A/N = Beware, there are curse words!
I bolted awake, startled from the noise. I rubbed my eyes and looked towards where it was coming from.
I bounced straight up. Land! We had made it to the island. I didn’t waste a moment. I grabbed my things and stepped off the raft. My legs were stiff, but after a few minutes of looking around they felt good as new.
The island was huge compared to what I had originally thought. It was small in comparison to practically everywhere, but it exceeded my expectations. I collapsed onto the warm sand and spread out. Although we were on the raft for hardly a day, it felt amazing to be on solid ground.
“Tanya,” Cameron yelled from the raft, “Where are...”
I sit up and he’s staring right at me. He cautiously stands, steps over Howard, and walks over to me.
“It’s nice, isn’t it?” I asked.
“Yeah, it’s… fine,” Cameron wondered over to some bushes, “Not really nice, as there’s nothing here.”
“Sure, but we’re not in the ocean anymore,” I said, pushing myself up and walking over to him, “so that’s nice.”
“Tanya, none of this is nice, don’t try to reason to me.”
“Hey, I’m just happy to be alive,” I shrugged.
Cameron sighed and rubbed his face with his hands. He made his way back over to the raft, leaving me to wonder if I had been too optimistic.
Slowly, the rest of the group started waking up. First Pam and Sammy, then Vaughn and Howard, and lastly Edna and Wilma. Cameron, Sammy, and I carried mom over to the sand and set her in the shade.
“Listen here, everyone!” Howard yelled suddenly, “Come on, gather round!”
We made our way to him and he continued speaking, “Now, we have to have a plan to survive until we’re rescued. I say we-”
“Why do you get to decide?” Wilma exclaimed.
“I’m the oldest and most experienced,” Howard replied and crossed his arms, as if to intimidate Wilma. This didn’t work.
“I’ve been trained to deal with this type of scenario,” Wilma said, “Now please, move over.”
“And when were you trained?” Howard asked.
“In the military, now shut up.”
“No. That doesn’t mean you’re more qualified to-” Howard was cut off again.
“Get out of the way, jack-ass,” Vaughn yelled. Howard stood there for a while, staring at Vaughn and Wilma, but eventually moved out of the way.
Wilma replaced Howard’s spot and cleared her throat, “I think we should split up into groups, so we can get a start on everything. Food, a shelter, water, you name it!”
Everyone but Howard nodded their heads in agreement. Cameron volunteered first, “I’ll see if there’s any medicine in anyone’s bags or the raft and care for Cathleen.”
“Sounds good. You can also help us with the shelter if you have any time,” Wilma turned to her sister, “Pam, get my book out of my bag, it has a page on poisonous plants.”
“Why do you have a book on survival with you?” Sammy asked while Pam hurried over to the boat.
“I never travel without it,” Wilma answered, “Anyways, Vaughn, Edna, and Howard, you find shelter. If you can’t find it, build it. I’ll try to start a fire and get some water.”
Wilma looked around and clapped, “Let’s get to it!”
Her and the others started walking away, leaving Sammy and I alone. We looked at each other until Sammy broke the silence, “Are we supposed to be doing anything?”
“I don’t know, she didn’t say anything,” I replied.
Sammy started walking towards Wilma, so I followed. He reached for her shoulder and asked, “Should we do something?”
Wilma glanced at me, then back at Sammy, “Explore the island, I guess. I don’t think you guys can really do anything else.”
“I’d be happy to help Pam with the plants,” I said, “She probably needs the help.”
“No, she’s fine, just go to the other side of the island and back,” Wilma stated. It was as if she thought we were small children who couldn’t do anything, when in reality we were plenty capable of doing what the others were doing.
“That’s it? Should we map it or something?” Sammy asked.
“If you want to, sure, but don’t waste your time,” With that, Wilma walked off towards Cameron.
“Rude,” I mumbled. “Seriously… let’s go,” Sammy said. I followed him towards the trees and bushes.
“Watch out for any animals and stuff,” Sammy pushed a branch out of our way.
“I will. Are we looking for anything?” I asked.
“People, supplies, a plane, many things,” Sammy replied, “Anything important.”
I nodded. As we got deeper into the woods, Sammy and I started talking about our lives. He mostly talked about his dreams in the NFL and how his father wanted him to work in the culinary field. In return, I told him about my father’s business and how I wanted to be a nurse.
