The distressed squeals of the pig slowly faded as the makeshift raft was pulled around the islands bend. Tanners men let out a cheer, throwing their arms in the air. Jasmine leans over. “Like they did the hard work.” She muttered angrily.
I grinned. “They built the entire raft.”
She just grunted.
“Do any of you know if there’s a radio system in the compound?” Tanner inquired.
“There’s one in a small room set up on the roof.” Morgan said. “I watched Kimari use it a few times before… all this happened.”
“Great, you can help.” He turned and started walking off the beach, his men rounding us up as they come. I grounded my teeth in anger. After all we did for them they still didn’t trust us, though if another psychotic pig chased after Tanner right now I wouldn’t risk myself for him.
I’d done that enough in the past few days.
The small radio room was only accessible by a ladder that ran up the back wall. I followed Jasmine up it and looked around in amazement at the equipment that was stationed up here. Aside from the radio that was in the small cubicle, there were also several solar dishes and screens that were partially covered by cloth.
“Whew… We could’ve used this knowledge sooner.” tanner threw a dark look at morgan, who just stuck her chin up in the air with annoyance.
“You never gave us your guns... we never gave you our small advantage.” I muttered. He just ignored me.
“Use that to call the mainland for a ship.” He directed Morgan. She pressed a button and motioned for him to talk through the microphone. “This is Tanner calling for a ship to come to the island.”
She let the button go. There was a period of static before she pressed it again.
“This is Tanner requesting to talk with someone there.” he said again.
“Do these wires matter?” Jasmine held up the severed ends of two red wires. Morgan slapped her forehead. “Yeah…”
“Guess we’re stuck here.” I said.
“Not really.” Tanner said. “You could fly to the mainland and get help.”
I stared at him in disbelief. “Are you kidding me?”
“Don’t you wanna leave this cursed island?”
“Actually, I’m staying. They’ll never accept me back in the real world… so living on an island will be perfect.”
“I’m staying too.” Jasmine stepped up behind me. Morgan and Rikki walked over, leaving felicity by herself. She blushed and looked at the ground.
“Felic?” Morgan asked tentatively.
“I need to go back.” She sobbed. “I can’t just disappear.”
“No one’s pressuring you to do any different.” I assured her. “You can go if you want.”
The ship didn’t come until the third day. I saw it gleaming in the distance while I was flying and hurried back to tell the others.
Felicity almost looked disappointed, but she was still set on going.
“How do we get its attention?” Rikki asked.
“With a flare.” Tanner sent a few men to go and fetch one from the compound. They came back a few minutes later with two. I watched as they were shot into the air, the glowing balls shooting in two arcs across the sky.
The ship slowly began to turn and soon a smaller boat was sent off to come to shore. In it were three men, two rowing and one reclining against the back. They hopped into the water and pulled it ashore when they reached a few feet from the dry land.
Tanner went to meet them and I watched from afar as they shook hands and he gestured back to all of us. I nudged Jasmine and nodded towards the jungle. Morgan and Rikki watched us leave and then followed.
Felicity still didn’t move, tears silently rolling down her cheeks as she watched us go.
“What’s going on?” Morgan asked.
“I don’t wanna be forced to leave, so I thought we could just leave them now so they can go in peace.” I pushed back a bunch of leaves and walked into the tangled branches.
“Makes sense.” Rikki agreed.
We looked at each other in silence before Morgan took over. “Me and Rikki will scout for a camp while you two get some dry sticks to burn. Tomorrow we’ll clean out the compound so we can turn it into a home.”
She pulled Rikki into the trees and they walked noisily away. I looked at Jasmine and grinned. “I’ll be right back.” I rose up and looked onto the beach, where everyone was congregated around the boat. They piled in and began rowing away from shore, the choppy waves pushing against them.
“They’re gone and we’re free and alone.” I said, setting my feet back on the ground. Jasmine pulled me close and gave me a quick kiss, hugging me tightly.
“Freedom feels good.”
She kissed me again.
“We’re supposed to be looking for wood.” I reminded her.
She just laughed. “Who cares about wood right now? We’re free!”
I looked at her thoughtfully and understood what she was saying. For the first time in our lives we could do whatever we wanted without worrying about judgemental people messing it all up. For the first time in our lives we were completely done with rules.
It was time to be a rulebreaker. And that felt good.
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