Island’s Wrath

All right, this next adventure was a blast to write. Why? Because the brainstorming session involved three nieces and a nephew. And boy can kids come up with adventure ideas=) If this one seems a little crazier than normal, I say it’s because kids totally get the Alice in Wonderland type of adventure.

So welcome and I hope you enjoy.

Island’s Wrath

This was supposed to be a vacation, a calm fishing trip away from traffic, angry coworkers and an 8-5 job that somehow always comes home with you. Now you’re wondering if you should have gone camping instead.

The storm rolled in so fast, you’ve barely gotten your life vest on before the boat starts rocking heavily on the waves. Above your head, the boat’s rigging flaps with sharp snaps in the wind. The boat thrashes beneath your feet, thrown up and then down by waves that threaten to capsize your small vessel.

A particularly gigantic wave crashes over the boat, sending you flying into the seats and then up over the rail on the far side. At the last moment, you latch onto the side and pull yourself back on board.

The boat shudders in a way not caused by the waves. Fiberglass splinters and before long, the small boat’s listing to one side. You try to go below to see what’s happened but the quarters are already half full of water.

Turning to head for the life raft, a small yellow inflatable, the boat cants entirely on its side with you still on the ladder. You try to get out but things are flying and something smacks the back of your head.

***

Sand’s stuck to the side of your face. Lifting your head, you find yourself face down on a beach littered with the remains of the fishing boat.

You push to your feet and wobble a bit before getting your equilibrium. The back of your head pulses with pain from whatever hit you. The remains of the ship aren’t much but you pilfer through the bits anyway. Part of the sail’s still intact and some of the larger pieces of the spar and sides of the ship could be useful. Under a chunk of the rudder, you find a horribly weathered map. Along with these finds are the items still in your pockets: a water logged cell phone and a small swiss army knife.

Now that you know what’s left of your belongings, you decide to hike the beach up to a small cliff. It takes you a good hour and, by the time you reach the top, you’re drenched in sweat, and your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth.

From the cliff, you see miles of beach and greenery on the interior of the island. It’s too big to walk around in a day but you know it’s an island because of where the storm hit you.

Turning to look out to sea, you spot on the horizon a dot of land. Another island. And it’s in the right direction to get you home. But getting there could be a dangerous task. The area’s well known to fishermen though. So there’s also the chance you’ll be spotted if you stay put.

So do you…

A.Build a raft to get to the other island?

or

B.Stay and build a shelter?

Island’s Wrath Option B: Stay and Build a Shelter

You have the things to build a raft but it could take you all day and you’re getting hungry, so you decide to stay at least the day and find something to eat.

Heading into the trees, you look around until you spot a bunch of coconuts hanging above you on a small tree. Your stomach rumbles. Thankfully, it’s not a long climb. Reaching the bunch, you nock two loose and let them fall to the ground. After cracking one open on a rock, drinking the milk and scraping the meat clean, you lay back for a moment.

Then you get to gathering the remains from your destroyed boat. From what’s left of the spar, the sides of the ship and what little driftwood you can find, you make a small lean-to shelter. You lay palm fronds over the structure and lay more on the bottom of it for a bed.

Testing the bed out, you close your eyes. Just for a moment, you tell yourself, but after your hot day in the sun, you quickly fall asleep.

***

You wake up to darkness. Rubbing your eyes, you blink a few times but the area around you is still dark…and the floor beneath you is hard. No palm fronds.

Getting to your feet, you hit your head. With a groan, you sit back down and explore the area around you with your hands. There are poles in front of you. They’re tilted over your head, so they must be what your hit your head on. Pushing on them, you find they don’t move.

Investigating behind you, you find a rock wall. It must be what the poles are leaning on. You look up, trying to see what’s above, and notice that you can see the outline of the poles. As you watch, clouds move away from the moon and you see the cage surrounding you.

You’re in a cave with a hole in the ceiling, and someone’s put you in a cage. The poles slant upward from where they’re buried in the ground but are open high above.

“See, pups, this is one animal you can hunt.”

You’re eyes swing down to find several wolves watching you through the poles. One seems to be older while the other four are exactly what the adult called them, pups. But they’re big pups. Bigger than any wolves you’ve seen before. They easily outweigh you by fifty or so pounds.

“Animal?” you ask just as you realize you’re talking to the beast. You don’t question it further because you definitely heard him speak.

“Animal,” the adult says. Then to his pups, “let’s go patrol the beach. We’ll hunt in an hour for this human.” And then they turn and leave you in your cage.

“Wait!”

