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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The story has some explicit contents and graphic details. Along with nudity and profanity. Reader discretion recommended.

Men in Paradise - 4. Chapter 4 - The Fire

Making Fire was invented by our ancestors called Homo Erectus between 1.7 to 2 million years ago. The control of fire by early humans was a turning point in human evolution. Fire provided a source of warmth and lighting, protection from predators especially at night, a way to create more tools, and a method for cooking. Our ancestors discovered Fire can be created through friction by rapidly grinding pieces of solid combustible material (such as wood or stone) against each other. They used fire to burn the meat for food instead of eating it raw (unlike their predecessors). Consuming cooked meat and vegetables helped human brain to grow larger, which provided them intelligence and helped them evolve.

Justin's PoV

I was surrounded by aliens, with their sparkling green eyes and antennas, I found them were everywhere. I started to run, they didn't let me go. They were inching closer and closer to me. I have seen many sci-fi movies in the past, but never thought I would see an alien for real. Things were getting worse, I was in a precarious situation that I knew I would be caught by them any time and eaten alive.

I closed my eyes and opened then.

And found myself lying inside the cabin. I might have had a bad dream. I had not slept for two days then, I dozed off very badly the night before. I felt the pain in my leg reduced considerably and I could move it freely the next morning. I was awake completely by then and came out of the cabin.

I saw Jai sitting nearby a tree surrounded by coconuts. I am not sure if I ever told you this before, ‘Yeah, I hate coconuts. White and soft fleshes inside, makes me puke’. But then I didn’t think I had any other options at that moment other than dang coconuts.

Jai was rubbing a wooden stick vigorously back and forth like a crazy guy with both his hands, the stick was grinding another wood on the floor that he held it in between his feet. Both Afridi and Sakthi were missing from the scene.

‘Did Jai hit his head when he fell on the rocks or what?’ I wondered.

I approached Jai very carefully, not to startle a crazy guy.

And asked him politely "What are you doing?"

He looked at me by raising his head above and told me with a smile on his face "I am trying to light a fire".

I gave him a wry smile. 'Man, this is ridiculous, one flight crash overnight and we become a caveman or what?' i thought.

"Where are the others?" I asked him.

"They have gone to the stream to collect water and bananas. Why don't you go for a walk on the shore and finish your morning duties? He said to me.

‘Oh shit’ I said to myself literally.

And I nodded my head I wanted to relieve since two days, I felt I was carrying a weight inside me as if I was constipated. My stomach hurt badly due to that. So I walked towards the beach to a distance and finished doing it.

When I returned, Jai somehow managed to succeed in his quest for fire. I saw some smoke out of the wood he was rubbing earlier.

‘Eureka’ my mind screamed. No, we have not launched any rocket yet if that’s what you are wondering.

He took some coir out of the coconuts and put it on the wood and blew some air into it. Smoke became heavy and after some more attempts from him, fire lit up. I could see a triumphant smile on his lips.

"Look, I made fire" he proudly proclaimed to me. Even though I knew that ‘Fire’ was one of the best discoveries of humanity, but I still felt that was crazy.

I remembered the way he took care of me last evening. Without those guys, I would have been dead by then. Even my leg wound was getting better that morning and I found myself alive again.

There were times over the last couple of days, I thought I was alone on that island, it scared the hell out of me when I saw those dead bodies lying motionless covered in blood on the rocks.

I was hungry and thirsty without food and water. I had no idea how I survived walking and sitting alone on the rocks. Finally, I took some courage, when I found myself not able to stop the bleeding in my leg, I decided to walk towards the forest when the pain was increasing every second.

Initially, I was reluctant to leave my dead friend lying alone on that rock, but my survival instant somehow forced me into the land and search for water in the forest. I never thought I could see those three guys, but I did and they saved me from death.

‘So, I am left alone on a deserted island with 2 Indians and an Arabian boy, how crazy could this go?’

I was supposed to join Boston University for my Biotechnology research and studies. Classes were about to start in three days before I took that flight. My father was working at the American embassy in Dubai and my entire family moved there 6 years before from New Orleans, Louisiana. My family is French, we moved from Lyon (a city in France) and settled in Louisiana five generations before. My Mom loved her French ancestry and she mostly spoke French at home and forced us to learn too, I still had plenty of French accent when I speak in English. And I was one of those guys who got bullied back in school due to that.

Adapting to Middle East life was not easy for me. But I found new passions as diversions. Geology passionate me as nothing else could. I traveled to Europe and East Asia on my holidays and collected plants as part of my research. And I played basketball and I joined the college team. I completed my college at Dubai International Institute last year in biotechnology. And then I started planning to move back to the US, I applied for my research studies in many universities and finally got myself in Boston.

My Arab friend who was a few years elder than me living closer to my area was also studying there as a senior. With his company, I decided to take the flight alone from Dubai. I was a little upset when my college girlfriend couldn't come to the airport to send me off. We broke off before I left since we realised it would be impossible to keep a distant relationship. But I promised Marissa that I will call her once I reach the University.

I decided not to think about home too much so that I won't be depressed a lot, I needed to be brave just like them and find a way to survive until we are rescued, that was what I thought at that time.

