TIWC Entry #3
Those Who Dream
There used to be six of us… Now I’m alone.
My hands limply held the worn, leather journal of my son, Eddie. I had given it to Eddie right before I sent him to his grandparents’ all the way in South Africa over the summer; I thought it would be good for him to get away from the fighting at home. I thought everyone, including my wife Christina and I, just needed some time.
But I thought wrong, and I knew that more than ever as I closed the journal, a fresh wave of heartache coming over me again. It was a painful struggle to open it, just like the day the rescue team handed it to me.
“Your son could not be located,” where their words. “But we were able to find this.” The uniformed lady holding out the tattered journal to me swallowed hard before her next sentence. “We presume your son to be dead.”
That is why I just couldn’t read Eddie’s journal then. Jeffrey, read the last words of your son, I would tell myself. But I couldn’t bring myself to it. Even upon opening to the front page a month later and reading that first sentence, the grief was still so overwhelming and fresh.
But then the day had come, two years later. I forced myself to be composed and read the last words of Eddie. I had to know what happened on that island and with my son.
My precious son, with his curly brunette hair and eyes almost always caught up in the midst of dreaming.
I have to know, I realized as I stared at the leather cover, which had the words “Those Who Dream” engraved as the title. So there I sat on the deck, looking out at the woods stretching on and surrounding our summer cabin. In the beautiful early morning mist, I forced my uneasy fingers to open the leather cover of the journal once more and read again, June 23 – There used to be six of us… Now I’m alone.
Swallowing the rising lump in my throat, I kept reading.
My name is Edward, but nobody calls me that. It’s just Eddie, really. Eddie Halton. I’m twelve years old, and that’s about it.
My dad gave me this journal before he sent me on a plane to my grandparents’ house in South Africa. He told me to feel free to write my thoughts and feelings down in here. I didn’t think much of it at first. I’m definitely not what you’d call a writer, and writing down events of the day seems like a girl-with-her-diary thing. But as I sit here on the top of our crashed plane with nothing else to do, I figure I’d might as well put words down on paper so I don’t go absolutely crazy and start talking to myself.
He didn’t die in the plane crash but afterwards? No wonder the rescue team couldn’t find his body.
Six of us, riding in coach at the very back of the plane, walked out the emergency exit and onto the hot sand of this island alive. Someday came suddenly for everyone else, whether they wanted it to come as quick as it did not. I hope they knew where they were going to spend their eternity.
First, there’s Gary White. He’s thirty-four and was visiting relatives. Then there’s Jordan Foresman, who just turned nineteen, and was going to be studying in the South Africa. That is, of course, until the plane crashed. Nobody knows why. Amy Mason and her fourteen-year-old daughter Cora where sitting next to me at the back of that plane. They were also visiting relatives for summer vacation. Lastly, there’s grumpy old Florence, but everyone called her Mrs. Palacio out of respect. She was the oldest person to survive that crash, but she wasn’t even that old.
Now, even Mrs. Palacio is gone. They all are. One by one, they’ve disappeared deep into this island with no other natives or people as far as we could tell after exploring.
Cora was the first to go. Amy cried for hours, but nobody could find her daughter. The next day, Gary White was gone. After the third person, Amy, had mysteriously disappeared, Jordan, Mrs. Palacio and I where all scared out of our wits. All of us wondered who was the next person to disappear.
Jordan was the smartest. He knew which foods were poisonous and which ones weren’t. We made a lean-to shelter out of sticks, one for each person. But then we built a bigger one and all three of us slept under it. If we were together, it would be harder for someone to disappear.
But the next morning, Jordan was gone.
“It’s either you or me, buddy,” Mrs. Palacio told me that night after a supper of wild oranges. She stared me in right in the eye through her thick glasses. I didn’t know what she was thinking, but she seemed defeated and sad.
I couldn’t fall asleep that night for a long time. I hoped I would disappear next. If Mrs. Palacio were taken, being left alone would be the worst.
My eyes stung with unshed tears, but I grit my teeth and hotly blinked them back. It’s been two years, Jeffrey, I told myself. Get yourself together and accept the fact that’s he’s gone. Flipping the page, I continued reading.
This morning I woke up to no Mrs. Palacio next to me. I was scared stiff and totally shocked. That’s when I knew I had to find a way to get off this island and get help. Jordan had dared to go back into the wrecked plane to find any means of communication, but he didn’t find any. I decided to go in there myself and search again, no matter how afraid I was.
That’s what I’ve been doing all morning. Besides eating the last of the wild oranges, that is. I don’t know where to find anymore; Jordan found all of them along with cooking the fish he caught and we ate.
