Day One, Micah McCloud’s Adventure Journal
I wake up, groggy and waterlogged. … And covered in sand. What happened? Where am I? Sitting up, I look around slowly, shaking my head. Slowly, the horror of the previous night returns..
I was on a cruise ship, traveling with some other freshmen from college.. a late spring break trip. We’d looked forward to it for what seems like forever. The trip had been awesome, the views of the tropical islands were picturesque, and the fact that the “cruise ship” seemed a little ratty hadn’t bothered any of us. There were lifeboats and survival kits, right? Nothing ever happened other than the completely ordinary on these trips, anyway, right? … Apparently, that wasn’t quite right. In the middle of the fourth night out, the engines started shuddering violently, and then just stopped. I could hear crewmen yelling in panic in a language I didn’t know, and they were running everywhere. In the panic, nobody seemed sure what to do. They weren’t seeming to attempt to launch the lifeboats, so I assumed things were still alright. It all seemed very exciting – something we could tell everyone back at the University about when we got home. Then, there was a horrible crash. Without engines and rudder, we must have hit something! The front of the ship tipped dangerously forward, and everyone on the front of the boat was thrown into the ocean. I ran quickly towards the back of the boat, and laboriously lowered a rowboat I’d noticed hiding well away from the other lifeboats. Fires were breaking out all over the boat, and the screams echoed in the night. By the time I got the boat to the water, I still hadn’t seen anyone else in the back of the ship where I was, so I simply shimmied down the side of the ship into the boat and cut the lines with my pocketknife. I remembered something about the suction a sinking ship caused, so I quickly rowed away. My arms, unused to the punishment, quickly became tired, and I had to take a break. By the time I got back to where I thought the ship had sunk, all I could find were some floating boxes.. and what appeared to be a floating outhouse..?! I lashed it to the back of the boat loosely so I could tow it, but let it go if it started sinking. Who knows what I’d find on the islands I could see in the distance. In the night, there were no lights on the islands, so I wasn’t all that hopeful about finding any civilization. Arms burning, I just kept rowing. I vaguely remembered landing on shore somewhere near dawn.. and then..??
Concerned, I looked around, and to my relief saw that in my exhaustion I had managed to remember to lash the rowboat to a tree before falling asleep on the sand. Determined to not let the dire situation I seemed to be in get me down, I got up and wandered over to the boat to see what might have been stashed in the emergency kit inside.
After a few hours of labor, I’d thoroughly catalogued what I had available. Some bottled water was a welcome sight, as well as a fire starting kit. My boat was still in fairly good condition, and what I had towed in turned out to actually be an “all-in-one” outhouse – which seemed like a luxury on this island. I’d cleaned it out of the water, and set it up on the beach. There had also been a tent in good condition, some candles, a fishing pole, quite a bit of rope, a hammer and nails in a small box of other random tools and a spyglass/telescope – all were welcome sights. There were even some well-packed books and paint and paper! First things first – I set up my tent, and scrounged around the beach for some rocks to make a fire pit. I dug for some sand grubs to bait the fishing pole, then set out in my boat to catch dinner.
By the time I got back with a few anchovies, it was pouring rain. Figures, right? .. Just what I needed. I managed to get a fire going, and ate my first meal in my new home. Exhausted, I fell into my tent, and slept surprisingly soundly.
Day Two, Micah McCloud’s Adventure Journal
After another anchovy breakfast, I did some scrounging in the area around my home. I found some other crates that had washed up, as well as some random driftwood, boards, and a partially wrecked lifeboat. One other odd thing I found is what appears to be an old-fashioned icebox of sorts. I took the time to drag all of this back to my camp, and set about making some more furniture for myself. I ended up with a nice coffee table and bench, a chair for my fire pit, and the boat turned nicely into a rain-proof bookshelf. Sorting through my books, I found a handiness manual, a book on logic, a cookbook, some novels, and a blank journal! Thankful for the pen I’d found in the tool box, I set about starting to write my adventures. After catching up on that, I rigged up some candles in a piece of driftwood, and a string of lights for reading at my bench. I also secured the spyglass to a metal pole I found to serve as a makeshift telescope.
Then, feeling like I could use a break, I sat down on my new bench and studied the handiness manual for a while.
It had been a busy day, and night was quickly falling, so I ate yet another dinner of roasted anchovies, and then peered through the telescope in the near-dark, hoping to see the lights of a ship off shore.
I came up completely empty, and ended up simply watching the starts for a bit until exhaustion took over and I went back to my tent for a well-deserved sleep.
Day Three, Micah McCloud’s Adventure Journal
Breakfast was more anchovies, then I set about putting together an easel for painting. I rigged a small portion of the sail canvas I had scrounged the day before, I tried my hand at painting the beautiful vista before me.
Needless to say, with no previous painting experience, it didn’t turn out so well. Then the rain began again, so I decided I’d go jogging to warm up.. and to get a better feel of the size and layout of the island I was on.
Strangely enough, all of the lots seem to have mailboxes and trashcans, and there are roads in good condition… a lot of them. There seems to have been plans at one time to colonize this island – but what happened to them, I don’t know. There certainly are no other people that I’ve met, and the only buildings seem to be abandoned ports scattered around the outside of the island.
There are more islands in the distance, as well, which may tell more of the story.. but that will have to be saved for another day. In my investigations of my new island, I found an abandoned bicycle in one of the port sheds, as well as a Nautilus shell and a space rock on one of the beaches. Grateful for the bike, I headed back home in the coming dark, ate another lonely meal, and retired to my tent.