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We were many miles from home. I was happy. We spotted land but crashed the boat, which wasn't surprising since none of us knew how to sail well and were lucky we even left the harbor. We were on a beach of some sort, with shrubs and trees surrounding the shore. Sam and Thomas were getting our stuff off the boat and I was looking for a place to set up camp.
I shouted to them, "Do either of you know where exactly we are?"
"No," Sam shouted back. "But why does it matter? We were at sea for a day so we're nowhere near home. No one saw us leave. We're free."
"Daniel, I think I know where we are," Thomas said. "My dad had a friend from a place called Scilly and it seems just like what he described. Tropical plants. Beaches. Low population. Not far from the mainland, but far enough from Plymouth."
"Do you think we'll stay hidden?" I asked him.
"It depends. We'll have to take care of ourselves, so the locals won't see anything suspicious about us. What would you do if you saw a group of filthy, underfed boys who you hadn't seen before in a small town?"
"True. Let's just try to stay as far from civilization as possible."
"With that being said, I'm starving," Sam said. "We haven't eaten anything in a day."
"It's almost nine o'clock," Thomas replied. "We should set up camp and go to sleep. We'll eat in the morning."
We had gotten a good night's sleep and woken up at about the same time. I was dying to have something to eat. Nobody had thought of packing food. We hadn't ever had to worry about not having anything to eat. Our parents were all very wealthy and whenever we went on holiday, they always had plenty of food on them. I never had to pack for a trip myself.
"Hey, I found a raspberry bush!" Sam hollered.
"Don't eat anything! It's probably poisonous!" Thomas shouted back at him.
"They look like raspberries. I'm hungry and I'll die of hunger if I don't eat anything, anyways."
Sam picked a bunch of berries from the bush and started to eat them.
"See! I'm fine. They're alright."
Thomas ran over and knelt down in front of the bush. He picked a few berries and carefully observed them.
"Sam, I don't think these are raspberries. They look a bit funny. You shouldn't have eaten them."
"Well I'm not sick or dead. They were a bit sour, though."
Thomas left and looked around for some other source of food. I also left to look for something. I then spotted a palm tree. Maybe there were coconuts growing from it. I never liked them, but at this point I didn't care what I ate, as long as it was edible.
"Tom, do you think there's any coconuts growing from there?" I asked.
"Possibly. You know I'm bad at climbing. Maybe Sam could check."
Sam walked up to the tree and climbed to the top. He had always been the most athletic out of us.
"I don't see coconuts, but I see dates. Here, I'll throw some down."
"They seem edible," Thomas said, "but I'm not sure. I guess we'll have to eat them. It's our best bet."
We ate all of the dates. I had never tasted anything better in my life. Now that we had a food source that we were sure was edible, all we needed was a way to purify water, start a fire, and build shelters. Our idea was to get Sam to go to town and try to steal a few cigarette lighters to start a fire. Meanwhile, I would get rope from the boat and build some shelters hidden in the shrubs. Thomas would look for a pond or lake that had some fresh water and collect it, along with some dates.
Our plan worked great and by the end of the day, we had an entire stash of food and water, our own huts, and a fire pit. Just there was no fire. Sam hadn't returned. It was getting dark and Thomas and I were cold.
"He hasn't come back yet, Tom. Should we stay awake for him?"
"I would've said to go to town, but it's too late. Let's just go to sleep."
It was morning and Sam was still gone. I was getting worried. What if he got lost? What if he couldn't find our shelters hidden in the shrubs? I decided to go to town and look for him, while Tom kept an eye on the camp.
I found the town Sam was at. It was small and quite empty since the sun hadn't risen yet. I looked around and found a newspaper lying on a bench. I picked it up and the front heading read, "Missing Boy Found Poisoned and Dead on the Streets". Below it was a picture of Sam on his porch last Christmas.
I ran back to the shelter as fast as I could. It was a small island, so if they knew where Sam was, they would have no trouble finding Thomas and I. I had to go find somewhere to hide with Thomas.
"Thomas, we have to leave!" I yelled as I returned to the camp. There was no response.
"Thomas, please! Sam's dead, they're gonna find us!"
As I ran towards his hut, I noticed a palm tree with blood running down it. At the foot of it was Thomas. He was covered in cuts and bruises and had dates in his hand. He must've fallen while climbing the tree. I couldn't tell if he was dead, but it wasn't worth checking. I could hear police sirens in the distance. Thomas would have to die. I ran away and the sirens kept getting louder. I was getting tired, but the thought of going back home kept me running.
Then I tripped and fell into the sand. The officers took advantage of the situation and quickly exited the car and ran towards me.
"We've got you!" one yelled as he grabbed me.
Behind their car came a taxi.
"Your parents were very worried about you. They'd like to have a word with you."
The officer backed away and my mum got out of the cab. She approached me with a smile on her face.
"David, I missed you so much."
"It's Daniel," I said.
"Shut up! Three days? Is that a new record? I'll make sure this doesn't happen again."
An ambulance drove by and a couple of paramedics got out. My mum and I watched as one checked Thomas for a pulse and the other starting writing on a clipboard. Then they took Thomas on a stretcher and left without the sirens on.
My mum watched them leave and said, "So Thomas and Sam are gone? Two of your closest friends. Was it really worth it? Wouldn't you rather stay home with us?"
I didn't say anything.
"I've written a list of all your chores I want you to do when we get home. Including mending our boat. No sleep until they're done. Now let's hurry. We don't want the officer to hear us."