2 Chapter 3

Juba mused over the name. She realized it would be rather dumb to name an already known and named island, but she was trying to entertain herself. She half hoped there wasn't anyone else here with her anyways. Sure, some people go mad in solitary situations, but she was done with people at this point.

Juba started walking up the side of the mountain like hill. She tried to stick to clear paths, but that was proving difficult to find. Rocks stabbed at her soles, and brush slowed her down. Mud from previous rains caused her to slip occasionally. Cursing her bad luck for every minor inconvenience that happened along the way. After about an hour or two, and without injury, Juba made it to the top. Holding her breath, she spun to look in all directions. The island was covered by a jungle. This wasn't a nightmare, but it was getting close. Bugs and weird little critters were not her thing and she did not feel like giving them a chance now. She tried painting a map in her head so she had an idea of what direction to take next. Though she had traveled quite a while, she was still close to the southern part of the island. This would make it easier to navigate in her mind. Juba took a mental photograph with each unique element that stood out, and attempted to pick out the easiest way to any location that seemed helpful.

To the north, there were more peaks that hid the other side of the island. They were slightly taller than the mountain she was on now. Juba threw her hands in the air and exclaimed "Greaaat. More walking!" sarcastically. Taking one more calculative stare at the topography before her, she set out for the taller mountains determined to know her boundaries.

-

Juba had walked all day to reach the bottom of the mountain she was set on climbing. Exhausted and feet bloodied, she plopped on an overturned tree. She hadn't done anything to make a shelter for the night—or the nights to come. With what daylight she had left, she rushed to gather large leaves and brush that she could see as useful. She was not prepared for bugs, or anything else in the night to find her. Frantically working with what daylight she had left, she used the large leaves to hang over a sapling tree and the log that propped her up. Crawling into the safety of her hut, she criticized her rushed work and pondered what she could do to make it better. Saying it was drafty would be an understatement. She was only thankful that it was warmer than the water at night.

Once again, she ignored the roar of her stomach and dry throat. This would be her third day without food. A record for the girl that was practically addicted to sausage and pepperoni pizza. Her brow furrowed as she thought of dipping the delectable slice into some ranch, and swallowing it whole. Frustrated with herself, she fell into a light sleep. Small sounds in the night woke her periodically, but it didn't take long for her to ignore it, and sleep soundly.

-

Waking with a start, Juba realized it was still early morning. She shimmied out of her shelter to see the sun making its trek above the trees. If she wasn't in such a horrible predicament, this would have been a perfectly secluded vacation spot to frequent. She may have even enjoyed the buzz of nocturnal bugs, as long as she enjoyed them from behind a wall. She stood and stretched her arms into the sky. The feeling of wind passing between her fingertips soothed her aching body. She sat on the log to examine her feet. They were starting to form blisters and calluses. She looked at the materials used for her shelter and attempted to tie some leaves together to form a pair of sandals. Very….sad sandals. They would have to do. She gazed up at the mountain before her. Dread inched its way into her mind, but she stuffed it back into its cubby hole. She had to do this only once, and that was it. She had already come this far.

Another hour had brought more pain to her feet. She discarded the makeshift sandals after she nearly fell halfway back down the mountain because of them. She gazed at the top, nearly there, and sat down for a moment. The heat was getting annoying, but there weren't as many trees this high up. She got up after a few minutes and finished her hike. Ignoring the half of the island she had already seen, she gazed over the other part. More jungle spread over it.

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Her nightmare had become fully realized. She didn't want to show the emotions that welled up inside of her, but her eyes had a mind of their own. Tears spilled onto her cheeks and she collapsed into uncontrollable sobs. What in her life had she done to deserve this karma? It was utterly heart wrenching to think—to know that she would be alone forever. She knew little about wilderness survival, and concluded that she would die very quickly. Her world was crashing around her as she looked at the entire island, giving it two and then three looks to make sure she was truly alone. She sat down and stayed there a while, wallowing in self pity. The sun was at its peak for the day, and she realized that she desperately needed sustenance. Her body had been screaming at her, and she ignored it in hopes that if she didn't waste her time getting comfortable, she wouldn't really be in this hell she's found herself in now. She feebly started down the side of the mountain heading northeast, hoping and praying for this dream to end..

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