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Old 06-17-2017, 01:50 PM   #51
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Joe felt the water brush his lips, and thankfully they knew what to do to pull the liquid in. One swallow. Two swallows. The sandpaper of his mouth and throat began to clear. He took it slow, fighting the urge to suck it down fast, knowing it would just go back up and make things worse. The water was warm, good, he could start to think, because warm water absorbs faster, cold water just sits like a rock in your stomach.

That was the extent of his thoughts. There was little else there.

Except someone was calling him a lunkhead.

His eyes flickered open, and there hovering over him was Lily. As soon as he was able to, he smiled.

There was a fuzz in his mind. Heat exhaustion he guessed. Fuzz and confusion, but for some reason he grasped the medical condition he was in.

Maybe that’s what it means to be a lunkhead.

“Lily,” he breathed. The smile so strong on his face. “I found you. You are alright.”

He put his hand over hers holding the shell with the water. Witth their combined touch he took another slow drink.

Joe’s breath was labored, but returning. His skin dry, but starting to want to sweat again. His eyes red, but they tried not to leave hers.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I shouldn’t have done those things to you. You deserve … you didn’t deserve that.”

He took another sip of water.

“I know that’s why you ran away. Because I forced you to.”

Joe rolled his head to the side, feeling the need to rest and sleep once more.

“I was so scared … during the storm … I sent you out in that. You don’t deserve to be … not treated like that …”

He tired to focus. “Like a princess, you should.”

He took another swig of water, and smiled. Happy he found her. Happy she was okay. Happy.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:06 PM   #52
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"Yep, definitely a lunkhead." She murmured as she watched him talk some kind of gibberish as he rolled over and went back to sleep. She could see that if it was left to him, they would starve to death. It was obvious that they would not be able to make it back to camp today. They? Here she was trying to distance herself from him and he followed her like a lost puppy.

She gather some bits of wood and was thankful that he had taught her how to start a fire. She left him sleeping to walk a ways to a group of rocks. There wasn't a lot but she found a few conch shells. She made a small pile of them on the beach and then carried two back to the fire and threw them on. Then back to the pile to carry two more back. By that time, the first two were done and she used a stick to get them out of the fire and plop the next two on.

She kept it up till all the conchs had been cooked. Maybe she was just hungry, but they sure smelled good.

"Joe! Wake up!" She shook him. "I'm not gonna feed you like a baby bird! If you're hungry, you'd better wake up and eat. You need to grab a stick and dig your food out of its shell."
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Old 06-25-2017, 03:09 PM   #53
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Joe rolled his head around, the water helped a fair bit, and the smell of the fire cooked conch brought him the rest of the way. He forced a smile, “Lunkhead,” he repeated out of nothing. He grabbed a loose shred of bark from the tree that was a backrest for him, and scooped some of the meat into his mouth. Joe did his best to pace himself from gorging himself. With pieces of it catching on his island beard he dropped his head back against the tree. “I tell you what, even if I find a place that serves conch back home, they will likely never cook one as good as you do … can’t get those spices just right.”

He wasn’t sure if he was coming across lucid or not, but he definitely felt more lucid. Watching her tend the fire and cook the food she harvested reminded him how far she had come, how far they both had come, to survive out here. Both arrived here in nothing to help them make it, with no food, no means to gather water, no way to call for help - only the clothes on their back.

Then again, mentioning the clothes reminded him why they were at the beach they found themselves at. That cleared his head further.

“It probably be better if we headed back to the old camp. All our stuff’s still there.”

There was a long pause before he continued. “If you want to go back that is. If you never want to see me again, I would understand. I would deserve that.”
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:21 AM   #54
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The man sat against the tree and blathered on about the conch she was cooking. She put it to the heat and his dehydration. She didn't know if he was trying to make it up to her, or was he was still out of it. She watched him eat with relative gusto, his beard catching what didn't make it to his mouth. They were both a bit hairier as neither one of them had thought to be stranded on the island with a razor.

At first, his ramblings didn't make much sense. But suddenly, his talk turned to current events and she hesitated for a moment.

