Public image is that tiny portion of ourselves that we allow others to see while we try and mask further unsightly traits of our personality which we are too afraid, embarrassed or shy to have revealed. How well we truly know someone is often not an easy question to answer honestly, as everyone seems to have something about themselves that they would rather keep hidden from the world around them. On the surface Trent Hamilton appeared to be your typical high school nerd. He was always reading, never bothering to socialize with anyone, participate in extracurricular activities or even date. Trent was constantly being harassed by the parade of jocks that seemed to rule the school, and everyone in it. Even the teachers would often look the other way while this badgering took place. What was odd about this situation is that Trent could have easily put an end to this torment at any time if he truly wanted to.
Trent's problems didn't start in high school. As far back as he could remember people seemed to constantly be picking on him. By the time he reached 5th grade he'd had enough. One day while he was helping his neighbor with some lawn work, Mr. Osaka noticed that Trent was unusually quiet, and a bit down. After inquiring about his mood, and a bit of prodding, it finally came out how the boy, was being tormented by his classmates.
"Tell me my son, if you were physically able to seek revenge against those bully's what would you do to them," Mr. Osaka asked?
"I won't lie and say that I have never dreamed about pounding their faces into the ground, but I really don't want to hurt anyone. Like my father, I hope to someday become a doctor. I plan to help people, not injure them, but I don't want to be hurt either. What I really wish is for them to just leave me alone," He said.
After pondering Trent's answer, Mr. Osaka asked the boy to accompany him indoors, where he proceeded to explain his proposal. Handing Trent a photo of his deceased wife, Mr. Osaka went on to explain that they were very much in love, but through unfortunate circumstances, unable to have any children.
"My father was an expert in martial arts. He taught me very well, and I always hoped that I would be able to pass this training onto my own son. Alas that dream will never be fulfilled. I am; however, willing to teach you what I have learned. You seem like a good boy Tent, and I see a lot of promise in you. I am not doing this so that you can go beat up those bully's at school. As with any tool, it is a man's choice whether to it for good or evil purposes. The study of martial arts is a conditioning of the mind as well as the body. Your training will be very disciplined, but in the end you will acquire skills that will not only help to keep you safe, but will also give you insight into the Japanese belief that one's health is directly connected to their spirit and way of living. You will learn aggressive fighting techniques and when to use them. I will even introduce you many ancient Japanese remedies that although work quite effectively, have been dismissed by the main stream medical professionals of this country as nothing more than backwoods medicine," Mr. Osaka stated to the stunned lad.
"But Sir, why would you do all of this me, I barely know you," Trent asked?
"I see something very special in you. One thing my training has taught me is to trust my instincts. Right now they are telling me that you will one day make me a very proud man," Mr. Osaka replied.
That is exactly what Trent set out to do. He worked out practically every day with Mr. Osaka, and as his body became fit, he noticed that his mind was becoming sharper and more focused than it had ever been before. Trent was always smart, but with Mr. Osaka training there seemed to be nothing that he could not master. Since showing off was never his intention, Trent started to wear baggy clothing, in an attempt to hide his growing muscles, and athletic physique. He still got picked on in school, but now there was never any real danger of him being severely injured, and just the knowledge that he could literally wipe the floor with any one of those chumps made their tormenting almost humorous in a way.
Becky Watson was the captain of the girls cheerleading squad. She was a blond hair, blue eyes goddess that to Trent was the epitome in which all young ladies should be measured against. Unlike the other popular girls in school, Becky was always nice to him, but he knew that is as far as it would ever go. She was dating one of the jerks on the football team that was constantly harassing him, and Trent was sure that if they ever broke up she would have a line of suitors waiting in the wing just itching for the chance to claim her as their own. Knowing this unfortunately did nothing to squelch the huge crush Trent developed for her.
One day while he was in the library studying, Tent accidently overheard a conversation between Becky and Stacy Anderson.