"How is your leg wound?" Jai asked me in his caring tone with a familiar accent.

"It's better I think, not painful much," I told him.

He went and brought a couple of dry coconut branches and broke them into pieces to put them on the fire.

"What are you going to do with the fire?" I asked him.

"I don't know, I just tried to lit up the fire. I don't know how many days we have to be here, we can't eat bananas and coconuts all the time" He said.

Reality hit me harder about our situation, as Jai said I needed to be prepared and wait for rescue.

I looked at him, he must be at least a few years younger than me, but he looked stronger and hopeful.

"Where are you from?" I asked him.

"I am from Kerala, it’s a state in India, I was going to Connecticut to stay with my sister and brother-in-law for holidays. It was my second time visiting the US" he told me.

And then he asked me "How about you?"

I told him "I was going to Boston to join my University studies & research"

He looked at my face as if he felt sorry for me.

"Your English is different, you sound like Timothee Chalamat," He told me in English with that accent again.

I met a few guys from Kerala (it's a state in the southern parts of India) during my Dubai time, so I was familiar with their accent.

I laughed at his joke.
"I am a French American, my ancestors were from France" and then I continued,
"I am from Lousiana, my father is working for the US embassy in Dubai, I am pretty much an American" I answered him.

"Why don't you remove that jean and give them to me. It's torn and covered in blood strains. I will cut it into a trouser with this knife so that your wound will get some air to heal quickly" he showed me a small knife.

I nodded my head. I unbuckled and removed my jean carefully to make sure it was not scratching my wound and aggravate the pain. I gave the jean and stood in front of him in my underwear uncomfortably. It's not like girls running around there for me to be shy or anything, after all, I was on a deserted island inhabited only by just four guys as of my knowledge. Nobody was going to care even if I ran naked there.

He looked less bothered by my half nakedness anyways, he took the jean from me and cut half pieces from them in no time. I wore the trousers back, it was comfortable indeed. Even though the weather around was cold, I felt itchy wearing the same jean, shirt, and underwear for three days. I didn't even take bath, I felt dirty and smelly.

As if he picked my thoughts, Jai laughed friendly at me and said "Yes, you do smell a bit, but the rest of us aren't any better either. So chill"

I laughed a little too. I was surprised at my laughter and relaxed mood even during that difficult time.

Sakthi and Afridi returned from the stream with their water bottles and a handful of bananas. We were so hungry we ate them all. Jai showed them his fire invention proudly.

Sakthi clapped his hands and patted him on his back.

"Good job bro, we need fire for sure" he complimented him.

"Can we collect some more wood to keep the fire going until tonight?" Afridi asked Sakthi.

"No need, I can lit the fire again tonight, it's easy," Jai told him.

"Nice, we can catch some fish from the sea and fry it on the fire, it's a lot of protein," Sakthi told us as if life was easy out there.

Well, the Gym guy with all those protein talks, I thought to myself but didn't say it aloud.

We started walking towards the beach, the dead body of an Arabian guy was lying on the beach, his body was decomposing, crabs and bugs were circled around it. The scene was horrible to look at, so I turned my face away.

"What are we going to do with these dead bodies, they are decomposing," Afridi asked us in hesitation.

"It's been two days since they are dead, they will decompose much worse" Sakthi informed us further.

"We need to dispose them, if not it will create a foul smell and might even bring disease to us, we can burn them," Jai said.

We were silent for a moment or so.

"No, we can't do that. When a rescue mission finds us, we need to tell them about these dead people to be identified and informed to their families. We can't burn them into ashes" Sakthi said with a sad tone in his voice.

"Then what shall we do with these dead bodies, we can't let them lie here and rot," Jai asked Sakthi.

"We can bury them somewhere here, I know it would be a lot of tasks, but at least we must do it to those families who lost these people here," Sakthi said with determination.

It was an arduous task, next few hours we were dragging dead bodies washed ashore one by one to a spot, it wasn't easy pulling those bodies off from their place in the beach. The sand made it cumbersome. I was terrified at the thoughts of pulling their hands what if it tear away since it was decomposed already. The worst task was to bring those bodies lying around, including my friend from the rocks. We used the broken parts of the flight to bring those corpses to the burial location. Sakthi, the muscular did most of the heavy lifting work when the rest of us worked around him. It took an entire day to complete it. Jai and Sakthi dug a big hole to put a total of 16 corpses in it.

When we finished burying it, it was almost getting dark. We were starving due to all the heavy lifting work which we never did before.

We returned to our cabin, ate bananas, and drank water as much as we could. Jai started the fire once again, Sakthi and I collected as much as we could from nearby places.

When the night returned, fear and loneliness engulfed us once again on that deserted island.

Copyright © 2021 Vikki; All Rights Reserved.
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I am publishing my story here on experimental basis. Readers feedback and comments are most welcome

Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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I guess the guys will need to do more exploring to find more food sources, if there are any. They are lucky to have a source of fresh water. I am relieved that they speak a common language. Thanks. 

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Earlier Sakthi discovered a pond with ducks, but that will not be much for four men so some other source of food must be found or developed.

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