Survival With Plates | Teen Ink

Survival With Plates

January 10, 2014
By TimB. BRONZE, Palatine, Illinois
TimB. BRONZE, Palatine, Illinois
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

I had been stranded for days after the Titanic had sunk. It was a traumatizing event; seeing the “unsinkable” ship go down on its first voyage. After I escaped the sleeping area, I floundered for a couple hours. I was succumbing to hypothermia and was starting to have tunnel vision. Then a floating object had bumped into me. “A MIRACLE” I thought as I grabbed on and drifted into the sea of unconsciousness. When I woke up, I had washed ashore and was safe and relatively dry. I shouted out for help, but nobody responded. “What if I’m here alone?” I thought. “What will I do?” I could feel the panic creeping into me, but I glanced at the cart that I had been floating on and thought that maybe there would be food in it, or at least something to help me. I looked into the cart and found… plates; stacks and stacks of plates. “I’m doomed.” I remember thinking just before I fell asleep again that night.

When I woke up I was desperately hungry and thirsty. Luckily I found a freshwater stream near the beach. The problem with my hunger though had still not been answered. Suddenly it hit me! I remembered making a list in English class previously in the year where I had to think of as many uses of a plate. It seemed like I had plenty of plates to choose from so I tried to remember what some of those things were. I remember an idea that it could be used as a raft, although that was incredibly unrealistic. A more realistic idea was to sharpen the edges and use them to throw at animals for food. Looking back I know that there are at least 50 better ideas, but at the time, my deranged mind thought that that would be best. I began to sharpen the edges of some of the plates. It was solitary work and I soon got lonely, so I drew a face on one of the plates with some mud and named him Plate. I know it isn’t very original, but it was all I had. Plate was my greatest friend and was the best listener that I had ever heard of though, and that meant a lot to me.

Over time I became pretty good at using my plates to hunt. I would throw it like a Frisbee, and most of the time it would hit the animal with enough force to finish it off painlessly. The plates didn’t break very often either, so I found myself with a surplus of plates. One day it looked like it might rain, so over my little lean-to I created, I covered the roof with plates. I labored for days, through rain and shine; even though it was mostly rain. Of course once in a while a plate would break, and I would have to replace from one on my roof, and that in turn meant I had to sharpen it and make it to make specific plate throwing dimensions. So I was sitting on my tree stump sharpening my new plate and I was talking to Plate about something when I had the sudden urge to take a sip of water. I left the sharpening rock on the stump walked the 20 feet to the stream. For some reason I had never left Plate alone before, probably because I had thought that he was too fragile. That fateful day I left him there, next to the stump defenseless, was a day that I would never forget.

I was walking back and noticed a bird pecking at my stone and he was moving it toward the edge of the stump. I was fascinated by what the bird was doing, I had never seen that happen before. The stone kept inching closer to the edge of the stump, and it was too late when I noticed what it would fall on. With one final heave the bird brutally shoved the stone off the stump, and the stone dove to the ground. With a loud crack, it landed on Plate. The entire forest grew silent at that time, no birds chirping or lions roaring. I sprinted the final feet and dove at the feet of Plate. “Hang in there buddy, I’m here. You’ll be fine.” I repeated through my sobs. But I knew the truth, Plate was gone, and so was my only friend. I decided then and there that he would have the greatest burial that I could give him. I trekked through the wild forest and found the perfect spot. It received daylight whenever the sun was out, and it was the perfect type of dirt for Plate to be buried in. I retrieved a couple extra plates to use as shovels, and scooped up Plates remains and led a somber parade through the forest.

The day I finished burying Plate was the saddest day of my life. Now there was nobody to talk to or confide in. I was all alone. The next day I picked some flowers to lie on Plates grave, and show him my respect. I repeated this act for the rest of the time I was on the island. Every day I would visit Plate, and every day I would give him flowers. One night when I was in a particularly bad mood, the weather seemed to agree with me and it rained and rained all day. Then it kept raining for the day after that and the day after that one. I felt so bad that I couldn’t visit Plates grave.

The day after it ended I picked all the flowers that I hadn’t given him for the previous days and made my way to the clearing where Plate was laid to rest. I was muttering to myself and not paying attention when I ran right into something. When I was picking myself up, I whipped my head around and almost passed out at what I saw. There, where Plates grave was, was a huge plate. I mean this plate was as big a boat. It was bigger than the Titanic. I flashed back to the first day I was on the island and thought of the plate as a raft. “I know how to get off the island now.” I thought as I tried to pull the plate to the beach to get it going. It didn’t budge. “I need something big to pull this.” I thought. Then I remembered the elephants I had befriended during my time on the island. I gathered them around and had them pull on vines that I had attached to the big plate. Inch by inch the plate was dragged to the beach and in the surf.

Once I had everything I needed to get going, I started to skip plates on the surface of the water. This was my signal to the giant sea monster I had befriended to come up to the surface. I tethered the sea monster to the plate and yelled “MUSH.” With that he started to go, and I was on my way home, to a place I had never been to in 14 years. “I’m going home,” I thought, “and I couldn’t have done it without Plate.”

The author's comments:
I was watching Cast Away, and used parts of that in this story.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.