"So Becky, how did the career day go for you," She asked?
"Not very well I'm afraid," Becky meekly replied.
"Why not, I thought you had your heart set to becoming a nurse," Stacy asked?
"I do, but the councilor said that it is very tough to earn a cheerleading scholarship. My grades are good, but unfortunately not high enough to be considered for an academic scholarship either. My Mom just doesn't make enough money to help me out, and since my Dad left her before I was born, I guess that I am just on my own," Becky replied disheartened.
To Trent this news was heart wrenching. He attended several of Becky's classes, and knew that she was a very bright girl. It wasn't her fault that her family was not well off. She deserved a chance to succeed in life, and he was now more determined than ever to see that she received one.
Trent started researching athletic scholarships, and was discouraged to find that her councilor's assessment of them was pretty accurate. Digging a little deeper he did learn that even though there was money available to cheerleaders, it usually only went to girls from well-known schools. The scouts seemed to travel in groups, only visiting faculties with winning sports teams. He discovered that it was far more likely for Becky to be granted assistance, if their school football team started winning more games.
Being unable to come up with any other possible solution, Trent decided that his best course of action would be to help insure that not only Becky and her other teammates became the absolute best cheerleaders that any high school has ever seen, but he now also had the added burden of helping to turn the jocks he had come to despise, into state champions. Realizing that they would never take direction from him, regardless of how good it was, Trent resolved to use a little play on words and in so doing the infamous Mr. E. was born.
Mr. Osaka had noticed Trent's uncanny ability to memorize and retain mass quantities of information. With his help, Trent was able to train his brain to be near photographic at times. Setting out to learn everything he possibly could about football and cheerleading, Trent started to formulate plays and choreograph cheers. He began to print them out, and then made sure that the respective coaches would find his little gifts, which he always signed at the bottom of the page from Mr. E.
At first his suggestions were just dismissed as someone's elaborate prank, but it wasn't long before the coaches started to notice the sheer genius in his methods. When they began to use his plays, and subsequently started to win most of their games, the school began to buzz about their mysterious benefactor. When the cheerleading squad added his detailed correlations to their tumbling acts it created a style that quite frankly was unsurpassed by any other team.
Word eventually leaked to the press about the unidentified stranger that kept providing these unique strategies, and soon the hype was creating quite a stir. Couches and scouts were beginning to take notice, as fans started packing the stands for every game. Trent had to become very creative, in not only developing his plays and cheers, but also in the methods for which he used to delivering them. The last thing he wanted was to be found out and exposed as Mr. E. The one person that he did share his secret with was Mr. Osaka. The old man beamed with pride when Trent revealed his reason for doing it.
"I told you that one day you would make me very proud. You think outside of the norm my son. Your obvious love for this girl supersedes your animosity towards those jocks," Mr. Osaka stated.
"I never said that I loved her, only that I felt she deserved a chance at a decent life where she wouldn't have to rely on some jerk to support her," Trent replied.
"Oh believe me my son, your motivation is love. It is written all over your face. When are you going to stop hiding and tell her how you really feel," He asked?
"I'd never have a chance with someone like her. Besides she already has a boyfriend," Trent said.
"What do you think she would do if she found out that you are Mr. E.," He asked?
"I never plan to tell her that. If by some miracle she would ever show any interest in me I wouldn't want it to be because she felt grateful for what I had done," Trent answered.
"You are very wise my son, and in some ways quite naive as well. At any rate I promise to keep your secret," He said.
The year was quickly winding down, and with it would come the annual junior and senior class trip. This year it was decided that they would all try and beat the heat by spending a week at a popular Canadian ski resort. Not wanting to waste a week of his summer vacation hanging around the school Neanderthals, Trent had every intention of skipping the event. His parents, on the other hand were avid ski enthusiast, and didn't exactly adhere to his way of thinking in this matter. In the past they had dragged him to some of their favorite slopes, and although Trent wasn't exactly a professional skier, he could manage to race down a moderately steep hill without causing injury to himself or others. It was therefor decided that Trent would be going on this trip despite his protest against it.
