Saturday, 29 December 2012

Fool's Paradise: Chapter2


A groan signifies the first person to wake up. I watch as she pries her hand from the confines of the blankets to rub at her eyes. She lazily blinks, and when she finally opens her eyes, they lock with mine. To my shock, she laughs.

"Morning," she chimes, a smile straining on her lips as she fights out of her trapped blanket. She rolls out of the group, causing a string of groans from those that she crushes as she rolls from over them. Straightening, she pats herself of the sand, pushing her short black hair over her forehead when she eyes the ocean. She wears the same uniform, a navy, mid-thigh plaid skirt and white blouse with the school crest on her left breast. She's missing the navy vest that I have on, but she pays no mind to it so I assume she doesn't wear it. 

She turns to look at me and I am caught by the fierce stare that accompanies her hazel eyes. "So we survived, holy shit," she whistles and smiles again, and I can't help smiling as well. Holy shit, indeed.

She pulls her arm over her chest to stretch out the limb, alternating after a moment. "Is this all?" she asks, indicating with her foot to the mass in the sand. 

"I hope not," I say and turn to regard the jet. Seagulls flock over the twisted metal shell and squawk as they peck at the soaked debris that didn't get cast to sea. "Did the captain survive?" I whisper. She doesn't answer.

An orchestra of groans start up and we turn our attention back to the mass. A boy kicks out and knocks a girl in the head with his shin. She lets out a string of curses that invokes a muffled snort from me at her vulgar language and a full-on laugh from the girl standing in the sand. 

When everyone eventually wakes, all in moments of each other as they really are entangled, we all blink at our surroundings, quietly trying to recognize each other. A couple girls tearfully clasp onto each other after crawling to each other through the mass. 

"So, where are we?" a boy asks, and we all swivel to look at him. He turns bright red in the ears and attempts to shrink into his blanket. 

"We should be around Hawaii, right?" someone pipes in, hopeful.

Comcasts flip open in hands and a murmur flits through the group as we relay the same message displayed on the screens. 

"Did the captain survive?" someone else adds, repeating my question, and a silence lays over us all as we direct our attention to the metal glinting meters away. 

No one moves so I ask, "What should we do now?"

Everyone looks around to each other for an answer. 

"Food, shelter, water, and fire," someone supplies and we all turn to watch a boy walk towards us. Where did he come from? He's the boy who gave me his blankets, with the blonde hair and the cold eyes. His eyes are still cold as he casually strolls to the group. He doesn't sit, instead he fidgets and paces around us, avoiding eye contact with everyone.

"Right, we should get on that." The girl walks to stand beside me now. Her smile is hopeful and I'm glad there's someone with hope.

Immediate conversation starts as everyone interjects with what we should do, but we are all guessing with speculation. Our school trains for the academically inclined. Survival and physical means are not in our curriculum. We are probably the worst to be suited to be stranded without any technological means. 

A girl clutches at her blanket, her tearful stare directed at the jet and not in the conversation. "We need to get the other survivors," she quietly speaks and suddenly all conversation transforms into bickering. 

"Are there any other survivors?"
"There has to be!"
"I'm sure they'll crawl out..."
"What if they're hurt?"
"What if we're the only ones?"

We all look to each other, hoping for some answer to the questions. Usually someone is there, a teacher, a mentor, a tutor. Someone to supply the answer so all we have to do is apply it and memorize it so we can ace the exam. 

"I'm going to get Meghan," the soft-spoken girl announces and we watch, helpless as she stands up and heads towards the plane. 

We all scramble to follow her, not sure of what we will find. But a nagging feeling knows. 
It was a better sight when I left the jet, only because I wasn't aware what I was leaving behind. We only have to peek in from the gaping hole to realize that we are the only survivors. 

The soft-spoken girl breaks down into tears when she finds her friend, tripping over bodies as she rushes to the body of a blonde haired girl. She clutches at the body, uncovering it from the pile and screaming when the bottom half of the body hangs loosely from a visible section of spine. 

Someone vomits in the sand and all of us have tears in our eyes. No one else makes a move to the bodies and we stare at the horrified screams, like dolls. 

Deciding we need to leave, blindly, I start pushing them out. They easily relent to my efforts and sink to the sand, some burying their heads between their knees to regain breathing.

Going back into the jet, my focus solely on the screaming girl, I tiptoe towards her. Someone follows me to her, and we coax the body out of her hands. She latches herself to the other girl and we drag her out to the rest of the group, marching back to where we all slept. There's a somber silence, with the occasional whimper from the crying girl as she is cooed to sleep, that settles around us for a moment. 

A guy stands up abruptly, straightening his blazer. "We need a leader," he announces, shifting his glasses up his face with a finger. "Until rescue arrives, we need to set ourselves up with a clear hierarchy with a familiar social influence. I say we vote on a leader to direct us in keeping a clear focus on our survival."

Immediately people stand up, claiming they have the traits that would enable our survival. This has become a familiar setting for those specializing in political debate. Persuasion of attributes are announced and a vote occurs with three main contenders speaking animatedly about how they will be helping our survival. 

"This is a great distraction." I turn to the girl beside me, watching her rock the sleeping girl we had dragged out of the jet in her arms like a child. She smiles wearily at me. "The name's Brianna and these kooks think they're running for student council." She scoffs. "You have better leadership sense than they do, I mean, you took control over the situation when we all sat around like ducks."

I shake my head. "No way. I just snapped out of the stupor before everyone else. I'm not leadership material." She raises her eyebrow at me and I add, "I'm Maria. I'm more into medical research than politics."

"Well I'm a language-stud and I'm afraid we're going to have to rely on you more than we think." 

A series of applause breaks us away from our hushed conversation and we watch as the same guy who announced that we needed a leader takes center stage. He's the only one standing and towers over us all as he accepts the applause with a victorious smirk set with the dimple in his chin. "Thank you, survivors, for voting me, Angus Lemark as your leader until rescue arrives. I'm sure it won't be long until we are saved but until then, I promise, with the power invested by you all, to lead us to survival, because we most definitely will be surviving." 

His exuberant voice has enchanted the group and from the whispers around me, Angus is a hot topic to the girls, in terms of academic credibility and visual charm. Brianna rolls her eyes when Angus accepts an imaginary bouquet of flowers and winks at his fan girls. I can't help but hope help arrives before I get sucked into this disillusion the rest of the group is building.


Times are tough and nights are now sleepless. 
Worries are shadowing every decision I make, and I don't have the strength to shut them out anymore.
I'm scared for a future that may never happen.


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