It probably be better if we headed back to the old camp. All our stuff’s still there.

He paused for a moment and she closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

If you want to go back that is. If you never want to see me again, I would understand. I would deserve that.

"If we leave now, we won't get back until well after dark. It's up to you. If we go back today, I suggest that we talk on the way back. Ignoring things won't make them go away. Joe, I know that I'm hard to live with. But I suspect that the only way that we are gonna survive is if we work together."

She walked over and scooped some of the rainwater out and drank several coconut cupfuls. Straightening up, she looked at him. "I have made a discovery. I think that it's a form of lemon. At least it tastes like a lemon though the skin is a bit thick and kinda bumpy. That would keep rickets away. Maybe stuff several in your pants pockets. And we can keep enough of this water to get us back. What do you say?"
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Old 07-22-2017, 11:54 AM   #55
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It was as if their world spinned on them. She seemed the more stable one, the more calm and stoic one. The one that made sure things were done the right way.

And the one that wanted to talk it out.

“I think it’s better we leave now. Another storm like we had the other night, and it could be bad for us without shelter. Even if we get caught in one on the way back, it would be just as bad as getting caught here. Besides, the nights unprotected are more of a problem than the days.” Joe started to collect a few of the lemons, following her suggestion that he stuff his pockets. The weight of them starting to pull at the waistband, but nothing that a hitch upwards can’t fix from time to time.

He thought about what he would say. How to start the conversation. How to breach the subject that he had taken advantage of this woman not more than a couple days earlier, and the thought of it is a churn of guilt … although as time passes the thought of it stirs something else.

All he could think of to start the conversation as the they set out was a simple question: “Would you like me to carry the bucket for you?”
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Old 07-23-2017, 02:22 AM   #56
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She listened to his reasoning, nodding as he spoke. She could see his purpose for choosing to go ahead and head back.

"Fine." She really didn't show that much emotion in her answer. She watched him stuff the lemon things in his pocket as she picked up the coconut shell and filled it full of water before taking a deep drink, offering the coconut cup to him in case he wanted one too before they started off. Then with water bucket in hand, she headed off down the shoreline.

Would you like me to carry the bucket for you?

She thought for a moment before she nodded and handed the bucket to Joe.

They started off along the beach, heading back towards camp.

"I suppose since I suggested it, I should start it off. I know that deep down, I can't survive without you, and I suppose that I like to think that you couldn't survive without me. No man is an island and all that crap."

"I know that I'm not the easiest person to get along with. I never have been. You're about the same age as me but grew up in a different part of the country so what I tell you probably won't ring any bells. There was an orphanage in the South. Pecanwood State Orphanage. Nasty place. Around 20 years ago, there was a picture that ran in the papers. AP picked it up and I heard that it eventually appeared all across the US. A little girl, believed to be around 4 years old, dirty, filthy, covered in rat bites and sores. They kept me in a closet at night. Or when they thought I had been bad. I could hear the rats scratching behind the walls. Sometimes they would squeeze under the door, or probably through a hole in the closet. My bathroom was a corner of the darkness. Meals were once a day, stale bread and oatmeal. Luckily the state finally got wind of the place and Pecanwood was shut down. Those of us there were scattered. People wanted to adopt me once they saw the photo. But they always brought me back. I didn't laugh and play like other kids. My parents had apparently dumped me at Pecanwood when I was just under a year old. I don't know who they were but they left me on the doorstep with a note that said, 'This is Lily'. At least they gave me a first name."

"That's why those things scare me. They remind me of the rats. The rats would come in the dark, their whiskers brush soft against my skin. and then they would bite. I'd hear them behind the wall and know they were coming." She paused for a second, a tear spilling over her lower eyelids to course down her cheek before she brushed it angrily away.

"I realize that you gave me back exact what I gave you. Don't worry. If we get off here your Josie will never know. You've still been true to her. Cause I really don't count. That's why I'm here. I realize it now. I'm not asking for sympathy, I'm just letting you know why those things scare me."