It was just days before their scheduled departure when a small crisis occurred. The camera man who was doing the school yearbook accidently deleted some of the photos that were meant to go in the special clubs and sporting events section of the publication. Although he was able to salvage some of the lost files, there were several that had to be retaken in order to get the book to print on schedule. Since his parents had been on his case earlier in the year about not being part of any group or team, Trent reluctantly joined both the math and science club, officially confirming his status as the school nerd. Upon hearing about the unfortunate mishap with the photos, Trent went out of his way to avoid the photographer. It may not have been the nicest thing he'd ever done, but figuring that he just might be able to weasel his way out of going skiing, by having to stay behind to make up the photo shoots was a strong motivator for his actions. Alas he was unfortunately not the only person having "problems" with rescheduling for the shoot, and when it came time to leave for the trip, pictures were still needed of the head cheerleader (Becky Watson) and the star quarterback (Greg Stevens) as well as himself. This situation created quite a quandary for school officials. On the one hand they knew that to delay the photos would forfeit their deal with the publisher, and essentially jack up the price for each book that was printed. On the other hand, it would be a shame for two of the most popular kids in school, as well as Trent to miss their trip on account of someone else's error.
The problem was solved when Greg's dad, being president and part owner of a local bank, graciously agreed to have Greg and his friends flown to the ski resort via one of the banks small private aircrafts that they leased for emergency purposes. To Trent this totally sucked. Not only was he forced to go on the damn trip, but now he would feel indebted to Greg and his father for the privilege. The only bright spot was that Becky would be attending, but even that was overshadowed by the fact that he had to be locked in a confined area with Greg for an extended period of time.
Since the other teachers had either already left with the rest of the students, or were previously engaged in other activates, an extra chaperon was needed to escort the small group of students to their intended destination. Mrs. Miller, who was about six months along in her pregnancy, had originally opted out of going for obvious reasons, even though her doctor assured her that it was still safe to travel in her present condition. With a shortage of available staff able to make the trip this year, she reluctantly agreed to accompany the teens to the resort and stay on the rest of the week to help supervise, although she had no intentions of actually getting anywhere near the slopes.
Having skied before, Trent was the only one in his group to bring along the proper winter attire needed to ward off the frigid Canadian temperatures. He knew that staying warm was far more important than being stylish. Becky and Greg had of course packed your average winter gear, which worked fine for the temperatures that they were accustomed to, but would quickly become a problem when they reached the resort. Trent knew that Greg could easily afford to purchase whatever he needed from the ski shops, but was more than a bit concerned over Becky's clothing.
The group had been in the air about three hours, when their smooth voyage was interrupted by massive turbulence. The pilot, who was fairly new to flying, was not yet prepared to handle the dramatic effect that the unforeseen storm would have on the small aircraft, and before losing complete control of the plane sent it several hundred miles outside of its original flight plan. Thankfully he did manage to steer the vessel away from any trees or mountain tops, but was unfortunately unable to prevent its inevitable crash landing.
Upon regaining his composure Trent was pleased to discover that his fellow students, Mrs. Miller and essentially himself, only sustained minor injuries due to the crash. After detecting a whiff of fuel from the leaking gas line, he quickly ushered the group outside the plane and as far away from the aircraft as possible. Turning back to check on the pilot, Trent was horrified to find the poor man had not survived the crash. Not having time to rest on sentiment, he quickly grabbed all of the emergency rations he could handle, before proceeding to exit the aircraft, just as it started to catch fire.
Knowing that they were now in big time trouble, the four began to argue over their options.
"I say we wait here. Surly they must know that the plane fell off of radar. Someone should come looking for us soon," Greg said.
"Are you crazy? We have to be at least a hundred miles outside of our flight plan, with the possibility of a major storm on the way and you want to stay here," Trent asked bewildered?
