Authors: William Scanlan
Tags: #Dystopian, #Children's eBooks, #Action & Adventure, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Children's Books, #Science Fiction, #post-apocalyptic, #Fantasy & Scary Stories, #Literature & Fiction
WILL OF MAN - PART FIVE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED FOR WILLIAM SCANLAN
This publication is property of William Scanlan. All rights reserved for William Scanlan. Copyright 2013.
No part of this book shall be copied, reproduced, distributed, or transmitted without permission.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Tyler's Journal Entry: 426
Date: September 21
Weather: Cool and cloudy
Miles to go: 581
So the last couple days have been quite eventful; I escaped a prison ran by a crazy priest, lost a good friend, found my other friend, said goodbye to the other friend, was chased by wolves, escaped a nest of poisonous rattlesnakes, and now I'm stuck here on top of this wrecked military plane surrounded by wolves and rattlesnakes. I miss going to school.
I lay here, fifteen feet in the air, on top of this plane and I can't believe the things I've seen and done. I think about what my parents and Tanner are doing. Are they alright? I hope they made it to Grandpa's, or at the very least, are safe. I wonder if Mom or Dad have been PULLED. I'm terrified at the thought of Tanner being PULLED. He's just an innocent kid. The PULLED can't be escorted or even followed. Tanner can't survive on his own yet. Let alone fight for his life. However, he had a lot of practice during all our pirate/Jedi sword fights. I had a light saber, and Tanner had his pirate sword. We'd run all over the house, jumping over furniture, throwing pillows at each other, but then our epic sword battles usually ended with one of us getting hit too hard and Mom or Dad would take our swords away. One can't be an effective pirate or Jedi without their sword.
Anyways, I would kill for a real light saber right now. These wolves would see the dark side of Tyler and face my wrath. But for now, I am stuck here on top of this plane with no food or shelter. The clouds are darkening in the distance and that could mean a storm. It gets cold at night, and I need to find shelter.
After surveying the area, I noticed a tall pine growing next to the remaining wing of the plane. The wing is huge, and could fit my neighbor’s entire house on it. The jet engines (two of them on the single wing) are huge also, about the size of a small bus.
I decided to walk the long wing to the tall pine tree. The tree was snug against the wing and was easy to climb onto. I looked around for the wolves and noticed two of them patrolling under me near the base of the pine. I was careful when climbing onto to the pine. It was sticky from sap, and smelled like Christmas. The pine smell reminded me of my Grandpa's Christmas tree. He was traditional, and preferred a real tree. My parent's preferred a fake one. I don't think Dad wanted the hassle of the pine needles and the daily watering of the tree.
Anyways, I climbed as high as I could - nearly to the top of the tree. It was very tall and I could span the horizon easily. I can see a cut in the trees which is the river way off in the distance. Other than that, it was mostly pine trees and hills. However to the northwest, I spotted a tall fence and beyond that was an airport surrounded by the tall fence.
The plane made sense now; it must have been coming in for a landing when it lost power about a quarter mile from the landing strip. If the plane would have had just a few more seconds, it may have landed and those soldiers may have survived. But they didn't make it, and as a result, their crashed plane is now helping me survive.
I studied the airport for a long time and looked for any activity. I saw none and came to the conclusion the airport was empty. I imagine it has been ransacked of any food. The pirates aren't too far away and I imagine they found it a long time ago.
But if I can get to it, maybe I can find something of use. I also notice the airport is completely surrounded by the fence I mentioned. If that fence has no tears or openings, it will keep the wolves away from me and I can roam freely. However, the fence is about a quarter mile away and that is plenty of distance for the wolves to catch me.
On a flat track, I can run the four-hundred meters in under a minute. However, the path is covered by dipping hills, thick vegetation, fallen trees, and anything else you'd expect to find in a forest.
I will have to buy my time until the wolves give up and leave. I remember my science lesson on the four basic needs of living things. All living things need food, water, shelter, and air. I have one of the four. I know if I am to stay here, I will have to evict those rattlesnakes, and move into the cockpit. Then I will have to find food. Water will come soon with the incoming storm, and I will use the cockpit for shelter. If I can accomplish all that, then I will have my four basic needs to survive.
I scavenged through my backpack and laid everything out so I could survey my supplies. I had my atlas, a knife, a roll of duct tape, a bag of zip ties, a machete, a compass, a zip lock with five lighters in it, a bottle of pain/fever reducers, a bottle of water purifier, a book on survival skills, a thermo-blanket, a box cutter with extra blades, my wetsuit, thermo gloves, water proof seal-skin socks, a hundred feet of climbing rope, one small cooking pot, a small thermos, some other miscellaneous things, and the pistol Dad gave me.
I picked up the pistol and realized how heavy it was. I smirked when I realized I carried that useless thing this whole time. I never did fire it. Part of me is glad I never had to use it. Another part of me wanted to shoot it just to shoot it. I didn't see any future use for it, so I threw it at one of the wolves - I missed.
I looked at the sky and saw the sun was directly overhead. I figured I had about four to six hours to rid the cockpit of those rattlesnakes. This was not a task I wanted to rush. I remembered studying reptiles and remembered they are most active during the sunny part of the day and like to venture out just as the sun is going down.
