|Search this Thread|
|13th Aug 2017, 6:09 AM||#26|
Dynamic and compelling sims! I am rather fond of your rather human-like characterization, and your detailed descriptions regarding each family's backstory. I anticipate reading more about this hood, as my interest is definitely piqued!
|13th Aug 2017, 9:46 AM||#27|
Thanks for the nice comments everyone. I'm glad you've enjoyed what I've written so far. It's all been a bit off-the-cuff, written directly into the reply box. I probably should write outside MTS, let it sit, then give it an edit (spell check, grammar review, story consistency) -- but I'm too lazy to do that. LOL
As for the backstories, well, I guess by now it's obvious that I spend way too much time in my own head, when I should probably be doing something productive. :D
|13th Aug 2017, 7:36 PM||#28|
Flexing your imagination is always productive! Even if it doesn't feel like it
|15th Aug 2017, 9:08 PM||#29|
Join Date: May 2007
I'm really enjoying these detailed backstories. I got a laugh out of how Winston came to be named Winston, and the examples of the interactions between Athens and Catalina.
|17th Aug 2017, 8:04 AM||#30|
Captain Jonas Grumby felt terrible about the two young men he left on the ship. That is now how things were supposed to go. A captain's job is to save his passengers and, if anyone goes down with the ship, it is the captain himself. He should be the one at the bottom of the ocean, not Stanlee Leigassy, and especially not Barnaby Benefactor.
There had been three life boats, each packed with supplies to sustain eight people for three days, but the first life boat lowered toward the sea was caught by a gust of wind and disappeared into the storm like a shadow hiding in darkness. Barnaby, an able-bodied man who could have easily pushed aside the others to secure himself a spot in one of the boats. Instead, he helped Rolf and Captain Grumby get the other passengers into the two remaining boats then insisted on staying behind with Stanlee.
"You can't stay here," the captain had said.
"You've got twenty-three people in two boats made to hold sixteen. You're already overloaded as it is."
"I'll tell Rolf to toss the tent and camp stove overboard. We'll make room."
Barnaby had looked down at the children, cold and afraid, clinging to their parents and said, "No. I'm staying here, with Stanlee. Just promise me that when you are rescued that you'll send back a search party to look for us."
The captain nodded, then lowered himself into the lifeboat. That was the last time he saw Barnaby. When the captain looked back at the ship, the deck was empty.
Jonas picked up a stray branch to put on the fire. "Damn you, Barnaby. I'm going to have to live with this guilt the rest of my life."
"What was that, Captain?" asked Rolf Nestor, first mate of the S.S. Goldfish.
"Nothing," Jonas said. "I was just thinking aloud.
Jonas reached down for another branch but was too late. A young boy with dark hair and a child's float ring around his waist beat him to it.
"You were too slow." Travis Dagmar laughed and waved the branch at the captain. "This is fun, like a scavenger hunt. I bet you I'll find more branches than you. Wanna make it a race?"
"You're on," Jonas said. "I'll put mine in a separate pile and after dinner you can count the branches and see who won."
"Is there a prize?"
Jonas thought about that for a moment, then pulled a pair of binoculars out of his back pocket. "The winner gets these."
"But aren't they already yours?"
"No. Everything here is for everybody--except this pair of binoculars. They are for the person who collects the most branches--providing the winner plays fair and doesn't cheat."
"I don't cheat," Travis said. "You can ask my Aunt Elaine. She says I'm not a typical Dagmar. I don't cheat. I don't steal. And I don't tell fibs either."
An hour later, Jonas heard the call for dinner. Many of the survivors had already grabbed a plate and were busy eating and chatting around the campfire.
Jonas perched himself on a rock near David Eaton, one of two single fathers on the trip. The other was Travis' dad, Otis Dagmar. David was quiet, and had curly blond hair like his son, Jasper. David's eldest child, Wanda, was a redhead, probably like her mother, Jonas thought.
As he ate his fish, Jonas looked around at the group of people in the camp and marveled that they had all made it ashore alive. It was a wonder that nobody fell out of the raft on the rough ocean current. Even the two toddlers looked none the worse for wear.