"Who are you calling crazy asshole? As soon as my dad hears that we are missing he will be sending out a search party," Greg proudly replied.
"Would you get real? There is no way that they are going to organize a search and rescue mission in the middle of a Canadian snow storm regardless of who your daddy might be," Trent exclaimed!
"Who the hell do you think you are talking to me that way," Greg asked through clenched teeth?
"I'm obviously the voice of reason. Look we are not on the football field now. Out here a mistake means more than just losing a game it could get us all killed. We need to stop arguing and look for some type of shelter while we still have some daylight left in which to do so," Trent replied.
"What kind of shelter do you expect to find here genius," Greg asked rhetorically? "In case you haven't noticed we are out in the middle of fucking nowhere," He exclaimed!
"Greg, watch your mouth," Mrs. Miller exclaimed!
"To answer your question there are many caves located around these parts," Trent replied.
"Just how would you know that," Greg challenged?
"I read. Maybe you should try it sometime," Trent snared.
"That does it! Teacher or no teacher I am going to kick your ass," Greg exclaimed!
"You will do no such thing," Mrs. Miller said.
"Oh, and just who's going to stop me you, Greg asked? "Look lady we are not at school right now," Greg replied.
"Just let him go Mrs. Miller. The sooner we finish this the quicker we can be on our way to finding shelter for the night. I promise that I will try not to hurt him too badly," Trent said to the astonishment of everyone present.
Greg's anger was fueled by fear and adrenalin, two very dangerous stimuli. Trent knew that before the young quarterback would be able to think rationally, he had to burn off some of that exuberant energy. Greg himself did not understand why he was getting so angry. He couldn't ever remember speaking to a teacher or any of other authority figures in the manner in which he had just addressed Mrs. Miller. The only emotion he felt at the moment was rage, and his only outlet for this sensation was to kick the shit out of Trent Hamilton.
In all honesty it wasn't really much of a fight. Greg threw one crazy punch after another desperately trying to make contact with the elusive teen. In the end it was Greg who was shocked to find himself sprawled out on his back in the snow.
"Feel better now," Trent asked the winded quarterback?
"How the hell did you do that," Greg wanted to know?
"I hold a black belt in both karate and judo," Trent replied.
"Yeah, sure you do," Greg exclaimed!
"If I am lying, then why are you laying on the ground," Trent asked smiling?
"I don't know what kind of trick you are playing," Greg started to say.
"Oh, it's no trick. If I wanted to I could very easily seriously injure you. That is not my intention. Like it or not we are all going to have to work, and essentially live together if we hope to get out of this alive. Now if you're through playing Mr. Macho, let's go see if we can find someplace to bunk down for the night, while we still have some measurement of daylight left in which to do so," Trent said.
"Alright we'll do it your way for now, but this isn't over," Greg replied angrily.
"Well whenever you get the urge to finish it just let me know," Trent replied.
"That's enough out of both of you. Trent is right about one thing though. If we don't find some type of shelter and soon the two of you won't have to kill each other, Mother Nature will do it for you," Mrs. Miller said putting a temporary truce to their bickering.
The four walked for what seemed like miles desperately searching for anything that could potentially pass as refuge against the ever plummeting temperatures. Night was beginning to fall, when they mercifully came upon a small opening in the rock formation. After checking the perimeter for bear or any other wild animal tracks, and thankfully not finding any, the group made their way inside the shallow cave. Quickly aligning the somewhat dry sticks and twigs that he had collected on their journey, Trent used the emergency kit he had lifted from the plane to start a fire near the entrance of the cave. This was done so that the heat would stay inside while the smoke escaped back out, as not to asphyxiate anyone. After he had a roaring fire going Trent felt he had better take charge of their situation.
"Alright people listen up. Tonight we will eat some of the food rations I managed to grab from the plane. We may have to conservative a bit, but none of us should starve either. Let's all try to get as good of night sleep as possible, and tomorrow I will go out scrounging for more food," He said.
