Chapter 2:

There's a ghost in the kitchen- he makes you coffee.

Castaway Isle

Morning, did you want some coffee?" asked the ghost standing in the kitchen.

He wasn't a very scary ghost, too alive too whole, for that.

Standing there, was her only brother. Matthew, or Mattie as they liked to call him, was a baby faced teen boy with about a clear 80% resemblance to Sophie. Short black hair shaved too close to his head, wide eyes behind sturdy glasses, and an uneven but healthy tan from all his time playing sports. He stood tall and strong at 5'10, but he could still grow, he was only 17 going on 18. She was a dwarf compared to him but they both knew who was boss.

Her emotions, which she thought had run dry, were flowing again. For years she felt near nothing but emptiness or rage. Often times a violent storm of both, of everything and nothing. Even when she began to piece back her life to return to the world of the living, this was one of her harshest life regrets.

That she couldn't protect him, couldn't save Mattie all those years ago.

"Whoa Sophie, you ok there? Shit, why are you crying? Sit down, I'll make you something. "

What an odd sight she made, standing there silently staring with ugly tears dripping down her face. But she was just so relieved, so damn relieved to see Matthew alive and well.

This time, this time nothing must happen to him! She'd rather die than allow anything to harm him again, any of them.

"Soph? Sophie talk to me." Matthew asked concernedly.

"Mattie....I had an awful dream."

She tried to speak out, tried to reason out what she could say to him. But what could she say to get him to believe her?

"Mom and Dad, they appeared- in a dream- something awful has happened to June."

"What? Sophie, no it's just a dream. Hey there, don't cry, it's all just a bad dream."

"No, no it wasn't just a dream Mattie. The plane, there's something wrong with the route, a storm. June's plane will crash if it hasn't already and so will ours."

"What are you saying? Look, I get it, I still get nightmares sometimes too and-"

"Please Mattie! Please just listen to me!"

Seeing the desperation on his elder sister's face, Matthew relented, waiting for her to continue speaking.

"You can check the flight route now and throughout the day but something will happen. June's plane will crash but she lives, a lot of people do. They'll crash land on an uninhabited island and so do we, the storm takes us there. But it's weird, the signal there is messed up and it will take a long time before we're found!"


"Just listen to me till the end, please! Mattie please that dream was too long and too real for me. Mattie, we'll be stuck on a deserted island with the other survivors and it will be hell. I'm saying 'dream' but I lived 8 years on that island and another 5 without you two after the rescue. I know I sound insane right now but oh god I can't, I can't lose you again."

"Breathe Sophie, breathe! I got you, I'm right here, just breathe. It's just a dream."

"No, oh no no no, it was not just a dream. I lived it, Mattie, you can't dream a whole 13 years."

"How about some tea then, some nice calming tea? I'll go set the kettle."

Sophie looks around, the kitchen both a strange and familiar sigh,t as if everything was still a dream. There were ingredients for breakfast sitting on the counter and the strong Vietnamese blend coffee smelled like home.

Gods, she really was home.

"Coffee's fine, I think I need the caffeine."

Her brother looked doubtful but poured her a mug of the potent stuff, condensed milk and all. He thought she looked like she needed it, diets be damned.

Sophie gratefully relishes in the comfort of its warmth and almost ridiculous bittersweetness.

"You don't believe me do you?"

"Yeah, it's uh, pretty hard to swallow. You had a pretty intense nightmare there."

"It was a nightmare, but it wasn't just a dream. You can check June's flight, it will show a delay eventually, they lose track of the plane. But they don't stop flights so when we get on tonight, we'll end up in the same place."


Sophie could see the way her hands shook, the coffee mug trembling. She downed half the bittersweet coffee. The burning sensation sobered her up from her fears.

"What do I have to say to convince you to not get on this plane? You'll be safe here, you can petition and hound them to find us, I can't tell you where we'll be exactly but please, please stay here. Stay safe, stay home."

"Let me get this straight-" Mattie starts, completely abandoning all efforts to cook or clean. "You dreamed we all crashed and ran through a bad season of Survivor. I get to die and maybe so does June. Which is pretty shitty gotta say. However, just because of this nightmare, you want me to cancel our flight and leave June hanging wherever she lands? And what do you mean by 'us'?"

"I'll go, I'll go and protect her. I won't leave her alone, I'll get her out this time, oh god. I'll get her out."

