“So, someone has been on this island before?” Callie spoke up excitedly.
“It would seem,” I responded somewhat dryly. “By the conditions of everything, it’s probably been a few decades though.”
“I wonder why they left?” Cassie asked, looking through the pile of blankets casually.
When she found the best one, she pulled it out and then brought it over to Cara. I couldn’t help but wince as she laid it down on her unconscious form. After all, my daughter was just trying to help the one who needed it most, but it wasn’t the best blanket. The one that was the cleanest and had the least holes was the one sitting around Sally’s shoulders. She had made sure to extract a thank you from everyone present for her find before preening in front of the firepit like a peacock. Her back was straight and she hummed to herself while drinking coconut water from one of the coconuts. She even had placed a flower stem she had picked in it like a cocktail umbrella.
After I had discovered the tent and supplies, I had scavenged everything from the abandoned campsite, while Sally got her first pick. Thankfully, she didn’t desire anything but the blanket. She was quite pouty that that was all it had. By her attitude, one would have thought she was expecting a mattress, a pillow, and a bed canopy in that tent. I was afraid she was going to take several blankets in retaliation, but she settled for one that had been on the inside of the roll of blankets, and thus protected from the elements better than the rest.
As I went through the finds, I realized that the goddess had given me everything she promised. There were exactly enough blankets for everyone present, although not every blanket was created equal. Two of them were so holy and rotten that they covered nothing. The canvas survived remarkably well, and it could be applied over the crack above us so we don’t end up getting flooded out in the next rainstorm. As for the doorway, there was just enough tent remaining that a makeshift flap could be put over it. It wouldn’t keep out a large predator, but it would keep smaller creatures from sneaking in while we were asleep.
It was nearly daylight by the time I had finished going through the abandoned camp and bringing everything over to our ravine. After all, it wasn’t necessarily easily pushing things through that hole while staying quiet. The campsite also had a few other items in it. There was a flashlight, but it used batteries and contained none. It was probably good they were gone because they would have long corroded it, however, I couldn’t help but feel this was the goddess’s way of tempting me to ask for more favors.
There was also a compass and a very faded map. The map appeared to be of the island, although I did not recognize the language it was written in. The paper was delicate, and it was extremely difficult to make out anything on it, especially in the dark. I didn’t want to bring it close to the fire to see, so I put it aside until it was brighter.
As the daylight started to show itself, the girls started to wake, and that’s when they noticed the stuff I had brought. As they chose who got what blanket, which was a lot easier without Sally butting in, Mom suddenly let out a cry.
“Oh, no!” Mom exclaimed.
I stood up so fast I nearly tripped. “What is it?”
“It’s Lana!” Mom declared. “She’s not waking up.”
I felt a tingling in the back of my neck as I walked over to check on her. She was white and pale, just like Cara, but she looked even worse. Part of that was because she was naturally already pale, her dark hair making her look like a ghost. She was breathing, but her breathing was short, and she had a sweaty forehead. By the looks of her, she was in some distress.
“She’s burning up!” Mom cried as she put a hand on Lana’s head and pulled away almost like she was burned. “She must have been hiding it from everyone.”
“Lana too?” Callie frowned. “Cal, you’re the only one who didn’t seem to get sick that night.”
I felt several blows to my heart in quick succession. Callie’s words had been said flippantly, but they struck me right in my gut. My moment of selfish desire had not only gotten Cara sick but Lana as well? Why was I still being punished? Hadn’t I done enough? For a moment, all of the stress from the last few days struck me at once, and I froze there.
“Grandma! What do we do?” Cassie spoke first, stepping in front of me.
“First, get some more water. That water is very cool, so we’ll make her drink and put some on her forehead.” Mother ordered.
Cassie nodded, and immediately grabbed a coconut bowl, and ran to the pool.
“Is that going to be enough?” Callie asked with her arms crossed.
“Callie!” Mom chastised, shooting a glance over to Eve and Maya.
The two girls were sitting in silent vigil over their sick mother, making it hard for Mom to comfort them. They always stayed close to each other, creating a nearly unapproachable atmosphere for anyone who wanted to get close to them. I recalled Cara complaining about it. Being a twin, she thought she’d relate to them. Cara and Fara didn’t get along growing up and had done everything to differentiate from each other. That’s why Cara didn’t give them matching names like her mom did to them. I wasn’t able to help either, as Callie and I started drifting apart by 16, and barely had anything to do with each other by the time we were their age. Thus, it was difficult to get a read on the two girls who seemed wrapped up in their little world together.
Even so, the twins had been more animated before they ended up on the island. They had giggled and smiled and joked with the others, even up to the beginning of the boat ride. Since we landed here, it was like life had been sucked out of them, and it was only getting worse. They had grown increasingly quiet since Cara grew sick, and now they spent most of their time holding each other and watching the events around them silently. Occasionally, I would hear one of them crying. They seemed to weep only one at a time, so that the other could comfort her, only to switch places an hour later.