Soon enough, we arrived at a stream. Sammy knelt beside it and scooped some water into his hands. He took a sip and immediately spat it out, “Salt water, it’s useless.”
“How would it have been fresh water?” I asked, “And besides, it’s not totally useless. There’s fish.”
“What do fish do that helps us?” Sammy turned to face me.
“They feed us,” I said, “I actually had salmon about a week ago.”
“Alright, that’s true. Lets just keep going,” Sammy said and we continued on our walk. We came upon an orange tree about a hundred feet from the stream. I stuffed two oranges in my pockets and we moved on.
After about thirty minutes, we found the other side.
“That was disappointing,” I stated as I sat down on the sand and started peeling an orange. I toss Sammy the other one as he walked over.
“Well, there’s more islands,” I looked up to where he was pointing, “Bet I could swim there. Betcha it would take five minutes.”
“Who are you, Michael Phelps?” I laughed.
“Maybe I am! How would you know?” Sammy chuckled when I responded that Michael Phelps doesn’t have blue hair.
“I wonder if anyone’s ever been here,” I said, “I don’t like to think that we discovered several islands.”
“Someone’s probably been here,” Sammy tossed his orange peel over his shoulder, “Might have been a long time ago, though.”
“Wouldn’t they have built huts and things? We didn’t find anything man-made,” I said.
“Well, they may have passed the islands and didn’t bother to check them, as they’re so small,” Sammy lifted himself off the ground and shook the sand off of his shorts, “Let’s head back, they probably need our help.”
“I doubt it,” I stood, “Wilma didn’t…”
A grey object was hovering over my head, above the clouds.
“Wilma didn’t what?” Sammy asked, already starting into the bushes.
“Look!” He turned around and stared at me.
“Look at what?”
“There you dimwit!” I pointed to the unknown object, “You see it?”
Sammy’s eyes followed my hand to it, “Yeah, I see it.”
“Is it a plane?” I asked, walking closer to the ocean to get a better look.
“Too small to be a plane. A drone, maybe?”
“A drone couldn’t be that high,” I said, “Maybe a satellite?”
“I guess so,” Sammy cupped his hands around his mouth, “DOWN HERE YOU PIECE OF METAL! DOWN HE…”
“It’s no use, it won’t see us,” As I said this, the satellite disappeared from our view, “Let’s just go.”
“Sure, yeah, let’s go,” he nodded. Sammy took one final glance at the sky before we stepped into the trees.
“That was cool,” I said, stepping through a bush.
“Sure, if you’re into that stuff,” Sammy replied.
“Oh? What are you into then?” I asked.
“I don’t know…” Sammy shrugged, “Football, probably.”
“What do you mean, ‘of course’?”
“You look like someone who plays football,” I paused and jumped over a rock, “Actually, you look exactly like a guy from my school.”
“Some guy named Will, Will Pehn.”
“Oh, I’ve played against him. He’s alright.”
We continued talking. Sammy seemed surprised when I mentioned I like engineering, while I was shocked when he said he liked woodshop.
We arrived at the stream from before. We stopped to sit and tie our shoes before continuing. After ten more minutes, we emerged from the greenery.
“You guys are back late,” Howard said as soon as he spotted us.
“You never gave us a time limit,” Sammy checked his watch, “It’s not even 2pm.”
“It still took you 1½ hours.” Howard glared at us and walked away.
“Jerkwad,” I mumbled as we walked over to Wilma. Sammy whispered, “Seriously,” back.
“Wilma!” I exclaimed, and she turned around, “We’re back.”
“Good, did you find anything?” She responded.
“A stream,” Sammy said, “Oh, and a satellite.”
“In the sky?” She asked. The mention of a satellite had piqued her interest.
“Yeah, above the clouds,” I replied.
“Interesting,” Wilma nodded, “We’ve made progress here as well. There’s a small shelter space your mom is currently in. Hopefully we can make it big enough to fit multiple people tonight, but I don’t know.”
“Did you find any food?” I asked, “All we found was an orange tree.”
“Some granola bars, berries, nuts,” she answered, “Did you bring any oranges back?”
“No,” Sammy said, “But it’s only fifteen minutes into the woods.”
