Day 12 – 955 words and a total of 18 298 words! I didn’t get much time AT ALL today, but I still managed to almost get the 1000 mark…

Looking over the walltop, the four stickmen watched as the sun began to rise up over the horizon, transforming the island from dark to light in a matter of minutes.

Leaning over the battlements, they got their first real chance to look over the island from a high-up point.

The land was mostly composed of three areas: the first looked hot, and was sandy and desert-like, making up most of the northern side of the island. The second, northwest side of the island was green and hilly, with what looked like a large lake just visible at its centre. The third and final area—to the southeast—was entirely forest, with the mountain they stood upon rising up out of the middle of them.

Leddy nudged Stikky, making him jump. “Why would there be three completely different climates one on island?” he asked, scratching his head. “I doesn’t make sense, does it?”

Stikky stared out to sea, squinting slightly. “I didn’t think it was possible for it to really happen, although the hills and trees are kind of one thing—as in, you’d find them both in the same place generally… but I don’t know why there’s desert though, unless some huge thing happened to change it…”

Stib shrugged. “We’ve got some serious exploring to do before we can figure everything out, so we best get started!”

Stif nodded in agreement. “But, just remember” he added sagely. “We’ve only been on this island for a little over two days, so don’t expect to get it all done in a week!”

Turning around, Stikky looked down to see the stickmen around the campfire beginning to stir. “I think we’ve got more important things to do before we get to scout this island out!” he decided, pointing down at them.

“Well…” said a sleepy voice, making them all jump. “Did you guys have fun last night, exploring without me?”

Spinning around, they saw the tousled head of Steik appear up the stairs, soon followed by the rest of his body.

Stif and Stib grinned, nodding eagerly. “You won’t believe what we did!” They said in unison, exchanging winks. “We found an open observatory, we discovered the kitchens, and we even uncovered a way down to the bottom of the mountain!”

Stikky pushed his way between them, yawning. “Actually, we found that,” he corrected, indicating to him and Leddy with a thumb as the twins shrugged.

Steik pulled his glasses off carefully, polished them with a piece of cloth, and put them back on again. “That’s great!” he exclaimed, nodding in approval. “But I think those guys down there’ll be wanting breakfast soon, so we’d better go and collect a few of them to help us bring up some supplies!”

They all agreed with this sensible suggestion, and after finding a few extra stickmen to help, they set off into the tunnels.

“We can’t just carry up a load of fruit and whatever else we need in our hands!” Stikky said, thinking aloud as he walked down the passage at the head of the group. “We need something to carry it all in…”

Stib tapped him on the shoulder, indicating to his twin as he did so. “Stif can tell you something about that…” he explained, moving aside as his brother hurried forward to speak with Stikky.

Listening quietly, he managed to pick up a few pieces of their conversation.

“So you’re saying there’s some right here in the castle?”

“…yes, but they’re probably not in the best shape…”

“Are they anywhere near here?”

“I think so… yep, down here, to the left, there was a whole room full of them!”

Turning quickly down a tunnel to the left, they stopped outside an enormous archway, Stif and Stikky hurrying inside.

Looking around the room, Stikky stared at the myriad of objects around him. Enormous wagons, covered in dust, buckets ranging from large to small, baskets, lengths of chain, coils of rope, and a whole host of other useful things.

Doing a full 360-spin, he looked around at the multitude of items surrounding him, most completely unrelated to each other, but each one unthinkably useful.

Turning first to look back at the entrance as the others crowded in, and then back at Stif, Stikky shook his head in amazement.

“When did you find all this?” he asked. “And why didn’t you tell us outright about it?”

Stif shrugged. “I just saw a glimpse of it on our way back out,” he explained. “But I was too tired to go back and have a proper look, and anyway, I didn’t want to. I soon forgot about it, and only remembered it when you mentioned it!”

Leddy nodded. “So… what do we need, then?” he asked. “And what here is actually usable?”

Stikky rubbed his hand on the smooth side of a wagon. It was still completely firm, just like brand new wood was. He picked up a bucket, felt that, and then tried tugging on a piece of rope. No, everything was exactly as it had been when it had been made.

Steik loaded a wagon with a length of chain, two coils of rope, a dozen or so buckets, and then proceeded to push it out of the room. Leddy ran to help him.

“I don’t get why all this stuff hasn’t rotted away,” Steik panted, pushing as hard as he could and moving the wagon slowly across the room as the stickmen made their way back out of the entrance to make room. “It’s probably something to do with the way it was stored, or maybe its something else, but I don’t care! So long as its like this, we can use it, and we’d best do it while we can!”