If I thought the waves of the ocean were a challenge, I was in for another. With nothing but the clothes on our backs, we all spend the night sleeping on the ground of the forest. And boy is it uncomfortable. It takes me forever to fall asleep, even with Michael cuddling me. I end up having an extremely restless night and after a few hours, I decide to just give up and rise. Michael is still sleeping, so I place the arm of his that was around me back on the ground gently. He only stirs slightly.
I then venture back to the beach. The waves are still rough, causing me to wonder if the shore ever catches a break. I try not to stray to close for I don’t want to get caught in an undertow.
After staring at the waves for several minutes, I continue along the shore. As I approach the left side of the island, something in the sand covered by the mist of the early morning fog, catches my attention. I hurry over and then gasp in surprise. There is a boat lying face up, buried in the sand! Without a moment’s thought, I lean down and start digging through the sand.
It takes a while, but I am finally able to uncover the entire boat. Upon expectation I see that the boat is broken in several places. I instantly feel my excitement waning. The boat is unusable.
I then spot something that makes my heart leap. There, at the bottom of the boat tucked under one of the seats, are two very large duffel bags. It takes some effort, but I am able to pull each one out. With all the strength that I have left, I drag them both back to the forest clearing.
By the time I reach camp, Michael and all the others are up.
“I was wondering where you had gone off to,” Michael says, walking over to me. “I didn’t see you by the shore so I was a bit worried.” He then looks down to the duffel bags by my feat. “Where did you find those?”
“In a boat I found along the left side of beach.”
Michael’s eyes widen. “You found a boat?”
“Yes, but it was wrecked. I don’t know how much use it will be to us.”
“It still doesn’t hurt to check.” He then reaches for one of the duffel bags. “Let’s see what’s in these.”
Both bags seem to contain the pieces to assemble a tent, so soon afterwards, both Charls and Michael get to work putting them together. Janice and I follow suit, as not to leave them with the task of both. Without directions it proves difficult, but we manage to put both tents together.
We all then sit down to eat some more of the freshly picked grapes and tomatoes before finishing up work on the tents. Afterwards, Charls and Michael decide to explore more of the left side of the island, curious to see if they might find anything else. I believe Michael also wants to find and show Charls the boat to see if maybe they could do something about it.
“We should go back to that stream we found yesterday,” Janice says, after they are gone. “We are going to need water soon and I found a container to put it in from inside one of the duffel bags.”
I glance behind my back and see Abby playing off in the sand by the water. She appeared to be skipping rocks.
“What about Abby?” I ask, biting my lip. “I’m really worried about her. She hasn’t said a word since everything and she still seems so out of it.”
Janice looks over my shoulder and sighs. “I know, and I’m worried about her too, but I think she’ll be fine. We won’t be gone too long, and I don’t think she is going to be going anywhere.”
I am reluctant, but I finally agree. We do need fresh water after all.
Janice and I then venture back into the woods, losing our way a few times before reaching the stream. Janice lowers the container she found into the water and collects from the stream. I happen to spot some fish swimming inside and point this out Janice, which she is pleased about. At least we won’t have to just eat only fruits and vegetables. That is if we can find some way to catch them.
As we walk back to camp, I happen to notice some nearby plants in the distance, plants that have what looks like fruit on them. Janice has us stop to look, and sure enough there are more grape plants and even some coconut and plum trees. I think I can safely say at this point that someone was living here before us. There is no way all these plants got here by accident.
We spend some time collecting as many as our hands can carry and then make our way back to the forest clearing.
When we get back to camp, Abby is siting by the fire pit roasting a tomato on the fire. She seems a bit dazed as she stares into the flames.
“Hey Abby,” I call to her, but Abby doesn’t even stir. She seems transfixed on the pit in front of her. I am really starting to worry about her and I have to address it to Janice once again.
“We have to do something,” I whisper. “She still isn’t speaking and I’m really worried.”
Janice side-glances at Abby. “Me too, but I’m not sure what we can do. Abby seems still in shock and I’m not sure how to shake her out of it. I tried talking to her yesterday, but she’s still acting the same.”
“Well, we have to do something! She’s just…” I drift off looking at Abby again.
“I know, but I think she just needs some more time for it all to sink in. I think she’s been traumatized.”
I can’t argue with that. I have never seen Abby go mute like that. The closest was during freshman year at Aberdale U when she and Brad broke up over the thing with Clare. That however, was during the time that we were speaking to each other, so I don’t know exactly how she was with other people.
As Janice and I stand watching, we spot Charls and Michael make their way back over. Seeing Abby, Charls seems to have another method to get through to her. He sits next to her by the fire pit and starts talking to her softly. While that does seem to get her to smile in his direction, she still remains in her position at the fire. Maybe she did need more time.
After giving them a few minutes, Janice, Michael and I, join Charls and Abby at the fire pit. We then ration out the food that we had gathered and begin eating it around the fire.
As we eat, the sky begins to darken overhead. We all remain silent, the only sound being the fire crackling in front of us. Charls then clears his throat.
“I think we should try and fix that boat Lizzie found,” he says. “I checked it out and I think that if we can repair it we might be able to use it.”
I frown. “But it looked badly damaged.”
“I know, but as of now, it’s our only hope of getting off this island.”
We all get quiet when he says that, and I feel my stomach clench. I had been trying my best not to think about it too much, but it was the truth. We are stuck on this island and our resources were at this point, limited.
“So, how are you going to go about fixing it?” Janice asks.
“Using some tools we found in the duffel bag. They looked handmade. I think by now we all know that we are not the first people to land here.”
Janice swallows a bite of her grapes. “Yeah, but what exactly happened to those people? With all the supplies we found and the broken boat…It doesn’t look good.”
Charls finishes his tomato and tosses his stick into the fire. “I know, but we can’t think like that. We have to focus on getting out of here.” He then rises from his seat. “We should all get some rest. We can start on fixing the boat tomorrow.” We all nod in agreement.
It’s good thing he suggests this too. With the restless sleep I had had last night, I am really exhausted.
I am also very happy that we discovered the tents. It would mean sleeping in a tent instead of on the grass and dirt. I am hoping that this will finally get me to rest somewhat.
After tossing my stick into the fire, I make my way over to one of the tents. Although Charls was intending to sleep in the same tent as Abby, we figured it would be better for all three of the girls to share one tent while Michael and Charls shared the other. Otherwise, things would get awkward for Janice. After saying goodnight to Michael, I help Abby into our tent and then lie down to sleep. Surprisingly, even with the roughness of the ground, I slowly drift off to sleep.
(Hey my readers! Sorry for the late posts lately. There has been a lot going on in my RL that has been occupying most of my time, but I will still continue to post the chapters to end this story arc. I will do my best to post on Saturdays/Sundays, but if not, it should be up by Monday/Tuesday (depending on your timezone 🙂 ). Thank you for reading and more next week! Please like, share and comment if you enjoyed it!)