It was a short walk to the caves but a painful one nontheless. I understood why I had to wear the clothes. I understood that if there were more clothes recovered, they wouldn't have me do this. Maybe if some more clothes wash up, I could go back to wearing mens' clothes but that did nothing to assuage my fears. I just didn't want to feel any less like a man than I already did.
"Don't worry Fahey" Coach said as he touched my shoulder "We're gonna get off this rock and everything can go back to normal" he said reassuringly. I'd never seen this side of coach. He was always a stern man. He rebuked us whenever we did something wrong. He certainly never consoled or reassured us.
"Thanks coach" I forced a smile.
"We're here" Ollie and Tate said together but not quite uniformly.
The entrance of the cave was covered by some draping leaves which didn't fool any of us but could be quite useful at night or against wild animals should we encounter any. It could also shield those inside from harsh winds. It seemed too good to be true.
'Hold on boys. I'll go see what we got" Coach said as he pushed past the shrubbery and walked in.
"You know, Jo" I heard Doug say and I instantly knew he was about to say something stupid "I honestly think you'll look quite stunning in those clothes"
I glared at him.
"Doug, Don't" Mikey said
"What? I always thought you'd make a cute girl. Soon I'll know for sure" He continued.
I turned away from him.
"You know it too, don't you?" He continued "That's why you don't want to wear the clothes"
I stayed quiet.
"Stop it, Doug" Tate added but Doug wasn't hearing it.
"You don't always have to be a dick, you know?" Gabe chimed in agreement which surprised me. He and Doug were thick as thieves.
He laughed "I'm just teasing, Jo. Don't mind me"
I really don't know when everyone started calling me that. That was Mikey's name for me as 'Mikey' was my name for him. It must have been popularized by the squad. It's abrupt end had a very feminine ring to it but I never minded it when Mikey said it.
"It seems-" Coach began as he left the cave but paused as he noticed our demeanor "What happened out here?"
We were silent.
"I asked a question." He said calmly but in a way that indicated he was losing that calm
"Nothing coach" I said "It's hard to be cheerful in a place like this, is all"
His expression loosened.
"Well with any luck, we won't be here long" he walked back into the cave and gestured for us to follow "Welcome to your new home, boys"
I studied the cave. It was just bigger than an average living room. Towards the back, I noticed ash and pieces of burnt wood. It seemed to have been here a very long time.
"There was someone here" I said
"Yes" Coach Evans replied "Let's hope whoever he was made it off this island"
He turned to the other boys "Get the bags. Let's see if we can't spruce this place up a bit"
When they left to get the bags, I continued looking around. In the corner of the cave, I found a large burlap sack I hadn't noticed.
"Coach I got something" I yelled
I began pulling it into the light before he got up to me and grabbed it pulling it the rest of the way. It wasn't all that heavy and even if it was, he usually told us to take care of everything anyway so that was odd at first but I figured that he was still feeling sorry for me having to wear those clothes so I thought no more of it.
When He put down the bag, there was a loud clang. I could tell it was metal but that was about it.
The guys brought in the the boxes and stopped as they saw the bag.
"What's that?" Mikey asked. I shrugged.
"We're about to find out" Coach replied as he began to untie the ropes.
He untied it and looked inside.
"What's in there, coach?" Tate asked as he began emptying the bag on the floor
Two large pots embedded in one another which were in surprisingly good condition. Next out the bag was a small axe. It was a little rusty around the edges but it seemed like it would do the job.
"It's some sort of survivor's kit" I said stating the obvious.
"Yeah they seemed to have come prepared and didn't leave at all in a hurry" Gabe said "Could have been a planned expedition of some sort"
"That's as good a guess as any" Coach chimed in "Probable even"
He continued fishing in the bag.
Next coach held out a small knife connected by a light chain to a small rod.
"That's a spark-producing ferro rod" I heard Gabe say. He must have noticed the confused looks on our faces because he continued "It's an effective way to start a fire"
We all nodded.
"I'm impressed, Eldon" coach said "Not many kids are interested in this stuff these days"
"I'm not coach. My dad is." he replied"
"Even so. It's a useful skill. Case in point."
"I'll try to make good use of it all, coach" He said smiling.
Even if we were on the same team, I knew nothing about Gabe except that he got into trouble a lot. Even with the law on occasion. He and Doug hung out with the kids in the basketball squad and some of the cheerleaders. He wasn't exactly my crowd so it was intriguing to see this side of him. A side that's willing to help.
"Yes!" Coach exclaimed. He got our attention "A gill net" he said pulling out a large net all wrapped together "This will help our fishing situation"
"We wouldn't wish this on anyone but we're glad you're here with us, coach" Ollie added.
He nodded before he continued rummaging through the sack. Next came a large curved knife. This one was wrapped in a small cloth so it was in impeccable quality.
Near the base of the bag, coach brought out two steel plates and two steel cups. They also seemed to be in goof quality.
Most of this stuff were in excellent quality. I wondered if the previous guests hadn't stayed as long as planned.
At this point it was clear the bag was now empty but coach flipped it and shook it for good measure.
"That's about it" he said.
"Right. What's next coach?" Tate asked
"We need food and water." He spun the knife in one hand. "Harris, you and Denholm take those two pots and get water from that spring you talked about. " They both nodded and took off
"Eldon, I need you to take that rod thing and go get a fire going." He continued "Think you can handle that?"
