So, I've always wondered what being stranded somewhere and then surviving on an island would be like... so here.
Alarms blared. "Mom!" I yelled at her, still half asleep, mumbling at the bothersome sound. "Hurry! The ship is sinking! We need to move!" I pulled her by the wrist out of bed and called for my best friend Derek, who had gone on the cruise trip with us. "Derek! Get your ass over here, we need to go to the life boats!" Derek nodded and grabbed our backpacks, and stuffed all of our beef jerky and water bottles in them.
People were running around in panic, while a voice announced, please proceed to the lifeboats in a steady and orderly fashion. Steady and orderly my ass! "There!" Derek pointed at a crew member who was confusedly trying to load people onto a lifeboat.
We hopped into an empty lifeboat, only too aware of the rapidly approaching sea... the ship was really sinking. The crew member obviously had no idea what he was doing, and dropped our lifeboat into the ocean before anyone else could get on. Stupid. "Paddle away, the sinking ship will cause a sucking vortex!" So, maybe he did know a little bit.
"WAIT!" I screamed. My mom's desolate and lost face appeared on the shiprail directly above me, tears streaming down it. "MOM! JUMP!" She shook her head, mouthing something.
"It's no use, I'll break my legs at least!" She shouted, managing to keep her voice clear despite the terrible situation. "Keep this safe." She took off her diamond necklace, the one she had never let me worn, the one she had cleaned every week, the one that the man who had abandoned us had given her, and threw it to me. I snagged it with my pinky finger. She also threw down her snuggie. "For extra warmth. Now, paddle! You better make it out of this alive, Nicole Sanders, or else I will ground you for the rest of your life!"
I would've laughed had it not been for the dire situation. Instead, determination took me over. "I love you!" I screamed, swallowing back a sob. Derek wrapped his arms around me, protecting me from the stinging Atlantic sea storm. Mom shouted something back at me, but the raging winds drowned out her words.
Suddenly, I noticed Derek's absence around me.
"Nickie, paddle!" Derek tossed a paddle, and situated himself on the opposite side of the raft, paddling frantically. He was right. The whirlpool of the sinking ship was already drawing us towards it, and we needed desperately to escape. I hugged my soaked snuggie, and put on the diamond necklace. I grabbed the other paddle, and began heaving, putting all of my strength into the rod.
We must've paddled for hours. "Hey, Nickie, we're out of the storm, you can stop now." Derek clambered over, and wrapped Mom's snuggie around us, rubbing my arms to fend off the biting cold. Even in the summer, the Arctic ocean was chilly.
Mom. She was gone, probably dead. Mom. Dead. Mom. Dead. My fault. Dead. Mom. Could have been saved. Mom. Dead.
I didn't have time to register what happened when the ship was sinking, but it all crashed down on me. Mom was probably dead, it was my fault, and I would never see her again.
I didn't cry, no. Nicole Sanders doesn't cry. Ever. But the emptiness in my heart was vast enough to pour the entirety of the Atlantic ocean into. "Derek," I whispered, wrapping my arms around his chest for comfort. "Mom's dead."
He patted my head soothingly, and kissed me on the cheek, a brotherly kiss. "You don't know that for sure, she could've been saved, another ship could've come and saved everyone." I pulled myself into his lap and buried my face into his strong chest. "You should be worried about yourself."
I fingered the necklace, looking into the gem. It had a strange reflective quality to it. I saw my eyes: hopeless, empty, haggard. I looked up at Derek, lost in thought, staring out at sea. He suddenly stiffened, sitting up straighter
"Nick, look!" He stood up, dumping me off him.
I groaned. "Ow. What?"
"It's an island! Maybe there are people living there! Let's go! PADDLE!" The desperation in his voice drove me up. I grabbed the paddle, ignoring the complaining from my blistered hands.
We paddled up onto the grayish yellow sand of the rocky beach, panting from the work. After securing the boat to a large rock, Derek grabbed twine and our backpacks. "Come on, we're going exploring."
I shook myself from the trance of the lush, green island. "Okay, but only for a bit. It looks like late morning and we need to find a place to stay and drag the boat up further later."
Derek nodded. "Okay, let's go." He tossed me my pack, which I caught easily. 2 years of Boot Camp and 3 years of Military training taught me to be tough and strong.
"Wait!" I grabbed the survival pack from the boat, and zipped up the compartments storing the small reserves of canned food, securing some within my bag and leaving the majority in the boat.
