The Monkey’s Blade

Jeff Suwak
4 min readApr 11, 2018

He lives among the cliffs and caves at the center of our tiny island. It’s just him and me here. Him, me, and thousands of miles of ocean.

I see him nearly every day, usually around dusk — a fleeting shadow climbing over the cliff-faces. He always senses when I see him. He’ll stop and look over his shoulder at me, knife blade clenched in his teeth. He’ll bare his fangs around the blade, smile mockingly, and then scramble out of view.

Often when I try to sleep, he throws pebbles at my bamboo shelter. Once, I woke up in the middle of the night to find him squatting over me, holding the knife blade to my throat. I screamed, and he bounded off into the darkness. He could have killed me, but he didn’t. I don’t know why.

He was here first. For how long, I don’t know. Where he came from is a mystery. It’s been over a year now since I washed up on the shores of this place. I’ve been relegated to the shoreline all this time. When I first arrived, I tried to explore inland, but that’s when he and I first met.

That day, he howled and hooped, leaping from branch to branch in the trees high above, waving that knife blade menacingly in his feet. I ran from the heart of the island and back to the beach and never tried to go further again.

I wonder where he got the knife blade. I wonder why the blade has been removed from the hilt. I wonder a lot of things.

I’m the only human being sharing a deserted island with a sadistic blade-wielding monkey — there’s not a whole lot to do, other than wonder.

Something’s changed. Something inside of me. I had cultivated a Zen-like sense of calm for a long time, thinking about my wife and children back home but not letting that thinking overly affect me.

No more.

Something’s broke in the dam I built in my being. I have to get home, or else die and be done with it. I’ll not live like this — not anymore.

In the early morning I start off towards the heart of the island. There’s nothing on the beach that can save me. I know this. There’s also likely nothing to be in the island’s interior, but I need to overcome my fears of the monkey and find out. Or, else, let him kill me.