"Captain Jonas Captain Jonas!" Jasper Eaton was running, with Travis following close behind. "Travis won. He has more branches than you. Some of your branches are bigger, so the piles look about the same size, but Travis as the most. I helped him count. Does he really win binoculars? He said if he wins he's going to let me look through them."
Jonas handed the binoculars to Travis. "Here you go. You won these fair and square. Take good care of them, okay?"
"I'll take great care of them, Captain Jonas. First thing tomorrow, Jasper and I are going to use them watch for rescue planes."
After the children were asleep, Jonas called a meeting of the adults and teens. "I have no idea how long it will be until we are rescued. Until then, I need every one of you do their part in keeping our group safe and healthy. Nobody wanders off alone. I mean it. If you must leave the camp, go in pairs and be on the lookout for wild animals."
Otis Dagmar stood and pointed at Jonas. "You might have been captain on the ship, but we are on dry land now. Who appointed you boss?"
The captain narrowed his eyes. "Nobody is boss. But as captain of the S.S. Goldfish, I am responsible for the passengers on this trip. There are things that need to be done and someone has to get our group organized. We need a volunteer to chop wood every morning, enough to keep the campfire lit through the night."
Otis sat down on the felled tree stump.
"I'll do it," said Carlos Lopez.
"You have any experience with an ax?"
"Carlos is my parents gardener," Athena Moneymaker said. " After he trims all the trees, daddy has him cut the branches into firewood. Mama loves a cozy fire on a winter night."
Rolf Nestor leaned forward, "You're her gardener? I thought you were her boyfriend."
"Ewww. No way. Daddy says I'm not to even think about dating the help," Athens said.
"I'm confused," Jonas said. "I thought you were her valet."
Carlos blushed. "I work for her dad. As long as he's paying me a salary, I'm anything she wants me to be."
The group broke into laughter and Ima Killjoy shushed them. "The little ones are asleep. If they wake up now, none of us will get any sleep."
In a hushed voice, Jonas gave the survivors a list of duties and asked for volunteers. Come morning, everyone had a job to do -- except Otis. He said his bad back prevented him from bending or doing any heavy work.
"Can you cook?" Jonas asked.
"Nah, I usually leave that chore to the women. Winston's only 12, but she's pretty good at heating up a can of soup or cooking a grilled cheese sandwich."
"How about fishing? Can you fish?"
"Yeah, I do that sometimes when the mood strikes."
"Great," Jonas said. "Your job is to make a fishing pole and use it every morning from the time you get up until it's time for lunch."
"I s'pose I can do that," Otis said.
"Okay, we'll call it a night. You all get some sleep. I'll keep the fire going."
A couple hours before dawn, the Killjoy's toddler daughter, Igrid, woke with a cry, waking up the entire camp. Rodney Merrymaker sat next to Jonas. "You go get some sleep. I'll keep watch until daylight."
When Jonas woke, camp was a bustle of activity. Rodney's teenage son, Zach, was in a nearby tree picking papaya. He and the other two teens had made a game out of foraging. Zach pulled off the fruit and dropped them down to Wanda and Winston. When Winston failed to catch one, Zach said, "You lose. You're turn to climb a tree."
The teens weren't the only ones monkeying around in the branches. The adults were assigned to take turns watching for any sign of a rescue team. Now, it was Catalina's turn to watch.
Jonas was surprised to see little Travis and Jasper swordfighting with two sticks. "I thought you two were going to be lookouts for our search party."
"We were," Travis said pointing toward the far side of camp. "But my dad says I'm too young for binoculars so he took them away. He said they are his until I'm old enough to have them back."
Jonas turned his head and spotted Otis Dagmar with his son's binoculars watching birds as they flitted from tree to tree, when he was supposed to be fishing for the afternoon meal.
I am really starting to dislike that man, Jonas thought.
|17th Aug 2017, 6:39 PM||#31|
I already dislike that man. He is lazy and useless. I think he should be exiled or something if he doesn't help out.
|17th Aug 2017, 8:09 PM||#32|
Join Date: Oct 2013
You have a hell of a story here! Wow. Awesome!
