Backup JMR 20160402: Economics 101, a Novel, ch_15 -- Storms

[This is an informal, unformatted backup (JMR201603280958) of Economics 101, a Novel, ch_15 -- Storms

JMR20160614: The almost-final draft of this chapter is here:

The former current version is at

The chapter index is here: 

I lost the Google system datestamp on this backup. I'm pretty sure the above timestamp was copy/pasted from a different post, and I don't suppose it's a big deal, but actual date is more likely to be 2 April. Wish I could afford my own server so I could keep things like this from happening.]

(The story starts here:
The previous chapter is here:

Wycliffe whispered to them while they were drifting in and out:
Flood plane. 
After about a half hour, 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 over the grass around the tent, Karel said, "We've set the tent in a flood plane. That's got to be fixed, too."

He went up into the woods, out of sight, dug a trench about a foot deep and relieved his bladder. Then he moved about forty yards away, where there were trees blocking the view between, and 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. Go ahead." And he showed her where it was. While she was taking care of her business, he went back to his latrine and dug it deeper.

"I need the shovel." Bobbie said, so 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 away 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, 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 and took them up to the camp, where they used them to set up a wall just west of and above the tent, to set the trunks against, weaving them together with hemp and vine, and tying them to a pair of convenient trees with rope. They had a four foot wall set up by sundown. They 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.

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. 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 yet near full strength, and the tent held well against the winds and the rain. But cold, wet air seeped in through the tent flaps. Bobbie and Karel were sitting together, leaning against the suitcases, sharing warmth, and, rather, glad to have an excuse to huddle together when Wycliffe said to himself,
I'm glad you guys got 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's the deal?" 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 plotting 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. You see, 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. And we've been having fun here at your expense." Bobbie said quietly.

"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. I've learned a lot about what I was doing that wasn't making me happy, too. You know, now I'm repenting and believing in Jesus. I'm really okay, learning how to be happy. Your parents will help Zedidiah. But you two will need to continue doing what you've been doing today for quite a while."

"Oh. No one knows where we are."

"That's why I still wanted to apologize. 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 whispered.

"I wasn't there, but, yeah, 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, it was sweet of you, in a twisted sort of way."

"Twisted. Yeah."

"You know. Not what people should do, but since God seems to have allowed it, and He's allowing you to talk with us 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."


"No temple."

"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 I know something about what temple marriage means. So I knew that, if I had succeeded in getting you to seduce each other, you'd have been prevented from marrying in the temple."

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. 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. I see. Yeah. Well, it's the devil getting people to give him too much due. 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, ..."

"Uh, huh?"

"... you and I are not committed to anyone else, we like each other, and it looks like we are going to be together here for a long time."

"And we like each other. 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. But give me your hand."

And they fell asleep, leaning on each other, holding hands, sitting against the suitcase, with the winds blowing and the rains pouring around the tent. Around three, they woke up and got under a blanket and got some real sleep as the storm abated.

(The link to the next chapter will be here when it's ready. The next chapter is here:

(The chapter index is here:

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