"Growing Up" – Short Story

AN: Written for an English short story.

Challenge Description: Three young people survive a plane crash in a desert area. They have to struggle through a hundred kilometres of barren country to find civilisation and safety.

Down, down, down. My vision goes black.

I ache all over. My head throbs and I think my arm might be broken; I once again slip into unconsciousness.

What happened? My eyelids feel so heavy, I struggle to open them, I look down at my body; it hurts to lift my head.
My left arm is at a strange angle, my back aches. Is it a piece of metal? Glass? I feel all dizzy, I fall asleep.

No mum, I don't want to get up yet. Someone is shaking me and I realise I'm not lying in my bed at home; it feels like sand, dirt, it itches.
I remember; my arm, the plane, the desert.
I force my eyes to open, above me I see a tanned face and a brown fringe falling into blue eyes.
"Are you okay?" the boy asks me. He looks worried, I probably don't look too good right now.
I don't think it would be wise to move my head so I open my mouth but my throat is so dry that all that comes out is a croak.
A water bottle appears in my path of vision and the boy gently lifts my head and carefully tips some water into my mouth. The liquid is cold and hurts to swallow but I know it will help.
He helps me to sit up and patiently sits there as my head spins, he smiles.
My back hurts less now. I turn my head slightly and there, where my back had lain, was a jagged rock, covered in my blood.

There is another survivor, the only three left out of around fifty. I know I should be panicking but I only feel numb.
The boy, Jacob he'd told me his name was, is tending to the survivor. A girl who looks to be about ten years old.
Jacob has used a t-shirt to make me a sling; I don't want to know where he got it from so I won't concentrate on that from now on. He doesn't look to be hurt but the girl is covered in long, angry red marks, I'm not sure if she'll make it.

We had salvaged all we could from the wreck. Most of the stuff was broken but we had found enough water and food – mostly the stuff the air hostesses give out – to last the journey, even though we have no idea how long the journey will take. I had also managed to find some blankets.

Jacob is carrying the girl in his arms – she hasn't woken up yet but she has a faint pulse – and I have a backpack full of blankets, food and water hanging from my shoulders. The sling cautiously placed against my chest.

We begin to walk in a random direction; the desert surrounds us, all sand with the occasional cactus here and there.

After an hour – or has it been longer? – We stop for a short break. My left arm is hurting again; I hope it's not infected.

It is night time. Since the sun has gone down the temperature has dropped about twenty degrees, I'm freezing and the sand I am lying on is irritating my uncovered skin, some is seeping into my clothes. I miss home so much. I glance over at Jacob to see him gazing back at me, he grins at me and I give a small smile back before closing my eyes.

The next three days pass without any great difficulty and I still hold inside a hope that we will be saved. I pray someone will help us, we have run out of food.

We have been on this journey for four and a half days now and I am sick of this stupid weather; boiling hot during the day until the sun sets and then the air turns bone chillingly cold. I am really sick of sand by now.

My clothes are dirty and a hole is starting to form at my left knee. I really hope that someone will find us soon or that we will stumble upon civilization. I miss warm meals and an hour ago we finished the last bottle of water. I'm scared that we might die out here, my stomach growls painfully.

"Is that smoke?" Jacob's voice shakes me out of my thoughts and I see a trail of smoke lazily meandering across the slowly darkening sky, the sign of a fire warming up the cold afternoon breeze.

We just might be saved, I smile.

AN: Hope you liked it and tell me anyway I can improve it before submitting [Which is in 2 days]
Oh, and also any spelling mistakes!