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I screamed until my

I screamed until my throat was raw before I finally gave up. There was now little doubt that either I was on a deserted island or that I was too far from civilization for anyone to hear my screams. My mouth felt dry like sandpaper, and I was having hunger pangs and worse yet I was left without any shade, and my skin was beginning to stinging from the blistering hot mid-morning sun. The hours passed, and I watched the sun sink into the horizon. As twilight set in the island became blanketed in shadow, I hesitantly embraced the unwelcoming realization that I’d be spending the night here and not in a hospital, which I was severely needing. As the hours passed by, I caught myself shivering uncontrollably; I was wet, cold and feeling weak. I tried so hard to focus on staying awake, but at some point, I lost the battle. That night I had the strangest dream that I was helplessly sinking into the depths of the ocean, the weight of the freezing cold sea was bearing down on me, forcing me deeper into the dark and unknown abyss below. Looking up, I could see flames licking at the surface. The orange glow emitted from the inferno above brought into focus silhouettes of lifeless bodies and floating debris. I could vaguely make out chunks of jet and random stuff, which I assumed to be luggage from passengers’ sinking all around me. I had a hopeless feeling like I just knew there was no coming back from this. I was no longer fighting, but accepting the inevitable, and coming to terms with that realization. At that very moment a large, fish-like creature circled me. Oh great, now I’m going to end up as fish food, I thought to myself. The creature approached me, and I could clearly make out its sea green eyes, as if they were glowing underwater, it was a dolphin. We stared into one another’s eyes, its eyes were sad like it had an understanding of my current situation. Then I was torn from my dream, awaken by a strange, but familiar sound. “eeeeeeik eeik eeeek.” After a moment of listening, I honed in on the sound and spotted a dolphin splashing just off the coastline. Then it disappeared back into the sea, and I never saw or heard it again, the remainder of the time that I was stuck on the island. That morning, I lay around feeling helpless and pitying myself. My only solitude from the pain was my brief thoughts of the dolphin. I could not help but wonder if it did save my life. Was my dream actually a memory that was forever burned into my mind? Everything felt like a dream at this point, and I kept hoping I would wake up from this horrific nightmare and be back home, safely in my bed, but unfortunately I knew that was just wishful thinking. The sun climbed higher in the sky, my best guess was that it was high noon. It was torture, being in an endless body of water and not being able to drink any of it. My mouth was painfully dry, and my lips already started to crack and burn. Scanning the horizon, I saw no sign of ships or aircraft in the area and began to accept that the only way I was ever getting off of this island was by my own doing, or I would die here… all alone. After a few deep breaths, a decision was made. I was going to fight, there was no way that I was dying here. I had to beat this and make it back home. I clamped down hard with my teeth anticipating the pain and slowly removed my shirt, I needed to use it as a tourniquet. It was torture getting the shirt off of my mangled arm. No matter how careful I was, it was impossible not to inflict pain on myself. After finally getting my shirt off, I could for the first time, see the full extent of damage that I sustained. It was no pretty sight. The hanging chunk of flesh seemed to have somehow fused back to the wound, and the wound was now covered over by a big scab, and the surrounding skin was now turning red, I feared it was getting infected. I took a deep breath, focusing on what I knew needed to be done. This was survival, and I had to clean this wound. I submerged my arm in the salt water, and gently brushed my fingers over the

wound. The pain was unbearable, but I pushed through it, I knew my life depended on me getting my wounds cleaned out. I gently wrapped my right arm with my shirt, every wrap was excruciating, and I could feel sweat beading on my forehead and back from the pain. Using my left hand and teeth together, I managed to tie off the tourniquet. Next, I removed my belt and pulled my pants down, slowing I inched them toward my ankles. Oddly, my bone was no longer protruding through my leg, and it too was now scabbed over. I thoroughly washed my injured leg, the pain was just as bad, if not worse than my arm. I wrapped the belt around my wound on my leg and made it taught. I scanned the horizon once more, in hopes of a boat or plane but still saw an endless ocean. So, I started to army crawl using my left arm and right leg to propel me forward. It was an agonizing crawl and my energy felt totally drained, but the thought of being back home with my parents gave me the strength to push onward. After hours of crawling at a snail’s pace, I barely covered much distance. I kept to the coastline in hopes of finding someone or being spotted. As the sun once again sank below the horizon, my hopes of being saved started to diminish. Maybe I was really going to die here. I tried to shake the thought of leaving everyone I knew behind, without ever getting the chance to say goodbye, or to drive a car, or do a million other things typical fifteen-year-olds look forward to doing. The more I thought about everything I would be giving up, the stronger my desire became to beat this and get off this rock. I pushed forward, crawling throughout the entire night. When dawn broke, I saw luggage and wreckage washing in and out with the foaming white surf, there were dozens of suitcases clumped along the beach, just a few hundred feet in front of me. Despite how much my free hand hurt and the rest of my body hurt, I mustered up enough willpower to move forward, I was sliced and banged up from pulling myself forward, over sharp and jagged rocks, my exposed flesh felt like raw hamburger. I could only hope there were other survivors, or food and drink inside the suitcases and dry, warm clothing. It didn’t feel like it took me very long to reach the bags, then again this was the first time in three days I felt a glimmer of hope like I might be rescued after all. I looked around and again saw no sign of life, outside of a couple of seagull’s squawking at once another, fighting over some peanuts that washed ashore. It felt like Christmas morning, as I rummaged through the suitcases, looking for food, drink, matches, medicine and dry clothes. I scored a fair amount of food and drink and found a new set of clothes and silver Zippo lighter with the letters LM engraved on it. Most of the clothing was soaking wet, but fortunately for me, one suitcase seemed to keep its contents dry. The clothes looked like they belong to an older gentleman and were nothing I would normally be caught dead in. But today, these were the most fabulous clothes, and I was excited to get them on. After feasting on a bunch of snack foods like beef jerky, chips and candy, and chugging a bunch of Soda, I felt satisfied. Now I needed a fire, to make me more visible and it also offered the benefit of keeping me warm throughout the night if I was still stranded here at nightfall. I also found a white shirt and a chestnut walking cane and made myself a rescue flag that I could hold up and wave around for help if I spotted a boat or plane. The remainder of the day I worked on emptying the contents of all the suitcases and spreading the clothes out to dry so I could burn them and collect anything that could be used for survival. As twilight washed over the island, I began to stack clothing, suitcases, magazines and anything else that was burnable into a heaping pile, and then I used the Zippo to ignite it. Once the fire took, I started inching away from it. As night settled in, the insects serenaded the night, and the light from the fire made my stay a bit more enjoyable, as I watch the glowing embers from the magazines and newspaper float off into the night sky, it offered a false sense of security, which I was happy to have.

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