Have you already created the following "chapters" in your mind, or are you creating it as you go?
|17th Aug 2017, 9:30 PM||#33|
My game play is several rotations ahead of the story. I let the story play out, take snapshots, later sort through the snapshots and look for those that best tell what is happening in my game and in my imagination.
When I created Otis Dagmar, I knew he was going to be a grouchy, lazy, slob. But the story itself is created as I play. It's loosely based on the happenings and snapshots I am able to get in the game. (I have an entire rotation where I thought I took photos using hotkeys, but my Fraps was not up and running. So, I missed a lot of sickness shots.)
Because the story was getting too wordy, I added two set up pics. The ship is a close up of the neighborhood deco and I messed with the lighting in Photoshop. Also, I had Travis "tend tree" with some sticks on the ground to make it look like he was collecting branches. (In the game, "collecting branches" is reaching up, swiping the arm and voila -- branches in the inventory. Not very visual.)
I'd be in trouble if I had to create the chapters in advance because my Sims are not cooperative. For example, I created a female character specifically to get hooked up with a certain male character. It did not happen. ACR took over and she went a completely different direction. Then, I turn my back for a second, and another two Sims become a couple -- Sims that I really didn't want to together. Oh well. Love is blind, right?
|18th Aug 2017, 9:04 PM||#34|
Join Date: May 2007
Otis is going to be a real problem, I can tell. I'm anxious to see what happens next with the survivors.
I like using ACR. It adds a little of the unknown to my game, so I can be surprised now and then.
|19th Aug 2017, 2:12 AM||#35|
(A bit of spoiler -- something yet to come in the Shipwreck Island saga.)
If you really want to be surprised, add the "Real Sickness" mod from MATY. I used the revamped version by pioupiou -- less chance of fatalities -- and my Sims are getting sick, sick, sick! I've got two that I'm really worried about. With only 25 Sims on my island, including children and teens, I can't afford to lose anyone.
|21st Aug 2017, 1:34 PM||#36|
Join Date: Nov 2016
Nice story Are all your sims (except the first two) living on one lot? And do they have to do all their foraging on the home lot or do you use community lots as well?
|22nd Aug 2017, 6:07 AM||#37|
At this point in the story, the rest of the Sims are on a giant lot together--though that did not last for long. Most of them slept on logs or in little lean-to style beds, though some took turns on the two cots or in the tent. On that same lot is a pond, which provides fresh fish for dinner--in addition to the food in a camping cooler, which they also took with them when they fled the sinking ship. The pond is handy because provides water for their tree-trunk bathtubs (which is on the opposite side of the lot--not smart Sims!) When a Sim "cleans" the tub, in my view, they are changing the bath water. (I use my imagination a lot in this game! LOL)
Also at this point, all foraging, fishing and hunting is done on the survivor group's lot, but that will change, too.
|22nd Aug 2017, 9:10 AM||#38|
Life went smoothly the next few days. Most of the survivors did their share to make life on the island tolerable.
Every morning, immediately after breakfast, Carlos Lopez chopped firewood.
David Eaton dug two deep holes in the ground for pit toilets, and then helped Ivan Killjoy tie together pieces of bamboo to make walls to give the potty-goer a little privacy.
Captain Jonas and First Mate Rolf studied survival books.
Even the children helped out by catching fresh fish for their evening meals.
Life wasn't all work on the island. There was plenty of time for a walk or reading one of several romance books Wanda Eaton had tucked inside her beach bag.
A little bit of twisted vine and a slab of wood hung from the branch of a tree made for a fine swing.
But full stomachs, private privies and makeshift playground equipment were not enough to keep the survivors happy. As the elation of being safe on land waned, the agitation that comes from daily living in discomfort increased.
A few of the survivors cursed the rescue party for being too inept to quickly find the lost survivors. Several of the adults stomped their feet like children when they found someone else sleeping in their favorite lean-to. Parents complained that their children would never catch up on missed schoolwork. And Sims without small children griped about the two toddlers who refused to sleep through the night.
Then came the day when Ivan Killjoy took it upon himself to tell young Jasper Eaton about the secrets of the Woo-Hoo.
Jasper's dad, David, was not happy when Jasper ran over and told his dad all he had learned that day.
