Because you demanded it, it's back!  Thanks you to all of you who have written and encouraged me to continue with my "Survivor" story.  Hopefully I will be able to pump out more chapter of this story and still keep up with my real pride and joy, "Earth, As it is in Heaven."

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And now, without any further ado...

By:  Roman Genesis

Day 7
Islands of the Mind

       "Okay, piss ants," Philip screamed.  "Get up!"

     I rolled over and froze when I realized there was someone in my shelter with me.  The young boy yawned and sat up and everything came back to me.  Austin had been frightened the night before and had requested to sleep in my shelter with me.  He looked over and smiled.

     I blushed a little and looked away.  He was so cute.  I nearly jumped out of my skin when the whole place started shaking.  "I said get up," Philip yelled again.

     "Okay, okay," I said.  I threw the blanket off of me and Austin instantly began to giggle.  I looked down to see what was so funny and realized a had a major case of morning wood.  "Shit," I said and covered myself back up.  I looked up at him and he was still laughing.  "Never seen a boner before?" I said.  I threw he blanket over his head and got up.  "Come on.  We don't want to keep Satan waiting to long."

     I opened the shelter flap and stepped out into the humid, tropic air.  It was another perfect day out here in paradise except for one small imperfection.  Philip stepped right up to me and he didn't look happy at all.  "Get your boys ready.  We're leaving in ten minutes."  He spun around and began walking to the older boys side of the beach.

     Austin came out of the shelter right behind me.  "Where are we going?"

     "They want to do a walk through the center of the island so we can look for the adults," I replied and walked over to Jack's shelter.  I threw the flap aside and saw him sprawled out on the ground with nothing except his boxers on.  He was still asleep and I was going to wake him up, but he looked so peaceful laying there.  It also gave me the best opportunity to check out his lean, tan body.

     Suddenly he opened his eyes and flinched when he saw me.  "What time is it?" He asked, rubbing his eyes and sitting up.

     "About nine," I replied.

     He suddenly looked at me rather strangely.  "How long have you been sitting there?"

     "Oh," I said, realizing what this must look like.  "I just opened the flap.  I was going to wake you up."

     He crawled toward the entrance and I got out of his way so he could stand up and look out at the water.  You could tell he was still suspicious of the way he had awaken to me staring, but he let it go eventually.  "You think we're really going to find the adults?"

     "I doubt it," I said, following his gaze to the ocean.  The horizon was perfect, circling around us like a noose ready choke the life from each and every one of these innocent boys.

     We lined up across the beach and, with the ever authoritative Kyle in the middle, began walking toward the edge of the woods.  "Remember to stay in visual contact with the guys to your flank at all times," he yelled as a reminder.

     I looked over at Jack and he caught my gaze.  I knew how frightened he was.  Not so much of what we wouldn't find, but of what we would find.  I stepped around the palm tree at the edge of the beach and into the dark, mysterious woods.

     Everyone was quite, walking stealthily through the dense brush.  A few times there was a loud scampering noise and everyone froze.  After about a minute of silence, a signal would come down the line from Kyle and we would continue walking.

     A few times I would come to an area to thick to walk through and would have to break the line and go all the way over to where Jack was to go around.  "Eric," he said when I came over.  "Can you see the guy to the right of you?"

     "No, I couldn't go through though.  It was to thick."

     "Great," he said.  He seemed really upset about it and I couldn't figure out why.

     "It's not that big of a deal," I said, maneuvering over a fallen branch.

     "Kyle's going to be made if we're not in a line when we come out the other side."  He didn't even look at me when he said it, and I realized why he was so upset.  He was more afraid of Kyle than he was of anything we'd find in the woods.

     I grinned and said, "Who cares what Kyle thinks."  Jack continued walking and didn't respond to my comment.  He was probably too afraid to speak against Kyle, even though he was several yards away.

     Jack put his arm up to stop me and we both froze.  His eyes were darting back and forth across the woods.  "Did you hear that?" he whispered.

     I listened carefully, but all I could hear was the constant chirping of birds and insects.  I swung my hand across my face to get the flies away and said, "I don't hear anything."  I started to walk again, but Jack grabbed my arm.

     "Hold on," he hissed.  He stood there, his eyes fixed forward intently.  He suddenly seemed very pale.  His fear was rubbing off on my and my heart was starting to beat faster.  I was starting to get annoyed.

     "Come on," I said.  I brushed his hand off my shoulder and kept walking when suddenly I heard a cracking noise in the bushes up ahead.  I froze in terror and looked back at Jack.  He was now white as a ghost.  I strong gust of wind suddenly blew through the woods making everything move and the birds stopped chirping, leaving an eerie silence behind.

     I gestured for Jack to go back, but he wasn't moving.  He was completely petrified.  I began walking backwards as quietly as I could, but every step seemed to fall directly on a stick that snapped under my weight.  I heard the noise up ahead again and froze in my tracks.  My heart was beating out of control and I looked back at Jack.  He looked like he was on the verge of tears.

