That Night:


I sat next to Eric; the moss had done its job. It'd stopped the bleeding before he could bleed to death. It was just a matter of time before the leeches finished their work. That's what I could do, whisper to the animals, tell them what to do & what not to do. I'd told the leeches to give the boy back some blood & they were doing it. I pulled the bandage back and whispered to the leeches again. This time, they fell back from the boy's side onto the ground. I scooped them up and put them in a pot. They would taste good tonight.

I took the needle & thread from my sewing kit and moved next to the wound. Guided with the little light from the fire & the lanterns, I sewed the wound shut, pushing the moss from the wound inch by inch. The small group of kids was in the plane, looking out at me, watching just to see if I did something stupid. I didn't. Once the wound was sewn up & cleaned, I wrapped the bandage around his chest & side. I grabbed a washcloth from the bag & dipped it in the boiling water, along with my hand. The kids came out, looking at me. I pulled the cloth out & applied it to his forehead, trying to stop him from shivering.

The kids sat down around the fire, trying to make small talk. I left Eric's side only for a couple minutes and crouched next to the fire. A wolf came up next to me and looked me in the eye. Another wolf brought the gun to me, from where I had dropped it. I took the gun, checked the ammo, stood up, and walked from the fireside.

"Where are you going?" Lex asked.

"To get food. Maybe kill a wild pig to make some broth for the boy. He's going to need fluids in the morning. If he isn't awake by morning, I'm going to need to give him some blood. Besides, you can't live off fish, oysters and fruit forever. You need meat in your diet and I know where to get it. I'll be back in two hours. Don't let the fire die down, don't go to sleep & most of all, if he stops breathing, scream as loud as you can & I'll be back."

"Why scream?" Taylor asked.

"Because if you don't, he'll die!" I left then, disappearing into the forest, with the wolf pack following m. the lion, two tigers & bear stayed next to the camp. I would take them to my camp in the morning, carrying Eric on the horse. The others could follow if they wanted, but Eric needed a roof over his head & I could give it to him, they couldn't.

Two Hours Later:

I walked through the forest, my load of food on the back of he horse. I walked along the trail & heard the kids talking about me. I came out of the forest leading the horse & stopped next to the forest. They could see me for who I was now. I was wearing a deerskin tank-top, deerskin skirt, a pouch around my waist held ammo that was needed while hunting, a rifle hung across my shoulders, the 9mm at my waist along with my knife & two daggers. My machete hung across my shoulders. My long black hair hung in a braid. My skinning knife was strapped to my ankle. They could see the scars more clearly as well, but they didn't ask. They just stared, mouths hanging open.

"Close those fly traps unless you want to be eating flies for breakfast. Has he stirred at all?"

"No, he's just been moaning every now & then." Daley said.

"That's to be expected. The first time I was attacked by a bear, I could barely walk. Then again, it was four against one. And me with the cub in my arms and no weapon. It was the advice of a medicine man back where I lived that got me thinking."

"And what advice was that?" Jackson asked.

"I'll quote him: Whatever you do to the animals, you do to yourself. Remember that. It was the first lesson White Eagle gave me. By the way, I'm from Dallas, Texas if you hadn't guessed already."

"I thought you looked familiar." Eric's answer came from where he lay. I was at his side within a couple seconds. The kids crowded around me.

"How do you feel?"

"Like shit. What happened?"

We all said it in unison. "Shark."

"I was wondering if something was watching me."

"What made you go into the water in the first place? Any moron should've known that sharks like it when it rains, its there hunting time. They come in towards shore when it's raining and after a big rain has just occurred. Think you're well enough to travel?"

"Where would we be going?"

"To my tree house of course. It's three stories high in one of the most strongest trees on the island. It's inland. You'll be on the horse, with me behind you so you don't fall off. Your friends can come with, but I want to get you to a safe place before you black out again."

"Do you have an indoor bathroom?"

"Yup, I used all of the stuff from the boat that I could before it was taken back out by a storm. But by then, the tree house was built & everything of usefulness was out of the boat & in the tree house. So are you up for the journey?"

"How long of a ride?"

"About four hours, if I walk the horse. If I run the horse, more like an hour."
"Sure, why not. Couldn't hurt, hey guys."

"Eric I'm so sorry. I didn't know something like this was going to happen."

"Itssokay." His speech was getting slurred.

I pulled the food off the horse, leaving the hides on the horse. I picked Eric up, placed him on the horse so that he was straddling it. Looking at the animals, I barely moved my lips, telling them to keep the others safe. Then I jumped up behind Eric, turned the horse around, and kicked him in the sides, making the horse run fast through the forest.