Excerpt for Trapped, Book 1: Tom’s Guide by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Trapped, Book 1: Tom’s Guide

Copyright 2017 Mark Mulle

Published by Mark Mulle at Smashwords

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Author’s Note

This short story is for your reading pleasure. The characters in this "Minecraft Adventure Series" such as Steve, Endermen or Herobrine...etc are based on the Minecraft Game coming from Minecraft ®/TM & © 2009-2013 Mojang / Notch

Table of Contents

Day 1: I’m Not Dead, I Swear

Day 2: I can’t help it but I craft and craft and craft, all day

Day 5: Starting from the Ground

Day 8: It hisses.

Day 15: Adding some finishing touches

Day 20: Exploring can have its ups and downs

About the Author

Other books by this Author

Day 1: I’m Not Dead, I Swear

I was slowly waking up and I noticed that I was half submerged in water. I could hear the waves, as they were my wake up call. Groggily I had opened my eyes, finding the sand in front of me. It took me a while to remember what happened but my head was pounding and I want nothing more than to go back to sleep. I dropped my head back on the damp sand; eagerly waiting for sleep but there’s this weird feeling in my gut.

All of a sudden, images started to play in my mind. There was a storm while I was out fishing. I had read the weather reports before going out and they had promised a clear day which meant a time for me to go out to sea. I had checked the night before and relied too much on the current season, summer, that there were be little to no chance of storms. With all the waves tumbling about, I didn’t even know where I was heading nor could I remember if I had a certain destination after my boat floated further into the sea. I shook the grim thoughts away; there was no point on thinking about what has already happened.

I slowly dragged my arms to push myself off the shore. My body was sore all over and I noticed a lot of debris around me. With no technology to turn to, I couldn’t even determine what island I’ve washed ashore unto. Blinking away the traces of sleep, I made my way to the dry portion of land hoping to get some help as long as I continue walking.

It’s a good thing that nothing was broken or was I badly injured from the experience. I did have a bruise here and there but I’m sure that they’ll fade soon. Now, it’s best if I get some dry clothes and something good to eat. I looked at the position of the sun. If I had to guess, it’s almost lunch time. That and the loud noises from my stomach would be a good measure of time.

I had a painful time walking so I took one of the bigger debris from the boat and used it to aid me in my walking. The whole place was a sight to behold. It looked far too lush compared to the forests back home. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I mean, this was a good dream but I’d rather be home and eating some grilled fish. The thought of grilled fish got my stomach rumbling even more.

I walked further, finding a good number of fruit bearing trees for me to feast. I doubt I could climb up high to pluck each one of them. Thankfully, my improvised walking stick was long enough to reach for some apples. I also tried the other trees, it’s best to have a variety. In an hour or I think an hour has gone through, I had an armful of fruits and happily chewing on a juicy apple. You don’t normally have this for free back in my town.

Once I felt full, I made a makeshift bag with my torn shirt. It’d be a waste to just let them rot away; I did put an effort on trying to get them after all.

I trudged along the thicket, trying to find a semblance of life aside from my own. There were some animals that ran and hid away from me which was a little unsettling. That means if there were some small animals, there are sure to be some large animals in the area. I put a little more speed on my steps, eager to get to a town that I could rest in. Hopefully they’d also have a phone I can use to call home. I might be stuck here for a while since I don’t know when I might get a ride back or where I am specifically.

The trees gave way to a wide meadow, the grass was really green and I could see some tall trees standing alone in the scenery. There’s bound to be a town here somewhere. Slowly, I walked down towards the flatland. There wasn’t any marking or anything, which is weird. There should be a sign to guide travelers here and there. Or maybe an animal had taken it down and the people have been too lazy to replace it, I can’t blame them. This place looks quite remote as it is.

I explored the place for hours and hours but there wasn’t anyone else. I couldn’t help the feeling of dread that was slowly piling inside my gut. Was I the only person here? That was insane. It can’t be possible for anyone to not be on this island, it’s the modern times. I doubt there’s an island left that hasn’t been claimed as home by some people. I plopped on the ground, feeling too tired to stand. What should I do? What could I do? I panicked, there was only me on the island and with no technology to call home.

I made my way back to the debris, and that’s where my journal had been. I still had a spare rod to use and an extra pair of wet clothing. There was some junk food that I had managed to bring aboard with me for the trip. Luckily, a gallon of water was still available for me to drink and I quenched my thirst as soon as I got the bottle open. I had to stop myself from downing the entire thing, I don’t even know where potable freshwater can be found in this island. I munched on the remaining fruits out of spite and tried to think of a way on how I could get out of this place.

Based on my experience from the movies I’ve watched, I could try to build a raft from the materials I could find here but that would take quite some time and a lot of effort. I’m not exactly the most resourceful person on the planet. I let the thoughts simmer for a bit before I went back to try a little more exploring, maybe I just haven’t covered all of the island’s ground. There’s bound to be someone else here, right?

About another hour of looking around, the island was still as deserted as I first arrived. I did manage to come upon a certain altar nestled in the far end of the island. A thicket of trees surrounded it while stone pillars were built around the stone altar. There was a book placed on the pedestal and I couldn’t help but wonder what it contained. Shrugging my curiosity away, I turned around to go back to what’s left of my raft.