"I sure can, coach" Gabe replied
"Ripley, you're coming with me. We're going to go see if we can't catch our dinner" Doug was visibly distraught "Don't worry, Ripley. I'm sure you can handle it"
Doug slowly walked out the cave and I couldn't help but smile.
"Reid, I need a full inventory of everything in those two boxes and the best way we can divide that among six people"
"On it, coach"
"Go through that trunk, Fahey. Find stuff you can wear" It seemed less like an order and more like a suggestion.
I didn't reply.
"Do what you can" he said before he walked out.
Ollie did say anything and walked up to the first box.
I decided I had to do the same eventually so I walked up to it. I slowly knelt beside it. I slowly placed both hands on the lid and raised it.
Inside the trunk seemed like someone vomitted rainbows into a box and locked it. There were so many colors and a lot of which I didn't recognize. But the first thing that hit me was the scent. It smelled of flowers and despite the clearly feminine aroma, it was very pleasing.
I scanned the box. The bottom part of the lid was a large mirror and right in front of that stituated a net pouch holding all the products. Make up, perfumes, body and face wash, shampoos, tampons and it seemed to go on forever. The large trunk was filled with all sorts of tops, skirts, shorts, dresses and shoes towards the bottom, slippers, sandals, sneakers and a pair of black pumps.
I couldn't think of where to begin so I looked over at Ollie who had made some significant progress. He had placed a blanket on the floor and was laying out the clothes on it.
I sighed and got back into it.
I came across a packet of bras which I tossed aside 'Wouldn't be needing that' I thought
I eventually came across loose tank top with much thinner straps than i was used to which I took out the trunk. I found two pairs of jeans but they were both ripped in multiple places. I also came across a few shorts I could definitely wear but they looked like they would come up just under my junk. I sighed again. I didn't want to be here when the rest of them got back. I took out one of the ripped jeans. I usually loved shorts but I just wasn't there yet.
I took off my crusty shoes and socks only then realizing that I've had them on for quite some time. I slipped on a pair of yellow slippers from the trunk and half expected the world to come to an end. It didn't and I relaxed.
'I should go take a shower now' I thought. Last thing I wanted was to put on a pair of panties in front of the others. It dawned on me. I'd have to wear panties. I could hardly wear the same pair of briefs forever and they pair I had on had been soaked in salt water.
I fished through the trunk for a pair and when I didn't find any, I check the pack of bras I'd tossed earlier and sure enough, there were tons of panties within all matching the bras. I thought for a second that they're probably not so bad and that I could probably go a week on these briefs the next. The former thought prevailed as I pulled a pair out of the bag. It was soft and lacy and unlike anything I'd ever worn before. I put it together with the tank and the cropped jeans from earlier.
Looking at the mirror, I got a chance to study myself. I was one of those people that you just couldn't place their gender. I looked a lot like my mother even now that I was an absolute mess. My hair meshed solid in places and seemed to be breaking in others. I couldn't see the sand but I definitely felt enough in there to build a small sand castle.
I took a hair brush and the shampoo from the small net pouch. It was the first time I was grateful this trunk had washed ashore. I loved my hair and I took care of it. I also grabbed the large body wash before finally closing the box.
I grabbed everything and hurried past Ollie who didn't say a word. I started walking towards the spring.
If I wasn't stranded here, I would totally adore this island. It was hot and steamy which was to be expected at about midday in a rainforest but it was also very beautiful. Everything felt so alive and the colors were so vibrant. The greens were striking and the reds were piercing.
I was still taking it all in when I ran into Mikey and Tate carrying the two pots now filled with water.
"You headed to the spring?" Mikey asked
"Change of clothes" he asked again.
I nodded again.
"What you're doing is really something" Tate began. I turned to him "I don't think I'd be able to do it"
I didn't reply but this took away a lot of the courage I'd managed to muster. In my position, none of them would agree to this. Not even Mikey for all his talk. What did that say about me?
"Well Jo is a better person than you and I" Mikey said clearly trying to reassure me.
"Let's get these back" Tate said as he began walking past me. "Godspeed Jonathan"
I arrived at the spring not long after and couldn't wait to get in.
I took everything off for the first time in over a day and stepped in the spring. It was warm from the day's heat and it felt like it rejuvenated my cells upon contact. I sat in it for a few minutes before beginning to wash myself with the body wash and shampoo.
When I thought I was sufficiently clean, I swam a bit before getting out of the pool. I might have been unconciously stalling.
I looked at the clean pile of womens' clothes beside the dirty pile of my old clothes. I took a deep breath and fished out the panties. In a few swift motions, I had them on. I repositioned my junk under my legs and readjusted the panties and I couldn't see any bulge which I was proud of. That was an odd feeling when i thought about it. I picked up the ripped jeans not wanting to be standing here in panties and put them on. They were tighter than I expected and to jump and tug a few times to get it up to my waist. I looked over my shoulder to see how it fit and noticed my butt looked more pronounced than ever.
I tapped it and felt it jiggle and instantly felt embarrassed.
Next came the tank top which slid on relatively easily. It only hugged my body slightly but the combo gave me a weird figure I wasn't at all used to. Looking down, I could only see a flat chested girl especially around my legs and back.
I took the brush and ran it through my hair, wincing a few times. I smoothed out my hair in no particular patter using the spring as a mirror. When I decided that it wouldn't get any better, I picked up the rest of my stuff and made my way back to the cave.
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