"This isn't working out," David Eaton said, pointing at Ivan. "Either he goes or I take my family and leave."
"I can't just send someone out into the wilderness alone," Jonas said. "We've seen a couple of deer and a few rabbits, but who knows what other kinds of wild animals live on this island?"
Otis Dagmar, put his hands on his hips and glared at the captain. "Why do you think you are the one who gets to decide who stays and who goes? We outnumber you here. If the group decides Killjoy should leave, then we can make that happen whether you like it or not."
"Better watch what you say, Otis," Captain Jonas said. "If anyone gets voted out of this camp, I don't think it will be Ivan Killjoy."
The look on Otis' face when he realized what the captain was hinting at, caused Elaine Dagmar to break into giggles.
In a huff, Otis grabbed a fishing pole and headed toward the pond. "The rest of you can stand around and goof off. I'm going to do something productive."
Now, the rest of the camp was laughing -- all except for Rodney Merrymaker.
Rodney was concerned about the safety of his family, especially his youngest child, Gretchen.
Later that night, while the captain and first mate were busy studying survival books, Rodney Merrymaker pulled Ivan Killjoy aside. "Our little ones are a problem. As soon as we put one down, the other wakes up screaming and in the process wakes the entire camp."
"There's nothing we can do about it. They're toddlers. Toddlers cry."
"We don't know these people, what they are capable of, especially if they become severely sleep deprived. For their sanity and the safety of our families, I think we should make our own camp a little farther out," Rodney said.
"I don't know. There's safety in numbers. Besides, what would we do about cooking? The only stove is the one we got off the ship."
"That propane tank won't last for long. Besides, all we need is a fire. And I've got an idea to make bathing easier. I went to engineering school, and I know I can build a shower -- with your help, that is."
"A shower? Like with hot water?"
"I wouldn't say hot, but warmed by the sun. So yeah, a warm shower."
"I like to cook," Ivan said. "Think that engineering brain of yours can figure out how to build an oven?"
Rodney smiled. "I like to eat. I think an oven is doable."
Early the next morning, Rodney Merrymaker and Ivan Killjoy moved their families to a clearing in the middle of a nearby bamboo forest.
|22nd Aug 2017, 9:53 PM||#39|
Join Date: May 2007
I like the way you describe how things are made and the way the castaways think and make decisions. This is a very enjoyable story!
|28th Aug 2017, 4:45 AM||#40|
The Merrymakers and Killjoys became one big family with everyone pitching in to make life on the island a little less difficult. Matilda and Ima became close friends. They often took turns watching the children while the other caught up on much-needed sleep. When both mothers were busy or exhausted, the older children kept the younger children entertained.
Rodney and Ivan also made a good team. Rodney used his engineering education and Ivan his mechanical experience to add a few comforts to their new home. Bamboo, it turned out, was the perfect plumbing resource. After digging two pit toilets, the men built a water tower. Rainfall would collect in the barrel and gravity allowed the water to flow to a makeshift sink, tub and shower. No more hauling water, except during a dry season.
A toilet, sink and shower is nice, but none compare to a decent night's sleep -- something the two families desperately needed. So, the next project was to build a hut for the two youngest shipwreck survivors.
If one of the toddlers woke in the middle of the night, she'd awaken the other toddler with her cries. But even with both of them screaming at the top of their lungs, the rest of their family slept peacefully outdoors in a lean-to or on a log.
Rodney was pleased with all they'd accomplished. He hadn't seen his wife, Matilda, this happy in a long time.
|28th Aug 2017, 7:34 AM||#41|
Join Date: Jul 2016
I build small houses *^*
|28th Aug 2017, 10:17 AM||#42|
On the other side of the island, Barnaby and Stanlee have different approaches to island living. Barnaby spends every day on the island as if he's on an extended vacation. When he's not reading, lounging in the shade of the lean-to, building sandcastles or sunbathing, he's napping in his hammock or foraging for coconuts and papaya.
Stanlee, however, used his time preparing for the days ahead. He hollowed out a tree trunk to bathe in, made a pit toilet, built an in-ground cellar to store his food and chopped down trees to make way for a cabin. He'd need it come winter. It was hard enough sleeping on a log in the fall.