"Just how exactly do you propose to go hunting without any weapons," Greg asked?
"My karate instructor taught me how to make my own spears. I figure that I could try a bit of ice fishing, and I also spotted some deer tracks not too far from here. Regardless, I am fairly certain that I can bring back something for us to dine upon," Trent said with more conviction then he actually felt.
After they all ate what would normally be considered a light afternoon snack, but tonight would have to suffice as their evening meal, the four quietly paired off to try and get a bit of shut eye. Trent managed to make his way over to his pregnant teacher to enquire how she was fairing up during this traumatic ordeal.
"Well I think the baby is ok for now. My feet and ankles are quite swollen, and I am a bit stiff from the jarring of the crash and having to walk so far, but other than that I am ok at least for now," She told him.
"I know that all the arguing that Greg and I have done has not helped your stress level any. I am very sorry about my role in that. I will attempt and get along better with him, but I will have to be forceful if he tries to do anything that could potentially put us all in danger," Trent whispered.
"Just how much do you really know about surviving in conditions such as this," She asked?
"I must be honest with you. I have never actually been camping. I have always been fascinated with wilderness survival techniques ever since I was a small child. I've read and studied every book, magazine article and movie that I could get my hands on pertaining to the subject. As part of my martial arts training, I was taught how to forge my own weapons from my surroundings, and shown how to track whatever prey I was up against. I am fairly certain that I can scrounge up enough food and water to keep us alive until help arrives," Trent said hoping to sound confident in his abilities.
Mrs. Miller gave Trent a reassuring smile that didn't quite make it past her leery, eyes and quietly suggested that everyone try to get some shut eye. Sleep was a hard commodity to come by that evening, as night fall brought on all of the fears and insecurities they tried to suppress earlier in the day. The restless group managed to elude Mr. Sandman until near exhaustion overcame them in the wee hours of the morning.
With little sleep from the previous night, Trent left the cave early in hopes of trying to get a better handle on his surroundings. Taking with him the knife from the planes emergency kit, he quickly widdled a couple of spears, and make his way down to the pond that was frozen over. Cutting a small hole in the ice, he was happy to discover a large spool of good size fish just below its surface. Spearing his prey was not the easiest thing that he had ever done, but despite the difficulty, he did manage to catch enough fish to adequately feed the four of them. Fearing that Becky or even Mrs. Miller might take offense to watching him clean and filet the fish, Trent decided to bear the cold a bit longer, so that the rest of the group did not have to witness this event. Upon returning to the cave with his catch of the day, he was told that Greg, who not believing he would bring back any food, decided to go out scouting on his own.
"Shit! That damn idiot is not dressed to be out in this type of weather. Alright I had better go search for him, before he ends up getting himself killed out there," Trent said in a disgusted tone of voice.
"Trent, I know that we are not at school now, but you really do need to watch your language a little better," Mrs. Miller scolded while trying to maintain the persona of a proper school teacher.
"Mrs. Miller, please understand that I say this with the upmost respect possible. You are right. We are not in school right now. We are three young adults and yourself, thrown into a horrible and potentially very dangerous situation, in which we must try and learn to coexist with each other, at least for the time being. If you attempt to treat this as a classroom in which we have to constantly be on guard for fear of saying something that you will take offence to, it is going to make our time together seem much more difficult to deal with," Trent concluded as he left the cave in search of Greg.
"You know Becky, as hard as that was to hear, Trent is right. I have been trying to act as a teacher around the three of you since this whole mess started, and quite frankly I am lost as to what to do. I know nothing about camping or wilderness survival tactics. If we manage to live through this whole ordeal, it won't be because of me," She said breaking down into sobs.
"Oh don't cry Mrs. Miller! Trent didn't mean what he said. We are all just so stressed out right now, and none of us are handling it very well," Becky said reassuringly.
