Gilda coaxed the stone crab closer to the treasure, much of which had spilled from its cast iron box. An array of coins and jewels glimmered in the sand from the moonlight casting shadows across the isolated island. An ancient oil lamp lay upon the bed of jewels, the circular lid barely cracked open. She'd made the discovery three days ago, but who's counting?
On June 12th of 1762, she fell to her death from the docks of Montego Bay. The icy, cold water had left her paralyzed and she had waited what seemed forever to be rescued. Nobody heard her cries and when exhaustion overcame her, she accepted her fate and let the salty water consume her body and fill her lungs as she sank to the bottom of the inlet before losing consciousness.
Several hundred years must have passed, yet it felt more like several hundred lifetimes. She'd spent these years alone, wandering the island, with no companion other than the occasional crab which scurried up the bank and picked at decaying shellfish left behind by the receding tide. At times, a school of porpoises would jump in the distance against the backdrop of the horizon, reminding her of the world from which she'd been stolen.
It was the most exciting thing to have happened in the several hundred years of haunting this deserted place, that Gilda's disappointment cut deep, "Oh how I wish more spirits could walk this island with me. Why must I be the only one?"
Her ghostly tears fell and the island grew silent when the lapping waters on the shore slowed to a stop.
A stout old man rose from the shoreline, cleaning his monocle. He looked up and placed the piece in his left eye, then smiled and waved at Gilda. Two ladies arrived behind him. They hovered close to one another, whispering in each other's ear. Neither waved to Gilda like the old man did, but they nodded their heads as if acknowledging her presence.
What to make of all this? For several days they all stood around and looked at each other, the only means of communication being a polite smile and a wave. Several other ghosts had arrived and all took to the same approach for communicating. The disconnect saddened Gilda further. It was worse than when she was alone. At least when it was only her, she didn't have to pretend to be happy.
"If only there were things to do together,” she voiced. “Ghostly things, even.” Her altruism and naivety pricked at her soul. “We would all communicate and get to know each other. Oh how I wish we could communicate!" Still, the island slept and a few porpoises bounced from the sea.
He must have been a new arrival. Gilda had not seen this spirit before. His hair barely touched his shoulders and his chiseled chest peaked out from a white, silk shirt, open at the top. Crystal blue eyes waited for her to speak.
Mesmerized by his voice, she barely got out her response. "Yes?"
He held up a deck of cards. "Would you like to play some Rummy with me?"
Gilda's spirit experienced an energy level she'd not felt in a long time. "I'm delighted!" She had to work hard not to sound like a squealing pig.
Blasts of laughter and the occasional shouting in the background drowned out any doubt the next several hundred years would play out much better than the first.
Jase smiled at her and winked. “I love the way your eyes light up when you see me.” They had met several days in a row by the hollow oak in order to escape the gossip of Gilda becoming smitten with the new guy.
He stretched out on the sand next to her and propped himself up on one elbow, his attention completely on her. When she told jokes, his laughter was genuine. When she spoke of her past and her desires to right what had gone wrong, he applauded her without question.
This made her ache inside. If she had a working heart, it would burst from wanting to hold him. This aching desire to be in his arms had grown stronger each day.
“If only I could hold you and feel the strength in your arms.” The words had escaped her before she could stop herself.
The seriousness in his eyes she’d not seen before made her blush if ever a ghost could do so.
“If I could hold you, Gilda, you would feel the strength of something other than my arms. I promise you.”
He said it with such seriousness her soul fell for the lack of support, the desire killing her. “My goodness, Jase, I can’t keep doing this.”
“What’s wrong, love?” His voice caring, yet strained with desire.
“I ache every day I realize I cannot touch you and feel you against me. The day I died in that bay, I felt so alone. But now I have you, yet my desire is killing me. What is happening?”
“A ghost in love is a ghost whose spirit is dying.” He reached over to touch her cheek and she felt nothing but the air and the unrelenting, familiar ache.
She grabbed for his wrist and felt nothing but the impotent air escaping her clenched fists, “I don’t want to die without you!” A jab to her soul, an aching for the tears, hot and flowing down her cheeks, reminded her of the inability to feel his warmth. “I wish we could live together in the flesh!”
When he leaned in to kiss her, the warmth of his lips coursed through her body and his arms pulled her so close she felt the pounding in his chest beat against hers. There were no thoughts, just the feeding of desire. He took her and she accepted, all of him. Silence fell upon the island as they celebrated in the flesh and sought to release each other. They cried out in unison at the highest peak, and when their breathing leveled off, Gilda felt Jase roll off and collapse onto his back.
“What have I done, Jase?" Gilda said as an after thought. "We’re both stranded now, without food or shelter.” She didn't really care about that, it just occurred to her.
“I’ll build us a boat.” He placed a kiss on her forehead and smiled down at her.
“The boat better be big enough to carry some treasure.” How could she have forgotten about that? She never even showed him the treasure.
Six months later, as they set sail with their treasure box, the stout old man with his monocle waved from the shoreline. The other ghosts behind him approached the shoreline as well, waving and smiling. Gilda smiled and waved back while Jase worked the sails. She would always remember this place as home. But now, she was off on an adventure with the love of her life!
My log line -A ghost finds treasure on a deserted island.
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