"Sophie you're babbling and making no sense. I'm not just staying home and missing out while you head out by yourself, dream come true or not. It's my summer vacation too."

"I can't lose you again Mattie please, I can't."

"Sophie, it's just a bad dream. June's gonna land just fine and we'll both get on our flight tonight, 1:45am, and arrive just fine."

It was a lost cause, she knew. Sophie knew her brother and his stubbornness. She wouldn't believe her either if she was in his shoes 13 years ago. He wouldn't budge on this, wouldn't believe her until it was too late. How useless she still was, she couldn't even spare her own brother from entering this sick fate.

"Hey hey, Sophie, don't be upset. Everything will be just fine."

Breathe, just breathe.

When one thing fails, what's the next best option? The alternative pathway?

Ok, she can work with this, she can still protect them. She still has some time to prepare, it's not even 9 am yet. She still has over 12 hours till their flight, she can make sure they're better prepared, better fit to survive.

"Mattie, if you don't believe me then at least please, can you just listen to me for the next 12 or so hours? Till we get on the plane, please do everything I ask. I swear I'll pay you and anything you want but you have to listen and do what I say."

Mattie seemed to consider it, sliding his glasses back up his nose.

"Yeah yeah sure, if it makes you feel better Soph. I'm not skipping out but I'll do your favors, so calm down ok?"

Sophie sighed.

Okay, she can work with this. She just needs to stay calm and make a plan.

"First off, I want some breakfast. A real one. Go fucking crazy and cook up a storm because we're going to need it."

"Not going to watch your weight today?" he raised his eyebrow.

His sisters were such typical girls with their fruit salads and diet fads when he knows for a fact they were just as much gluttons as he was. Maybe even worse, that's saying a lot. They may stock up on salad and protein shakes but he knows them. They were family after all.

Sophie shook her head at that. She hasn't worried about her weight in forever, her priorities far different than what they once were. Who had time to worry about your figure when you were starving? What was even the point?

She is a far different person now and she could never go back.

But she was back wasn't she? Back in time, this was far better.

"Let's just pretend we're living our last day, our very last day before getting stuck on a shitty island okay?"

They both laugh at that, though for different reasons.

"Suuuuuure thing then."

"Humor me okay Mattie, I'll owe you so much afterward but just for today, humor me. Like when we were kids and playing zombie apocalypse or whatever, let's pretend today is D-day and we need to prepare."

"Well then, I'll go prepare breakfast."

Sophie nods and leaves him to it before returning to her room and looking at her stuff. Their luggage was already mostly packed but she would have to redo it. She also planned to check in some more supply bags, fees be damned. Money was useless on the island.

She needed to go shopping.

She found her old purse on hanging on a coat rack and rummaged through it, slamming all the cash she could find onto the kitchen table."

"Mattie, here's your payment for humoring me today."

Matthew nearly dropped the eggs he was whisking. Shit his sister really was serious about this!

"Are you crazy, that's like $300 bucks!"

"I told you I would pay you so you better take this job seriously."

"Are you serious!?"

"Do you want the money or not?" she taunted, pushing the cash towards him.

As an almost 18 year old boy with no real job, this was a very attractive offer. About $300 for a day of doing whatever his sister said?

It sounded a little annoying sure but nothing too different than what he already lives with. The difference was today he would be paid for it! Though he was concerned, this definitely made him more motivated to play along with his sister's oddity.

"Uh yeah, sure I can do that. Definitely~"

"Great, after breakfast I want you to repack your stuff."


"Yes, I won't be looking over your shoulder but pack more shit. I'll pay for the check-in bags so get more stuff out, and pack like you're gonna live in a tropical island for a while. A not so nice one, bring your sports gear and binoculars and shit. Just do it ok, I'll even pay you."

"You're right, you really do sound insane. Where's my cheapskate sister and what have you done with her?" he grimaced in a joking way.

Sophie could only sadly smile in return.

"Just like we were kids okay, pretend it's the apocalypse. Hell, we actually may go hiking so pack all the shit. Please, do it for me okay? "

"Well, if you're paying. Nice, I'm not stuck with just carry-ons. Now go wash up or something, your eyes are red as fuck."

Washing up huh? She was short on time already but for Matthew, she would afford herself that luxury. She won't be getting another decent shower for a very long time.

A very long time.


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