James: Just a Few Bruises

I watched as everyone gathered the wood for a fire, and I saw Aporale and Nessie diving into the water for seaweed.

Well, everyone except me.

Nessie gave a nice scowl when Kevin told Nessie to go help Aporale. I hadn't talked to Nessie much, but she seemed not much different from myself.

I was planning what I could do to slip away without anyone seeing me when Karissa spotted me and gave me a Don't-even-think-about-it look. I scowled. She shook her head and turned her attention back to the others.

Everyone, and I mean everyone was helping except for me. Sarah was limping around, somehow managing to carry a few pieces of wood while still wearing her crutches. Bree was carrying wood with her good arm.

As I sulked by my hut, Kevin came over and sat next to me, wiping off his hands on his bright orange councelor's shirt.

"How ya doing, James?" he asked casually.

"Badly." I answered. What? Why should I lie for someone else's benefit?

He nodded in understanding.

"Why can't I help?" I asked him.

"You're arm is broken."

"Bree is helping."

"Her ankle isn't sprained."

"Sarah is helping."

"Her arm isn't broken."

I scowled deeper. "It's just a few... bruises."

"Very funny, James," Kevin said. He smiled and told me that he had to keep helping. "And don't go disappearing again," he added.

As sat there, I couldn't help thinking about home. I couldn't help thinking about how I used to walk on the beach every weekend as a kid. Or how I used to go to Jamba Juice every Friday when I was a freshman. Small things like these just seemed to really stick out, and I didn't know why.

Such a harmless thing had turned into such a disaster. But that's life for you. Like when I was in seventh grade and we had heard the Grimm Brother's version of Cinderella. There's a big difference there from the Disney fluffy mushy love story version and the darker and more realistic Grimm version.

I sighed and looked toward sthe setting sun. The sky was alive with color. The sky was so clean and pure. I looked at myself. Dirty from the sand and skin darker from the constant sunlight. I again wondered where my shoes had gone. I had tried looking for them. Trust me, when you have a broken arm, cut up back and sprained ankle, you'll give anything for something to do.

"Okay, everyone, gather 'round," Kevin called out in a loud voice.

I looked up from my pondering. I hadn't noticed how big the pile of wood had gotten. It was very big and tall, and it looked more like a pile of wood for a Mayan sacrafice than just for a signal fire.

Karissa sprayed some flammable bug spray on the wood pile. Kevin took a box of matches and lit one, and threw the match into the wood. They wood immediatly caught and we all cheered.

Our first step towards home.

The End

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