Room 23

A gathering place for those who love the ABC TV show Lost. This blog was started by a group of Fans who kept the Season 3 finale talkback at Ain't It going all the way until the première of the 4th season as a way to share images, news, spoilers, artwork, fan fiction and much more. Please come back often and become part of our community.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lost: The Remains (Chapter One)


A "Lost" fan fiction.

By Randall Hugh Crawford

(As Napoleon Park)

Chapter One.

“Shouldering My Guilt”

My name is Coby Clark Craft, and I'm an alcoholic.

My father was an immigrant from Jamaica, my mother an American from Oregon of French and Armenian extraction.

I am a writer, of short stories, novels, poetry and song lyrics, though financially I have been most successful as a music journalist. Wearing my hair in dreadlocks and mimicking my father's Jamaican accent was useful in that regard.

Over the summer of 2004 I went through a nasty divorce that cost me a nice suburban bungalow and 40% of my half of our shared assets. I wish I could paint myself the blameless martyr but I shoulder much of the burden of our marriages failure.

She cheated on me, I cheated on her, and evening it up did not make things right.

I went into a severe period of depression and drank heavily. When it turned out all our friends were her friends I had no one to talk to but a few e-mail buddies and long range old school snail-mail pen pals. It was one of these who urged me to come from San Diego to Australia. I convinced four magazines I wrote for that I had an idea for an article on Australian rock bands that I would spend MY vacation time researching in exchange for an advance. That was not a con - I actually had four specific ideas for four different articles I could write.

I spent two great weeks with my friend, interviewed eight incredible bands, went to sleep soundly and drunk every night. I hope I never taste another Foster's Ale. At the time I thought my happiest memories would be of the days we spent at the beach, staring out at the ocean. Now I regret that as time wasted.

Returning home, I booked passage on Oceanic Flight 815 from Sydney to Los Angeles. Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean the planes navigational equipment went haywire and the plane veered wildly off course. Then it ran into some severe turbulence - in a cloudless sky - and broke apart into three sections. The fuselage section landed on the beach of an island, the tail hit the water just off the shore and the cockpit landed in some treetops in the jungle.

I woke up on the beach still strapped into my seat, which had been thrown clear in the crash. I was lying on my left arm, which was twisted badly in a strange position. I was in a lot of pain.

There was a doctor running around on the beach - I remember he had a white shirt and necktie and the back of his shirt was all bloody. There were a lot of injured and dying - people broken, torn, bleeding, with jutting bones and peeled flesh. A lot of them didn't make it. The Doctor, Jack Shepherd, did what he could to help as many people as he could, though he had alcohol on his breath and seemed woozy from blood loss himself.

He examined me rather quickly and determined my shoulder was sprained but not dislocated, my elbow was twisted but not shattered and my arm might be fractured but wasn't broken. He asked a tall woman if she knew how to set a splint. When she said something about having taken a first aid course he told her to set my arm and then he was off, helping other people who were worse off than I. I think that's the only time I ever spoke directly with him.

Eventually he was somehow selected to be the "leader" of the crash survivors. Not that most of us were asked. It was a typical democracy - a leader was chosen by the small number of people who bothered to vote.

There was a shortage of any sort of pain relievers. Dr. Shepherd had some people searching all the luggage and bodies for any sort of medications, while a scavenger named Sawyer was collecting anything he thought would be valuable, including all of the alcohol.

So I stopped drinking just like that. And the pain from my arm really helped take my mind off that fact.
Being a writer, I'd been hooked on coffee for a long time and that was another shock to the system. I think I was craving caffeine even more than alcohol and I had some severe caffeine withdrawal headaches for a few days that helped me ignore my arm.

The fourth or fifth day I felt surprisingly better. Not pain free, but not suffering. Almost complete motion was restored in my arm.

I understand that this island has unusual properties that seem to help sick people heal. The lame can walk and one woman says her cancer is in remission. My injuries healed but I still have my pain - I wonder why this island wants me to suffer just so much. I talked about this once to a man named Eko. He mentioned what I had told him about my divorce and said that I was "shouldering" my guilt. There may be something to that.

By that afternoon I was up to pitching in and trying to help other people, collecting branches for the bonfire, foraging for edible plants, reading to the blind man, keeping the crazy woman company. A few days after that a cave with a small waterfall was found inland and some of the survivors moved there while the rest of us waited at the beach in hopes of seeing a rescue ship or plane that we could attract with a signal fire. Soon I had a regular job, fetching fresh drinking water from the waterfall back to the beach.

My left arm was still weak - I still had occasional phantom pains in my shoulder, bicep and elbow. I had a canvas web belt with four one liter canteens, a backpack full of square 1.5 liter plastic bottles and a heavy nylon duffel bag full of half liter and liter plastic bottles. The trip there was easy - empty plastic bottles and a few foodstuffs - dried meats, filleted fish in a jar, gourds, berries - that I took to the people at the caves as an offering. Once all the bottles were filled I needed help strapping on the belt and backpack and getting the duffle bags carrying strap over my right shoulder. I had to navigate back carefully. If I fell down I'd have to unbuckle the backpack and leave it where it lay. That only happened once and we were able to find it later.

In many ways this island is like being back in high school. There are the important people, the ones people talk about, the ones who accomplish things and go on adventures and make the decisions. And they are like a clique or inner circle - they mainly talk among themselves. They even have a nickname - we call them the Losties.
Then there are the rest of us, the remainder of the survivors. I call us The Remains. Yes, I know there was a legendary rock band by that name. It's a deliberate homage.

Strangely enough, I can't call us “the other ones” because there is already a group of people who were on this island before us that are called The Others. At first we thought it was just the crazy French woman from the jungle who called them that, but it turns out they call themselves that too.

This I do not understand. It is their island, we are the invaders, so why are they "the others"?

Like in the comic books, why was the alternate Earth that had super-heroes first called "Earth-Two" and the planet that had heroes twenty years later called "Earth One"?

When a count was taken there were 48 survivors of Oceanic Flight 815.

The pilot was found alive but he was then killed by... something. The U.S. Marshall was badly injured - dying - and the doctor could not save him so he let the man called Sawyer kill him. A woman - an Olympic swimmer - named Joanna swam straight out into the ocean to drown. One of the Others, a man called Ethan Rom - an anagram for other man - murdered Scott.

Then there are the leaders, the clique, the inner circle. Their stories will be the things legends are made of. Their fame will live on.

Then there are the rest of us. The Remains. Someone should tell their story. I am a writer. It is what I do.
Late at night when the pain in my shoulder will not let me sleep, I make up stories. And in the morning when I wake up with a throbbing in my arm and nothing to do that day but haul water or fetch wood, sometimes I just lie in bed and make up stories or erotic fantasies. Some evenings before dusk I sit on the beach and watch the ocean waves come in, and make up stories. I have written two novels so far, only in my head, and five short stories.

I have no computer, no word processor, no typewriter, only a few pens and pencils and a couple of notebooks. In one I have written some poems and songs and haiku. In the other I am going to write out the stories, the names and occupations and lives of the rest of us. The Remains.


Barfy said...

If the rest of the chapters are as good as the first we're in for a huge treat! Thank you this and more please.

Paul Burrows said...

Great job NP! I love the story and I love The Crisis on Multiple Earths reference!

theredtoad said...

Excellent read. You're a good writer, NP.