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Chapter 9


We ended up barricading the plane’s windows and doors with tree branches we’d cut down with the machetes which made up part of our jungle survival kit. I’d never had the need to use anything like it before, so it took some getting used to, but we’d been told beforehand that a machete in the jungle was a necessity. Seems like they were right about that.

“That’s the best we can do” I said and leaned my weary body against a nearby tree and stuck my machete into the hard ground. Changing into clean clothes earlier had probably not been a good idea, as those of us who were fit to work were now dirty and sweaty.

“Yeah, you’re right” Brian replied, wiping the sweat from his filthy, dirt streaked face “I think we should say a prayer for those who lost their lives today”.

Now, I’m not a religious person but I was willing to put my feelings on the matter aside and join Brian in a prayer for our deceased friends.

Jordan was inconsolable (and rightly so) as we stood in a semi-circle in front of the plane wreckage and said a prayer. I couldn’t begin to imagine what it would be like to lose a family member in such circumstances and placed an arm around his shoulders comfortingly. AJ was the other side of him and did the same as we all shed a few tears.

I didn’t want to be the first to mention it, but I knew we had to get moving before night fall. Even though we’d managed to disguise the plane and prevent anyone climbing in, I had a feeling that if some carnivorous animal wanted in, it would find a way.

“Guys, I think we should gather up as much stuff as we can carry and make a move. I don’t like the idea of staying here after dark” I finally announced.

“I agree” Howie said

“But what about the search parties? How will they find us if we move away from here?” AJ queried.

“Dude, they have all kinds of technology these days, like heat seeking devices and shit like that. Of course they’ll find us as soon as they find the plane. It’s only a matter of time” I replied. Of course I didn’t realize that finding us would be like finding a needle in a haystack and the plane hadn’t been carrying a tracking device.

“Nick’s right. We have to go” Jordan agreed. I felt so sorry for him. He was going to have to leave his brother to nature.

“Did any of the maps survive the crash?” Brian asked.

“It’s not like we even know where we are” AJ protested as he kicked at the dirt.

“I know, but we might need it. We do have the compasses” Howie replied.

“Fucking great, now I feel so much more confident about getting out of here alive” AJ retorted sarcastically.

“Have a little faith” Brian told him “by tomorrow I’m positive we’ll have been rescued”

“Yeah, well I wish I shared your optimism”

“Do you think you’ll be able to walk on that leg?” I asked Howie. I saw him wince in pain from time to time and knew it was giving him a lot of bother, but he wouldn’t admit it.

“I’ll manage” he replied, although it was an effort for him to stand up for long.

“We can make a stretcher out of clothes and carry you if need be” AJ told him.

“Guys, I’ll be fine”

I grabbed my machete and wandered off from the group, coming back minutes later with a large stick which Howie could use as a crutch. It would be better than nothing and would at least offer him a bit of support.

We rummaged through all the bags and other items which we’d retrieved from the plane before sealing it up. At least we had enough food and drink to last us a few days, hopefully we’d be found within a day or two, but it was better to be prepared. Some of the plastic bottles of water and sachets of survival food had perished, but the majority of them were intact.

After checking to make sure we had everything, we fastened up the back packs and got ready to go.

“Do you think we should leave a note or something?” I suddenly thought. If rescuers did find the plane, at least then they would realize that there were a bunch of survivors out in the jungle.

“Good thinking, but how?” AJ replied, but with a question of his own. It’s not like we’d come into this carrying a notepad and pen. The only paper we had was the map, and none of us wanted to give that up.

“I suppose we could tear off this part” Brian suggested, indicating the top of the map which hopefully didn’t contain anything we needed.

And so that’s what we did. With the black pen which had been in Jon’s back pack, Brian wrote a little note on the strip of map and secured it under a stone next to the plane. It wasn’t exactly noticeable unless you were looking for clues, but it was the best we could do under the circumstances. I also wrote a message in the dirt with a stick; even though I was sure it would either be washed away by rain or trampled on by animals.

“Let’s get out of here!” Brian said, being first to sling his back pack over his shoulder.

I just hoped we wouldn’t have far to go.





Chapter End Notes:

Not a lot going on in that chapter, but more action is on the way!