She paused before continuing. "We kind of need to stick together. I understand that. But..." she paused for a moment. "I'm sorry, Joe. I'll try to do better. Okay?"
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:18 PM   #57
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Joe listened, much more than he talked. But that was good, he thought, because this seemed something hard for Lily to talk about. So sometimes you just have to listen. As she talked more about what she was like on the island, what she said about ‘giving back what she gave him’, he wanted to burst. He wanted to stop her when she said she really didn’t count. Yet he did his best to stay quiet. Only when she got to the end, did he let it out.

I'll try to do better. Okay?

“Do better?” he blurted. “I don’t think that’s possible.”

He stopped, put the bucket down, and turned to her putting his hands onto her arms.

“Look at what you do. You catch the conchs, find water, dig for crabs. You helped with the shelter. You don’t run from the storms, or take the easy way out. You scavenged for things that make our life here better. You even went off on your own for a whole, and when I show up like an idiot you are the only way I ended up alive. Heck, you even found this bucket … which is a mighty fine bucket if you ask me.”

He tilted his head, and suggested, “what if we go hunting for those little buggers together. I heard that sometimes overcoming your fears is just about taking ownership of them. If you take one of them down, it’s like getting a win over those little bastards that tortured you all those years ago. They seemed pretty dumb and easy to catch, besides they are good meat in case the conchs start to fear your wrath.”

Joe was trying to crack a smile, trying to make her feel better.

“The thing is, those lizards are not the rats that bit you. This is not the orphanage. This is not back home for either of us. This is not the cruise ship, and it is not some vacation spa. We will not be going home when we want to go home. All those people who are looking for us, all those people waiting for us; they will not understand what we went through here.” He took a deep swallow and added, “And I am not your parents or those foster homes. I am Not going to leave you to fend for yourself.”

“The point is, there are a lot of things this place IS NOT. But there is a lot of this this IS. It is where we survived the sinking. It is where we survived for twenty-five days. We did that together, both of us. It is where you saved my life. It is where we can save each other.”

Joe didn’t notice but his hands had moved up her arms, now resting on Lily’s shoulders. The touch was more intimate than he intended, more than he wanted to intend. Fearful that he may be suggesting that she needs to put out once more, he pulled his hands down to hers.

“Together from now on, okay? You … me … and the bucket.”
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Old 07-24-2017, 04:44 PM   #58
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Lily had never told anyone else her past, knowing that most people really were not interested in why people are the way they are. Hell, she really didn't care about herself, much less others. But being on this island, forced to close daily, and sometimes constant, contact with another person was forcing Lily to become more human. Joe didn't say anything while she talked and she assumed that he was tuning her out.

So she was surprised when he suddenly blurted out, Do better? I don’t think that’s possible.

'I must really be hopeless.' She took a deep breath, hoping that maybe he hadn't been paying attention after all. She tried to continue walking, hoping that it would all be forgotten. Instead, he grabbed her and forced her to look at him, forced her to listen to what he said. She didn't think that he had been paying attention to what she was doing. It surprised her. He had even noticed the bucket. He had never said anything about it, and she figured it was just like her, just like her life, not really important. But he was giving her kudos for all she had done since they arrived on the island. He had noticed everything.

what if we go hunting for those little buggers together. I heard that sometimes overcoming your fears is just about taking ownership of them. If you take one of them down, it’s like getting a win over those little bastards that tortured you all those years ago. They seemed pretty dumb and easy to catch, besides they are good meat in case the conchs start to fear your wrath.

It took her a moment to realize that he was kidding her about the conchs.

The thing is, those lizards are not the rats that bit you. This is not the orphanage. This is not back home for either of us. This is not the cruise ship, and it is not some vacation spa. We will not be going home when we want to go home. All those people who are looking for us, all those people waiting for us; they will not understand what we went through here. And I am not your parents or those foster homes. I am Not going to leave you to fend for yourself. The point is, there are a lot of things this place IS NOT. But there is a lot of this this IS. It is where we survived the sinking. It is where we survived for twenty-five days. We did that together, both of us. It is where you saved my life. It is where we can save each other.

