Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven and characters are the property of MGM Television, The Mirsch Corporation, Trilogy Entertainment Group and CBS. No profit has been made off of this work. No copyright infringement is intended.
As JD came into sight of the dock his heart dropped into his gut. “Uh, Chris? I think we have a problem.” Turning to look back from where they’d just cleared the wood, he watched a disbelieving look cross over Chris’s face.
Disbelief quickly transformed to a frown as Chris moved past JD. Stepping onto the weathered boards, Chris stalked to the end and stared toward the horizon. “Where the hell is the boat?”
"Why would they leave us?" JD cried, hurrying out to join Chris at the end of the dock. "How could they do that?"
Chris grumbled several choice words as he dug into his jeans pocket and pulled free his cell phone. He stared at the screen, held it aloft as if searching for a signal, and glowered darkly. “Perfect.” Stuffing his cell phone back into his jeans, Chris crossed his arms and glared out across the water.
Hoping that by some miracle his cell phone would have a signal, JD dug it out. He almost laughed as the words Searching for Network plastered across the screen seemed to mock him. The warm breeze ruffling JD’s hair and the gentle lapping of the waves against the shore would have been comforting if the reality of being left behind on an island devoid of people, smack dab in the middle of nowhere, hadn’t been slapping him in the face.
“How could this have happened?” JD moaned, sagging to the planks at Chris’s feet. “We weren’t late. I made sure we weren’t late.”
“They’ll be back,” Chris sighed as he sat beside JD and let his feet hang down into the water.
"Hope you're right," JD puffed as he lay on his back to stare at the cloud-filled sky above. There’d been over sixty people on the island excursion so it’d be easy to miscount, but wouldn’t the others have noticed they weren’t there? Maybe they’d have to wait until the next excursion for rescue or whenever the others felt like coming back and getting them. No, he thought, they’d be hightailing it back as soon as they realized he and Chris were missing. Trying to stay the random thoughts crowding his mind JD said, "You know, I saw this movie once where these two people got left in the middle of the ocean during a diving expedition."
“We’re not in the middle of the ocean.”
JD continued on as the scenes in the movie reminded him of the isolation of the island they were on and how ironically the divers in the movie had been missed in their head count. “They were left to fend for themselves, and then the sharks came.”
Chris twisted around to stare at JD. "There are no sharks, we're only a few miles from the mainland, and someone will realize we're not on the boat." Frowning, Chris looked toward the beach. Chris suddenly cursed, “Damn it!”
Pointing to his feet Chris sighed, “I left my shoes on the boat.”
"So did I, but that’s the least of our problems.” JD waved the issue off and continued with his train of thought, “Now, how about what happened to Tom Hanks in Castaway? He was lost on the island for years and everyone thought he was dead." Pushing to his feet, JD began to pace the dock. "It could happen. Think of it. We could be stuck on this island for years; just you and me." A thought slammed into his consciousness and he froze, his heart dropping to his stomach. “There’d be no internet, no cell phones or tv.”
Looking down as Chris chuckled, JD cried increadously, “I can’t live without technology!”
JD heard Chris blow out a breath of frustration just before he was grabbed by the arm and pulled back down. "You need to relax, kid. We were left behind. Simple as that."
“What about wild animals? There’s no shelter and we have no supplies. No Shoes.”
Chris turned his gaze back out to the horizon. “We’ll be fine.”
As afternoon turned to early evening Chris sighed and stood to stretch the kinks from his back and get the blood circulating through his legs. The boat had not yet returned and the sky to their south was darkening ominously. They would need to find shelter or more than likely build a shelter if they didn’t want to get soaked. Sighing in relief when his back finally cracked, Chris said, “Stay here and keep an eye out for the boat. I’m going to look around for anything we can use as shelter.” Reaching the end of the dock, Chris hopped down into the soft sand.
“Come on. You don’t think they’re really going to make us spend the night out here?” JD asked as he joined Chris on the beach. “That’d be a really mean joke.”
Scrubbing at his neck, Chris sighed. “If this is joke there’ll be hell to pay, but honestly, I don’t think it is. Not even Buck would stoop to doing something like this.”
JD glanced out toward the water and frowned. “I’ll help you with the shelter. Four hands are better than two. At least that’s what Ms. Nettie says.”
Chris reached out and grasped JD’s shoulder. “I need you to stay and watch for the boat. Or any boat for that matter.”