"I know that you are right Becky, but so is Trent. It was his quick thinking that got us all out of the plane before it caught fire. He even managed to procure the emergence kit and food rations from it. The three of us never even thought to do something like that. He led us to shelter, and look at the fish he caught for us to eat. Now he is even out in the cold trying to find Greg, and instead of thanking him for his efforts all I can do is to chastise over something as petty as foul language," The teacher replied.
"Well now that you mention it that does seem like a silly thing to be getting upset over with everything else that has happened," Becky said starting to giggle.
Pretty soon her laughter had become contagious, as the two ladies discovered a much needed outlet for their building anxiety.
"Thanks Becky honey, I really needed that," Mrs. Miller said wiping her eyes.
Trent had been tracking Greg's footprints for quite a distance, when he came to the conclusion that the quarterback must truly be lost. His movements were so sporadic that they lacked of any sort of pattern. When Trent found that he had come full circle, he really started to get concerned. The sun was just beginning to set when Trent spotted what looked to be a large mass sprawled across the ground a few meters in front of him. It seems that the young man had apparently passed out do so sheer exhaustion and long term exposure to the elements. Being thankful for his muscular build, do to his training, Trent quickly lifted the teenager, and began to carry him back towards the shelter of the cave.
The girls had decided to use a couple of the spears Trent had made, to roast the fish he had brought back. It wasn't exactly a gourmet meal, but the two ladies had their fill to eat, and were waiting for the boys to return before cooking the rest of the catch.
About an hour and a half after dusk, a winded Trent appeared at the cave entrance with an unconscious Greg in his arms.
"Oh God what happened to him," Mrs. Miller asked?
"Exactly what I said would happen. He got too cold and passed out in the snow," Trent replied.
"Is he going to be alright," Becky asked?
"I honestly don't know," Trent replied in a worried tone of voice.
"Becky, come help me get him out of these wet clothes. Mrs. Miller, please spread out one of those blankets I grabbed from the plane," Trent requested.
"Do we need to remove everything," Becky asked shyly?
"Yes his underwear too. This is no time for modesty," Trent said.
After lying Greg in the middle of one of the blankets Trent quickly started stripping off his own clothing as well.
"What are you doing," Becky asked?
"Becky, Greg has hypothermia. Putting him close to the fire will help to a degree, but it won't warm him fast enough to save his life. The only chance he has is a direct exchange of body heat," Trent explained.
"Trent is right Becky. In cases of extreme weather exposure body heat is often the only treatment that will help save a life," Mrs. Miller replied.
"Holly shit! Look at the size of that thing," Becky exclaimed as Trent lowered his underpants!
"Becky! You shouldn't be talking about ... Oh My," Mrs. Miller exclaimed!
"Yeah, well now you know why I am always wearing baggy pants," Trent said as his face darkened with embarrassment.
"How big is it," Becky wanted to know?
Becky, how could you ask such a thing," Mrs. Miller asked?
"I'm sorry Mrs. Miller; I guess that I just wondering and sort of asked it without thinking," Becky replied defending herself.
"Becky, as much as I appreciate your curiosity, we need to concentrate on Greg at the moment," Trent said hoping to end this very embarrassing conversation.
"Your right, what can I do to help," Becky asked?
"Greg needs all the body heat he can get to pull through. The problem is that this procedure can be very risky for anyone involved. Since he is so cold it could cause either of our body temperatures to drop to a dangerous level. Because of this I won't ask for your help, but I can't refuse it either," Trent said.
After contemplating the situation, both Becky and Mrs. Miller started to strip.
"Mrs. Miller, I won't let you do this. Being pregnant puts you at a much greater risk, besides we will need someone to keep the fire going," Trent explained.
Sensing that he was right the teacher reluctantly restored her clothing.