She nodded. Joe had never been so...so...adamant. He was intense, gripping her as he stared deep into her eyes. He seemed to really mean it, and for once, she was touched by his words. She thought about it. He had physically hunted her down, even risking his life (?) to find her and bring her back. Even Robinson Crusoe had his Friday.

She thought back to the last twenty-five days. If she had landed here alone, she would not have survived. It took both of then to make it this far.

Together from now on, okay? You … me … and the bucket.

She closed her eyes and dropped her head, almost embarrassed that he knew more about her than anyone else had ever known. Nodding her head, she took a deep breath before lifting her eyes up to find his eyes on her. She tried to smile at him, feeling stupid for trying to do so.

Breaking away from his grip, she continued walking back towards the camp, wanting to change the subject. After a minute of uncomfortable silence, she asked him, "Well, what about you?"
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:13 PM   #59
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"Well, what about you?"

It seemed like an innocent enough question, but seemed to break the mood. So, Joe just found a way to answer it.

“I don’t know really,” he replied. “Not sure I can say anything that would compete with your things.” He stopped himself at that moment. If she did intend to change the subject, then he better make sure the subject remained changed.

“Thing is, there ain’t much to go off on that I haven’t told you about before. It ain’t that I have had a brilliant life. People said it was boring really. I mean, I love my job; I love my house. There ain’t a reason to not be happy. So, all these people say I need to do something fun, do something different, and I take this cruise. Look what that leads to.

“Thing is, my job won’t be there, I am sure of it. The shop had all these spaceflight component accounts to get out, and they can’t continue you without a plant manager ensuring that everything stays on track. The CFO’s son been itching at stealing my job anyway. So they probably gave it to him by now. Not that you can get a plant manager job that easy anywhere else back home. And Josie .. who knows if she waits.”

He kept talking, unable to stop the flow of it, and it just flowed.

“I mean, I get these dreams some nights out here. Not like visions or something paranormal like that. But you know, sometimes our dreams will let us think about what we don’t want to think about when we’re awake. And lately, it’s like, I want to say it’s okay to let back home be whatever it is. Like I want to think I am happy enough here that I don’t need them. But then that seems crazy, like I am just trying to justify being a brute and a …” He trailed off, and took a quick look at Lily, his face turning red. “Like letting my boner make my decisions for me.”

With a sigh he continued. “That’s kind of why I like doing all that stuff around the camp. Always seems like the more I look ahead of me, I don’t have to look at what’s behind me. I don’t have to worry about the past, or the future, just today. Just make it to tomorrow when I can put another notch on the tree.”

“So … I don’t know … “

He shrugged.

“What was the question again?”
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:22 PM   #60
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She tried to follow his rambling. She really tried. But rambling was the correct term. Old Joe, the janitor maker, was... She stopped herself. She had told him that she would try harder to cooperate, to get along.

But the more he talked, the more confused she got. Space flight components? She was sure that he hadn't said something like that before. Or maybe she had just not been paying attention. But now, it certainly sounded like he was not a janitor.

He mentioned Josie and she suddenly felt a pang of...what? Jealousy? Was she suddenly jealous that the only man in her small world at this moment could not forget the woman left behind? Hell, some days he talked nonstop about the woman, she must be near sainthood. Something that nobody would ever accuse Lily of being. But she had opened the topic, and now she had to see it through.

Maybe this was what they needed to have out in the open. Ignoring the elephant didn't make it go away, you only wound up being trampled to death by it.

The more he talked, the more convoluted his words became. Until finally, he wound down.

So … I don’t know … What was the question again?

She took a deep breath as what passed for a chuckle came out.

"Joe, I think what you danced around just now is...the sex we had. We are both of legal age. And we are stuck on this island together. It is a natural urge. I don't expect you to fall in love with me - I know that you have Josie. But hell, we sleep together in the same little hut with just a couple of feet between us."

She was quiet for a moment as they walked.

"And sometimes the nights are dark and lonely. And I think that you understand why I don't do well in the dark. It wasn't the sex, it was the impersonal nature of it."

