Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Padlocked Chest - Part 4 - The Island

By the end of the day tensions were running high. A few people were still determindly, or desperately ,searching for food, but most had given up. It was when the first fight broke out, over nothing, that I decided we had to do something, fast.
     'We should try and build a raft,' I said, 'and we should also make a fire in case we see a ship.'
     'And how do you suggest we do either of those things, Genius?' said Robert, scornfully.
     I dragged him by the sleve away from the rest of the group. 'I am trying to take people's mind off food and despair, and onto something practical,' I whispered, fervently, 'now will you please co-operate.'
     'Who made you boss?' he replied, as I stepped away, loud enough for the others to hear.
     I turned back. 'Look, I get it. You have been stuck for the longest, but you know what that means? You've spent the longest doing nothing. Well move over pal, there's someone here who actually wants to do something.'
     'Fine,' he called, 'I'll do something. I'll take the cave. It'll be my home. Anyone who wants to come and live with me can come now, everyone else can stay out.'
     'Hey, that's not fair,' I began, but he cut me off.
     'You try making your raft, but I'm going to the place that's most like the chest. We survived in the chest, we were coping fine until you came.'
     'Fine, go then,' I retorted, 'hide, pretend it doesn't exist. Meanwhile everyone who's interested in getting off this island, let's get busy.'
     I set off in one direction and Robert in another. 'Is anyone joining me in the cave?' he called, 'last chance.'
     Everyone else had sat or stood unmoved to this point watching the arguement unfold, but then two men turned and went after Robert, followed by a couple more. We watched them go. Philippa, though, looked at me and said, 'how can we help?'

Two hours later I was in a tree hacking and breaking off small branches, while others used stones to try and cut into thicker logs. It was going to be a dry night, but it was also getting colder, so we took it in turn trying to make a fire. Eventually Jack, a guy a few years older than me, managed to get a spark and not long later we had a small blaze going. Seeing as the cave was now out of bounds we slept around the fire, which slowly shrank and in the morning was just a smoldering pile of ashes.
     We'd used almost all the wood we had cut, so we began again, collecting piles of twigs and sticks. Jack took a party of people off to the top of the hill to build a fire in case we saw a ship, while the rest of us began cutting into the base of a tree, hoping to fell it.
     It was well into the afternoon when we finally managed, but there were smiles all round and for the first time in 24 hours things were looking up. Just then, however, Jack returned with some of his group (they'd left a couple of people on the hill to be watchers). They were looking grim and told us how they'd gone to see the cave.
     'They've blocked the entrace up with stones,' Jack reported, 'there's just a small hole at the top for them to see out of, and to defend themselves apparently. One of them threw a stone at us and hit Gemma.'
     Gemma showed us the cut on her forehead. It wasn't deep, but blood was still dripping from it. Someone grabbed a large leaf from a nearby bush, folded it and gave it to Gemma who held it against the cut.
     'Well we can't do anything about them,' I said, 'we'll just have to stay away from the cave for the time being.' I tried to be positive, but the smiles had gone again.

No comments:

Post a Comment