The Novels

Economics 101, a Novel (Rough Draft) -- My first sustained attempt at a novel, two-thirds finished in rough draft, and heading a little too far south.
What would you do if you and your study partner, with whom you had been seriously discussing marriage, suddenly found yourselves all alone together on a desert island? Study economics?
Sociology 500, a Romance (Second Draft) -- The first book in the Economics 101 Trilogy.(On hold.)
Karel and Dan, former American football teammates and now graduate students, meet fellow graduate students Kristie and Bobbie, and the four form a steady study group.

Featured Post

Sociology 500, a Romance, ch 1 pt 1 -- Introducing Bobbie

TOC Well, let's meet Roberta Whitmer. Bobbie entered the anthropology department office and looked around. Near the receptionis...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 150 -- Storms

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, here:]

 (The story starts here:

Bobbie and Karel have now taken a good first look at the island that will be their new home for a while: What do they do next?

Wycliffe thought the island would be safe enough, but he didn't think about all the bad things that could happen to them. There was one particular thing he didn't think of ahead of time.

But, as a guardian angel, he was allowed to give them a little warning for it. Let's see how they handle it.

Wycliffe watched them while they were drifting in and out. After they had rested about a half hour, he whispered:
Flood plane. 
Shortly, Karel began to feel uncomfortable, and woke up. When he moved, Bobbie woke up, too.

"I don't think I've relieved my bladder in over 24 hours," Karel muttered.

"Me, neither."

"We haven't set up a latrine."

"We need to do that, I guess."

So they crawled out from under the dinghy and Karel found a shovel.

Looking around at the grass area in which they had set the tent up, Karel said, "We've set the tent in a flood plane. That's got to be fixed, too."

Then he went up into the woods, out of sight, dug a trench about a foot deep and relieved his bladder. Moving about forty yards away, where there were trees blocking the view, he dug a second latrine trench three feet deep.

When he came out of the woods, Bobbie had found a roll of tissue paper in the emergency supplies. "Do you need it?"

"Not yet, but you have a latrine. It's your turn first." And he showed her where he had dug the deeper one and went to dig the first one deeper.

Finishing her toiletry, Bobbie called out, "I need the shovel." And Karel took it to her. She buried her waste while he took the roll of tissue and went back and took care of his business. When he was done, he called out, and she brought him the shovel. Then she went down to the water to wash her hands. When he had buried his waste, he went down to the water and washed his hands, too.

"What was that about the flood plane?"

"We have to move the camp out of the flood plane. Where it is, it will get washed out in a bad storm."

"Do you think we'll have a bad storm before Wycliffe comes back?"

They looked at the sky, but couldn't tell much. There didn't seem to be much wind, not too many clouds.

"Well, while we were dozing, something was telling me to worry about the flood plane."

So they spent an hour looking for a good hill with a clear spot to set up a real camp. They found one Karel thought would work, about two hundred yards into the woods, about two hundred yards north of their original camp. The clearing was on a rise, jutting out to about ten feet above the surrounding land. They spent another two hours moving their camp and setting the tent up again. Then Karel filled in the latrines they had just dug and used, and dug a new one on the rise, lower than the camp and about fifty yards east, between the camp and the beach.

In the process of moving, they found some good fallen trees. They took them up to the camp and used them to set up a wall to set their trunks against, just west of and above the tent, weaving them together with hemp, vine, and wide leaves, and tying them to a pair of convenient trees with rope. They had a four foot wall set up by sundown. They removed their bedrolls from the trunks and then tied the canvas over the trunks and tied the trunks to the wall.

Then they dug trenches above the wall, to direct water away from it, and trenches below it to draw water away from the tent.

Winds were picking up, so they deflated the dinghy and packed it with the suitcases and smaller bags into the tent. They put the baggage in the center of the tent, to keep it away from the walls, rolling out the bedrolls on either side of the baggage. Then they retired to the tent, tied the tent flaps tight, prayed together for safety, and hoped for the best.

The rains hit about eleven. Fortunately, the storm was not a full strength storm, and the tent held well against the winds and the rain. But cold, wet air seeped in through the tent flaps, and water condensed on the walls. Bobbie and Karel sat together on Karel's bedroll, leaning against the suitcases, sharing their warmth under a blanket, feeling glad, rather, to have an excuse to huddle together, when Wycliffe said to himself,
I'm glad you guys took the warning.
"Wycliffe?" Bobbie asked. Then they saw him, more or less as they had seen him last, though not exactly in the tent with them.

"Oh. Sorry. Didn't mean to disturb you."

"What, uh, what's up?" asked Karel.

"I had no idea that I'd get to talk with you guys tonight. But since I can, I want to say I'm sorry for kidnapping you and trying to get you to, well, seduce each other."

"We forgave you for that already," said Bobbie.


"Clearly, we are having some sort of vision here. Where are you?" Asked Karel.

"Oh, I'm here, as much as a spirit can be 'here' in the mortal world. I, uh, I didn't make it to my cache of fuel, and the plane is now in the sea about fifty miles away from the island where we had the cache. Poor Zed is going to lose his shirt. I gave it my best shot, but I wasn't able to swim the fifty miles. So my body's in the sea, too."

