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by PaulaBlake 

Posted: 20 January 2005
Word Count: 790
Summary: Stranded!

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Sunday - Day 1
Why on earth did I start out on this stupid trip in the first place? One minute I am surrounded by five star luxury, looking forward to starting out on the experience of a lifetime, then 24 hours later here I am Ė after falling out of the sky spectacularly and landing in the middle of nowhere - bedding down with nature, alone, with but a few animals and insects for company.

Monday Ė Day 2
After trekking across the jungle for half a day I ended up with blisters the size of walnuts, mosquito bites on top of mosquito bites and I have sliced my arms to pieces by using them as my scythe to force my way through the bush. I made a bed beside a beautiful waterfall, if I wasnít so scared Iíd appreciate this place a lot more. Itís not quiet but I doubt I will sleep much tonight anyway, it may even be comforting. I have explored the immediate area and there is nothing but a huge expanse of jungle. I hope Iím not here for long.

Tuesday - Day 3
If the only companions I am to have are the monkeys that surround me, and I am forced to listen to their selfish incessant screeching day and night, I think I shall go quite mad. I have almost learned to ignore all the eyes watching me and pretend theyíre not there at all.

Wednesday Ė Day 4
Food here is hard to find. Iím in danger of wasting away.

Thursday Ė Day 5
Today I ate bugs. I had to. There was no other choice if I wanted to eat properly. The cockroaches didnít taste much worse than a meal at my local Chinese. The trick is to pull the legs off first so they donít squirm around in your mouth then crunch and swallow quickly.

Friday Ė Day 6
God, please help me, it feels like I am going to be here forever. Marissa, I love you, tell the kids I miss them and I hope I havenít been an embarrassment.

Saturday Ė Day 7
I have to catch snippets of sleep when I can. This afternoon I woke up to a peculiar feeling. It was teeming with rain and unbearably humid, I was soaked through to the skin and I had acquired several leeches as pets. My calves, hands and face all had tiny black slugs attached to my bare skin. I guess they hadnít had a good meal in days either. Apparently the best way to remove them is to sprinkle salt on them, handy to know in the middle of the jungle.

Sunday Ė Day 8
The image I have of Marissa in my head is enough alone to keep me going. A gentle breeze blowing her hair across her face, those beautiful eyes laughing with me as she brushes it away carefully, with her elegant piano playing fingers.

Monday Ė Day 9
If I were younger, this might be fun. Making a fire, building a dry camp, catching my own food, but when it is something you have to do to survive, it becomes a chore as well as a matter of life or death.

Tuesday - Day 10
Part of me wants to leave so badly, to be with Marissa, for her to hold my head in her hands and tell me everything will be alright, while part of me wants to stick it through to the end whenever that may be. I just canít walk out, I wish I could, I am lost.

Wednesday - Day 11
Mud, slime, flies, sweat, smells, snakes, B.O, hunger, dirt, crocodiles, cockroaches, leeches, mosquitoes, no sleep, spiders.

Thursday - Day 12
Roast chicken and stuffing, treacle pudding and custard, home made lasagne, cheese, a glass of chardonnay, freshly baked bread with thick-spread butter melting slightly on top, lobster.

Friday - Day 13
I have been trying to understand the voices. There are less of them now, they have dwindled day by day, and I am just beginning to understand them but they donít listen to me. Most of the time it is a jumble of words, they talk about how they know best. A few of them tell me what to do, but I wonít obey them, they donít like that.

Saturday - Day 14
I canít believe it! After jumping out of a plane to get here, I am now being escorted out of this hell hole by Ant and Dec to a waiting captive audience! Not only have I won and am King of the Jungle, but people lactually love me again! Singing to myself, I walk across the moonlit bridge back to reality!

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Comments by other Members

Jim Beard at 12:55 on 20 January 2005  Report this post
Hi Paula

I gathered early on that the narrator is a contestant on ĎIím a celebrity..,í which is a pity because it reduces the tension. We then know that he will get out of his predicament soon enough. Maybe itís worth developing with some dialogue between the other contestants with the narrator being the least popular, or better still a real castaway situation. A good line on the people loving him again. It shows how shallow they are for being so desperate for attention. Glad I didnít read it just before a meal. The description of how best to eat the cockroaches is pretty gruesome, have you tried them?



PaulaBlake at 13:30 on 20 January 2005  Report this post
Hi Jim

No, luckily I havent tried cockroaches, and I have to say that you are the only person (so far) who has read this and got it straight away, great minds eh?? i think it is more effective on the reader if they dont get it immediately, but if others follow the same pattern i will have to re do it!


bjlangley at 13:47 on 20 January 2005  Report this post
Hi Paula, I think you cleverly disguise the fact that the MC is merely part of a gameshow. - This line, for instance: "Today I ate bugs. I had to. There was no other choice if I wanted to eat properly." once I looked over it again, I can see it's part of a challenge. It did come to my mind that they could be a contestant on day 10 with 'stick it through'.

I enjoyed this, but some of the entries are rather short, and i think they would benefit from being built on a little.

All the best,


Becca at 18:51 on 20 January 2005  Report this post
Hi Paula,
I didn't get that your MC was in a contest and because I didn't, I thought some of the diary entries were not worried enough. I did wonder how cockroaches got into the jungle as well.
I think you could expand on it and build up the tension more so that the twist in the tail is even more twisty. I don't watch TV, although even I know about these contest things, but I still didn't get it.
Should lactually be actually?

SamMorris at 16:14 on 21 January 2005  Report this post
Hi Paula,
I like what you have done here, especially in regards to turning this on its head at the end. The descriptions of the jungle life were also suitably gruesome. In a similar vein to Becca's comment above, the one thing I thought you could add was an initial reason for her to be there. As we don't have any idea why she is there, I don't think we care as much as we could about the things she has to put up with. Perhaps if there was a reason, that could either be turned on its head at the end, or that could in some way fit in with the reality TV show angle, then it might add something. Or perhaps not - just an idea.

Thanks for the read, and all the best


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