Work and play

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"You alright, kid?"

Your eyes painfully wince at the garish daylight. It's the sixth time you've been stung and now the cute pilot seems to be making a face you hope isn't because of disgust.

"Hey, can you hear me? It's all right, you're good." The voice he used was kind and endearing. Not that you were listening too much to him anyway.

You draw back your elbows to push yourself up and look out on the dock, its spray of cold seawater like a balm to your bites. They manifested in painful lumps lining your legs and arms.

"Thanks for the help but uh," you began, "I'm literally the same age as you."

The blue haired pilot gave a hardy laugh, and made a rebuttal that brought a smile to your lips. "Really now? I sure wouldn't know any better from your stubbornness. How many times have you been stung," He raises four incorrect fingers, "What like... eight?"

"Not enough I'll tell you that. Gotta make bank."

He gives you a bewildered stare. "You know, you ain't gotta pay those debts. There isn't a deadline and there isn't an interest. It's not like the guy's gonna pull your wrist about it."

You give a small chuckle, thinking it funny that you'd be concerned about some debt. In your opinion, hunting down tarantulas within an inch of their life like some kind of merc isn't exactly worth it to say you camped on a deserted Island for once. You have bigger plans. Relocation and renovation wise, anyhow.

"And you couldn't ask for a job at the Cranny?" He said more like a statement than an answer.

"If you were allowed to, where would you be right now?" You asked, not entirely changing the subject.

"Pardon?"

"When people want isolation or relaxation, they think of an Island getaway, correct?"

"I mean sure but-"

"I wanna make a place where people can function and be happy, not just escape. I came here to start something wonderful. It may not be much, but I'm more than willing to put in the work to get what I want."

With that, you trotted back onto land, feeling his eyes leave you. Your flimsy net weighed almost nothing in your hands, yet was something you took pride in. A rustle was heard in a nearby clump of weeds as you identified the source. Your feet hit the floor rapidly, charging at the mass in front of you. It barely had time to jump when it wriggled under the mesh of your tool. Grabbing it by the back, you thrusted the furry little fiend into the air with pride and remarked how hairy the situation had become. Even if no one's around, it's nice to say a joke or two. If anyone's gonna get a rise out of them, it's you.

You were prepared to do this all night if you had to. There wasn't a doubt in your mind that told you it was impossible. All you need is yourself and hard work. It's not like you ever wanted help anyway.

Night crept in and you've exhausted your storage space. With every move your bag threatens to spill with small devils, all waiting for a chance to smite you in karma. You carry your malevolent spoils like a child in your arms, feeling akin to the Virgin Mary when she first held her son. These tarantulas were your future, and therefore, the future of your island. You hope that Timmy and Tommy have exotic animal handlers permits, but then again, what happens to them doesn't concern you in the slightest as long as your awaited transaction is met. Besides, no one here practices animal cruelty, right?

Knowing that tarantulas aren't exactly an endangered species, you rid yourself of your moral dilemma and make your way over to your pilot, who was patiently waiting for your arrival. He turns to you with a small blue bag and a soft smile.

"I figured since you'd keep going that there was no point in treating you till you finished. Just know that it's against company policy for me to offer medication or substances to passengers for some reason. I wouldn't normally do this but, you seem pretty... ambitious."

You strain a laugh and attempt to reassure him, "Then I won't tell a soul. But really, I'd hate to be a taker. What should I say if something happens?"

"It's a get-well-soon gift from a friend. Wilbur." He sticks out a hand for you to grasp. You meet with him and come to realize he has a startlingly gentle and warm grip for such big hands.

"You just might wanna practice that detaining part though."

"How come?"

Wilbur drops your hand and reaches over to your shoulder and plucks off a feisty arachnid. It hisses in his grasp as he seals it in your knapsack, pulling the zipper securely this time.

You laugh and then wince, forgetting about the swelling.

"Alright. Let's get you treated." He says with a husky tone, swinging open the plane's door. You sit with your legs dangling outward as you tear open the packaging. Something about the medicine is too ornate though, so you never manage to get to the ointment inside.

"May I?" Wilbur asks, attempting to hide a smirk.

You begrudgingly comply, handing him the bag. You would've made a remark on how you're more than capable, but the blistering from your crude net and the bites really make your skin uncomfortably tight. It feels like he'd make that comment too, maybe to poke fun, but he never seemed too.

Breaking open the packaging, he used a swab to collect the viscous combination of weeds and wasps nest wax. Its thickness dripped a little, but there was more than enough for you anyhow. His leg stepped into the plane while the other firmly planted itself to the dock. Your seat was slightly too tall for him to reach otherwise, He swabbed lightly at your wounds, making sure to cover every last nibble. The solution cooled the fire that had been dancing on your skin for a while. He made an extreme effort not to touch anything bare handed, not wanting to irritate your skin further. A small smile wormed its way to his face as he left a generous dollop on your perfectly-healthy nose.

"Hey!"

His laughter shook the seaplane slightly, and the medicine began to spill. You tucked your legs into the seating and the green sludge spilled over his fine cotton shirt.

"Damnnit, how are we gonna explain this now?"

"Just say turbulence or something. Or like, we hit a bird on the way here and it knocked us a bit."

"Morbid, but it could work. That does mean I have to file some paperwork though..." He said with a sigh.

You were about to suggest something more jokingly sinister when a small voice spoke up from his headset, "No need, I heard everything. Just try not to break any more protocol on the way here, bro."

Wilbur seems to choke on air at those words, turning a delicately placed scarlet. He fumbled with his mic till it buzzed to a halt, no longer sending any transmission. The tips of his ears flushed the deepest red he had. You gave a laugh at the man that usually did the teasing. Really, what else did he think the green light was for?

He cleared his throat with a shaky "Anyways" and went about his business to the front of the vessel. Just what were the other protocols anyhow...? Nah. You won't choose to worry about it. All you really need to worry about, is selling the bag of gremlins, each filled to the brim with hate and venom. This was definitely gonna be interesting.

To be Continued...
Tender Sarcasm and the Other Oxymoron's of Island Life
Last updated: Jul 12, 2020
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