Rain Island

Danni is the fourth child in a family of five. Being the most adventurous in her family, she always wants to go to Rain Island, a mysterious island that she and her family often visit just off the coast near her home. During a terrible accident she finds herself on the island alone, with no one knowing where she is. As she explores the island at night alone her family go searching for her in the dark, which lead to mysterious consequences...

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1. The Wreck

I sat, chewing slowly on my stale bread and stared out the window towards Rain Island. The sea was rough today and was furiously carving away at the rough paint splat sort of shape of the island, the trees bending backwards and forwards so far they looked as though they were going to snap in two. I could see the Cew-Cew birds struggling to fly towards their small houses, which were nestled amongst the undergrowth of the rainforest sort of floor. People often wonder why the birds and eggs aren't eaten by the predators of the island, the giant pumas that are supposed to live there and so on. That's why people don't generally live on Rain Island; people have gone over and there and never come back.

To be honest I have never believed the rumours of Rain Island, my family and I have been over there so many times that we couldn't count it on all of our fingers put together. We normally sit on the magical beach listening to the gentle waves (as we only go over there when the sea is calm) and eat the Yom fruit that grow on the huge trees. Yom fruit are huge hard fruits that are almost impossible to reach unless you know how.

My family know how. You have to wrap your legs around the tree, spit on your bare hands to make them sticky enough to stick to the tree and use your sticky hands and bare feet to clamber up it. It's much harder than it sounds especially when you eventually get to the fruit. The Yom's are stuck to the tree not on the branches but glued to the tree by the Yom sap which is almost impossible to break. But it is much easier if you know how. When climbing the tree you need to take with you a small jar of which the mixture inside you have already prepared on the beach.

To make the mixture you need to come to Rain Island at midnight when the tree is producing its sap which runs the whole way down to the ground. You have to collect the sap, as much as you can and get it home so you can boil it and freeze it. Once it has been frozen you bring it back to the beach when you are going to collect your Yom fruit and you start a fire and boil it with some sea water and some Yom fruit juice. Then when you scale the tree you take a small jar of the hot liquid with you and pour it on the hard tree sap. It then melts the tree sap to strong glue which could stretch for miles so you cut the jelly like sap and throw the fruit down to people who are ready to catch it. You can't let the fruit hit the hard rocky floor or it will explode like a bomb and coat everyone with in a 20 metre radius in boiling hot sticky juice which can burn, scar and blind people in seconds.

People who know the secret of the Yom fruit have attempted to plant the fruit on the mainland but they have never grown. And that is another mystery of Rain Island.

"Danni?"

I turned around, my oldest sister, Joan, had come in to our kitchen, dressed up in a fur scarf, pale blue top and brown wrap around skirt. Her normally messy brown hair was done up in a complicated array of random flowers and plaits pinned to her head with blond hair extensions falling gracefully past her shoulders. Her dark green eyes were out-lined with red and black and her feet, usually crammed into Converse style trainers were daintily slid into pointed toe beige heels.

"Where are you going?" I asked, demandingly.

"Work interview, I'm applying for the job downtown, the one for the waitress? You know Luigi's place. Always a Meal, Always Luigi’s" she smiled as she said Luigi's stupid catchphrase.

"What time's the interview?"

Joan ignored my question, glancing at herself in the mirror and correcting a fallen wisp of hair.

"Do you think I look ok?" she murmured, not really expecting an answer.

"No, when's the interview, we're going to Rain Island today, you'll have to cancel" I demanded, glancing apprehensively at the wild weather.

"Did you say no?" asked Joan, "Is it the shoes? I quite like them really but I suppose they're a bit...."

Here she goes, I thought, flapping again.

"Your shoes are fine, but you can't go to the interview" I told her again.

"Why? You're being silly, I look fine. Oh god, Luigi's is open isn't it?" Joan rushed to the other side of the kitchen and began typing Luigi's number into the phone.

"Yes, yes, it's open, it's a Saturday", I reassured her, "but you still can't go".

"Why not?” demanded Joan, powdering her nose and reapplying dark red lipstick, "Is this lipstick ok?"

"Yes, yes, it's fine"

"Then why can't I go?" Joan dabbed at her mouth until all the lipstick was practically rubbed off.

"We're going to Rain Island" I replied, matter-of-factly.

"No we're not silly, have you seen the weather? You lot would be mad to go today. That's why I'm having my interview this Saturday because I checked the forecast, you really are ridiculous, if you went to Rain Island today you would drown" Joan gave me a powdery kiss on the cheek, stinking of Mum's best perfume which made me wrinkle my nose. "Our secret, ok?" she managed before fixing a head scarf to protect her precious hair, slipping on Mum's best wax jacket.

