Nobody's Boy

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Chapter 4

“An island?” Felicity pulled on her blond hair. “We’re stuck on an island!”

“Okay, calm down.” I looked around us. It was dawn, and the sun was peeking above the horizon. I could faintly hear the waves crashing against the beach, and the wild animal noises that reverberated through the forest.

“At least there’s no psycho warthog out here.” Jasmine looked around. “We can always go swimming.”

“Yeah, because death by sharks is better than warthogs.” I snapped.

Jasmine looked at me carefully, her fists clenching tightly. “I’m just trying to get us through this.” She said harshly. “We’ll survive. We survived juvy, we can survive this.”

“At least there were walls.” Rikki muttered. “We’re opened here, with no protection.”

“What do you call this?” Jackson looked at Morgan and told her to dance. She began to jump around, spinning in circles. Laughing he stopped her.

“I call that the works of a crazy scientist.” Rikki leaned against the tree beside him, his face growing paler.

“Well I like-”

“Stop fighting!” I yelled. “We have a real problem here on our hands.” I walked over to Rikki and ripped off the bottom of my shirt. The pants were soaked with blood, and a deep gash ran down from the knee to the ankle. I wrapped it tightly and helped him sit down.

Jasmine walked over “Erik is right. We need to figure out how to survive.”

My stomach growled. I looked around sheepishly. “I think our first problem would be food.” Every morning, about this time, a tray of assorted fruits and meats would be sent for breakfast. The same one arrived for lunch and supper. I wasn’t sure how to actually get food in the wild. Did you just ,kill something and then skin it and cook it? What about the bones and blood?

“There might be some edible plants.” Felicity dropped to her knees and brushed her hands through the thick patches of grasses and moss.

“There’s animals to catch.” Jasmine looked at me. “Erik could fly up and scout. When he spots something he tells us where to go.”

“Yeah, but then what?” Jackson voiced my thoughts. “We can’t just eat a bloody animal. There’s bones and other junk inside.”

“Uh, guys?” Morgan called. We turned around and saw her kneeling beside Rikki. His face was pale, and his pupils were very small. “I think the cut might be infected.”

Jasmine cursed under her breath. “Who knows what was on that stupid beasts tusk.”

I crouched down and slid my arms beneath Rikki, lifting him up carefully. I ignored the moans. “We need water, but the ocean won’t work. We need a stream or something.” I rose into the air and looked at the island below. “The island curves around, the tip travelling out far into the ocean. I see a stream trickling out of the trees. Just follow me.”

“Easy for you to say.” Jasmine grumbled, climbing over a large tree trunk that lay decaying on the ground. The other followed at a slow pace.

“The water is over here.” I called. It was a small waterfall that poured off a pile of rocks and into the stream below. I lowered myself to the edge and slowly put Rikki’s leg into the cool water. He moaned, rolling his head to the side.

“Is it working?” Jasmine climbed over the rocks and sat on the soft ground beside me. The others followed close behind but stayed back to give us space. She untied the strips of cloth and began to rub the skin. Blood turned the water pink, rushing downstream towards the ocean. The skin around the wound was turning white, and further out purple.

“This infected fast.” I muttered, helping Jasmine clean it.

“It’s unreal.” Jasmine spoke in a tight voice, her tone guarded.

“Are you okay?”

“We’re trapped in a jungle without food. One of us could be dying, and there’s nothing I can do.” She hit the ground with frustration

“It’s not all you.” I wrapped my arms around her. “We’re all here to help, and it’s our fault as much as it is yours.”

“You don’t understand.” She got up and walked off into the jungle. I watched her for a few minutes before turning my attention back to Rikki. His eyes were opened but glassy. He moved his mouth without sounds coming back.

“Jackson, come help me lift him out.” I waded into the river and picked up his legs. Jackson held him by his shoulders and together we carried him onto the bank.

“I’ll be right back, watch over him.” I walked in the direction Jasmine had disappeared. I found here collapsed on a rock, her hands over her face. Her body was shaking and I could hear her faint sobbing.

I sat beside her silently, just giving her reassurance with my presence. She peeked through her fingers and gave a small smile. Her eyes were red and puffy. “I’m sorry.” She ran her fingers through her hair.

“Something’s wrong.” I said, putting my arm on her shoulder. “What is it?”

“You have to promise not to tell anyone about this.” She looked at me. “If you do I’ll…” She trailed off.

“I promise.”

“Rikki and me go back farther than juvie.” She sniffed. “We were partners in the back alleys of our neighbourhood, helping each other raid and escape. He saved me from a rough gang, and saved my life. But he also killed the leader.”

“Oh…” I was unable to speak. Rikki had always said he was in juvie for numerous crimes, but murder wasn’t one.

“He felt bad and made me swear not to tell anyone. I didn’t, and he wasn’t caught. But we continued to live that way and eventually we were caught.” She tried to smile. “In those days we grew really close and I felt like if we grew older we’d end up together.”

We sat in silence for a few moments. I respected her for sharing so much of herself with me, and I finally left her to contemplate by herself.

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