"That's horrible!" Bobbie said quietly. "We've been having fun here at your expense and you're ..."

"Well, thanks for worrying about me, but I've now been through a bit of my own hell, and God has saved me, so I'm okay."


"Isn't that supposed to last for eternity?" Bobbie had doubts.

"Sure seemed like an eternity to me. But, yeah, it's been a lot longer for me than for you since I left you here. Time isn't the same this side of the veil."

"Doctrine and Covenants section 19," said Karel.

"I've learned a lot about what I was doing that wasn't making me happy. You know, now I'm repenting and believing in Jesus. I'm really okay, learning how to be happy."

"So you're really dead?" Karel asked, still somewhat incredulous.

"Well, my body is dead."

"So, you can still repent?" asked Bobbie. "You do seem to have changed a bit."

"Not nearly as cynical, I think," added Karel.

"I can still change. There's stuff I can't do, but you guys know about that."

"You'll never get married at all!" Bobbie was beginning to be sympathetic.

Wycliffe changed the subject. "Your parents will help Zedidiah. But you two will need to continue doing what you've been doing today for quite a while."

It was Karel who put his realization into words. "Oh. You mean, no one knows where we are."

"I'm sorry I wasn't strong enough to make sure I didn't leave you stuck here. This island is beautiful, but it's not yet charted, and it's way out of the usual traffic lanes. You won't be found for quite a long time."

"That explains the impressions we had the first day, Bobbie." Karel said in a low voice.

"I wasn't there, but, yes, that was God telling you, so you could be making the necessary adjustments. Uhm, I hope you won't mind, but I've been assigned to be one of your guardian angels for now."

"That's ironic, but I'm okay with it. You okay with it, too, Bobbie?"

"Sure. Like I've said several times, Wycliffe, if you've been watching, maybe you've heard me, but it was sweet of you, in a twisted sort of way."

"Twisted. Yeah. Sorry."

"You know," she continued, "Not something that people should really do, but, since God seems to have allowed it, and He's allowing you to tell us about it now, who are we to hold a grudge?"

Wycliffe laughed. "Thanks."

"But, do you know how long?" Karel asked.

"God hasn't told me exactly. It may be fifteen years before this island is found and charted, and you guys need to get on with life here."

"Get on with life." Bobbie was feeling a little stunned.


"No school." Karel's tone echoed Bobbie's.

"No stores and no doctors."

"I'm sorry."

"No temple." Bobbie and Karel said in almost unison.

"I'm not allowed to talk to you about that. It's another thing I have to be sorry about. I was actually baptized, and went to church for a while. So I know something about what temple marriage means. And I knew that, if I had succeeded in getting you to seduce each other, you'd have been prevented from marrying in the temple. And, like I say, I'm really, really sorry."

Bobbie and Karel looked at each other. Karel said, "Maybe this is our punishment for being too proud to talk about marriage before we came."

"I can't tell you anything about that, either. Someone else will come to tell you what you can do. What you decide, though, is up to you two. Uhm, I gotta go." And the apparition faded away.

After some ten or thirty minutes of silence, huddled together in the cold air and occasional flashes of lightening, Karel said, "Ghost stories are sooo stupid."


"They make fun of sacred things."

"Oh. Yeah. I see what you mean. Well, they are as it were the devil giving himself too much due. So it's not surprising that the stories get confused and confusing."

More silence.


"Yeah, Bobbie?"

"So, we, uhm, can't get married in the temple, after all. I mean, to each other."

"I hope Wycliffe's comment about someone else coming means there's an answer to that, because, for all that I agree with you that there are lots of adventures that people can have together that don't have anything to do with marriage and what goes along with marriage, and ..."

"Uh huh?"

"... you and I are not committed to anyone else."

Silence. Then Karel continued, "We like each other. We've changed our minds about marriage, haven't we?"

"We haven't properly asked each other yet, but, uhm, I was thinking we could start talking seriously about it as soon as Wycliffe picked us up and got us back to the main island, maybe even talk about setting a date while we were headed home. We've known each other long enough, really."

"Mmmm ... and it looks like we are going to be here for a long time. Together. Not married."


Bobbie ventured: "And we like each other." But she paused. "Do we, really? I mean, we have never even held hands."

"Until now. I mean, huddling is pretty close to cuddling."

"Do we dare?"

"He said that was our decision."

"Let's take it slowly, anyway. Give me your hand."

And they sat, holding hands, leaning on each other, sitting against one of the suitcases, thinking, and listening to the winds and rains beating against the tent.

And they fell asleep.

Around three, Karel shifted and woke up, his back and neck feeling chilled and stiff, needing to lie down to get some real sleep. He moved, and Bobbie woke up, too. Without saying anything, both of them lay down under the blanket and went back to sleep, side by side, in the damp chill of the abating storm.

Who's chaperoning here, and what're their folks thinking about all this?

The table of contents can be found here:

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter is here:]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it on topic, and be patient with the moderator. I have other things to do, too, you know.