"I'll re-lock it" she called through as she whipped through the door, bravely re-locking it (she was in serious danger of losing her head scarf and her hair extensions) and running to her red soft top sports car, which thankfully had the roof on.

I was vaguely annoyed with her. I wanted her to miss her interview and say let’s go to Rain Island, which I know wouldn't happen but I would like it to all the same.

She looked too grown up (although she is nineteen) to possibly be Joan, the normally lazy sister that never pops out for interviews at 7.00am. I am always the early one, only on Saturdays though because of Rain Island, which, according to Joan, is not happening today.

I have three other older sisters and one snotty-nosed younger brother. Joan is the oldest, being nineteen and she has a twin (non-identical) who is five minutes younger called Cherub. They are completely different and if you look at them standing together you might not even think they were sisters. Cherub has long angel like hair, thick golden curls falling to her waist, big blue eyes that are the size of tennis balls and small rosebud lips. Cherub is the perfect name for Cherub. Joan on the other hand is named after Great Aunt Joan, who was a fat cigarette smoking slob, who sat watching you licking her greasy lips. According to Mum she was the best Aunt Mum ever had. She was apparently very kind and generous. Maybe she was to Mum but to us she wasn't.

She hated the fact Joan was named after her. We would sit down in her reeking living room and she would sit there staring.

"Pass us another cigarette, love" was basically the end of her vocab.

I don't have anything against smokers, there are plenty of nice people who smoke but unfortunately Aunt Joan wasn't one of them.

And, at the end of our awfully long visits, she would press a 1p in our palms and say "Buy yourself a penny chew, love". She obviously hadn't been out in a long time, because you can't get penny chews any more.

It was even worse when she was chatty. She would sit there and stare at Joan before grumpily growling: "You’re not much of a looker". Then she would go off on her 'well when I was a girl' telling us how beautiful she was and how everyone wanted to marry her but then she met Cedric (who was also apparently a fat ugly man), and she had five children and how beautiful they all were and then when her niece gave birth how disappointed she was when she saw a picture. Apparently Joan was such an ugly baby that Aunt Joan could barely stand the sight of her and was appalled when she found out she was named after her and wouldn't speak to Mum for three weeks until Mum said she had named her after Aunt Joan because of her kindness and that Aunt Joan would be an inspiration for her baby.

And, unfortunately Aunt Joan softened. Another dig that Aunt Joan always made was how pretty and lovely Cherub was and how much Cherub was like her as a girl and how she wishes Cherub was named after her.

Mum vaguely mentioned how she had named Joan, Joan because she had seen a drawing of Aunt Joan as a child and had seen how Aunt Joan’s hair used to be brown not blond. Aunt Joan grumpily replied that the artist had not had any blond paint left.

Aunt Joan was so ugly that there are no mirrors in her house. When Cherub went to the bathroom and came back down asking where there was a mirror, Aunt Joan grumpily replied 'you mean a looking glass' and Cherub said 'yes' and Aunt Joan replied 'I smashed them all'.

I asked Aunt Joan why she had smashed them all and she said that when Cedric died the mirrors reminded her of him because he used to look in them so longingly (me and Joan had a joke about how vain he was) and so she smashed them all.

Our Christmas presents were the worst. Joan used to get a book that Aunt Joan had written herself about how to look pretty. Cherub got a poem, also written by Aunt Joan, on how she wished Cherub was called Joan, my other older sister Margery, got some home-knitted socks that were different sizes and I got a notebook which was basically three pieces of paper stapled together and on the first one was scribbled: YOURE NOTBOOK, which wasn't even spelt right. My younger brother King wasn't alive so he didn't get anything.

Fortunately for us and unfortunately for Aunt Joan, she died two years ago when Mum was six months pregnant. Mum then decided that King's second name was to be Jonah after Aunt Joan so his name is King Jonah, which me and Joan think is hilarious.

King is sweet, he is now two and sometimes is a nightmare running about stealing mine and my sister’s make-up.

Margery, my other sister, who is sixteen, is definitely the dressiest of the whole family. She has straight blond hair with a block fringe and she wears prom dresses and tunic dresses everywhere, even to college. She has a long-term boyfriend called Evan, who is a complete idiot and my whole family hates him but he is very very very rich so when he comes round my whole family run around tidying everything, even King helps.

“Hey Hunni” I heard Mum’s voice calling down the stairs.

“Hey Mum!” I shouted back up, turning my back to the window.