“I’m just saying…” Callie shrugged, but still lowered her voice and moved closer to us. “I have some medical experience. This is an infection. They need antibiotics.”
“Callie, you worked for two years as a nurse’s aide in a nursing home, that’s not medical experience,” Mom spoke in an exasperated voice.
Callie’s face turned red. “E-even so, you think I didn’t see tons of old people get sick. Flu’s like this are dangerous. If they get pneumonia, then it’s…”
“Callie!” Mom shot her a glare, causing Callie to look away and Mom to sigh. “We have to remain optimistic. We’ve already been as lucky as we could expect considering. A med-kit would be nice though…”
Mom’s eyes darted for only a moment at her arm. I hadn’t noticed before, but she had been keeping that arm covered. When she had approached me before, I recalled her needing my shoulder, and she didn’t use that arm. I reached out and grabbed it before she could do anything. She gasped as I peeled back her sleeve, revealing a nasty gash. It was sloppily bandaged, but blood had already soaked through.
“Mom!” Callie cried out when she saw it. “What happened?”
The commotion brought the eyes of Cassie who was returning with the bowl and Val, who gasped. Mom calmly pulled her arm from my hand and then pulled her sleeve down.
“It happened in the accident the first day.” She responded. “It wasn’t a big deal and I didn’t want to worry anyone. My arm just grew weak yesterday.”
“It’s red and swollen,” Callie made a face. “It’s infected.”
“It also needs stitches,” I added with a frown. “If we don’t treat this, you could die as well.”
Val and Cassie looked at her with tears in their eyes. Mom huffed.
“I’m fine. Besides, there is nothing we can do about it anyway.”
She was right. There wasn’t much that could be done. It was a wound caused by an accident half a week ago. It only started growing infected and getting worse today. Mom would probably get worse. The only thing I could think of was cauterizing it with the fire. However, that was something I had only seen in the movies. I had no clue how effective it would be, or what I needed to do. Plus, that was something you were supposed to do early, not after the infection had already taken hold. I couldn’t even imagine burning my mother until she passed out, all in the hope that maybe she gets better when there was just as much of a chance she got worse.
However, there was one thing that I knew that I could do. I waited for a bit, helping make sure Lana was comfortable. When everyone was distracted, I finally took the opportunity to slip away. I headed out to the front of the cavern and then walked just a bit into the forest, finally stopping. After a few moments, of silence, I spoke.
“Hahahahaha…” Gentle laughter suddenly filled my ears. “You should have seen your face when your sister turned around and revealed herself.”
“Are you done hurting me?” I demanded, my body shaking. “Are you done ruining me?”
She stepped out from behind a tree before leaning against it, her laughter drifting away. “Now, that is an interesting prospect. What have I ever done to you?”
“You’re the reason Lana is sick, and Cara too. It’s no wonder she didn’t meet me, as sick as she was! You tricked me into having sex with my sister! Now, you’re trying to take my mother too! What more do you want from me?” I demanded, my voice cracking with emotions. “What else can you take from me?”
I reached out and grabbed her, causing the goddess’s eyes to widen. I hadn’t been able to process much the last few days. As if being stuck on some island desperately trying to survive wasn’t enough, three of my family members were sick and near death. I had learned my wife was probably having an affair on me, and my brother and sister had a perverse relationship. Suddenly, my sister was blackmailing me, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I grew dizzy suddenly, and the next second I fell sideways, darkness overtaking me.
I awoke to a pleasant feeling. My head was resting on something soft, and my hair was being gently stroked. It felt very familiar and comforting. Something soft pressed against my mouth, and I couldn’t help but suck down on it. As I sucked, sweet, warm liquid started to run down my throat. It felt wonderful. It seemed to coat my stomach, and energize my body. I felt aches and pains disappearing, and strength returning. The taste was so good, I didn’t feel like I could get enough. I sucked harder and harder, trying to consume more.
“Ahhhn… N-not so rough…” I heard a female voice moan.
My lips slowly slipped away, and my head fell back down. However, the energy and strength continued to rise in me. I pushed out of my fog, and slowly woke up.
“M-mom…” I muttered, eyes slowly opening up.
“I’m hardly your mother.” A different voice spoke derisively.
I slowly focused on the beautiful, dark, and mysterious face above me. It was the incest goddess. My head was on her lap. She was sitting there beautiful and untampered, her body covered. It did not indicate what I had been sucking on. Had I been sucking on something? Even that memory quickly slipped away.
In the end, I could only say a single word. “You?”
“Do you think I’m an evil goddess?” She asked, her voice coming off strangely lonely as she looked down at me with eyes filled with sadness.
“I…” I looked away, realizing I couldn’t meet those eyes. “What you’ve done…”
“I don’t know everything,” She spoke quietly while her hand still stroked my head. “I’m not omnipotent. I only act that way.”
“You… have the power to save me.”
“I have saved you.” She responded. “Only you…”
I pondered her words for a moment before I came to a realization. “Was I supposed to be sick too?”
