Chapter 8:

You don't need to remember- at least not yet

Castaway Isle

It's two of their cousins that drove them to the airport last time. It's the sight of the two of them here again, that still shocks Sophie, reminds her that everything really was happening again. What a sick joke.

The sight of them makes her tired, emotional even.

It's been a long day. A part of her wants to rush up and spill everything and anything she knows to them, but she knows she cannot. She cannot casually spill the future out like that.

"What did you do to your hair!" screamed a girl only a couple of years older than Sophie, but nearly a whole foot taller and far more muscular.

"It's the perfect time for a haircut right? Do you like it?" responded Sophie casually.

"Like it? Fuck, I love it! Damn you look, badass gurl! Shit, I was planning on an undercut too."

Jenny, now she was a strong woman.

All athletic muscle as a soon-to-be police officer, she even makes it as an agent in a few years. Sophie feels proud of her and all she would become. For a moment though she can't help but lament how if she had her cousin's physique and strength, how much life would be easier for her on the island?

Mattie has smartly kept his mouth quiet, the sudden haircut was a shocker but so were a lot of things today. They had made a promise, it would be just for today and then his sister would calm down from whatever was plaguing her.

"Fucking shit, but how much did you fucking pack? What is in these things?"

"Language Jenny. But yeah what's up?" asked Kevin, a lanky boy the same age as Sophie herself.

He was her closest friend in childhood. Besides her siblings, it was Kevin that was her closest relative. She remembers when they were the same height once, and how people always mistook them for twins.

In the future, he would get a stable job as a dentist that played with stocks with his extra time. It was boringly safe but it suited him very much.

Sophie still can't fathom how good people like them could still exist. How they could just so easily interrupt their established lives and claim responsibility for the madwoman that came back in place of their missing cousin. Took her home after the hospitals had their clear of her. Tried to nurse more than just her body to back health. She was not an easy person to help then.

"I don't know, ask Sophie." shrugged Mattie.

Sophie plays it cool because if there's anything she's learned from her time surviving with monsters it's how to lie.

"I got some outdoor stuff planned out, some heavy camping gear. Gotta be prepared out there. Besides, you only live once right?"

It was so good a lie that Kevin didn't suspect a thing. He knew that while Sophie didn't look like the type, she was spontaneous in many ways. Impulsive, a bit reckless, but she usually knew what she was doing. He teased but didn't question her too much. Only joked that she was becoming like their mothers with the overpacking.

Sophie didn't want to worry about them, they wouldn't believe her anyway.

But she couldn't really feel settled either. There was a future in her mind, their futures. But she couldn't tell anyone, not if she wanted to use her cards right.

A compromise them. She compromised by spending the car ride texting goodbyes to people. On her tablet, she wrote out subtle emails to send to her closest cousins and her friends on a scheduled timer. Whether they would use her warnings or not was up to them.

Right now the chatter of familiar voices and laughter in the background had her at her far more peace than anything else.

They arrived and successfully checked in at the airport hours early. It's an international flight, that's what you're supposed to do.

Before they pass through the security gate though she pulls Jenny and Kevin in for a too-long hug. She wrote out what she could without being too suspicious in her emails, this was the best she could do.

It was personal to each person but the same message was shared. She was still out there, alive, with June and Mattie. Don't give up.

"Bye! Have a good trip!" cheered Jenny with a strong chokehold.

"Bye Mattie, see ya Sophie!" waved Kevin.

That should be that. A safe parting.

"Kevin wait."

After pulling away from their hug, she stuffed an envelope of money into his hands. At least a couple of thousand dollars of her parent's savings.

"Do me a favor and invest some of these for me will ya."

"Whoa Sophie, I thought you didn't wanna mess with 'risky' stocks."

"Yeah, but I trust you. "

It's true, she did not know much anything about how to play the stock market, Kevin did and even without any cheats into the future, he made a decent profit from his gambles.

Sophie smiled lightly and asked that he invest more funds for her into companies she knew would be big in 13 years time. Then promising that she would pay him back after she got back.

She was not lying. If he made these investments his profits would skyrocket.

Kevin saw no reason to refuse her and only laughed in agreement.

"Dang, new hair cut new Sophie. I got you, no worries. Now go have a safe trip."

"Thank you. I love you guys okay?"

"Okay now you're being weird, go away now."

"I'm serious, bye for now. I'll be back."

