Cayn was lonely on the island. He lost his mother a few years ago and never really got along with his sister, so he’d lived the last few years in solitude. It was one of the reasons he volunteered to come to the island, no one would miss him and there wasn’t anything keeping him where he was. He didn’t think he could get any lonelier than he was already, but being on an isolated island with only six other researchers was in fact lonelier than sitting by himself in his old three-bedroom house.
He often wondered if the seven of them were chosen not only for their skills in the field, but also for their varying personalities. As though they were sent to the island not only to study the effects of global warming, but as an experiment. Each of the seven researchers had such different personalities that it was a wonder they managed to stay sain at all. In fact, Cayn thought, you could probably match everyone with one of the seven deadly sins. Clara, the oldest, would fit neatly under Pride; Kevin would definitely be filed under Greed; Mark can be quite unpredictable and he has quite a temper that would mark him as Wrath; Ingrid would be Lust for she is quite amorous and wouldn’t fit under any other sin; Nolan is the hardest to place, but he would best suited with Gluttony; Traiss for Sloth, purely because of how messy he is; and then there’s Cayn, who is definitely one of Envy.
No matter their flaws, they each had something Cayn didn’t: family, friends and love. Each time he watched his colleagues read their letters for the first or even the fiftieth time he would get an ache in his chest of both jealously and longing. They had been on the island for some time now and the deliveries every two weeks seemed to isolate the young researcher even more each time.
The day came when Cayn had just simply had enough. He couldn’t just sit there and watch their faces light up anymore, not for however much longer they were going to be on the island. So he hatched a plan. A plan that would hopefully bring him some happiness for once.
After dinner than evening he visited each Traiss, Nolan and Ingrid, thinking that out of the six researchers they would be the most giving, and offered to pay them absolutely anything if they would let him have one of their letters, randomly selected, and correspond with the sender from that day forth. The two men just laughed in his face and Ingrid, though she wanted to help him, just couldn’t bare to part with corresponding to one of her loved ones.
Cayn retreated to his room and collapsed on his bed, upset and devoid of any hope. Thoughts of loneliness filled his mind until a quite rap at the door brought him to. He opened it to find Clara standing there. He let her in and she started talking before he’d even closed the door.
“I heard you talking to Ingrid about this little deal you want to make. As far as I’ve heard from the others, your negotiating didn’t go so well.” Cayn made as face at this, they’d all been talking about him. “Oh, come now, I’m not here to make fun. In fact, I’m here to take you up on the deal. That is, if the offer still stands.” His eyes lit up.
“Yes, yes, of course! How much do you want?” He asked, excitedly.
“It is not money I seek. How about we just say that you’ll owe me? So the terms are these, you may choose one unopened letter of mine and from that day forth you are the correspondent and I am to see no further letters from that person, correct?” Cayn nodded. “I see. Well, meet me at the mail post when the boat arrives tomorrow and you may choose your letter then.” Clara started towards the door.
“Thank you, Clara.” Cayn said just as she was almost out the door. Clara simply turned to him with no expression on her face and then left.
Tomorrow. I will no longer be lonely as of tomorrow, Cayn thought as he sat on his bed, too excited to sleep.
In response to the new challenge, Story Spinners, on Chris Donner’s blog!