Early one rainy morning, Stanlee was awakened by a ruckus in the bushes. Probably another wolf, he thought. They'd often come in at night or early morning to kill a duck or rabbit. Just to be safe, Stanlee reached for his makeshift ax, a sharpened stone attached to a wooden handle. Before he could grab it, something small ran out of the bushes chased by a dark-fur wolf with glowing eyes. Stanlee stood to his full height, waved his arms and yelled. The wolf ran away. The small furry animal it had chased stepped timidly toward Stanlee.
It was not a rabbit, a duck or even a skunk. It was a dog, a beagle, just like the pooch Athens Moneymaker had on the ship. Could it be Athens dog? No. Athens and the rest of them were long gone, rescued, lost at sea, or worse. Stanlee reached out to the small dog. It tucked its tail between its legs and ran back into the bushes. Sure that it would not work, Stanlee kneeled down and called to the dog. " It's okay, Mitzy. I'm not going to hurt you."
To Stanlee's surprise, the beagle crawled out from the branches and leaves. "Mitzy? Is that you?" The dog wagged its tail. Stanlee poured a little chopped venison into a slab of tree bark then backed away. The dog ate greedily, as if it had not had a meal in days. When it was finished, Stanlee called to it again. "It's okay, Mitzy. That's a good girl. Yes, you are." This time, when he reached down to pet the dog, it rolled onto its back so Stanley could give it a belly rub.
The next morning, Stanley walked down the hill, across the flatlands to the beach where he'd left his friend. He wanted to tell Barnaby about the beagle he believed to be Mitzy. He also wanted to see what progress his friend had made in preparation for winter.
Stanlee was dismayed to find the section of beach exactly as he'd left it weeks earlier. Barnaby was in the hammock reading a book. "Where did you get that?" Stanlee asked.
Startled, Barnaby flipped out of the hammock and onto the ground. "Hey, you shouldn't sneak up on a person like that."
"I didn't sneak. I just walked like I always do," Stanlee said. "So, where did you get it, the book?"
"It washed up a few days ago. The pages are wrinkled but the text is still readable. It's a book about knots, all sorts of knots. I bet it belonged to Captain Grumby."
"Tying knots can be handy, but it would be more comfortable working on them in some kind of shelter from the sun, wind, rain and snow."
"This is the beach. It doesn't snow at the beach," Barnaby said.
"Beaches have hurricanes."
Barnaby glared at Stanlee. "Well, a bamboo hut isn't going to save me from a hurricane."
Stanlee looked around, shook his head, then climbed up a papaya tree. He tossed the ripened fruit down to his down to his friend. "Here, put these in your cellar. You did build one, right?"
Barnaby shrugged. "I started to but then--"
Stanlee slid down the tree, landing with a thud. "Then what?" Stanlee asked. "Then you had to build another sandcastle? You had to darken your suntan? What was so important that you stopped building your cellar."
Barnaby grinned. "You wouldn't believe what I found. We're rich, Stanley."
"What are you talking about?"
"C'mon, I'll show you."
Stanlee followed Barnaby to a wooden cask with a metal coffee pot on top. "Wash up on the beach?"
"You mean the barrel? Yeah, it washed up, the coffee pot I found in the water while swimming. But that's not what I wanted to show you." Barnaby yanked a tattered piece of sailcloth off an old trunk, then opened the lid. Inside were hundreds of glittering jewels.
Stanlee's jaw hung open as he took in the site. "This washed up on the beach?"
"No. I found it while digging the cellar. It has to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maybe more."
Stanlee nodded. "Yeah, if we were in Paradise. Or even back home. But it's not worth anything here. Considering our predicament, that empty barrel is worth more to us than what's in that chest. At least we can burn it to keep warm."
"This is going to save us," Barnaby said. "If someone comes by in a boat, we can use it to buy our passage off this island."
"If someone comes by in a boat and finds us stranded here, they'll probably give us a lift off the island free of charge." Stanlee closed the lid on the trunk. "Grab a shovel. We're going to build that cellar."
Stanlee stayed at the beach with Barnaby for three days. They built a food cellar, leveled some of the terrain and put up a fence to lessen the wind.
