Sticker: UFO


It was nearly dawn. How many days had it been? Ten? A dozen? Too long. The drinkable water was gone, and there were no more rations. The raft rode soft on a sea as smooth as glass. There were three survivors at first, but the woman–he had never learned her name–was swept over board in the storm the night the boat went under.

The second, a man named Dean, was in the raft for five days (or six). He said he would stay awake through the night to look for running lights on any nearby boats. That could be their salvation. When he woke up to the gray dawn, Dean was gone. His shoes were still in the raft, as was his jacket. But Dean was no more.

Did Dean fall over in the night? Had he gone mad through the long dark, staring at the Milky Way as a haze of golden light smeared across an endless sky? Or, and this was the worst thought to entertain, had Dean been rescued? Did a boat come by, and Dean was on it now, drinking a fisherman’s coffee on his way to the nearest shore? No, that couldn’t be the case. He didn’t know Dean well, but they shared so much over their time together that being left behind was unfathomable.

This morning, alone for at least a week, he woke up thirsty. His shoulder was in a deep nerve pain, as it had been for the past several days sleeping on the rubberized floor of the raft. His butt, he realized was wet. Had he wet himself in the night? Was that part of dehydration?

No. He realized, the raft was wet. They were taking on water. He scrambled for the repair kit and got the hand pump. He started to drain the half inch of water out of the floor of the raft. He used Dean’s old Jacket to sop up as much as he could, and then finally, he came to the bottom. He saw the slow leak, water seemingly appearing on the plastic. But the leak was there. He looked in the kit for tape, something to seal it with. Nothing. The rip would get worse. He would die out here.

He remembered the first rule of survival from all those shows he used to watch on television. Use everything at your disposal. He looked for anything he could use to patch the pinhole, but nothing in his possession or in the repair kit seemed helpful. He checked his pockets a second time, a third. Finally, he remembered Dean’s jacket. He rifled through the pockets for the first time. He found an unused sticker. It was of a UFO, and under it, the words World Famous Sofa King Podcast were spelled out in its exhaust.

The sticker was actually a brilliant piece of design. It hearkened him back to old Ocean Pacific tee shirts from his youth. The colors popped. He could see it being a handsome design to put on a car or even on a coffee mug. He pulled the sticker from the backing paper and got ready to place it on the pinhole. Then, suddenly, he realized he had a better idea. He put it on the outside of raft, where he imagined a bumper would be if this were a car. That way if someone pulled up behind him, they’d know he was part of something grander than himself was grand. They’d know he was a part of the Sofa King Podcast.

The raft went under eighteen hours later, and he died. But holy shit, did he die in style.

So that’s what I’m saying. If you want to die in style, buy this sticker.

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