     I couldn't take it anymore.  I ran toward Jack and grabbed him by the arm and ran as fast as I could back to the shore.  I didn't care what Kyle Marlock did to us.  I was scared shitless and there was no way I was going any further into the woods.  Jack and I ran blindly through the woods.  Branches and vines scrapped past us, but we continued running.  It must have been my imagination, but I thought I heard something following us.  I didn't dare look back though.

     I broke through the foliage and went tumbling across the sand on the beach.  I spun around and looked back into the woods and waited for Jack to burst through.  He wasn't there though.  I had lost him somewhere along the way.  "Jack," I screamed.  My entire body was shaking.  I stood up awkwardly and went slowly to the edge of the woods.

     "Jack, where are you!"  There was nothing but silence.  "Oh god," I muttered.  I started crying and backing away from the woods.  I wanted off this island.  The bushed suddenly exploded next to me and I fell to the ground and screamed.  I looked up and saw Jack laying in the sand next to me panting for breath.

     "What happened?" I screamed, the tears still running down my face.

     Jack had a pretty bad cut all the way up his arm and it was bleeding everywhere.  "I fell," he said as he gasped for air.  He put his hand up to stop the bleeding and I rushed over to him.  "It's not that bad," he said, squeezing his eyes shut and wincing from the pain.

     I think he was trying to convince himself of the fact more than I was.  It really was a bad cut.  I went and got some leaves from the edge of the woods and came back.  "Hold these down on the cut," I said.  He did as he was told and we just sat there on the beach catching our breathes.

     It must have been two hours later when everyone came walking out of the woods.  Jack and I turned around to see them come back.  "What happened," Kyle said, seeing the makeshift bandage we had put on Jack's arm.

     "We heard something in the woods?" I said, standing up to look him in the eyes.  The younger boys looked back in the woods and instinctively moved away from the trees when I said this.

     "I don't think so," Kyle said.  "We walked through the entire island.  There's nothing here except a few small animals.  You were hearing things."  I thought about the noise I had heard.  It could have been a small animal in the bushes, but for some reason I found I couldn't remember it that well.  Had I imagined it?

     "Why'd you break the fucking line?" Philip said, coming up and pushing me back.  I thought Kyle was going to stop him, but he just stood there watching.

     "I told you why.  We thought we heard something."

     "Oh, and you ran back to find your mommies?" he said back mockingly.

     I knew he was just trying to get a rise out of me.  "Whatever," I said.  I turned around to check on Jack's arm when something hit me hard from behind, making me fall to the sand.  I turned around and saw Philip looming over me.  I looked around and suddenly realized that not all of the boys had come back from the woods.  Randy and some of the younger boys were no where to be seen.

     "Don't whatever me you fuck head.  I'll kill you."  I could see the rage burning in his eyes and I knew he wasn't lying.

     "Sorry," I said softly.

     "You better be," he bit back.  He kicked sand in my face and walked off.  Kyle and the other older boys just stood there and watched me for a minute before following him over to the older boy's side of the beach.

     I rubbed my eyes violently as they began to water.  Shawn leaned down next to me and asked, "Are you okay?"

     "I'm fine," I said.  I couldn't get all the sand out and it was burning and cutting my eyes.  "I need some water," I said.

     "Come on," Shawn said, helping me up.  "We found a water hole in the middle of the island.  It's fresh water."  I couldn't see a thing so Shawn led me into the woods, helping me avoid any tree trunks.

     We were about ten minutes into the island and I was starting to see a little better.  "I think I got it all out," I said.

     "It's okay, we're almost there anyway."  We continued walking and I suddenly heard voices up ahead.

     "Who is that?" I asked.

     "It's just Tim and Alan.  They were bathing at the water hole with Randy I think."  The stopped when they got to us and asked what had happened.

     "Don't worry about it," I said.  They told Shawn they were going to find something to eat.  Now that they were mentioning food I realized I hadn't eaten anything all day and I was starved.

     Shawn must have felt the same way because he turned to me and asked if it was okay if he went with them.  "Sure," I replied.  "The water hole is just up ahead?"

     "Yeah, just keep going down this path here.  It takes you right to the water."

     "Okay, save some food for me," I said.  They went off down the path and soon they were gone, leaving me behind in the woods all alone.  I began walking down the path, my eyes still running with tears.

     I stepped out into an opening and saw a huge pool of water in front of me.  The thing was so big, it stretched around a bend about twenty yards off and kept going.  I leaned down and splashed some of the cool, fresh water onto my face.  I stuck my head in a opened my eyes to make sure I got all of the sand out.  I still couldn't believe Kyle had just stood there while his brother did that to me.

     I picked my head out of the water and looked out over tiny lake.  I could see it was really beautiful here now that I had all the sand out of my eyes.  It must have been formed out of some sink hole that opened up in the middle of the island.

     Something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention and I turned and looked at a nearby tree.  Sitting on one of the branches was some sort of bright red cloth.  I got up and walked over and I realized it was a swim suit.  I picked it up and looked at the tag.  It was Randy's!

     "What are you doing?" I heard a voice ask from behind me.  I was caught so off guard that I dropped the suit on the ground when I spun around.  I looked down at the water and saw Randy wading about twenty yards away.  I couldn't see anything because he was underwater, but I could tell he didn't have anything on.

