Chapter 10:

1 knot 2 knot please don't leave me 3 knot 4-

Castaway Isle

"Passengers, please right this way!"

The world inside this commercial aircraft was a mess for crew and passengers alike. While the staff did their best to keep order, there was still the occasional rude passenger who pushed and shoved their way out or attempted to grab and lug along their carry on luggage.

Babies were crying which made parents even more frantic, raising the tension.

Sophie and Mattie were among the last of the passengers to disembark. They were different from the rest of the stragglers, young and healthy with no burdens besides their large hiking backpacks strapped to their bodies. Since they got in no one's way and even kept cordial with kind but shaky thank yous at the staff, they were allowed through without a fuss.

The staff had more important matters to handle after al.

Moving their backpacks and shopping bags to their fronts, they smoothly slid down the bright yellow ramp that inflated at the emergency exits. Mattie first, Sophie made sure of that. It will always be Mattie and June first.

The sand beneath kicked up a cloud as they landed.

"Shit good call on the sunscreen and hats Sophie."

The old Sophie would have given a smug little 'I told you so.' but now she didn't bother wasting her breathe.

They didn't walk into an oven but it was a summer day on a tropical island in the Pacific. Out on the beach, the sun hit them full blast. The freak storm that started this all, now but dark thundering clouds in the distance rolling away.

There's something odd about that storm, but at this point, Sophie doesn't care. Nothing beats time traveling.

"Move inwards to the trees and shade, you'll want to conserve your strength."

"They're saying to stay in the area and in sight."

"And bake? We can stay close enough to the group but we don't have to be dumb about it. Others will realize that soon enough, so come on let's find a good spot to settle down. It will take the crew the next couple hours to organize themselves."

Mattie nodded, the rule already established between them. From now on Sophie takes the lead, he'll listen to her and her weird predictions without a fuss.

Again, not too different from what he's used to.

Mattie was not a particularly weak or easy person, he too had his stubbornness. But he could never win against the whims of his sisters. Both were crafty and cunning in their own ways and if they worked together then he was doomed. Even if he could manage to boss around the younger one, he could never hold up against the elder.

Of course, there is also the soft spot in his heart for them. His meimei was annoying but sweet and playful. While his jiejie was a bossy pain in the ass, but she had a gentle heart and took care of them all since they were in diapers.

Though he was almost 18, practically a legal adult now, he knew that the best course of action was to defer to his elder sister. Crazy psychic dreams or not.

The siblings pass through the throngs of people without much notice, everyone too lost in their own confusion and anxious fear. A few did, however, eye their hiking backpacks with a certain sense of envy. The backpacks looked fat and well-stocked and their designs looked like they were meant for the outdoors. Most of them had run out of the landed vehicle with nothing but what was in their pockets.

Now that they were on the ground and their lives weren't in immediate danger, they could not help but feel terribly uncomfortable about their current situation. If they had least had their luggage, their anxiety would be eased.

Sophie ignored the look and Mattie followed suit. It would be more suspicious if they tried to avoid the crowd. It was best to walk confidently to a source of shade, they were doing nothing wrong and acted like such.

Seeing them, some brave and tired others also looked for a little more shelter rather than the hot beach.

Together, Sophie and Mattie decided on a gnarled tree near a small palm grove. It had a good vantage point with a direct view to the plane crash site, yet well shaded by foliage. It afforded them not only cover but privacy.

With a broken palm branch, Sophie's swept the general area of debris. Only then did she feel safe enough to set their packs down.

"There are generally no snakes this close to the shore but no harm in being careful."


"Do me a favor Mattie and set up two of the hammocks. Here and here should be fine."

"Uh sure, yeah I can do that."

It was important for them to be off the ground if they wanted a safe resting stop. They were also easy to assemble and disassemble in case they had to move. They were only going to be here for max 2 days before finding June. Sophie did not want to bother wasting too much energy setting something more permanent up. They had a good coverage with the trees here.

While Mattie set up the hammocks, Sophie went back out on the beach with an empty plastic bag. In full view of anyone watching she went straight for any palm trees with hairy brown fallen coconuts.

Some recognized her as the one with the stocked backpack but for the most part, they only saw a girl in outdoors clothing confidently gathering up coconuts.

Isn't that what one is supposed to do on a deserted island? Gather food and water? Though the coconuts would be hard to open, they would have something.

Watching the girl pick up coconuts from the ground and walking away, a few others waited before following suit. Since no one approached her, Sophie did not bother explaining her actions.

It was only when she saw a man with a family, including small children, attempt to pick up the coconuts that she came up to them.

"Never eat or drink from fallen coconuts," she warned to the mother, indicating to the small children.

While some people knew this truth, not everyone did. The edible coconut in markets were young green coconuts. Fallen brown coconuts produced oil that caused a laxative effect if consumed. Not only would it cause people a lot of pain and discomfort, but it would also rapidly dehydrate them. In such place as this island, that could mean the difference between life and death.

Sophie did not intend to talk to anyone. She had no intentions of saving anyone but herself and her siblings. In fact, she would not mind at all if some of the competition suffered a little. It would be good if it was those hated people, so what if they suffered from some diarrhea?

The children, however, were too innocent. Even if they would perish eventually there was no need for them to suffer unnecessarily.