Today was particularly cool and cloudy. This hopefully meant the snakes were snuggled in their warm nest within the flight suit I found them. I slowly peeked into the broken windshield of the cockpit. I scanned for any movement and saw none other than a slow moving bulge within the belly of the dead pilot. It still creeped me out.
I left my backpack on the wing and stuck five zip-ties in my mouth. One for each sleeve, each ankle sleeve, and one for the collar. My plan was to zip-tie shut any openings the snakes might try to exit from, then pull the flight suit (with snakes inside) out of the crushed window and down onto the ground beneath.
I brought my rope with me to pull the flight suit out of the cockpit. After taking a deep breath, I slowly lowered myself into the cockpit. The cockpit was silent and I listened for any rattling. There was no sound, but there was a little movement in the snakes nest.
The ankle sleeves would be my first task. If the snakes were to crawl out from there, I may not see them while I was securing the other exits. I slowly wrapped the first zip-tie around the skeletons left ankle and then slowly pulled the zip-tie. I know snakes are sensitive to vibration and I could feel every click the zip-tie made as it zipped shut. The ankle sleeve slowly closed and I gave it an extra firm, but gentle tug to secure it.
The other ankle sleeve was a little harder to reach since it was positioned under the control panel. It was a dark spot, and a perfect location for a snake to be hiding, but it had to be done. I peered into the darkness of the dark spot under the control panel and slowly crouched down beneath it. I was relieved to find no snakes, but now I was in a position that left me vulnerable if any snakes crawled out of the suit from above.
My lungs began to burn since I forgot to breath. I slowly took little breaths and kept one eye on the pulsating belly of the skeleton. The left ankle sleeve was complete and I moved to the right arm sleeve. As I went to wrap the zip-tie around the arm sleeve, I noticed a rattle hanging slightly out of it. I didn't want to zip-tie the snakes tale and tick it off, so I decided to gently push it up into the sleeve. As I did, it began to rattle slightly. I stopped and waited a minute, then tried again. It rattled again, but moved its way up the sleeve slowly. Realizing my luck was running out, I quickly (but gently), closed up the right arm sleeve.
That left the left arm sleeve and collar. All was going well, when all of a sudden a loose pine cone fell into the cockpit. It bounced on top of the cockpit, in through the crushed windshield, onto the control panel, and then finally onto the nest of resting rattlesnakes. Instantly, they began to rattle and squirm violently. Having the zip-tie already half way around the arm sleeve, I quickly zipped it tight and moved to the collar. It was do or die now.
As I panicked to grab the next zip-tie out of my mouth I noticed a snake head exit the collar. I unknowingly spit the zip-ties to the ground as I grabbed the snake by its head.
With my hand around its thick neck, the poisonous snake opened its mouth and let out a nasty hiss. I noticed another snake trying to escape the collar so I grabbed the collar with my other hand and squeezed it shut.
Not being able to let go, I hastily decided to abort the final zip-tie and drag the flight suit with its dangerous cargo up and out the window.
Never letting go of the snake or collar, I stumbled my way to the top of the control panel. As I took my final step to exit, I stumbled and fell. As I fell, I ignored the oncoming impact of the ground and fully focused on keeping the snakes bagged up in the flight suit.
I hit the floor of the cockpit with a big thud. My head hit hard and I could feel the instant burn from the impact. For a moment I went numb, but never let go of the flight suit.
After shaking off the hurt, I dragged the squirming, rattling, furious snakes to the outside of the plane. I nearly fell off the front of the plane, but managed to toss my furious friends to the ground beneath. The wolves trampled the skeleton, but quickly jumped back when they realized its cargo. I watched the snakes crawl out of the flight suit and scurry for cover.
I wondered if they knew of a way back inside the cockpit. I went back to the cockpit and looked for any opening the snakes could find their way through.
I lit a torch I made before hand and carefully crawled into the cockpit. I looked around for any cracks or openings in and under the control panel. Keeping an eye out for any rouge snakes, I read a label describing how the cockpit is basically airtight when the door is shut.
After double checking for any openings, I came to the conclusion that the only entrance to the cockpit was through the door. I made sure it was closed tight, and then left for a while. I still didn't trust the confinement of the cockpit and wanted to see if any snakes returned.
I passed my time making a spear out of a long and sturdy branch and the knife my Dad put in my backpack. I cut a length of rope and duct taped it to the end of my spear. I figured I could throw it at the wolves anytime they neared the plane. My hopes are that the wolves will decide I am more trouble than tasty and will leave for other prey. We'll see.
The clouds were getting darker and I knew a storm was unavoidable. I needed to decide whether or not to venture in the cockpit and stay the night. If I stay inside, I run the risk of encountering any returning snakes. If I stay outside, I will certainly get soaked by the incoming storm. The temps have dropped significantly at night and I don't think I will be able to tolerate the cold. I will have to take my chances inside the cockpit.
I wanted to make a couple torches that are ready to be lit immediately when needed. I knew that a plane’s fuel is mostly kept in its wings. I looked around the intact wing for any way of accessing the fuel within. The plane was too well built for a kid with a machete to crack it open.