But Barnaby refused to build any sort of real shelter. "If I build a hut, it'll be like giving up on the idea of being rescued. I'm not going to let that happen. I'm counting on someone coming by to rescue us."
"Nothing wrong with hoping for a rescue. But you need to be reasonable. It might be weeks, months even, before someone sails, paddles or flies past and sees us here. We need to be prepared. And I need to get back on the mountain. At the rate I'm going, winter will be here before I get the cabin walls up."
Barnaby cocked his head. "Need help?"
"That depends. You offering?"
"That depends. You serving trout for dinner?"
Stanlee slapped Barnaby on the back. "Trout it is. But not until we fell a few more trees."
|28th Aug 2017, 5:29 PM||#43|
Great update! Mitzy is rather adorable, and the pictures are very realistic in terms of arrangement! I wonder how they'll get off the island, if they ever do...
|29th Aug 2017, 4:26 PM||#44|
Join Date: May 2007
I like the fix to the problem of screaming toddlers waking everyone up! The Merrymakers and Killjoys are a great team and their settlement is looking good.
Aw, I'm glad Mitzy survived and has found Stanlee. Stanlee's a good guy, and Barnaby is lucky for his help.
|1st Sep 2017, 11:07 PM||#45|
Day after day, Stanlee and Barnaby chopped down trees and stripped them of the bark.
The nights grew chilly and, to Stanlee's dismay, some of the logs he intended for his cabin had to be used as firewood. Barnaby now understood why Stanlee wanted a cabin. There was no way someone could survive a winter in the forest without some sort of shelter.
Stanlee wasn't the only Sim worried about Winter. While several of the survivors still acted like they were on a camping trip, Jonas Grumby feared the survivors were unprepared for the harsh weather ahead. There was very little propane left in the camp stove and the cooler they'd taken from the ship could not hold enough food to get them through winter.
While the air became cooler, relations between several Sims grew warm.
Young Jasper made a friend with an island wolf and taught it how to shake.
Rolf Nestor and Carlos Lopez flirted with Athens Moneymaker. Carlos even grew so bold as to kiss her, right in the center of camp.
Their public display of affection embarrassed Elaine Dagmar.
But the embarrassment Elaine felt was nothing compared to seeing sweet, innocent Gina Matthews make out with David Eaton, the Captain and Elaine's brother, Otis. Not once, not twice, but again and again--and in front of each other and everyone, including the children!
Even Wanda Eaton, a teenager with a surging hormones, could not control her romantic impulses when she made a pass at Rolf. Thank goodness there was no private place for any of them to slip off and woo-hoo, Elaine thought.
|2nd Sep 2017, 1:51 AM||#46|
@SIMelissa I like your post on Barnaby and Stanlee and I do think Stanlee is doing much better than Barnaby.
How did you do the Food Cellar Picture?
I wanted to tell you that you missed the ending tag on this pic.
Wonderful pics and a wonderful story.
|2nd Sep 2017, 1:57 AM||#47|
@SIMelissa I like the romance going on and how one of the sims was embarresed by all the goings on.
Maybe you could have a tent or two wash up ashore?
|2nd Sep 2017, 3:09 AM||#48|
Thanks for the heads up on that link. I fixed it.
Isn't that cellar awesome. It's a CC fridge here on MTS: http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=289069
On Barnaby's lot, I just lowered the ground a bit so he has to walk down a short set of stairs to reach the steps to the cellar.
I'd like to take the credit for Elaine being embarrassed, but she did that all by herself. I was just lucky enough to see it when I was taking a pic of Carlos and Athens.
Funny you should mention things washing up on shore . . .
We'll see a bit of that in the future. My play is several installments ahead of my stories.
|3rd Sep 2017, 12:53 AM||#49|
Join Date: May 2007
Things are definitely heating up, and poor Elaine is going to have to hide out somewhere if she doesn't want to spend all her time being embarrassed for others.
|8th Sep 2017, 6:10 AM||#50|
The Killjoys and Merrymakers were enjoying a breakfast of fruit salad when Regina Dagmar strolled into their camp in the bamboo forest. Ima Killjoy and Matilda Merrymaker did not think highly of Regina. Neither of the women liked the way Regina looked at their husbands. So, when Regina walked up to chat, the women stood and started cleaning up the breakfast plates and putting away the leftovers. Rodney Merrymaker, finished with his meal, was already tending to the little ones.
