An MFRW Post – And check out the other blogs on the hop!
I’ve indulged in enough nature documentaries and post-apocalyptic YA fantasy stories to know that if you ever find yourself stranded – especially on an island in the middle of the ocean – the most important, number one, highest-priority thing to do is find potable water.
Now, I’m no inventor, but the general process for turning salt water to something our systems can digest is fairly simple, involving only a container, heat, usually fabric of some sort and the water itself. So, step one – create both a desalination device and build storage containers in which to keep the water I have made drinkable. There we go – most important question of survival solved and addressed.
Of course, there are others I should focus on before building the thing I really want to build. I’d have to make or find shelter, determine what kind of food – fish, fruits, larger predators, smaller prey – might be available to me on the island and start working on a plan to get myself off.
But, once all that has been achieved, my biggest efforts would be put to figuring out how to write.
If you’re interested in a dark but romantic horror story in the modern world, check out the book Gould’s Book of Fish. It is based on the real-life William Buelow Gould, the man responsible for some of the earliest records of natural life in Australia – after having been sent there as a criminal.
His early illustrations were recognized as a document of world significance by UNESCO over 150 years after his death. While the truth that takes place in Gould’s Book of Fish may not be the truth that took place in the life of the real William Buelow Gould, the story brings to light creativity, the desperate passion of an artist with no hope and the ingenuity of man backed into a corner.
Over the course of the book, Gould uses all manner of flora and fauna, the quills of fish that have floated into his prison cell, the moss growing on the walls, the very blood from his own body, to record the natural world around him as he wasted away in a dark, dank and wild prison.
I like to believe that I would be so desperate and determined to record my world. Ink would likely be easier to come by, the blood of berries, the swells from low-tiding squids, but I would do my best to recreate paper as well, even working to bind the pages together, so that my story of washing up on untred shores and, hopefully, of survival, might one day make it back to civilization.
Naturally, it is quite a morbid thought. But I suppose we all wonder, from time to time, just what we would prioritize when survival is on the line. For me, the most important thing besides making it out alive is telling the story. ♦