Chapter 67 The Island
I slowly wake up with the sun shining brightly in my face. I’m disoriented and open my eyes slowly. The teenager is awake and looking around, there is a child walking with her.
They both have been crying, but seem calmer now. “How long have I been out?”, I ask. “I’m not sure, I’ve been awake for several hours and you’ve been out that whole time. I thought you might be dead. I found my brother, he washed up on the shore shortly after we made it.”, she says. “My name is Merri, what’s yours?”, I ask. “I’m Ariel and this is Teddy.”, she says, “I’m thirsty….”, Teddy cries. I’m thirsty too, I think to myself. I look around for my backpack and pull it open. I pull out 2 bottles of water. “We have to make this last. We don’t know how long we will be here.”, I say. We each take a small sip and I put the cap back on and put it back in my bag. We move farther up the beach where there are some trees for shade. It’s getting very hot.The rest of the day we sleep off and on.
The next morning, we wake up and start exploring the island. We are almost out of water, so we need to find shelter and water.
Hopefully there are some people close by so we can get home. We walk all morning and haven’t seen anyone yet. We did find some plants that look to be edible, some bananas and grapes. There has to be water around here somewhere. Teddy is getting tired and Ariel looks about to drop, so we head back to the shade trees and I set out to make a fire and try to fashion a shelter. As I’m searching for firewood, I see a small building hidden behind some trees and brush. It looks like a shed or very small cabin. Someone has been here before!
I slowly approach the building and push open the door. It’s deserted, but doesn’t look like it’s in terrible condition. I run to get Ariel and Teddy and bring them back to the cabin. Ariel and I start cleaning and airing it out. There are 2 sets of bunk beds, a kitchen table with chairs, a counter and even a couch. All handcrafted from bamboo and fabric. I wonder where the people went that lived here, maybe there were rescued. That gives me hope that we can get home too.
After we clean out the cabin pretty well, we continue to search the area around it. We find another small building, that serves as an outhouse and shower. There must be a rain barrel collection system on the roof, because I turn the knob and water slowly pours from the shower head. I’m not sure the water is safe to drink, but should be fine if we can get a fire going to boil it.
We also uncover a fire pit with half burnt logs and some matches. The matches have been wet, so I’m sure they won’t work, but maybe if they dry out more it will help. I send Ariel out to gather more of the fruits, Teddy lies on the bunk to take a nap. He not feeling well. I really hope he isn’t getting sick. I run back to the beach to gather up what little supplies we found earlier. Much to my surprise I see someone laying on the beach. I pray that he isn’t dead. I slowly walk over to him and gently touch his shoulder, he stirs but doesn’t wake up.
I grab my backpack and pour a small amount of water into his mouth, he slowly comes around. He stands up and grabs me by the shoulders and hugs me tight, “Oh god! I thought everyone else died!”, he cries. I gently try to untangle his arms from around me, “No, there are 3 of us. We have found a small cabin. If you can make it, I’ll take you there.”, I explain. He slowly gets to his feet and puts a hand on my shoulder to steady himself, “I’m a little dizzy. Sorry, I’m Ross by the way.”, he says. “Hi, Ross! I’m Merri. Just hold on to me and we will get you to the cabin.”, I say to him softly.
We make it to the cabin and I show Ross around. He’s amazed at what we found. I explain that we have cleaned it up quite a bit and it didn’t look this way when we found it. Ross immediately walks to the fire pit and rummaged around in his pockets. He pulls out a lighter! I jump up and down with excitement, “I can’t believe you have a lighter! Will it still work?”, I ask. “We will soon find out.”, he says with a grin. He flicks the lighter and it only sparks. He tries it a couple more times and finally it works. He bends down and starts the fire with the wood and tender I had collected earlier.
We will need to be careful and keep the fire going at all times. It will work to make our water safe to drink, cook our food, and also as a signal to passing planes. We quickly boil some water and refill all the bottles we have on hand. I send Ariel off to search for more containers and anything else that could be of use. Teddy lays down on one of the bunks and I tell Ross that I think Teddy is sick. He goes into the cabin to take a look at him. “He doesn’t have a fever, I think he’s just dehydrated and exhausted. He’s only a child, so they can get dehydrated much easier than adults. He needs to drink as much water as he can, now that it is safe to drink.”, he explains. I quickly fetch a bottle and help Teddy sit up and drink some water. I tell him to keep the bottle and drink as much as he can. We have plenty of water from the rain barrel now. We will still need to find a source of fresh water, but thankfully we have some till we can find it.
Ariel returns with several more bottles that have washed up on the shore, a suitcase. She also holds out her hands and shows us the vegetables she has found. She found a small garden patch up a path behind the cabin. Ross and I go in search of the garden and also locate a small spring with fresh water!
We head back to the cabin and I clean and chop up some of the vegetables and fruit and make a nice looking salad. We all sit at the table and enjoy our first real meal together in our new island home.