Rather than shout it out or bother herself with the father, she would leave a quiet warning to the mother. Sophie did not recognize this woman nor her children, they would not last too long then. At least she could help then avert this disaster of coconut poisoning.

There were many more respectful ways to die.

Healthy children would also help keep the morale up, especially for the parents. While she did not plan on helping or saving anyone, she did not have indiscriminatory blood lust. She did not simply want people to die quicker even if it did mean more resources for the survivors.

They would always be in need of labor and skilled working hands. The presence of small children also kept people on better behavior, especially the parents. She had seen first hand how quickly desperate and grieved parents would be to discard their humanity.

After warning the concerned mother of the diuretic effects of brown coconuts she quickly walked away back to the bushes to Mattie.

There she repeated the same lesson in detail to her brother along with a few more misconceptions to avoid.

"Wait so why did you go gathering fallen coconuts in the first place then if you can't eat them?"

"The truth is, you see the hairy stuff on here? These make some decent tinder but it makes an even better mosquito repellent if burned."

"Oh great, Maleria! Thanks for the fucking reminder, how bad are the mosquitos here? Did you bring a zapper?"

"Yeah, can't deny that there's plenty of mosquitos here. So we have to be careful and build ourselves up."

"That doesn't answer my question, did you and did you not bring bug spray and something else?"

"There were the nets? And I got some citronella candles but but no, no zapper. Better get used to a lot of no something Mattie."

"Oh joy." he deadpanned.

As a family who has visited Southeast Asian countries before, the siblings had already had their vaccine. Though the effectiveness is low compared to other modern vaccines it was better than nothing. Some of the plane survivors had no such vaccine. When their medication ran out, if they even had medication in the first place, a good number of people were further weakened and even died directly of the disease.

There were many ways to die but the disease is a killer they can't fight.

Using Mattie's lighter, they set a small bundle of the brown coconut fuzz and some twigs a light around their hammocks. The scent of the smoke worked to repel the mosquitos and other insects to an extent. Later they would put up the mosquito net.

Even if they wouldn't stay here long Sophie wanted them to be as safe and comfortable as possible.

She worked on clearing a nearby space for a campfire and set up space with some fist sized rocks as a fire place. She placed Mattie in charge of looking for nearby firewood and kindling. It should not be difficult, seeing that debris and broken branches were everywhere, possibly from the storm.

While cleaning and gathering some long young palm leaves, Sophie took a general look and survey of the nearby land. Matching what she remembered to the current situation.

There was too much to go over with Mattie, at least not yet. She hasn't had much time to organize what was in her own head, let alone recite them to someone else. She wanted to sit and think but her body refused to stay still, too anxious.

She compromised with splitting the palm leaves and beginning to weave. With skilled hands she tore while leaves in half down the middle and rearranged them so the leafy ends faced each other. Like that she could weave a large and basic palm front mat in little time.

That's how Mattie found her when he returned with an armful of kindling. Sitting on a pile of palm frond weaving halves at a time. She had only completed one leaf by the time came back and halfway through the second. Each one resembling a stiff yoga mat with the edges of the palm stems.

He was going to ask how she was doing that so quickly, how she knew how, but stopped himself.

They had downloaded such random videos together after all. It's not like his mother didn't teach them all how to somewhat sew and weave at some point, yes all of them. It's jsut odd, seeing Sophie so prepared and ready for this of all things.

Besides, Sophie now had that creepy psychic dream of hers.

"So what's the case on June?" he asked, setting the bundle of broken twigs and branches on the ground next to where what he thinks the fireplace is supposed to be.

Since they landed, he hasn't heard a thing about June. What had happened to her?

"June's.....alright, as well as she can be. Her shoulder's off and she got rained on last night but ....she's fine. Has some old ladies looking out for her, one's a nurse."

"Good, will we find each other soon?"

Mattie had good reason to be worried. His younger sister was a little spoiled, by herself she would definitely be terrified in this situation. The thought of his only baby sister hurt and shivering ran a chill through him as it did Sophie.

It took Sophie a lot of will power, a lot of mental reasoning from just running off to where she thinks June will be.

If her memory is correct, June would have landed in a much worse state, while the storm was still going on. The death toll on her aircraft would have been higher, messier but the heavy tropical rain prevented the plane from catching fire.

If her memory serves correct, they'll find June in a mere couple of days. The pilots had seen the other wrecked plane as they were going down. The other crew and survivors should have seen them too. They just need a little more time to find each other.

June was shaken, injured and scared but otherwise fine. If things went according to how it did the last time around, June would be okay and they just had to patiently wait for the crews to merge together. They couldn't afford to be reckless and wander off alone, even if it was to see June even a day earlier.

Patience, they had to have patience and stick close to the group and crew for now.

"Hey Sophie, teach me how to make that shit too."

"Didn't you watch the videos as I told you to? I said I'd test you didn't I?"

"There's way too much of them, Sophie, besides I'm more of a hands on kind of guy."

They had to have faith that their little sister will be fine until they could reach her. Until then they weaved while Sophie talked quietly, disjointedly, of the things that happened, things to come and what was needed to not only survive but to live.

They weaved, Sophie mindlessly and Mattie messily and too full of gaps, but they weaved until they made enough mats to have something of a small floor. A place to rest their things and selves on besides dirt and their hammocks.

It was a start.

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