     "Oh Randy," I said.  "I didn't know you were out here.  I was just..."

     "Can you pick my suit up?" he said, cutting me off.

     "Yeah, sure," I said.  I reached down and grabbed his bathing suit and hung it back up on the branch.  "Sorry about that," I added when I turned back around.

     He was still wading out in the water, watching me curiously.  "What are you doing out here?" he asked.

     "Oh, I was just... I was... going for a swim," I said quickly.  I walked out into the water and dove down in.  I was getting so nervous and horny knowing Randy was right here with me wearing absolutely nothing at all.  I swam out a ways, making sure I was far enough away from him.  I tried not to stare, but I couldn't keep my eyes off him.

     He swam over to the waters edge without saying anything and walked up to the tree.  His back was to me and I could see his bare ass and I became so erect in the water.  I stepped into his bathing suit and turned around when he was done.  I thought he was going to go back to the beach, but instead, he sat down and just watched me swim.

     I had no idea why he did this, so I tried not to pay him any heed.  I swam out pretty far and then came back in because I was getting tired.  Randy was still sitting there, watching me or watching the water, I wasn't sure which.

     Finally, I built up my courage, so I walked up and sat down next to him.  We were both silent for a while when he said, "I heard about Dennis and Henry.  I'm sorry."

     I looked over at him, but he was still looking out at the water.  "Yeah," I said.  "It's a horrible thing when innocent children have to die."

     We sat there in silence for a little longer when he suddenly blurted out, "My younger brother died when I was only eight years old."  I sat there in shock when he said it.  I couldn't believe he just blurted out something so personal to someone he hardly knew and probably couldn't stand.

     "I'm... I'm sorry to hear that."  I had no idea what to say to a comment like that.

     "It's okay," he said, still staring out at the water.  "I think my family has finally gotten over it.  It's just unfortunate that..."  He stopped himself and was silent again.  I was still in a state of shock that he was telling me these things.  I kept looking over and staring at his beautifully built chest and arms.  This guy was driving me crazy.

     "What's unfortunate?" I said, hoping I could get him talking again.

     "Unfortunate that they have to lose another son."

     After about an hour, without warning, he stood up and walked off down the path without even saying good-bye.  I watched him go and then looked back down at the water in front of me.  Randy had basically told me his entire life's story in a sort of detached manner that I hadn't understood at first.  Only now was it dawning on me why he had done such a thing.  He didn't think any of us were getting off this island alive.

     I walked back to the shore to find Shawn, Jack, and the others still stuffing themselves full of the same fruit we had eaten the night before.  It had made my stomach feel a little upset, but I was to hungry right now to care.  I began eating and didn't stop until it was getting dark out.  Kevin, the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, came over before the sun was completely set and got the fire started for us and then went back to his side of the beach.

     "We really need to learn to start our own fires," Shawn said, throwing random things he found on the beach into the fire.  We all stared into the hypnotic flames thinking our own personal thoughts, never really bothering to share with the rest of the boys.

     "Do you think we were really just imagining that sound in the woods," Jack asked, not taking his eyes away from the burning red embers.

     "I don't know.  I mean, it would be really stupid if we got that scared for nothing," I said.  We continued our detached contemplation's until one by one, the boys went off to their shelters to go to sleep.  I was one of the last ones to go and when I got there, I saw that Austin was already under the covers fast asleep.  I guess he thought our little arrangement was permanent.

     I laid down next to him and was almost instantly fast asleep.  I woke up in the middle to tiny little cries for help.  I thought it was only a dream at first when I looked over and saw Austin moving back and forth, dreaming something terrible in his fragile, innocent mind.  "Austin, wake up," I said.  Only after I had shaken him did he awaken and begin crying.  "What's wrong," I asked.

     "I had a nightmare," he said through his sobs.  "I dreamed that we would never get to see our parents ever again and that there were cannibals on the island."  He was crying pretty heavily so I put my arms around him to comfort him while he regained himself.

     I'm not sure who went to sleep first, but we fell asleep in each others arms, listening to the gentle lapping of the waves not ten yards away.

     We were all stranded on the same island, it's true.  But in a lot of waves we were each stranded on our own island, forced to deal with our own personal demons by ourselves. I wonder sometimes how things would have been different if the lines of communication had been open between not only the older and the younger boys, but between each and every one of us.

     Randy was on my mind a lot after our encounter by the swimming hole.  That was probably the best example of how we were so alone, even with the others around.  He spoke to me and told me things he had probably never told anyone else in his life.  But, it was as if he wasn't really telling anyone.  He was talking to himself and I just happened to overhear.  He wasn't talking to me.  He was talking at me.  There's a big difference, you know?

     Like, right now.  Me and you all aren't really talking.  I'm doing all the talking and you're just listening.  We're not communicating the way people are supposed to.  Because of this, I have to ask you not to pass judgment on me until I'm done with my story.

     Don't get me wrong.  I mean, I really do enjoy these visits.  I just wish I could get a little feedback now and then so I could understand what was going on inside your heads.  Lord knows it would have helped on the island.  Or perhaps I should say, on the islands...