She stopped walking and told him, "I need a drink of water."

She held the coconut cup and waited for him to get the lid off.
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:54 PM   #61
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The tough part of listing to Lily was that guys don’t talk about this stuff. Joe doesn’t talk about this stuff. She wasn’t saying she had as much of a problem with what he had done the other night, but the way he had done it. For him, it seemed almost easier to feel condemned for the act than the manner of it. It reminded him of a book he read once. Not sure what to say, he laughed slightly and started with that.

“They say in my line of work that craftsmanship is like sex. Everybody’s for it, Everybody wants it, but when its bad nobody wants to talk about it.” He gave a little smirk. Maybe it wasn’t funny to her, but it cooled him a little. While she drank the water he continued a little more comfortably. “I’m not usually like that. It’s not usually like that. I’m more … ummm … I guess ‘attentive’ is the … a good word? Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed what happened … but I am a guy, that’s kind of what we do during sex … I mean, we always enjoy ourselves. Just normally I am the one that doesn’t want to do some things guys usually like because I am sure she doesn’t get as much out of it as I do. So … I’m sorry … You deserved better.”

He was getting hung up on words. Hung up on he called Josie ‘she’ … more like he was calling any woman ‘she’. More like … he felt that for any woman he is with. But moreso about Lily’s thoughts on ‘nights dark and lonely’. That in itself bothered him.

“But I don’t know if it’s about the loneliness out here. I don’t feel lonely at least. Besides, I don’t think I need … to do stuff … to I don’t know, change that. It just felt like it was easy.” He choked on that and grimmised. “Not saying you are easy, I am saying … nothing here is. Not just the work to survive but …”

He took a deep breath. “You know that story of the Schrodinger's cat? Its a theory that places a cat in a box with poison, and there is nothing you can do to stop it from dying. When you look in there, you may see a cat alive or dead, but since you can’t stop it from dying it kinda is both at any given time. It seems like when we talk about our life back home, we talk like it exists just like we remember it. But when we get back, everything will be different. We will be there survivors who were lost for dead. They can’t see us, we can’t see them, but when we get back it’s all going to be different. When I think about that, things just too confusing, too difficult.”

He shrugs slightly, “So I guess it felt nice to be close to you and get you through that night, because that seemed the easiest thing to do. To forget that the Josie I left isn’t real anymore. The rough life you had isn’t real anymore. They exist, but they don’t.”
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Old 08-13-2017, 03:58 PM   #62
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She thought about what he said. He was right.

"I know that you're right. Even if we make it back, what was there is no more. My job has been filled. Even though I was their best legal secretary, I never fit in. I didn't play the office games, the teasing and flirting. There are hundreds of legal secretaries waiting for a job. I'm sure in a month or so, my apartment will be gone. The landlord will pack up my meager possessions and store them for a while until by law he can sell them. That is if he is following the law. I have no family that will look for me. No boyfriend or lover. The one guy I ever slept with considered me a cold bitch, which was probably true. No friends. No one really. And after a while, I will be forgotten."

She waited for him to drink and put the lid back on before they started walking again.

"You know, the ancient Egyptian pharaohs sought immortality. Turns out that there was a plea written on one tomb. He asked the traveler to say his name. As long as his name was spoken, then he had achieved immortality. Each time his name is mentioned, he has achieved what he sought. So, what have I sought? Nothing really. All I had back home was just an existence. Nothing more. No grand plan like most people have. All I have ever done is just exist."

She looked up at the sky, watching the dark clouds start to gather off in the distance.

"You have family. You have Josie." She paused. "I'm Lily with the made up last name. No one to say my name. To raise awareness of my plight. I envy you."

Way out to sea, she could see the rain and lightening. Thunder rumbled in the distance. "We're definitely due for more storms. Maybe we should walk faster, if we can. Don't get me wrong, Joe. I'm not bemoaning being a 'foundling', I think that's what it's called." She shut up. She was starting to sound weak and whiny, two things that she hated.

"It's okay about the other night, Joe. It was bound to happen. Two people, isolated and depending upon each other for survival. It will happen again. I understand. And probably in a way I needed it to wake me up."