Thinking nobody was looking, Regina flirted with Ivan Killjoy, who responded favorably. Matilda Merrymaker hoped Ima had not noticed, and she asked Regina to leave. But it was too little, too late. Ima Killjoy saw it all.
Back at Survivors Camp, Regina feared the news of what happened would get back to her sister. The last thing she wanted another lecture from Elaine. So, she made up a story that Ivan Killjoy had hit on her, and she made sure everyone heard it.
Captain Jonas Grumby was not surprised. When the Captain met Ima Killjoy, back on his ship, his first thought was, "What a vonnie!" His second: "Why did she marry him?" Jonas had met men like Ivan Killjoy before. They were always on the prowl for women, even when they were married. The Captain, not wanting to hear further discussion about Ivan Killjoy's flirtations changed the topic. "You know, we should build a hut like the one they built for their toddlers."
Elaine stopped eating and look at the captain. "Does this mean you don't think we'll be rescued?"
Captain Grumby rubbed the back of his neck. "We've been here two seasons already. I think we better take precautions. If we are still here come winter, we have a warm, safe place to hold up until the snow melts. If not, then no harm done."
"I agree," said David Eaton. "I worry about my kids sleeping outside night after night.
"Your too soft on your kids," Otis said.
Carlos Lopez said, "It would be good to have some sort of shelter, but we don't have enough bamboo. We used almost everything nearby to build the toilets and the bathing room."
The Captain shrugged. "No problem. We'll use bamboo as a frame and we'll fill in the opening with palm fronds and plant leaves. If we layer them thick enough it might even insulate better than using bamboo alone."
Work began early the next morning. Carlos used his handmade axe to cut down bamboo. Rolf and the Captain used swords they'd taken from the ship to whack off palm fronds and plant leaves for the walls. David carried the supplies, one armload at a time, back to camp where the women used hemp to weave the leaves and frond into frames of bamboo. Nobody saw Otis until lunch. Later in the day, Rodney and Ivan showed up to help. They also brought two twin-size beds, just like the ones they made for their older children.
The survivors worked until nightfall. They'd finished the floor and three walls of the hut.
"We might have enough supplies to finish the last wall, but we still need a roof," David said.
Carlos shook his head. "We've cleared out most of the available foliage within a half mile."
Captain Grumby rubbed his chin. "Then we need to venture out farther from home."
The next morning, at breakfast, the Captain made an announcement. "I need all the men to come with me to gather more bamboo and tall grass for the roof."
"Why just the men?" It always irritated Regina when the women were left behind to do menial chores like cook or was dishes. "I'm not helpless. I can cut and carry just as much as any of you."
Otis nodded. "She's strong. She can take my spot. While you're gone, I'll catch some more fish so there will be plenty to eat when you return."
The Captain shook his head. "No, Otis. You're coming with us. Regina, we can use all the help we can get so anyone who wants to come is welcome. But I need one of the women to stay behind with the children."
Otis huffed. "My kids don't need a babysitter. They can take care of themselves."
"I'm sure you're right about that, Otis," the Captain said. "Those children of yours are very self-sufficient. Still, I think it would be best if someone stayed behind."
"I'll do it." Catalina stepped forward. "I love kids. We'll play games, do some fishing. It'll be fun."
"You already have a job," Athens Moneymaker said. "You are my traveling companion. Wherever I go, you go. I'm going with them. That means you are, too."
"Athens, I've been meaning to tell you something. I quit! And, by the way, you owe m for two-and-a-half seasons of companionship. I'll send you the bill as soon as we are back at civilization."
Athens stomped to a nearby log, sat down and pouted. "Then I'm not going. I never go anywhere without a companion."
Before Carlos could find his voice, Rolf Nestor stepped forward. "I'll be your companion. You can walk with me."
Athens stood, smiled and linked arms with Rolf while, a few feet away, Carlos Lopez fumed with jealousy.