“No buts, JD. I don’t want us to have to stay here any longer than needed,” Chris ordered as he started down the beach toward the tree line in the distance. A shelter on the beach was out of the question if the look of the clouds were anything to judge by.
JD stared after Chris with a whipped puppy expression and Chris almost caved. But in the end common sense won out and he left JD at the dock.
About two hours later, his shoulders aching mercilessly, Chris had a halfway decent shelter built from the downed limbs and tree fronds he gathered in his search. Finally allowing himself a small break, Chris sank onto a nearby fallen tree as a rumble of thunder rolled in the distance.
“Storm’s getting closer.” JD’s voice came through the evening air as he stepped past Chris to examine the small lean-to. “Wow. Pretty impressive and you even made it big enough for both of us.”
“Thanks.” Chris shook his head slowly as JD grinned back at him. Apparently the kid was in a better mood than earlier. “Guess there were no boats?”
JD brushed at the dirt caked on the knees of his jeans. “Nothing, nada, zilch. We’ve been abandoned and with the storm getting closer there’s no telling when we’ll get outta here.”
“JD, take a seat,” Chris huffed and indicated the spot beside him. Waiting until JD had settled beside him, Chris leveled a stare at the younger man. “Don’t get all upset over this. They’ll be back and I’ve never doubted it for even a second. All we got to do is be ready when they get here.”
“Yeah, ok.” Digging into his pocket JD pulled out a granola bar and handed it to Chris. “Forgot I had these.”
Chris tore open the packaging and took a small bite. It was dry and pretty bland but at least it was something to fill the hole in his belly. “Thanks.”
“At least I had something,” JD mumbled before taking a bite of his own bar.
Shoving the remaining bit into his mouth, Chris clapped JD on the arm. “Come on. Let’s take a look at the beach before the storm gets here.”
“It won’t look any different than when we were there the last time. It’s not like they’re going to magically appear.”
Chris was about to answer when his phone suddenly vibrated, startling him so badly that he jumped. As he pulled the phone from his pocket with clumsy fingers it shot from his grasp and landed in the sand.
“What happened?” JD asked as he scooped the phone up and handed it back.
Peering at the screen, Chris smiled in relief, “I got a text. They’re on their way back and should be here just ahead of the storm.”
“No, it’s right here.” Chris shoved the phone at JD so he could see the message also. “I completely forgot that sometimes texts work when the phone doesn’t.”
JD pushed the phone back at Chris and hurried past. “What are you waiting for? Let’s get the hell out of here.”
Chris was about to answer when he heard what sounded like a helicopter. “What the hell?”
As they stopped at the edge of the beach JD pointed to the sky and cried, “Look it’s a helicopter and it’s coming this way!”
Chris and JD watched as it flew closer and prepared to land near the dock. JD lurched toward the helicopter only to be brought up short by Chris’s fist in his collar. “Wait!” Chris hissed. “You run out there right now and it’s going to be like being sandblasted.”
JD frowned at Chris but waited until the helicopter had powered down and Buck hopped out. Cupping his hands around his mouth, Buck shouted, “Someone here call for a rescue?”
JD gave a whoop for joy and took off across the sand as Chris trailed behind him at a more sedate pace.
“There’d better be a good explanation for this.” Chris growled as he stood toe to toe with Buck, staring up into his smiling face as the rumble of thunder got louder.
Before Buck could answer JD blurted out, “Chris, it’s just like I told you. They miscounted.”
Chris watched as JD climbed up into the cabin before turning his gaze back on Buck.
“Sorry. We thought you’d gone inside and had no clue you and JD were still on the island. No one realized it until we were halfway back and the captain said he didn’t have enough fuel to go back.” The grin slipped from Buck’s face as Chris continued to frown. “They paid for the helicopter after Josiah threatened to go Old Testament on them.
“Pilot says we got to go!” JD shouted from his seat in the cabin. “Storm’s coming.”
Chris suddenly chuckled, slapped Buck on the arm, and climbed up in the helicopter. “Next time I’m leaving you all behind. See how you like it.”
“It was an accident,” Buck groused as he climbed up front and told the pilot they could go.
“Fine, but you and the boys are still buying us dinner.” Chris shouted of the thump of the blades.
“McDonalds okay?” Buck yelled as they lifted into the air.
“Over my dead body.” Chris snorted as he sat back in the seat and watched the island get smaller and smaller.