It was an unusual day for three reasons. I woke up on a plank of wood, except I wasn’t in a house, or a city for that matter. I was out in the middle of the ocean, and I was missing my left big toe. Obviously I was startled, but after calming down a bit and taking in the scenery, I found my big toe (nail and all) on the other side of the plank. After picking it up and gazing at it with horror and disgust, I began to remember the foggy reason of why I was out there: While out on an excursion to the Amazon with my friends, I managed to anger a group of Amazonian river pirates by crossing their territory without permission. They captured us, and by seeing me as the leader, they felt a just punishment would be to cut my toe off with a shovel and then throw me into the piranha-infested river. How clever. The delicious, bloody mess of my foot attracted them quickly, but as a human, my fight or flight instinct kicked in and I swam the hell out of there as fast as I could. Besides getting eaten, I climbed onto some junk at the mouth of the river and ended up drifting away on an old plank. I looked around once more, seeing the edge of the jungle miles away behind me, just within reach if I paddled hard enough. Luckily for me, the winds were in my favour about an hour or so in my tiring journey.
I sat on the plank, tired and hungry as the waves pushed me closer and closer to the Amazon. My stomach growled in me in anger, demanding food. The nearest outpost was two miles into the jungle, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to climb onto the beach, let alone walk for an hour in the animal-packed jungle to get help for my still-captive friends without any food. Pulling out my severed toe, I reluctantly began to pick off frayed pieces of skin left by the shoddy job of the dull shovel and threw them into the water. The small fish that had begun to swim under the plank were attracted by my blood, and in exposing themselves, they were certain to die as my hand plunged under the surface of the water, grabbing them with ease. As I had no means to build a fire, I smacked them against the plank and ate as much as I could without gagging.
Another hour passed and I was on the beach, farther from the outpost than I anticipated. Using a rock, I bashed the plank apart to make splintery spears that were helpful in fending off the wild boars, and helpful in filling my hands with slivers. I pressed on through the jungle for an hour and a half until I reached the outpost. I dropped the spear, and with toe in hand, I managed to find the supervisor, who stared at it for the duration of my plea for help for my friends. Then he told me that he and his men were on it already as another group of tourists went missing just an hour before. He directed me to the medical tent, where I found doctors who would assist me as best as they could with my amputated toe, but I recognized wounded person sitting across from me as the doctors sat me down on a stretcher.
I was so surprised to see my best friend. As a bonus, she was also alive. I got her attention, which made her run over to me and lift me into the air in an air-tight hug. When I claimed I couldn’t breathe she let me go and asked how I was still alive. I explained how I swam from the piranhas and managed to get away on a plank, but fell asleep after drifting for an hour. She took a glance at my missing toe (my actual toe was with the doctors in an ice box), but quickly looked away in fear. A few seconds later she vomited all over the floor next to me as I jumped up onto the stretcher, remembering that she was very squeamish and that even a drop of blood would set her off. When she settled down, I asked her how she escaped from the pirates, and she told me how that when I was tossed into the river, there was a big commotion among the pirates because one of their boats exploded. She figured it was a faulty fuel line. I was glad, knowing that we probably wouldn’t have escaped if the boat’s maintenance was kept up.
I woke up five hours later to the smell of anesthetic, a reattached toe, and the sounds of my friends outside the medical tent. As my entire left leg was numb, I stood and walked with the doctor’s help to meet with my friends who were surprised, but nonetheless happy that I was alive. The other tourists that were taken later were also rescued, and for a day before we were air-lifted back to the airport, we all enjoyed each other’s company. I really just enjoyed the feeling of being near people that didn’t carry rusty shovels, or intend to cut off my other toes.