Day 18, 775 words and a total of 28 179 words! I did a LOT of story mapping today, so I (mostly) know where I’m going for the rest of it!

Wyllum shook the water out of his hair as the water drained out of the room, pulling his bandanna back up over his nose and mouth as he did so.

Opening the hatch in the side of the wall, he stepped into the submarine, the rest of the Guerdon Gang following.

D3-RP and Drayde shared a look. They knew what Wyllum was capable of doing when he was in this silent, angry mood.

“So… what are we going to do now?” Giabrel asked nervously, sitting back in a chair and relaxing. “We can always attempt to take them out again…”

His voice faded as Wyllum turned to look at him, the expression of anger gone from his face.

“No.” he said simply, turning to look at the others. “We’re going to give up.”

“What?!” the three listeners exclaimed, staring at each other in confusion. “Give up?!”

Wyllum nodded, taking off his leather jacket and hanging it on a peg on the wall. “I should have know I shouldn’t have underestimated these stickmen. I just thought because they’d been isolated from the rest of the world, they’d have become… primitive… Well, I was wrong.”

The others stared first at Wyllum, and then at each other. What had happened to the leader of the Guerdon Gang.

“No, don’t look at me like that.” Wyllum explained, sitting down at the controls of the submarine and beginning to charter a course. “I’ve not gone crazy. I’ve just realised what I was doing wrong. I wanted revenge, and I wasn’t thinking clearly.”

“Where are we going?” D3-RP asked, trying to get a look at the GPS.

“Back to the Great Stickman City,” the leader of the Guerdon Gang replied. “I’ll always feel much more at home there.”

“But what about Destick?” Drayde asked. “And what about the money?”

“Forget Destick! And even more, forget the money!” Wyllum said sharply. “He’s trying to get us to eliminate some stickmen—which we shouldn’t even have agreed to, we’re stickmen too—who, from what I’ve found out, have done nothing wrong, except that Destick wants them gone! Now come on; we’re not going to try and finish the job, and we’re not going back to Destick either. Is anyone against that?”

Narrowing his eyes, he looked first at D3-RP; the cyborg shaking his head with vigour, then at Drayde, who was trying to re-string his bow while still watching Wyllum, and last at Giabrel, who had lost the revengeful look in his eyes and was nodding in agreement.

“Right then,” Wyllum decided as the submarine began to move. “Let’s not be the bad guys this time, and even more importantly, let’s go home.”

 

Several days later, after making sure the Guerdon Gang had truly left, Stikky had decided the island needed proper exploring. After collecting supplies for at least a couple days, he, Leddy, Steik, and the twins had set off from the base of the mountain back into the forest.

After a few hours, despite a jovial start, it became clear they were travelling quite slowly, and it was becoming hard not to think about the food they carried in their packs.

Just as Stikky was about to relent and let the group stop for a snack, the trees thinned and they emerged onto the sandy bank of a wide, fast-flowing river, probably about five or ten metres across.

Peering across at the opposite bank, the five could hardly believe their eyes. It was as if the river was a divider between two completely different environments, as indeed it was.

Before them lay a hot, desert-like land, large sand dunes rising out of the ground here and there. Small cacti had emerged out of the desert, covered in long, prickly spines.

Stikky suddenly realised how hot he was, and sat down on the edge of the river, allowing the cool, fast-running waters to wash away the dirt that had collected on them. The others quickly followed his example.

“What’s with this?” Leddy asked, the first to speak as the water splashed over and around his tired feet. “You don’t just have a desert directly next to a forest, do you? It’s almost like it’s another island-”

His voice faded away as realisation dawned on them all.

“Maybe that’s what it is.” Steik said simply, adjusting his glasses. “Maybe it’s another island.”

The rest of them sat in silence, staring first at the desert, and then turning to look back at the forest.

Eventually Leddy got up. “Come on guys!” he exclaimed, taking an apple from his pack and tearing a chunk from it, chewing it thoughtfully. “We’ve got a whole new island to explore!”