Laying buck naked next to Greg was definitely not one of Trent's erotic fantasies. Having Becky on the other side of him, so close, yet beyond his loving touch made the event seem more like a cruel nightmare. Trying to ignore the absurdity of the situation, Trent asked Mrs. Miller to throw another blanket, and any dry clothes she could find over the three naked teenagers.
Greg's body felt like a giant Popsicle that someone had just pulled from the freezer. After nearly two hours had passed, he still didn't feel any warmer. Laying there shivering Trent had to wonder if this was truly the end.
"Uh where am I," A groggy, Greg managed to ask?
"Relax your back in the cave," Trent replied.
"I am. How did I get here," He asked?
"I found you passed out in the snow and carried you back," Trent replied.
"Am I naked," Greg asked?
"All three of us are, now shut up and get some rest, and don't get any funny ideas either," Becky replied.
"I really fucked up didn't I," Greg asked already knowing the answer?
"Yeah you did, but we can talk about that tomorrow. Right now let's just keep our hands and any other body part that might arise to ourselves, and try to get some sleep," Trent said relieved that the young man had finally regained consciousness.
The four awoke late the following day with both the guys sporting their usual morning wood. Red faced the boys quickly dressed and made their way outside the tent to take their morning constitutional. Becky was not only treated to a nice view Trent's dick in its expanded form, but could now also make comparisons with Greg's much more average appendage. Feeling as though she was cheating on her boyfriend, Becky silently scolded herself for her lustful thoughts.
Mrs. Miller could practically read the young girls mind, as she too was having some unsavory ideas about her well endowed student. Being away from her husband, and in her current condition, she found her hormones were increasing her sex drive. She only hoped that the four of them could maintain a sense of decorum while faced with these palpable temptations.
Back inside Trent and a still unstable Greg sat down near the fire, as Mrs. Miller began to cook up the remainder of the fish for the near starving young men. Always the gentleman, Trent insisted on sharing their portion of the food with the ladies. After getting something in his stomach, he asked Becky to gather more wood for the fire, while he would once again scout for food. Greg was to stay inside with Mrs. Miller to try and fully recover.
The four settled into their new lives together, and the role that each of them would play within it. Trent was of course the main source of their food supply. Becky would collect wood to keep the fire going, and help out with whatever else she could. Mrs. Miller was in charge of keeping them entertained, as she would create games or word puzzles, anything really that could occupy their minds. Greg finally realized how close he came to death, and in so doing lost most of the arrogance he had been displaying throughout this whole ordeal. After fully recovering, he and Trent started working together to try and provide for the group. Greg began to appreciate Trent's knowledge of survival tactics. Trent admired the boy's eagerness to learn, and made sure to utilize the camping experience that Greg had brought to the table. They built traps and snares, in an attempt to capture rabbits and other small game. Although most of their meals consisted of fish, the boys did occasionally snag a deer once in a while. Using the snow as a freezer, they managed to get several meals out of that type of kill, before the meat became unsafe to eat.
Days quickly turned into weeks, and then to months with no foreseeable hope of being rescued. Early on they had crafted their own pots, bowls and cooking utensils, as well as created a method of capturing new fallen snow to use as drinking water. They dug a hole and setup some well-placed logs in front of it to act as a make shift toilet. They sparingly used the hand sanitizer and the rubbing alcohol Trent had lifted from the plane in conjunction with boiling water to keep clean and help fight off germs.
During this time, the four, although trying to maintain their modesty, had all managed to catch each other in various stages of nudity. Being cramped as they were privacy was not usually an option, and soon the stress of not being able to obtain sexual release had them all on edge. A solution to this problem came when Trent and Greg managed to discover a second cave not far from their camp site. This particular cavern was much smaller than the previous one that they lived in, but could possible afford, one or even two people a bit of much needed privacy. After sharing their find with the girls, Trent explained how each of them could go there to scream, yell, cry or just to get a bit of "alone time". The only rules were that you had to tell the others when you were going so they wouldn't worry or accidentally walk in on each other, and if anyone made a mess they had to clean it up for the convince of the next person. After the group started utilizing this newly discovered sanctuary, there was a noticeable improvement in their moral.
