Monday, 25 February 2013

The Padlocked Chest - Part 3

Evening came and so did a storm. We were lucky that while Alice, who's only thirteen, was trying to find some shelter on the north side of the hill she came across a small cave. Quickly we crammed ourselves in and then slowly fell asleep. At least everyone apart from Robert and I did. We sat up and discussed what on earth had happened to our lives.
     Robert had clearly had this conversation before and was happy to add his limited wisdom as to how thirty people end up in a chest, then go through a door and find themselves on a desert island. I was still enjoying this adventure but I guess after eighteen years things are pretty dull, and Robert was still grumpy.
     We stopped talking for a while and sat in silence listening to the wind and pouring rain and the waves smashing about on the beach. Then another thought occured to me. 'Robert,' I said, 'how did you actually survive in the chest? I mean, what did you eat?'
     Robert looked at me blankly for a few seconds and then said, 'We didn't eat anything. I never thought about it, but now you mention it I feel really hungry. Wow, I haven't eaten in eighteen years.'
     'But that doesn't make sense, how can you have lived without eating?'
     'Edward, not much is making sense right now, so I guess it's alright for us to have survived without food. Now though, I'm not sure I can. Maybe that's how it works. If you don't think about something, you don't need it, but if you started to think about it then you want it more and more. I am starving.'
     'I don't think we should mention it to the others,' I said, but Robert wasn't listening.
     'What do you think we could find on this island?'
     'I don't know. I haven't seen any animals, there might be some fruit though. We'll look in the morning, if the rain has stopped.'

The rain had stopped and we crawled out of the cave into the sunshine. Robert wasted no time in telling everyone he was hungry and sure enough they all said the same. So we began hunting around for anything to eat.
     An hour later, however, we still hadn't found anything. There was no fruit, the vegetation was awful and, as I thought, there were no other animals either.
     The girl, who was about my age and had been the first to come forward when I suggested going through the door in the chest, and whose name, I had learned, was Philippa, asked me, 'Are we going to die?'
     'I reckon if you can survive in a chest for eighteen years then we can manage on this island,' I said, but really I had no idea at all.

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