"Well duh, of course, you will, in two weeks."

She did not bother refuting his words, only embraced her closest cousin one last time. Being oddly affectionate, even for the seemingly normal girl, she used to be. Only she knows it won't be two weeks, not even two years, but far longer than that.

It will be okay, she will be back. She will return safely, this time with Mattie and June by her side.

At the gate, Sophie pulls out all her electronic devices, plugs them in the airport chargers, connects to the WiFi, and starts downloading more informational guides. She forces Mattie to do the same on his.

Together they were just downloading as much backcountry and tropical DIY informational guides and related videos as their devices can possibly hold.

"You can delete them later, after the trip okay?" Sophie assured to her still very much confused brother.

Since she's obviously been feeling unwell since this morning he lets it go. Right now if this what she needs to feel better he can live with that, it's not like she deleted his music or files or anything.

Sophie sets up a long queue in the downloads but feels too anxious to keep sitting there. In the last hour before boarding, she and Mattie take turns wandering the airport. She throws a few more bills at him. Tells him to buy anything he wants, food for the long plane ride.

That money will be useless after they board the plane.

"Definitely eat something, get some more snacks to bring with you on the plane, it's a long flight and airline food is crap. You know all that."

"We still on 'end of the world' made right?"

"Yep, play along the timer isn't up yet."

"You do realize that I will just drown myself in burgers and Oreos right?"

"Get yourself a milkshake too while you're at it."

Mattie shakes his head, he will forever tease Sophie about this later. This will be a fun story to tell later. The time his sister went insane for a day gave him hundred of dollars to buffet shopping spree at an airport.

But also because he's a good boy, a kind boy deep down, he listens and obeys. At least till his sister feels better, she'll be fine after the flight when they land and her nightmare proves to be just that.

When he comes back sipping on a milkshake, bags of snacks and burgers in his hands, Sophie silently approves. Then she takes her turn.

With the last of her soon to be useless cash, she splurges on chocolate bar and snacks. They melted easily but were high in calories and fat. A good bite of chocolate was worth enough to last a starving person through another day.

As much as she thinks she can fit in her pockets and carry on in addition to the free bags the tax duty-free shops provided her with. Filled those bags with candies, snacks and useful little travel gear.

She's dressed ready, completely in waterproof sports gear and an old oversized bomber jacket that was her father's once. So maybe she's a little sentimental but it also had deep pockets front and back. Besides it last this long, why not? The pockets were deep.

When she fills those pockets and more with candies and painkillers the rest of her money goes to some overpriced sandwiches, prewrapped food, and sports drinks. She looked like she was on an airport shopping spree with all her bags.

Officially her last meal is a few glasses of whatever wine cost the most on the overpriced bar menu served with the complimentary appetizers. She's still stuffed from an overloaded dinner but can live with the fancy bruschetta and caviar.

Alcohol only dehydrates a person faster, it's useless and she doesn't need it.

She already knew that. But if she's living like it's her last night in civilization, well then she's going to do just that. She takes one or was it 3, last shot(s) of something strong, bartender's choice. Tips the drinks into her mouth and tips the rest of her cash in the surprised bartender's hands.

It's approaching boarding time.


Matthew doesn't know whether to be concerned or relieved when his elder sister comes back visibly more relaxed but absolutely overflowing in chocolate snacks and smelling like alcohol. Part embarrassment and part habit, he takes a portion of the chocolates and snacks to carry in his own pockets and bags.

They board quietly, earphones plugged in like most everyone else. It's a little bulky with their carryon rollers and hiking backpacks but the airlines have seen far worse. Sophie fumbles with and readjusts her earphones, vision already blurry.

Good, she needed her senses to be messed up, she didn't want to see or recognize any of these people.

They were all on the same disaster, the same destination. Either these surrounding passengers and crew died early or she would see only them and their incoming deaths for the next 8 years. She didn't need to see who they were before. She doesn't need to have the additional guilt of condemning these people to death to deal with.

She could try, could yell and scream out this plane will crash land and near all of them would die, but not from the accident. She could warn them and maybe by some miracle she scares a couple of them away.

She does not, because it will make no difference.

Not only would no one likely believe her but security may take her away as 'that crazy woman', again.

She finally got the ancient tech to work and listened to the music saved on her phone from 13 years ago. So this is what she liked back then? How nostalgic, it feels like a lifetime ago.

The power supply and all efforts to fuel it went out by year 4.

