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I did promise I would keep writing letters, though the fates seem determined to stop me. It has been a rather wild journey, getting here.
We made it across the first few islands just fine before water started seeping into the boat. We couldn't tell where it was coming from at first, but after some investigation I discovered some rotted wood hidden beneath a bench seat.
The water was only trickling in at first, and we were able to remove it faster than it could get in.
We spent five days traversing those islands, and by the end of the fourth the boat was nearly in shambles. Hard to believe something could break down so quickly, but I saw it happen before my eyes. Evidently, boats need significant maintenance in order to function properly - significantly more maintenance than abandonment had to offer. Consequently...
Well, on the morning of the fifth day, Elden and I were sitting on the rocks, staring at the remains of the boat that we needed in order to finish the last leg of the journey. Stranded on an island with no tools or supplies, we really had no other hope. It would still float, that much was true, but the water had started coming in faster than I could remove it, and Elden couldn't help because he had to row.
We sat there, staring at the boat, knowing that we had no other option than to set it back in the water and keep going.
Which is exactly what we did.
Then, hours later, with the far shore in sight, water slashing against our legs, clothing clinging to our goosebump-ridden skin, we realized we weren't going to make it. The boat had taken on too much water, and there was no way I was going to be able to get it all out. Elden set the oars aside and tried to help me, but it was too late. The boat sank.
I felt especially bad for Elden in that moment, because he was already tired from rowing as fast as he was able, trying to reach the shore before the boat gave out, and there he was faced with swimming the rest of the way. But we did it.
I've never felt exhaustion like it. It was as if my every muscle was tied into the ground, and every time I tried to move or shift, someone yanked on the rope. I can only imagine how Elden felt. We literally crawled ashore, dragging our waterlogged bodies a safe distance before slumping on the rocks and losing consciousness.
I'm not sure how long we stayed like that, only that we woke up in late morning sometime later, mostly dry, and aching from our effort
Elden estimates we swam about fifteen miles.
Of course, nearly everything in our possession was ruined. All of Elden's maps, all of my journals and recordings, the food we were carrying with us. Even our clothes were hardly usable, as the salt from the ocean had starched them while they dried in the sun.
It's a good thing the Sennin are durable.
I'm not sure what we would have done if we hadn't happened upon an abandoned settlement called First Landing. That was what the signpost said, anyway. It wasn't as old as the cities, about that much I'm certain. That, and the people didn't seem to have gone in a hurry. There wasn't much left aside from the structures and furniture, so they had had plenty of time to pack up and prepare.
Sorry, I'm getting sidetracked. Back to the story.
So we stumbled upon this overgrown little town comprised primarily of small cabins, with some kind of central building and the decades-old remains of a market in the center. The thing that made this such a find, though, were the beds. Real (somewhat musty and a little bit rotten) beds with feather mattresses and no skeletal remains to deter us! That was exactly what we needed: a real rest.
And after the rest, a meal.
Speaking of rest, I'm growing tired from all of this writing. I still haven't regained all my strength, though it's been nearly a week since we swam ashore. I'll finish this story later.
I hope you find this letter well.
|Sennin||Series||Jaime Tweets: 2 | 3 | 4 – MB: Mary – Moncada: Letter to Wife | Obituary – Mori Runes: 1 | 2 – Survivor: 2 – Triya: 5 ||
|Standalone||Editorial | Millennium Folder | Techtonic|
|Triya||Series||Triya: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20|