She looked at the clouds heading their way. "Did the shelter hold up okay the other night?"
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:10 PM   #63
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“Yeah, it held up real good,” he replied his own eyes cast to the sky. “If the weather down here is anything like back home, we’ll be alright if we keep getting these night after night. The problem isn’t if the skies get a chance to release itself nightly. The problem is if can’t let itself go for a while, then it comes all out in one big blowup.”

Joe’s response was meant to put Lily at ease. That these storms in all their fury weren’t all that bad as the bad ones could be. Of course, after he said it, he regretted it. His comment on the storms was … well … exactly why he still felt bad about the other night. Now it felt like he was just saying, ‘let’s bone every night so I don’t get all backed up and have to rape you’.

Trying to fix it he continued, “I mean, these tropics seem to get into a stormy pattern. With any luck, it will be months before the really bad stuff comes along.”

Months.

Just another subject he wanted to put past him too.

As a relief, they went over a dune and saw the shelter. It looked like it was in good shape, if not for a little bit of brush near it from some of the recent winds.

“I’m not sure the first is still stoked, or if we will have the time to relight it before the storm arrives. If you are hungry, I can find a coconut or two; otherwise there should be some leftover lizard meat by the shelter. I think we have maybe a little bit before we have to hunker down. I don’t know about you, but I am guessing I am going to sleep well tonight.”
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Old 08-21-2017, 09:22 AM   #64
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She really didn't listen to his talk of the weather. She was hungry and tired. It reminded her of when they had first arrived. Not knowing what to say or do, and always so hungry. That first week, she had dreamed of food. Burgers and fries and steak and fried chicken and biscuits. Not that that was what she usually ate. But when you can't have it, that's what you want. No driving down to Macdonalds or Burger King or old Long John Silvers. No Outback or Golden Corral. Every day was work to keep themselves fed. She hadn't even thought about hurricanes or monsoons or tsunamis or earthquakes. It felt as if they were the only two people left on earth. They might as well be so.

Her stomach chose that moment to make itself heard. It seemed loud, even over the roar of the waves that crashed against the beach.

I’m not sure the first is still stoked, or if we will have the time to relight it before the storm arrives. If you are hungry, I can find a coconut or two; otherwise there should be some leftover lizard meat by the shelter. I think we have maybe a little bit before we have to hunker down. I don’t know about you, but I am guessing I am going to sleep well tonight.

She was glad to be nearing the camp. "I think that I'm hungry. I really don't care what I eat but I think that I should eat something pretty quick." She didn't want to say she felt faint. It wasn't that bad. But from being at Pecanwood, she had learned not to pass up a chance to eat if at all possible. Though she had to admit that she had a tendency to throw up oatmeal. No chance of that here.

The shack had taken a bit of a beating up. It would hold up for another night but it would soon need repairs or they would find themselves without shelter. Of course, the fire was out so that was first on the list. She began to gather bits of driftwood as they walked towards the camp.

'Let us make it through the night,' she silently sent up the little prayer.
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Old 09-15-2017, 12:19 PM   #65
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Everything takes work here, but the work comes with results.

With work the fire was lit.

With work, crab, conch, and lizard meat filled their stomachs.

With work they looked as though they were safe enough to make it through the night.

With work the shack was tied up enough, and turned in the sand to buffet the wind; and gave them the the best chance make it through the night.

With work, though, came fatigue. A storm was brewing coming from the far side of the island, but as it’s cool air brushed against his shoulders, Joe felt the coming of sleep. Thoughts about what could happen or what could be were gone, only the urge to find a place to curl up and rest. He bundled up some wood, stuck it in a place to be dry in the morning, and shifted off to the shelter.

“I think we will be fine,” he said in passing. “There’s worse situations we could be in. Plus a good meal always keeps the body warm.” He talked as much to himself as anything. “No rats. No lizards. No idiots dehydrating himself on the beach.”

