((Alicia White continued from Lucidity))
Alicia knew from unhappy recent experience how difficult running over sand was, so instead of trudging up the sandy beach, she stuck to the grassier inland areas a couple of dozen yards from the shore. The footing was much easier there, and she felt that she could run if she had to. Luckily, no one interrupted her during her northward trek.
She could tell that her shadow was growing longer on the ground beside her. Similarly, she could feel the day's heat getting hotter, and sweat began to bother her, causing itching beneath her colorful clothing. At last, she spotted the trees which apparently marked the northern edge of the 'Resort Beach' and the beginning of what the map called the 'Rain Forest'. They were a type of tree which Ali had only seen before in Survival of the Fittest shows. I wonder if this island has been used in SotF before. Are there corpses of other kids lying undiscovered in out of the way places?
As she entered the rain forest, she could smell the difference. The air was more humid and fragrant than it was on the beach, and the colors - especially the greens - were much more vibrant. She could hear the humming of unseen insects and the occasional chirping of birds in the canopy above. This is almost a fairyland, she thought.
After a few more minutes wandering through the underbrush, she found a suitably dry area nestled among tall, thick trees. She set her backpack down with a sigh of relief, and sat down beside it. She leaned her shotgun against a nearby tree and opened her pack to retrieve some more food and water.
She noted the several different options, deciding on a Clif bar and the rest of the first bottle of water. In her search, she also found the other clothes which the producers had provided: a gold baby-doll t-shirt, a silver-and-green t-shirt with a Sprite can printed on the back, the gold lamé bellbottoms, and a tie-dye tube-top.
I'm not putting on the all-gold shiny outfit. That'd just make me stick out like a sore thumb lighthouse in the wilderness! I really don't want to be shot again. But it really is quite hot here. Ali shrugged off her jacket and stuffed it into the pack. Gah! My blouse is clinging to me in a really unbecoming way.
She looked around to see if any other people were watching, her eyes passing over two different cameras without registering them. She held her breath to listen for movement nearby. Then, satisfied that she was alone, she started unbuttoning her blouse. "It would be more gentlemanly of you to turn your back, Sluagh," she said just before undoing the last of the buttons. She removed the blouse and unhooked and took off her bra, then quickly pulled on the tube-top. It left a lot more of her skin showing, but in the heat of the rain forest, it felt a lot more comfortable.
"That's better." She sat back down, resting against the bark of a tree. She looked at her recently examined backpack, and then over at her shotgun resting just within arm's reach. She pulled her knees up to her chest, leaned her head down to rest on them, and wept.
Alicia's back itched in that hard-to-reach spot just between her wings. She looked around her in hopes of finding a twig or stick to use as a back scratcher, but she didn't see any. She heard the gentle buzzing of insect wings, and was briefly startled until she saw that it was a pixie boy whom she recognized.
"Prithee wilt thou assist me to dispose
of this foul itch which is tormenting me?"
"Tempt not too much the hatred of my spirit;
for I am sick when I do look on thee."
Alicia's answer died stillborn in her mouth, and though she knew the words, could not give voice to them: And I am sick when I look not on you.
The pixie boy flitted away, leaving Alicia slumped uncomfortably against the tree, sobbing from heartache.
Alicia woke up with fresh tears tracking down her cheeks. She wiped them away, barely remembering her dream. She reached behind her and scratched between her shoulderblades, feeling her lack of wings once again. She tried not to think about that harsh, physical reality because it clashed too sharply with her own mental image of herself.
How long have I been asleep? She tried to see how long the shadows were now compared with when she dozed off. The sun was only a few hours short of sunset; maybe it was around four o'clock or so. Why am I so tired? And why is my left pinky finger throbbing so much? She looked down at her left hand and saw the crude gauze bandages she'd wrapped around her missing digit. Oh, how could I forget that? She shuddered. Man, that really is hurting, too.
She stood up and began to heft her backpack, but remembered how heavy it was. I can't be continuously active and still carry this thing. I have to leave it behind, hidden, somewhere. She gathered a few loose branches and tried to disguise it in the underbrush. It's dry here, so unless it rains it'll be safe... I hope. I just need to.... Oh, great! Thanks, tiny bladder.
Alicia wandered a few yards away to a suitably dark copse of trees. There she pulled down her jeans and knickers. Damn I miss real bathrooms! And toilet paper! When she returned to her stash, she checked the contents of her pack once more to make sure she hadn't missed anything the first time. She didn't find any toilet paper, but inside the first aid kit, she found a bottle of aspirin and some antiseptic wipes. I'm going to run out of those real fast if I use one every time I pee.
She wiped her hands, swallowed an aspirin, and grabbed the can of Coke. Then she zipped the pack closed and tried to re-camouflage it's resting place. She picked up the shotgun and headed out hoping to find someone with a better knowledge of medicine than she had.
((Alicia White continued in King of the Jungle))