I’ve found a few random things on the floor of the back of the airplane. Somebody brought along a very old-fashioned quill, another had a loose hair tie, and still another left a cell phone on the floor. It must have fallen out of someone’s side pocket during the crash. Telling myself it wasn’t stealing because the person who owned it was dead anyway, I tried calling 911 on the phone. My try was in vain, however, and to no avail. There’s no service on an island in the middle of nowhere.
I found a radio, too. Who brings a radio on an airplane, you ask? That’s exactly what I asked myself, too, as I tried to get it working. Of course, all I got was static.
I have literally no idea what to do next but to join the others – if they’re still alive – tonight. I’ll make my mysterious disappearance without even trying, and that could be the end or the beginning of something crazy.
Where have the others gone, anyway?
Wait a second. I have an idea.
Idea? I wondered. What idea? Intrigued, I perused on.
Okay, it’s five minutes later, and I’m back with a new objective. I’m going to find out where the others have gone. How stupid this idea is, I don’t know. But if it’s the last thing I do on this island, I’m going to find where the others have gone.
That is, after it’s finished raining. I’m headed back to the lean-to shelter; the clouds are getting darker, blocking out the sun.
Bye for now.
I grinned. That was typical of Eddie. He had always dreamt of adventure; now was his chance to find one. I turned to the next page, hoping he had found the adventure he sought before he died.
Okay. It’s finished raining, and I’m soaked through even under all these trees. I’m ready to head deeper into this island and find the others.
I’ve found a small waterfall. It’s absolutely beautiful. Buried in the mud next to the bank of the small pond it splashed into were Mrs. Palacio’s glasses, which I am now holding in my hand. I’m so excited to have found a clue, but I’m not sure where to go from here.
Okay, that’s it. I’m going around the pond and up the steep hill the waterfall flowed down. I’m going to follow the river and see where that takes me.
I’ve found this meadow area. There are a bunch of wildflowers, which are odd for an island, but I’ve found these banana-looking things. I’m pretty sure they’re plantains. They taste good when you’re hungry. But guess what else I’ve found?
I flipped the page, very interested.
It’s a button. I’m pretty sure it’s the button from Gary’s shirt he was wearing. Even if it isn’t, I’ve found a necklace of Cora’s. It’s silver with an amethyst pendant on it. I wonder why she lost it if it was fastened around her neck. Maybe she knew I would come searching for them and she dropped it for me to find…
I kind of feel like I should head left. So I’m going to go that way, the clues stuffed in my pants pocket.
Ugh. So much has happened. I don’t know where to begin. But I’m going to try my hardest to explain it the best I can.
I’ve traveled through the dense forest of trees. This island is massive. I was tired and my feet were sore, but I kept traveling. I’m tired now, too, but I want to write this before Willis starts shooting people.
What on earth? Alarmed, I devoured Eddie’s next paragraphs.
I found Cora. Her mouth was stuffed with cloth, and she was sitting on the ground tied to a tree. The others were tied to surrounded trees as well. When Cora saw me, she tried in vain to talk. It just sounded like muffled screams.
So I crouched down to her and pulled the cloth out of her mouth.
“What happened?” I asked. “Where are the others?”
“Go now!” Cora hissed, her blue eyes desperate. “Go, hurry!”
“Why? Who took you?”
Cora clamped her mouth shut, looking right past me. I had the uneasy feeling we weren’t alone. I saw a shadow of a tall man loom over me, and I slowly stood up.
When I turned around, a tan man with his arms crossed was standing there, glaring at me with dark eyes. He held in one hand a pistol, and the other rope and cloth.
At first, I was startled. But then I decided
Decided what? I had to know what happened next, so I eagerly turned over to the next page.
to not let his looks daunt me.
“Who are you?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.
“Just somebody like you, trying to get off this island,” was his answer. “And you’re going to cooperate.”
I had to ask. “According to whose rules?”
The man didn’t even bother pulling out the gun. “Whose does it look like? Mine, kid. I’m holding you all hostage until somebody comes and rescues us. See this bird?”
With wide eyes I saw him whistle, and then I gawked at what looked like a tropical parrot fluttered to his shoulder.
“I’ve trained this little guy to deliver air mail.”
“Air mail?” I sputtered. That sounded ridiculous. And kind of cool. “How’d you train him to do that?”
The man rolled his eyes. “You don’t get to ask questions. I-”
“Why?” I interrupted, getting annoyed.
The man furrowed his eyebrows. “That’s a question.”
“Yeah. Why can’t I ask them?”
“You just asked one.”
“I know. Why can’t I ask anymore?”
The man shook his head, and I thought I saw him smile a little. “Kid, I’m Willis.”