They honestly did a pretty decent job rigging the generators to shit to power as long as they did. To conserve energy they stopped using their personal phones and devices by year 3, some even before that bc their devices were just too waterlogged and damaged.

It's not strange to see how people were so reliant on technology, it's just the way their current society worked. Sophie always liked writing things down with paper and pen though, it felt more real to her that way. She ran out of space in her notebook in those 8 years, obviously. Maybe that's why she went insane finally?

Her old notebook journal took up precious limited space but she had her tech. this time as well.

They took their seats without a fuss and Sophie could feel as the liquor and painkillers interacted, effectively turning her into a chemical mush in her seat. That's fine, it was a long flight. They would be many hours in, flying over some godforsaken part of the ocean when the storm hits them.

She doesn't want to look at anyone, lest she recognizes them. She would. She knows she would

For the time being Sophie forced herself to keep her eyes open, to pay attention to the safety instructions a least. Memorizing the best exit routes from their position. She reminds Matthew to watch the survival 101 sorts of videos they downloaded together, she'll be testing him on them later.

He just doesn't know yet how real those tests are.

Only then does she falls asleep, cheesy airport travel pillow and all. She doesn't want to be awake for take off.


She wishes it was a dream.

Sophie wakes up on a plane, 13 years in the past. A sobbing and terrified part of her wishes it was all just a bad dream.

But there's a funny little snoring sound next to her. When she looks to her right and sees her Mattie, who is very much not dead, she changed her tune without shame.

She prays by all the forces she does not believe in that this is not a dream. That her siblings are still alive.

She can do this again if it's for them.

Without realizing it herself, she reaches out and touches her brother's still baby-smooth face. Too young, he's too young to die. Since she couldn't stop him, couldn't prevent him from stepping into Hell with her, she will keep him alive this time.

Her mindless caress annoys him to the point Mattie actually wakes up.

"What is it now Sophie?" he mumbles, voice still thick with sleep.

"Nothing, rest up okay."

He needs his rest, this awkward airplane nap may be his last peaceful sleep in awhile. She wishes it wasn't so, wishes that he stayed behind and away from trouble. But that's not currently possible, he didn't believe her nor could she convince him to stay.

It pains Sophie to say it but another part of her is relieved he's here. Glad that Mattie is here with her, that she's not going in this thing alone. She feels guilty but it's been so long. She misses him, misses the both of them.

There is also the reassurance of having his strength by her side.

Physically Sophie knows she is not a very intimidating sort of person. She's a 5ft tall Asian girl for god's sake. She can be frightening in a different way but no one fears getting into a fistfight with her. She cannot scare people into obeying her from first impressions alone.

To be fair the early years were easier, but as young girls both Sophia and June felt safer and more protected with Matthew around. They weren't blind to the looks and catcalling, and in a lawless place it was far from flattering.

They were constantly scared for their lives and safety, and they had every right to be.

Who would have known it was Matthew that would die first? Killed off by a band of petty hooligans, simply small fries.

That was probably the long term plan, kill off the other grown men that didn't agree with them. Then the island and surviving women they didn't kill off were theirs to terrorize.

It would be best if such scum disappeared from the picture early on. Given the right opportunity, she would do it herself. Sophie had done in before. She just didn't have enough time, couldn't get all of them.

Just like her shame, there is no room left for mercy at the end of the world. No room for morality.

An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth.

This time she wouldn't let any of them escape.

Though many people were still sleeping, the airline attendants began to push refreshment trolleys down the narrow aisles. Sophie was too anxious to fall back asleep and reread the safety instructions, over and over again unnecessarily. Her brain was still buzzed and fuzzy.

Mattie was sleeping and so she received his share of the complimentary in-flight breakfast and drinks. She wasn't hungry but downed her portion anyways. Drank extra to hydrate herself again.

They could no longer afford to turn down any opportunity of a meal at this point. Every single morsel was important, as was any source of calories. One must eat to survive.

They had been only flying for 7 or so hours, turbulence wouldn't hit until at least 11 and after that, they would struggle to fly until they started to dive. She estimates she has about 5 hours of peace left.

Plugging in her earphones, she forces herself to rest, to sleep as best as she can. There was no need for her to watch any videos or read any guides at this point. That could be for later, she has them saved in her devices and the spare chargers ready to go with them.

Right now she needs to conserve her strength. She would need it for the approaching day 1.

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