Chapter 1 B

Jenny crept up silently behind Eric, lunged forwards and placed her hands over his eyes.

"Guess who?" she laughed.

"Hey, will you cut that out? I'm cutting logs here. That's kinda dangerous."

She knew he wasn't really mad at him. He'd probably known she was there anyhow. Over the last year people had become pretty good at recognizing each other by smell. It was a strange thought: one year ago they'd have been horrified at the idea of telling another human being by their smell but then one year ago they'd been a bunch of rich folk on a cruise liner not knowing the horrors - or the excitement! - in front of them.

She'd hardly known Eric on the ship. He'd smiled at her once or twice but that was about it. They'd probably never have gotten as intimate as they had now if the ship had just cruised on and they'd then gone back o their lives. After all he'd lived 2,000 miles away from her. They'd probably never have met again.

She watched her man cut his logs and stroked her belly.

"Hungry?" he asked her.

"No," she replied.

"It's just you been rubbing your stomach a lot recently. I suppose things have been kinda hard since we ate the last of the salmon."

"Since YOU ate the last of the salmon!" she laughed.

"Why don't you do something useful?" he asked, changing the subject. "Go find some berries or something. I reckon there's a whole heap of stuff up North but no-one ever goes there for some reason."

Jenny kissed him really hard on the top of his head and gripped the side of his head while she did it so he was in a kind of headlock.

"All right, all right," he said, although she knew he was enjoying it really. She set off for the North. Maybe he was right: there might be some berries there. She picked up Samantha on the way. They talked their whole way up the mountain and then rested there looking South. It was a magnificent view. You could see the settlement, the gorgeous beach, the sea... the men. Always great watching them.

As ever they also looked out to sea and up in the sky. No, nothing. No, nobody.

They sighed and realised they had to turn and go through that horrible forest. It'd be dark; they'd get bitten by insects; there were snakes here... and Eric had said he couldn't imagine why no-one ever went North! But she and Samantha had said they would, so they would.

It took over an hour to get through that forest and they got out the other side to find it was just how Mr. Steadman had said it was on his one and only visit half a year ago: there was the waterfall he'd told them about; there was the tallest mountain on the island; there were the caves, the cliffs, the rocks... and more beaches. Not really worth looking like a pimply teenager for with all those bites all over them. Samantha said now they were there they should run down to the nearest beach just to see what there was. To their delight they found more flint. That would help them light their fires. They also found lime, gravel and clay just lying bizarrely on the sand. It was almost like a concrete factory in the making! No berries, though, but what the heck: they'd found the building blocks for a town that would keep them dry next Rainy Season.

As they staggered back up to the dreadful forest with as much building material as they could manage, Jenny paused and rubbed her belly.

"Can we stop a while? It kinda hurts."

"Are you OK?"

"Oh, I'm fine," lied Jenny.

They moved forwards again but had to stop again. Samantha was annoyed. She hated this darned forest and didn't like to stay longer than she had to.

After another stop she turned to her friend. "That time of the month, huh?" she asked, trying to sound sympathetic.

"No, actually, I'm late," said Jenny.

Samantha wasn't really interested and encouraged her friend, as nicely as possible, to get up and keep going.

They were both relieved to get out of the forest and back down to the settlement which, thanks to them, would shortly be wood no more.

The End

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