Regular Disclaimers Apply


chapter one: the paradise

The girl was young; perhaps thirteen. You could tell she was not an athelete, but held an air of general fitness about her - slender limbs and flaming hair that fraimed her head like a halo. Her eyelids fluttered; the green jungle lay still, holding its savage breath, waiting to see the sleeping princess awaken.

She stood, shakily, and looked around her. Thick jungle lay silently about her, creepers encircling her feet, trapping her ankles, trying vainly to claim the young girl for its own. She shook her dark hair, highlighted with chunks of flaming red - a bird took off, its colored plumage enhanced by the brightness of the sun.

Turning swiftly, she made her way towards the glimmering white beach. There was a voice from behind her -

"Hey! Wait for me!"

The girl of flaming hair kept walking. The voice called again:

"Hang on, a minute!"

The voice came closer. Shoe-clad feet oblivious to the hot sand, she waited. A pudgy, short girl with thick glasses approached, grinning through a sheet of sweat. She had removed her school jacket, but still wore the navy skirt, blue knee-high socks, paper-white blouse and blue tie. Her shoulder length brown hair had been tied back, but some hairs escaped and floated around her chubby face. "Hello there!" said the girl, cheerfully.


"Well," asked the girl, looking about inquisitively, taking in her surroundings, "what happened to us?"

The redhead turned away from her companion. "Plane crash. See there?" she pointed to a region several hundred meters away, which was smoulering, small fires just dying out around the blackened scar. "I 'spect that's where we crashed."

"Are there any others?"

Indifferently, the flaming haired girl spoke. "I don't know."


The island was surprisingly quiet. It was roughly boat shaped, with a mound of pink coral to one end, and a high mountain on the other. There was a small jungle, most of which had been destroyed by the crash. The forest was very dark - the redhead decided at once she would not go in there, unless she had to.

Again, the pudgy spectacled girl spoke: "My name is Petunia."

The redhead turned away, and begun walking over to the water. Then, shedding her clothes down to her underware (for modesty's sake), she jumped right into the warm liquid, feeling strangely peaceful. "What's - your name?" Petunia asked.

"Sarah. Aren't you coming in?"

Petunia smiled. "No, I can't - I've got asthma. And I can't swim."

"Sucks to your asthma. My brother has asthma, and he still swims."

Sarah plunged into the turquoise depths. Prohibiting herself from opening her eyes failed at once, she crashed into the sandy bottom and was forced to open her hazel eyes to see where she was going. She resurfaced, rubbing her head. Petunia had picked herself across the sand to the edge of the pool, and was eagerly pointing at something.

"Sarah! Sarah! Look!"

The thing Petunia was pointing to was a shell, large, fragile, and heavy. Sarah dove into the pool, and after a few aborted attempts, managed to fetch the shell from the sand covered bottom.

"Wow! It's a conch, everso expensive . . . Be careful with it! Let me see it!"

:"Shut up, Petunia!" Sarah fondelled the shell in her hands. Beautiful pinky cream shell slid through her hands like silk. She had the sudden impulse to throw it back into the pool; such beauty should be left undisturbed. Petunia's grubby hands grasped the shell, hardly giving Sarah time to react. She clung on to the shell protectively. "I found it." she said, and stared Petunia down.

"All right."

Silence passed. Petunia eyed the pretty, slim girl who sat, dripping wet, the sun gleaming on her smooth cream body. Petunia looked down at her pale skin and pulled her school blouse and jacket over herself. "If you were to put a hole in there, you could blow it. Try it, go on!" said Petunia timidly.

Bright eyed Sarah's attention was entirely focused on the conch. She looked up, and realized Petunia had been talking to her. "Oh, sorry, what was that?" she asked.

Petunia's face went a little red. "Er - if you blow right in there . . ."

Her next words were cut off by the sound of the conch, powerful, majestic, and orderly. It boomed throughout the island, making flocks of colorful birds fly out of their peaceful rest in the jungle. They were a mass of exotic shades as they scattered, sped around the island, and dissapered into the forest.

Girls of all ages and sizes appeared, coming out of the forest, the scar, behind the mountain, the jungle - some in twos or threes, carrying fruit, their jackets, perhaps shoes; they were generally all wearing school uniforms. Sarah looked down at her own, which she had thrown on after swimming, out of habit. Marron red skirt, socks; white blouse; red and gold tie; black shoes. Her jacked had been discarded, probably lying somewhere on the beach. She mentally reminded herself to go back for it later.

Sarah's mouth opened to form words: "What should we do now?"

Petunia paused. "Call an assembly!"