I pulled a machete out from the survival pack, and handed it to Derek. I grabbed the Swiss Army double-edged serrated hunting knife, securing the sheath to my ankle. Military training had taught me how to use these, and they were my preferred weapon of choice.
We sliced our way through the damp forest until we reached a clearing, where the hills sloped to meet a valley in the middle. "Hello?" I shouted, hoping that there were people inhabiting the island.
Nothing. Just an echo resounding through the valley, followed by the rustling of animals and the flight of birds.
We explored until mid-afternoon, and had a rough idea of the island. It was around 11 or 12 miles long, and about 3 or 4 miles wide, with sandy beaches, woodsy and humid forests surrounding a valley, a small mountain-ish structure, and a deep, rocky cliff down one end. "D? I don't think there's anyone here."
Derek turned around, smoldering. "I noticed."
I scoffed at him. "Well jeez, mister. Someone is being rather PMS-y, aren't they?"
He sighed. "Sorry, I'm just really stressed out. We should set up camp."
I nodded. We eventually returned to the boat, dragged it further up the shore, and set it up on a flat plain of rocks that rose above the high-tide level.
"Let's go through the survival pack." I unzipped it, and found a jackpot of useful materials.
A stick of flint and a bunch of replacement steel blades, all packaged and in near-perfect condition. "I call this stuff!" Derek smiled and nodded, knowing I was the more experienced one with the survival materials.
Condensed sleeping bags, donated to Derek's bag. He was still the guy, he needed to carry the heavy stuff. Cotton balls and a large tub of vaseline (great for fuel), a first aid kit, water, and iodine tablets for water purification. Packaged in plastic wrapping, bar soap. A few aluminum pots and pans with some forks and spoons were also kept.
A box labelled NYLON ROPE was found. Yards, yards, and yards of it. Perfect!
Adjustable water-proof hats with wind-breaking jackets were folded neatly at the bottom of the pack, along with a small pack of Swiss Matches. Lastly, a radio.
"Maybe we can use this to contact someone!" I switched it on, only to be met by static. I scrolled the knob around, hoping for some radio waves to be travelling across the middle of nowhere in the Atlantic ocean. Desperate, I know.
"Nothing." Derek's statement sliced the tension.
I sighed. "Okay, let's get the waterproof tarp off of the raft, grab the wooden planks in the raft, and find a place to set camp.
We spent another hour scavenging all possible useful materials from the raft, and hollowed it out, prying out the wooden benches, collecting the nails, and stripping the boat of its floats. By the time we were done, it was just an inflated tube with a thick plastic bottom.
"I'm so thirsty, we need a water break, but just one sip. We don't know how long it will take us to find water." There was fresh water somewhere, for sure. The birds and small animals we saw scurrying in the forest and valley needed it, just like we did. I took one gulp from the bottle, and handed it to Derek, who took a self-restrained draw from the metal canteen. Great. We only had about 15 bottles of water on us, and already half of one was gone.
By now, judging from the sun, it was around 5 o'clock, or seventeen hours, in military time. Derek and I found a tree that rose above most of the others, and poked around it to make sure there was nothing living in it already.
We took the nylon rope, stretched it around a fork between two branches, and made a rope-tarp. Derek laid the waterproof covering on the branches over us, leading into an empty water canteen in case it rained. He spread banana tree leaves over the nylon-rope net, and laid down beside me, hugging me tight. I hugged him back ferociously. He was the only person left. I couldn't let him go.
"Here, have some jerky." He opened the pack, and passed a large chunk to me. We gnawed on the jerky until the sun went down.
At night, the temperature dropped, and we put on the jackets with our tattered and salty-smelling snuggies, wrapped tight in each other's arms for warmth. "Derek," I whispered, poking him in the side.
I shushed him, listening intently. "Do you hear that? It's a boar."
Sure enough, the heavy, four-legged animal was crashing silently through the brush, stumbling around in the dark.
He yawned. "Great, that means we can find food and water nearby. Go to sleep now, Nickie."
I sighed, pecking Derek on the bottom neck. "Okay." I buried my head into the crook of his neck and yawned once, falling asleep instantly.
Had the lighting been better, I would've noticed Derek's flushed face.
Hmm... so whad'ya think?
I just got super-inspired and typed it up in like 30 minutes xD
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