The wolves don’t pause at your shout. The adult’s words sink in as you watch them go. They’re coming back to hunt you. Looking above you, you think that maybe you can climb out of the cave and escape. It’s risky though. It’s a long climb and a fall would be just as unforgiving as the wolves.

But the adult spoke. Maybe you could reason with him. Offer him something in return for your life.

So do you…

Bb: Climb out?

or

Bc: Try to reason?

Island’s Wrath Option Bb: Climb Out

Your chances of reasoning with the wolves seem to be slim since they completely ignored you when you called out to them. Plus, they’re probably too big for you to win a fight with them. The adult almost stands as tall as your shoulder.

Looking up at the top of the cage, your hands grow sweaty at the thought of climbing that high but you like climbing and it seems the better of the two options.

You’ve no idea how long the wolves will be gone, so you pick your route and start climbing the pole nearest the cave wall. The pole must be made out of a tree trunk, because there are knots all along it where branches used to be. This makes climbing a bit easier. Between the pole and the rough rock, you make it half way up before running into a difficult spot where the cave wall slants away and the pole sags with your weight.

As you consider your next move, your hands and forearms ache from holding on. As you try to hold on tighter, you start to doubt your grip as your muscles shake from the strain. You’re shaking so bad, the pole’s moving too. Shifting your weight, you make the pole sag against the wall higher up, which stops the poles from shaking even if it doesn’t stop your muscles.

Determining not to look down, you continue moving inch by slow inch upward until your can lean on the wall for support. You breathe a sigh and give each hand a rest before continuing upward.

You’re almost to the top where the hole is in cave ceiling when you hear a shuffling sound. With a last burst of energy, you climb out the top of the cave and lay on the ground for a moment, letting your aching muscles rest. Then you peek down to see what created the noise. At the base of the cage, a pup is sniffing around. He growls at the empty enclosure and then he turns and races away.

You back away form the hole to look around. Where you’re standing is a small hill surrounded by trees. In front of you, through all the greenery, you can just barely make out the ocean. Behind you lies a mass of forest too thick to see through.

A howl fills the air, ear splitting and haunting. It’s jointed by several others. The wolves know you’re gone now and will be hunting you soon.

So do you…

Bb1: Head toward the ocean?

or

Bb2: Head inland?

Island’s Wrath Option Bb1: Head Toward the Ocean

The howling of the wolves grows closer as you debate which way to go. The island’s big. Looking into the greenery of the forest, you realize it’d be very easy to get lost heading inland and, considering your ultimate goal is to get home, you decide going toward the beach is the way your should head.

To avoid the wolves, you turn right, running down the hill into the forest but keeping the sight of the beach through the trees always on your left. The howling stops, which sends a chill through you even though it’s rather warm out.

They must have reached the cave and are now searching for you. Considering they were going to hunt for you anyway, you kind of just played into their game but at least you have a head start.

But now you can’t hear them, so you keep looking over your shoulder, expecting to see them on your trail.

Having gone a ways, you turn left toward the beach. The wolves’ sense of smell will lead them this far, so you hit the sand of the beach and keep going until you’re knee deep in water. Then you sink down and swim, following the island but keeping low in hopes the wolves won’t see you.

Just as you think you’ve lost them, a pup appears on the sand. Taking a deep breath, you sink below the waves and count to twenty. When you surface, the pup hasn’t moved and another pup has joined him.

They’re staring at you. As soon as your head breaks the water, they’re howling in triumph. A deeper howl answers them.

You want to curse in frustration, but you’re treading water and you’re breath heavy in exertion. The chances of evading the wolves now is slim. Looking around, you see an outcropping of rock. Perhaps you can loose them in there.

While you’re swimming toward the outcropping, a horn blares. It takes you a second to realize the sound’s human made, but when you do, you look over your shoulder to see a sail boat like the one you wreaked.

A man’s waving at you. In his other hand is an orange and white life ring. Once he’s close enough, he pitches it at you.

The ring plops onto the water about five feet away. Grabbing ahold of it, you let the man pull you in. He gives you a hand getting into the boat.

“Just in the nick of time,” he says, pointing at the beach.

The wolves are pacing the sand. They’re no longer howling and their hackles are raised.

“Perfect timing,” you agree. “They would’ve had me for lunch.”

***

The man, Sam, sails you back home, promising to take you out on a fishing trip the next vacation you get. He says he knows all the good fishing stops…and the islands to avoid.

The End

Yay, you survived and made it home=) Thank you for joining in the adventure. Have a wonderful day.

Blessings,

Jennifer