Days seemed to morph into one another as Mrs. Miller's due date crept agonizingly closer. Being female and also planning to someday become a nurse herself, Becky was the obvious choice to become Mrs. Miller's Lamaze coach. Greg and Trent would always try and allow the ladies enough privacy to go over whatever needed to be done. They prayed each day to be rescued, but so far they hadn't seen any indication of that actually happening.
It seems odd how miracles can sometimes be stacked together to work in conjunction with each other. It was nearing the end of what should have been their summer vacation, and Trent was once again walking back from the lake with his catch of the day. As he got closer to the camp site an exasperated Greg came running up to him hands in the air shouting "a plane a plane". Even as Trent mind began to comprehend the implications of what the boy was saying he couldn't help but smile at how much the bulking quarterback suddenly resembled the vertically challenged character of Tattoo from old reruns of Fantasy Island.
"Greg, calm down and tell me exactly what happened," Trent asked?
"Well I was walking up the hill to check on our 911 sign that we made out of scrap parts from the wreckage. I was afraid that the storm we had a few days ago might have messed it up somehow. Anyway, as I was trying to realign some of the pieces that the wind had blown over I heard a small plane off in a distance. As it appeared to get closer I quickly lit the signal fire and started waving a piece of the burning wood around in the air. I was trying everything I could to get their attention, and it seems to have worked. The plane started circling the area, getting lover with each pass. I am sure they spotted me, our 911 sign and even the wreckage from as low as they eventually got," Greg exclaimed excitedly!
"That is fantastic!" Trent replied with equal enthusiasm. Now all we have to do is hope that they act quickly and send help so that we can finally be able to get the hell out of here. Let's go tell the girls the good news," Trent suggested.
The two young men hurried back to their cave to share this awesome piece of good fortune with the ladies, but upon their arrival they were subjected to a blood curdling scream.
"What the hell is going on," Trent asked already afraid of the answer?
While entering the cavern, Trent learned that his worst fear had come to pass, as Mrs. Millers water had already broken and she was now in full fledged labor. Handing the fish to Greg, Trent rushed to the woman's side and immediately took stock of the situation.
"Easy Mrs. Miller, everything is going to be fine," Trent said with more conviction than he actually felt.
"Everything is not going to be fine; I am in labor damn it," Mrs. Miller exclaimed!
"I know that, just try and relax," Trent said as he reached up and started to remove her clothing.
"What the hell are you doing," Mrs. Miller shouted?
"Well at the moment I am trying to get you prepared to deliver this baby," Trent replied.
"You can't see me like this," She protested.
"Look my dad's a doctor and I've studied the birthing procedure in hopes of someday becoming one myself. Right now I am the closest thing you have to an OBGYN. You might feel embarrassed, but you will get over it. At this moment, the baby is what's important. It wants out, and I for one suggest that we accommodate its wishes, don't you," He asked their bewildered instructor?
Greg decided that his best course of action was to leave, while he could still manage to hold down his breakfast. The quarterback may be used to seeing some measurement of blood after a particularly rough game, but this was going to be far more then he thought he could handle.
"Alright, the first thing that we need to do is figure out how close the baby is to coming out. Have either of you been timing Mrs. Miller's contractions," Trent asked?
"No we haven't, and the names Linda," Mrs. Miller answered.
"Excuse me," Trent asked?
"If we are going to do this I would feel more comfortable if the two of you would please call me by my first name," She replied.
"Ok if that is what you want. Linda when you feel a contraction coming on I want you to focus on your Lamaze training. You can scream, yell curse cry, and squeeze Becky's hand, whatever it takes to get through the pain. We are not in the most ideal situation here, but let's not forget that females have been giving birth since the beginning of time. You are a strong healthy woman, and you will get through this," He said encouragingly.