A watchman aboard a tanker spies a sailboat, weather-beaten and covered in barnacles, adrift in the middle of the Pacific. Out of the cabin emerges a solitary boy, about six years old, clean and neatly dressed. He has no food or water yet is seemingly untouched by his random progress across the ocean.
He is rescued and taken on board, where he is eyed skeptically by the captain. “He looks like he is coming home from school. How is this possible?” The boy doesn’t speak a word, though at times he cries out like a seagull. He spends his days staring at walls or at the shifting shapes on a computer’s screen saver. The crew presents him with a cake, then watches in astonishment as he holds his finger in the flames of its candles without being burned.
The boy’s only protector is the tanker’s first mate, Shahid, a tenderhearted family man. As he watches over the eerily impassive child in an isolated cabin, the ship becomes increasingly uneasy. When the crew becomes sick with a mysterious illness to which the boy appears invulnerable, the fear becomes palpable, leading to a shocking conclusion that will be impossible for readers to erase from their minds.
eBook The Castaway