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I awoke; there was a crash on the upper deck. I heard a thunderous crackling from my head above. I ran up the stairs and what I saw devastated me. The small wooden boat was completely coated in billowy flames.

"Help, help, somebody please!" someone had cried.

I slowly moved towards the sound being careful to dodge flames as much as possible. The smoke was choking me. I could see a faint outline of a face across the deck. It was Tom, my lifelong friend and companion. He was completely surrounded by the bright flames.

"Tom are you OK?" I yelled

"Yeah, but the fire has me surrounded!" Tom yelled

"Tom jump overboard, hurry?"


"Do it quick, hurry!"

As Tom jumped so did I. I hit the surprisingly cold water with a crash and swam through the sea illuminated by the flames to find Tom.

"You okay buddy?"

"Yeah the flames were everywhere and I wasn't sure what to do."

"Well you did the right thing Tom."

Finally he was beside me riding over the waves. We found a large board that supported our weight and we began to circle the destroyed vessel. I began to feel weary from inhaling so much smoke. Everything was going dark and before long I couldn't hold on.

I don't know when I woke up. All I could feel was rugged sand all over my body and in my mouth. Land, we had washed ashore! Then I remembered fully what had happened last night. I began to look for Tom.

"Tom, Tom, Where are you!!"

There was no sign of him anywhere. Then I saw the footprints in the sand and I instantly knew they were his because I had never seen a bigger pair of feet in my life. They were going towards the lofty trees ahead of me that lined the boundary of the seaside. I followed them to see him lying against an aged tree trunk. I went around to confront him and discovered he had passed out. Blood ran across his face and down his sandy chest. "He must have hit a rock when the waves crashed him against the shore"

I began to panic; I hurried to find something to cover his wound. I took a portion of his torn pants and wrapped his forehead up in it. He awoke with a scream of pain and looked around frantically trying to figure out what was going on.

"Tom are you OK?"

"Umm ya!"

"We were washed ashore and you probably hit your head on a rock."

"Well it sure does hurt but...but, I guess I'm all right."

We finally calmed down and we began to explore and figure out where we were. This wasn't exactly how I planned on spending my vacation in the Caribbean. I thought we would be taking it easy cruising across the rolling waves for two weeks. We had no idea where we were, and we had no idea how long we were going to be here. There seemed to be no signs of life so we ventured inward following a small stream of fresh water. The few palm trees began to form an amazing rain forest as we travelled deeper and deeper in to this mysterious place until we came to a small clear pond it was a spring.

"Here Tom, this water is just what you need for your cut"

"Great, I can wash out my cut, it really hurts!"

"Here" I said as I splashed his forehead with the cold fresh water. I knelt down and began to drink the cool clear water. It soothed my salty and sore throat.

We decided we needed something like a shelter to stay in. We carried sticks and leaves to a group of trees near the pond and before long we had a semi-efficient lean-to. I was cold after leaving the sun into the cool rain forest so I tried building a fire. After patiently striking a piece of flint against my pocketknife a flame shot up from the pile of brush. Before long I was as warm as a sweating dog on a hot summer day.

The next morning we began to venture inward. We were cautious not to get lost. By scratching trees and drawing in the ground we made sure we could find our way back again. It was amazing, there was birds singing, monkeys swinging in trees and wildlife everywhere. The rain forest was so much cooler then on the...
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