By Josh, Gorey Community School
It all started when I thought we were finished. We had just found land. My crew and I have been sailing for months. When we arrived, some of the crew fell ill and we don’t understand why. Tom, our doctor and navigator thinks it could be homesick. But I believe it’s something more sinister. We are unsure if this land is home to people. We are south of Portugal. Some of the men are Portuguese, others including myself are American. The year is 1887. Our crew have all travelled to different continents. But I had a vision of this island and I explained to my crew that I believed the island was real. They didn’t believe me at first. But I convinced them. And here we are on the island. My name is Arthur Morgan. I’ve been sailing the seas since I was a young adult. My father was a repairman on major transport ships. He taught me a lot from his trade and ever since he died I have wanted to explore as he never believed about the island I had the vision of.
There are 17 of us in the crew. I am the captain. My crew are skilled and I have been sailing with them for many years. On the ship, everyone does a bit of everything. I don’t want to make them feel like I’m a dictator of some kind. Only three of the crew are ill. They mostly fish or set sail angles. They’re good men but if worst comes to worst, we can do without them. Some of the men are from another crew that I was also captain of, but we lost some of the other men in storms, so we were down to five crew members including myself. We then decided to let other experienced people join us who we knew. Right now I’m only focused on finding people that may be on this island.
I set out with Tom and Martin. Martin is a known explorer and he is good at finding evidence that people live or lived here. Our boat is on a beach and we were able to see a cave from the boat so we ventured to the cave and entered it. There were murals on the walls. Images showing three figures and a greyish cloud-like figure. Like an evil shadow. We continued through the cave and we came to an opening. We could see bright green bushes and a sandy cove. There was a waterfall coming from a small mountain into the water in the cove. It looked amazing. We had never seen anything like it. Martin spotted smoke coming from the north side of the island. We began to go towards the smoke and Tom spotted the remains of an animal. It looked similar to a deer. We continued. The smoke got closer and closer. Martin said it is a good idea to try to see where the smoke was coming from rather than walking straight into where it was. We climbed up to the vantage point and we realised what we were looking at. Our boat was in flames. Some of the crew were trying to escape. Others were fighting. All hell broke loose when we left. I realised the ill crewmates began to fight the other crewmates and ate them. I’ve never heard anything like this. Tom, Martin and I were now stranded on the island. We had no way of contacting anyone.
Tom began to panic. He knew we had no hope if the ill crewmates tried to kill us. He was worried about everyone that had been killed or anyone who was ill. Martin and I calmed Tom down. We needed a plan to survive and to be rescued. Our ship went under the water and most of the food had been burnt. Martin was able to find berries that we could use as a source of food. He was positive they wouldn’t kill us if we ate them. It was getting darker by the minute. We began to set up camp on a ledge which was an eight foot climb up. We decided to set camp here because if the ill crewmates found us, they would have a hard time climbing up. Tom knew of one other disease that is as bad as this but he said it was in a storybook and it was all fiction. He called the ill crew mates zombies. He said that in the book they were described as dead like humans who were unable to focus on a simple task and he also said that they could have bursts of rage and would attack anyone and anything. We knew we were in a lot of trouble with these zombies roaming around looking for us. We were scared.
As we were setting up a tent Martin began to cook a tin of beans he had brought with him when we left. We ate the beans while looking at the sunset and the charred remains of our ship underwater. I got into the tent and I fell asleep. Martin fell asleep then but I never noticed Tom getting into the tent. Mostly because he didn’t. He sat on the ledge all night. In the morning he told us that he didn’t feel well last night and Martin and I began to wonder if he contracted the disease when he was helping the other ill crewmates. We stayed on the ledge for most of the day. Martin went to get more berries while I kept an eye on Tom. Later that night. I woke up to Martin screaming. Tom had eaten chunks out of him and left him for dead. I knew I was next. I jumped down the ledge and ran for the water and began to swim. I only made it so far. I lay back in the water. I knew I wasn’t going to be saved. But at least I wasn’t going to be killed by a zombie. I thought about the crewmates. I wondered if I would make it back to safe land. Right now, I was just floating.