Mum came down the stairs, dressed in a pale pink, rather battered dressing gown, bright pink slip-on slippers and a long pale grey nighty. Her hair was done up in curlers, pulled off her face and her lips were smothered in a sort of dark red colour.

“Just came to get a cuppa” she murmured, glancing out the window towards the raging sea.

“Mmmmm, I don’t think we’ll be popping over to Rain Island today, but maybe it’ll clear up?” she carried on, filling up the kettle and popping it on the stand.

“Couldn’t we try to go to Rain Island?” I asked, although I knew the answer.

“Hunni, you know what it’s like” she cupped my face and forced me to look at her, “We’ll drown” she said very seriously, “And to be honest, you would miss quite a lot of school if that happened”, she playfully slapped my cheek and gave me a wink before running over to the steadily over-filling kettle. 

“We wouldn’t drown, it’s just a bit blustery” I bumbled on, “It’s quite mild I would imagine, just a little bit rough and I mean there’s a couple of drops of rain….”

“Sweetie, and my names Sheila” Mum said sarcastically, “It’s the back end of a hurricane, we would be pushed onto those rocks as soon as you can say Bob’s your uncle”

“What if you says it suuuuuupppppppppppeeeeerrrr sllllllllllllllllllooooooooooowwwwwww” I tried

“No” said Mum, “Just no”

“Please” I begged

“Do you want to die?” asked Mum, before climbing back up the stairs.

“No” I said, but she had already climbed up the stairs.

I grabbed my coat in rebellion, unlocked the door, crept out and re-locked it. The wind whipped my hair sharply against my face and my coat hood swinging backwards and forwards. I zipped my coat up, pulled the hood tightly over my face; I wasn’t going to go anywhere, just for a little walk.

I ran down our garden path towards the boat. The path was littered with fallen leaves being bustled about even though the thick hedge sheltered the path from the wind.

The wind whistled through the hedge, shaking it.

I ran past the shaking hedge out down towards the port which looked like a tornado had hit it. Our little boat was getting bashed against the wall and there were huge chunks pulled off the harbour.

I couldn’t watch ‘The Piano’ getting murdered like this. Without thinking I stripped off completely apart from my knickers and a vest, ran up the jetty and threw myself off the edge.

My head and arms were numb, I couldn’t move, the water swirled about above my head and I felt dizzy like I had just been on a huge spinning rollercoaster.

My eyes rolled back towards my brain and I felt myself breathing in water. Then something hit me, something sharp and suddenly my brain began to work again. I blew bubbles into the water and my numb arms miraculously began to work bringing me up to the surface, coughing and spluttering.

The water had filled my lungs and as the waves knocked me again and again I felt the air being whooshed out of me and more water being shoved down my throat. The nearest thing I could grab was ‘The Piano’, our little faithful boat being slowly smashed to pieces against the rocks.

I leant forward, swimming as hard as I could, but getting absolutely nowhere, ‘I’m going to die’ I thought, ready to give up, ‘I just wish the boat would come to me, please’ I thought, putting my hands together as if in prayer. And, as if by magic, the boat came undone from its knot and came bobbing towards me. I screamed in joy, thrashing through the water towards it as the waves attacked it. I turned my head and realised how close I was to the perilously sharp rocks round the side of the harbour.

I leaned forward and kicked screaming and screaming, eyes closed hands forward. And then I felt something wooden, something splintering my fingers. I opened my eyes, which were full of salt. There I was holding onto ‘The Piano’. Using every last inch of my strength I hoisted myself up onto it.

For a moment I sat there, exhausted and then as a wave came flying over the boat I remembered where I was. Seizing the oars I rowed as hard as I could. I had to get away from those rocks and the harbour walls which so menacingly towered above me. I was a good rower and eventually after so much pushing using the oars I got myself out of the enclosed harbour and I was free on the ocean. It was calmer here, the rain still lashing down and the wind whipping me from all directions but the waves were like gentle lambs so I had a chance to examine the damage to myself and the boat.

‘The Piano’ had all its paint scuffed off, the name only visible as ‘Tne Pia o’ because the h had been rubbed to an n and the n in piano was completely gone. There was a small hole in the bottom of the boat, which I realised was going to get bigger if I didn’t get inshore quick enough. Then there was the damage to me. I couldn’t actually feel any pain but visibly I was a sore sight.

I had cuts all up my red arms and my legs were bleeding horrifically. There was one cut I was most concerned about though which spread from my foot to my knee. It was gaping and bleeding so much I never thought it would have stopped. And as I felt my face I could feel the bruises.

I think it was then I collapsed.

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