“I’ve protected you from sickness… just as I kept that snake from poisoning you,” She explained, her eyes growing wet. “However, I can’t make you eat. Even I can’t keep you alive if you kill yourself.”
I opened my mouth and then closed it again. It had been days. I had only used a coconut to drink. I had been so worried about feeding everyone else, I hadn’t taken anything for myself. That must have been why I passed out. I had low blood sugar. Did the goddess feed me? What did she feed me? I finally sat up, turning to look at her.
“Why me?” I asked.
“It has to be you.” She responded. “It can only be you.”
Somehow, the way she was looking at me felt extremely vulnerable. The power she exuded usually seemed diminished, and she seemed almost cute, with wet eyes and quivering lips. Before I could stop myself, I started leaning closer to her. Just before my lips met hers, there was a woosh of air causing me to reel back. When I opened my eyes and looked back, the incest goddess was no longer on the ground, but standing several meters away, half turned away from me.
“Too soon…” She whispered, before glancing at me and speaking louder. “You didn’t call me here because you’re bored. You want something. You shouldn’t be so hasty. Sometimes, you already have what you need.”
I frowned slightly, feeling a bit awkward as I made my way to my feet. “What does that mean?”
“You never thanked me for providing your last gift. Since you did a sister, and even included a bit of cunnilingus, I even gave you extra.”
“I need an emergency medkit! With antibiotics!” I declared.
She gave an irritated noise. “You can’t depend on me for everything, Cal. Everything won’t just fall in your lap. You need to work to obtain some of the things you want…”
I thought about her words for a second, and then I made a noise. “Ah! The map? Does it lead to a medkit?”
“Who knows?” She shrugged.
I was just about to snap again, but I stopped myself and sighed. “What will it take?”
A small smile formed on her lips. “Well, I suppose I can give you exactly what you want. However, the cost this time will be extreme.”
“I’ll do anything for them,” I responded confidently.
“Good… then you’ll just have to give me what every god wants. You’ll have to draw first blood.”
She grinned. “I want a virgin. You must pop a cherry for me.”
“A-a virgin!” I took a step back. “That… who?”
“Who do you think?” She raised an eyebrow. “You have many choices. There are the twins Maya and Eve. If you pluck both flowers, I’ll come up with something extra. Of course, your little sister Val. Then, of course, you have your daughter…”
“There is no way!” I declared.
“Oh?” She cocked an eyebrow. “Already going back on your word?”
“No!” I shot back. “It’s just… not my daughter.”
“Oh… well, thankfully, you have other choices. Maybe. I should warn you; I have no clue who of your family are virgins. I gave their names as examples, but as you learned from Sally, young women are having sex at younger ages these days. You’ll have to confirm before you do the deed.”
“Goodbye, Cal. For now.” She stepped back, her body disappearing.
I had no choice but to return. When they asked where I had been, I just said I went to use the restroom. After that, I took the tackle box and the fishing pole and I started fishing. I may not know enough to be able to build a pole on my own, but I wasn’t an idiot. I had been fishing before with my father before he had passed away. I sent the line into the pool with some lure.
In reality, the fishing was just busywork. My mind was filled with my last interaction with the goddess and everything she had said. I needed to have sex with someone who was a virgin. Cara wasn’t, and I was pretty sure Lana had sex before as well. Either way, she was very sick. I couldn’t just jump on top of her. Sally was out of the question, and even if there was a world where a mom could be a virgin, I never would.
It was just as the goddess had predicted. It was the twins, my daughter, or Val. My daughter was the only one I knew well enough to be certain she was a virgin, but there was no way. As for the twins, it was impossible to get close to them, especially now. That left one person.
“Can I help?”
I nearly jumped when I heard Val’s voice behind me.
“Huh, what?” I asked, my heart beating wildly until I remembered she couldn’t hear my thoughts.
“There are two poles…” She responded, blushing. “I thought if we both tried, we’d have twice as much luck.”
“You want to fish?”
She bit her lip. “I’m not… like Cassie. She’s so outgoing. She keeps making sure everyone is okay and working hard. I feel like all I do is sit around and waste space. I thought I could just help.”
It was true that my daughter was extremely kind and sociable. She made friends easily, and she would always give a hand with a smile. I was extremely proud of how she turned out. She was the most outgoing of the four younger girls. I hadn’t realized that her behavior had started to make Val feel inferior.
“You can help.” I nodded.
She smiled and then sat down next to me. Despite there being room, I realized she sat close enough that her hip touched mine. Then, a moment later, she looked at me tearfully.
“What?” I asked, giving her a side look.
“I don’t know how!” She admitted sorrowfully.
I chuckled and then showed her the basics of fishing. After getting the line up and the bait on, I showed her casting. My arms ended up wrapping around her as we cast the line together. Her cheeks turned a pretty shade of pink. While I tried to act innocent on the surface, I knew I had already made my decision. I’d be fucking Val that night.