“I’m not Kid, I’m Eddie.”
Willis dropped the rope and cloth stroked his bird with the hand that didn’t hold the pistol. “Listen, Eddie. Do what I say and add a few extra days to your life.”
“What do you mean?” I questioned. This man didn’t seem like a bad kind of guy. He was just desperate to get off this island too.
But his eyes grew colder as he took his attention off the bird and stared at me. “If nobody comes to get you in three more days…” he trailed off, then shrugged. “You’re of no use to me, so why keep you around?”
I looked up, unable to turn to the next page and read any further. The rescue team hadn’t received that ransom note from the bird until a least a month after they had calculated he had sent it. Along with the other survivors, Willis had killed Eddie.
I slammed the journal shut in anger, but I heard something crumble inside. Curiously I opened the journal to the next page of where I last left off.
I saw an old, wrinkled photograph of a road with “Dreams” painted on it. There were white arrows leading to as misty distance; my guess was some sort of land of dreams.
My fingertips touched the edge of the picture and picked it up. The words on the page were blurred through my coming tears, but I read on.
I’ve always dreamt that one day our family would be like it used to be again – when mom and dad weren’t on the edge of divorcing. I always told myself that good things come to those who dream. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this journal, but I really didn’t think much of writing in it.
But here I am, probably about to die in just one day. I wonder why God would let all of this happen to me, my family, and all these other people. But I know He didn’t give me dreams for no reason. Good things come to those who dream; to those who keep on dreaming. So until the day I die, that’s exactly what I’ll do.
No more was written in Eddie’s journal.
Try as I did to stop the tears, I cried.
I was a terrible father. Christina and I hadn’t divorced after all, but Eddie didn’t know that. He kept on dreaming that one day we’d all be together; the happy family we used to be. How could God have given such a young child dreams that were never meant to be fulfilled?
I looked down at the journal again, and only five words stuck out to me.
Those who keep on dreaming.
I squinted at the words, a new feeling of hope warming me inside.
Eddie was never declared dead; only presumed dead.
Maybe I can keep dreaming that Eddie is still alive, I began to ponder. If good things come to those who dream; to those who keep on dreaming; then I’ll keeping dreaming until the day I die, just like my son did.
Voicing my faith, I whispered, “I know you’re out there somewhere, Eddie.”
After two days of dreaming, good things came.
“Jeff! Phone call for you!” I heard a voice call me from the kitchen. I looked up from my book I was reading on the balcony deck. The summer cabin seemed so empty with Eddie gone, I realized, even if it had been two years.
Thumping down the stairs, I hurried to take the phone from Christina. This old summer cottage-cabin still had telephones; imagine that.
“Hello?” I answered the phone.
The voice on the other end was excited and ecstatic. “Mr. Halton, we’ve found the survivors!”
“Who’s this? Wait, all of them?”
“Well, including the man who held them hostage, of course.”
“And? Was my son there?” I demanded.
“We’ve found out the most amazing thing that your son did while on the island!”
My heart sank with sorrow. So he never got off. He died after all. “Yeah?”
“Your son told the man holding them hostage about some sort of religion,” she was explaining. “’Christianity’ or something. Well the man at once devoted himself to it!”
Eddie got Willis saved? How’d he do all that before he died? I wondered.
“In fact, all the survivors eventually got saved. Eddie was such a witness to all of them because he never gave up on the dreams that ‘God had placed in his heart’. ‘God’ provided for them supernaturally and miraculously time and time again with food and water and saving them from animals and-“
“Ma’am, please slow down.” I couldn’t keep up.
“Mr. Halton,” the lady on the other end gasped, breathless. “I’ve never heard anything like it.”
“Heard?” I questioned. “What do you mean heard? Who’d you hear it from?”
The lady paused awkwardly. “Why, from your son, of course.”
THE END! ?
Good things come to those who dream. -Madison Lorfing
I hope nobody else made that same quote and I’m just completely oblivious to it. :P Anyway, I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out. I got more excited making the outline than I did actually writing the story, though. :P Maybe it was because I wanted to hurry and get it done.
I read it to my little brother though, and he loved it. He just died when I stopped reading it aloud to fix typos. “AHHH! CONTINUE!” He would beg. He’s usually not too terribly interested in all of my writings, but this one he loved (probably because a boy was the main character. ;) ). So I hope y’all like it, too!
It’s not quite fantasy, like I had originally planned… but I think it’s interesting. Good, in fact. Good enough to help Team Quill win? I hope so! Go Team Quill! ?
Grace, I used all three prompts and included my team’s writing utensil – a quill. ;P
Hope y’all enjoyed! Team Quill, for the win! ?