“Mhmm, bring some back tomorrow,” Wilma said, “Sammy, you should go help build the hut. Tanya, you can do whatever.”
“Why do I have to…” Sammy started asking, but Wilma gave him a stern look that said “don’t question me,” so he shut his mouth. Wilma led Sammy over to the hut while I wandered over to Pam.
“Hello,” I said. She was wading through the water, looking for fish. She turned to me and smiled.
“Catch anything?” She shook her head.
“Oh, did you find any fruit?”
“Strawberries,” She replied. Her voice was nearly inaudible.
“Cool, cool, I’ll help you.”
I took my hoodie and blouse off, revealing a light pink undershirt. I folded the clothes, set them on the dry sand, and stepped into the water. The ocean water was cold, but felt good on my skin. It was obvious that we couldn’t catch any fish without a fishing line, but it was a good excuse to do nothing.
I sighed, “This feels amazing.”
Pam nodded and floated on her back. We stayed there, floating in silence, just relaxing. Our worries seemed to drift away with the waves as the sun lowered in the sky.
“Ladies!” I opened my eyes and saw Edna on the shore, “i know the water feels lovely, but you have to get out!”
“Why?” I asked while I stood up.
“Wilma’s holding a meeting.”
I groaned and followed through the water. I put my shirt back on, but wrapped my hoodie around my waist for later. We walked to the hut. It looked like a tent, but was open on one side and was made of sticks and leaves. It looked like it could fall apart any second.
“Tanya?” I looked back over to the hut to see mom sitting up, looking right at us.
“Mom!” I exclaimed and I crawled into the hut to hug her.
“Hello, Tanya!” She let go of me, “Go to the meeting, I’ll be here when you come back.”
“Are you sure? I can stay with you.” I said.
“I don’t want you to miss anything important.”
“You’re more important than the meeting, mom. I haven’t talked to you!”
“Well, just go.” Mom insisted. I nodded and stood. I walked towards the fire, where everyone was huddled around. I sat down beside Edna and Sammy. There was a weird thing above the fire, and when I asked about it, Wilma explained it was a crude water collector. It converted the boiling salt water to fresh water.
“Alright, everyone,” Wilma clapped her hands together, “Good work, today! We have built part of the hut, which can fit five people, if we can squeeze in.”
“Who won’t sleep in it?” Cameron asked.
“The youngest, so Sammy, Tanya, and someone else,” Howard stated.
Sammy and I glanced at each other, “What?!”
“Deal with it,” Vaughn hissed, “I’m sleeping outside, too.”
“Fine, that’s settled. I guess you guys can share the blanket. It may not fit all three of you, though,” Cameron said.
Vaughn shrugged, “OK.”
“So, secondly, what should we eat tonight?” Howard rubbed his hands together to warm himself up, as if there wasn’t a fire right in front of him.
“Sis, how many granola bars do we have?” Wilma asked.
Pam held up the number five with her fingers, but quickly changed it to four.
“And don’t forget the..” I started, but Sammy quickly punched my side. I looked over to him and he mouthed, “shut up.”
“Forget about what?” Edna asked.
“Don’t forget about the fish!” Sammy lied, “We could probably catch some while the sun’s still peaking out!”
Sammy looked at me sternly, as if he was waiting for me to object and say “WE FOUND ORANGES!”, but I kept my mouth shut..
“Good idea, boy!” Howard sprung up, “Let’s go catch some dinner.”
Everyone else followed suit and walked to the water. I waited until they were out of earshot to slap Sammy’s arm, “What the hell! Why can’t I tell them about the oranges?”
“Because they’ll eat them!’
“That’s the point!” I hissed, “They won’t catch any fish, it’s impossible!”
“Those oranges are ours, alright? So we don’t starve,” Sammy got up into my face, “We can either waste them trying to feed everyone, or ourselves.”
“What is your issue, Sammy?”
Sammy looked at me as if I was the dumbest person on Earth.
“Look, it’ll take three meals to use all the oranges if we share them. That’s two days, tops. If we split them between us, we can get 12 meals, which we can stretch to about a week. Got it?”
I nodded, “Yeah, sure. What about Wilma, though? We told her.”
“She’s got enough to worry about, she’ll forget by morning.”
“OK,” I said, “Let’s go catch some fish.”