cradled Seth's head and raised a bottle of water to his lips. "Here, drink this. Slowly, now." Seth gulped at it and tried not to think about how the whole thing might look if the soccer team was standing there.
"You've been through quite an ordeal, young man. Judging by your facial blistering and overall muscle loss, it looks to me like you've been drifting for over a month. You're lucky you washed up here when you did. Much like the protagonist of Daniel Defoe's classic novel Robinson Crusoe, your 'Life was sav'd in a Case wherein there was, some Minutes before, scarce any room to hope.'"
"Thanks," Seth gasped, recognizing the reference but unable to come up with a riff. He couldn't see the man clearly, but he could make out the shape of his smooth, hairless head and appreciated the smoldering timbre of his voice. "Who are you? Where am I? Is--is this Tahiti? Did I make it?"
"As for the 'where'? Well, son, your guess is as good as mine. But you may call me...
"Mr. Locke."Posted by Jim Treacher at November 4, 2004 10:46 AM