He looked over at his companion and gave a reassuring smile. “We’ll be alright, I promise.”
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:48 AM   #66
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It could have been her imagination but Joe got everything put to right in record time. Or maybe she was just starting to get used to the man. Maybe she was just tired. Maybe her mind had gone.

She could feel the cooler air and the promise of rain. And she too was tired. Entirely too tired to really fight. Or even make snide comments.

I think we will be fine. There’s worse situations we could be in. Plus a good meal always keeps the body warm. No rats. No lizards. No idiots dehydrating himself on the beach.

He must have noted her reaction to his mention of rats, as he gave her a quick smile.

We’ll be alright, I promise.

She nodded hesitantly before heading into the shack. Over to her side of the sand. Feeling somewhat awkward, she spent some time smoothing the sand, checking for stray shells and the odd sand critter. The noise behind her told her he had entered but she kept her back to him. She wasn't sure why. They had already cleared everything on the walk back. At least, she hoped so.

Maybe she should say something. But what? Her voice was quiet.

"Good night, Joe."

The sand was something that she had grown used to sleeping on. She burrowed down in it, her back to Joe and the rest of the shack, such as it was. The sound of rain began outside the shack, making her glad for being inside here. Safe. Or at least what passed for safe here on this island.

Joe started snoring and she closed her eyes, trying to ignore everything. The sand, the wind, the rain, the snoring.

Eventually she was in the dark. She knew that she had been bad. They told her so. So now she was in the dark, listening. Waiting. They always came. They knew when she would be there and they would come. Scratching at the walls, their voices squeaking. The smell of dirt and dust and poop filled her nose. A hand hit the outside of the closet door and Miss Clancey yelling at her. 'Shut up kid, or I'll give you something to cry about.' She couldn't help the whimper that she made as the rats nipped at her legs. 'Nooooooo!' She couldn't help the cry, knowing that any time the door would open and Miss Clancey would snatch her up and spank her until she couldn't scream any more.
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:48 PM   #67
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Maybe at some point he’ll justify it. Maybe at some point he will do some deep analysis and allow himself some deep seated psychological result that led him there. At some point, obviously, they will have to talk about it, and there will be a challenge to what was right or wrong.

In the black of the South Pacific night, there wasn’t much to talk about or chance to either.

She was deep into some place in her dreams, and it was coming through to her consciousness. Lily kicked, screamed, and fought. He hands swiped at her legs. Her calls chastising and crying.

Joe couldn’t sleep through it. Couldn’t ignore it. Couldn’t stand by without doing something.

With her curled up on her side facing away from him, he slid over, closed the gap between the two of them, and fell in behind her. Two spoons laid on their side. He bent his legs to slide them up behind hers, he wrapped his arms around her shoulders, he pressed his chest against her back. When she fought whatever demon chased her in her dreams, he held her tighter. When she calmed, his grip was less, but no less there.

He wasn’t going to sleep well after this, if at all, and come morning he will have the daylight to start asking questions of what was right or what was wrong.

All he knew was all he could do … and all he could do was to hold her until the storm in her sleep passed.
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Old 10-08-2017, 02:27 AM   #68
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She eventually became aware of Joe. The thunder and lightning outside the shelter had mimicked the turmoil that had invaded her dreams. It had been years since she had had dreamed of Pecanwood - probably because of her talking to Joe about it. Her nights has always been the worst, but tonight had been particularly bad.

Yet, it was the thunder that finally woke her and made her aware of the arms that held her. She was surprised, and a bit irritated at first. But with stillness came the memory of her dream and she understood why Joe held her. It surprised her that she was grateful for his attempt to calm her. As if he cared. She laid there as another bolt of lightning lit the sky, followed by the thunder.

All they have is each other. Everything before they wound up here was no longer. Unsure of herself, she reached a hand up to touch his. She didn't know if he was awake or not, but... It was hard, learning to become more human and she felt unsure of herself. Licking her lips, she softly spoke.

"Joe, are you awake?" She longed to turn around in his arms. To sleep hearing his heartbeat in her ear. To feel his chest fall and rise as he breathed. To kiss him.

"Joe?" She slowly turned around in his arms until she was facing him.
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