Unfortunately, a voice was beckoning me. It spoke about food and a house and lots of things. Maybe the thought of being alone in the island was beginning to get to me but I couldn’t shake the whispers out. I shook my head and the voices aren’t there. Maybe it’s just my thoughts trying to make me do something with that item.

I turned back to the book on the pedestal and I’m pretty sure it was glowing. Looking around the area, there wasn’t anyone else so they shouldn’t worry about me getting the book right? Curiosity was a bad trait on me.

I touched the cover, it was worn leather and by the looks of it, it’s going to be quite heavy. I picked it up from the pedestal, nothing changed. I had been a little worried that maybe some magic might be behind this. I opened the tome, surprised to see that the writings were in English. This book talked about the island, about the plants around the area and some guides on how to make this and that. I flipped all the way to the back and there was a name scrawled on it and what I think counts as its title, ‘Tom’s Guide to Surviving in the Wilds’.

I couldn’t help but chuckle; this book will surely get me somewhere and hopefully get me out of this place. I tucked the thick book under my arm and slowly made my way back to the debris left of my boat. I could use some of the wood left as kindle for a bonfire. It was getting darker and I think the tops of the trees would be a good place for me to sleep. I don’t know this place well enough to sleep on the ground, better to be safe than sorry.

It was quite a struggle, trying to climb up a tree with a body as sore as mine was a painful activity. While it was a tall tree, there were a lot of branches that I could pull myself up with. It wasn’t a very comfortable place to sleep in but it was better than having something jump on you in the middle of your sleep. It’s a little chilly already but I’m glad that the extra set of clothes I packed for the trip would be able to keep me warm for the mean time.

Day 2: I can’t help it but I craft and craft and craft, all day

I woke up a couple of times in the night at the sheer coldness of the atmosphere. I pulled the less damp clothing and made it a makeshift blanket. It helped and I was able to get some sleep until the early hours of morning. There were some chicken sounds so that’s reassuring to know that I could get some game to eat while I’m here. I stretched the sleep out of my body and slowly got down the tree. I admit, I’m sore all over and the canopy is not the best bed but I’ll take it over the ground.

I check out the debris of my boat and I picked the ones that could still be used. Some of the wood could still be used for various tools. I picked some fruit for breakfast, this will have to do for now and sat down to check out the guidebook as Tom would have wanted it to be. There were some tips on how to make some weapons with the materials that could be gathered. Funny enough, the book even suggested that I punch the ground to get some earth. I’m not sure if that’s a sane way to getting soil but the book did say it was quite effective.

What could I lose? I set the book down and stared at the ground for a bit. It did say punch but I didn’t know how strong. I did a soft punch, nothing. I put a little more force behind it but nothing happened. I frowned, was Tom pulling my leg or something? This time I put in a little more force and punched the ground numerous times. Funny, the earth beneath my knuckles was slowly being pushed out. Clumps of soil settled at the sides and I stared at them in surprise. The book wasn’t kidding at all. Tom wrote that it is best I keep the soil in my pocket, which was a little weird. You don’t actually pocket soil and let it sit in such a space. I looked at my makeshift rucksack and section a portion of it for the soil.

The book also mentions about some spots he can get fresh water and even some food aside from fruits. This was quite convenient. It’s as if the book was made for strangers who come upon the island. Since there was nothing else for me to do, going to the places that the book mentioned would be a good idea. I gathered some of my supplies; I wasn’t sure how far these particular spots would be. First and foremost, I’d have to get to where the freshwater is. Slinging the makeshift rucksack and bringing with me the wood that could still be used; I started my trek to get to the freshwater. I’d be passing some spots where I could get some wheat and there’s actually a melon patch nearby.

I got to those two spots and put a plank to mark that I’ve been there. My goal was to get to the springs and I could use some water now that my supply has run dry.

It took quite some time before I got to the springs and I was very happy to finally drink my fill with clean potable water. I surveyed the place and it looked like a great place to build camp in. There were some wild game nearby and the trees around the area were heavy with fruits. I’ll have to make an axe for now. There were some pieces of sharp rocks by the edge of the water which I could use as a makeshift axe head.  Using some of the rope I managed to bring along with me, I tied the sharp rock to the wood and tightened the wrap as best as I could. I tried it out on some of the excess wood; it does cut to a degree. I also made an improvised hammer, it doesn’t really work as well as the ones that I used to buy in the department store but it will do. I cut down a small tree with my improvised tool and cut the trunk into lumber. It’ll take some time before I can build something out of these materials but now’s a good start.

I took a bit of rest and had my fill of lunch while browsing the contents of the book. It mentioned about creating a craft table to make my life easier. Tom wrote that having a craft table makes crafting easier and there’s also the assurance that I won’t be losing any of my materials or tools while going about the island. I tried out one of the steps and it looks like I was able to make a rabbit trap, that would make a good meal for later.  

Feeling a little adventurous, I made a bow with a stretchable wire I picked up from the bottom of my pack. I wonder how that got there. With some haphazardly made arrows, I tried to practice my shooting. I don’t think I will be able to hit one off immediately but I can still practice. Archery was always an awesome thing back in my university.

Once I felt energized, I got started with making the crafting table. Trying to make it as similar to the one that Tom has mentioned was difficult as we had a different view of what a table should be. Nonetheless I was able to finish it and I was proud to see that my hard work, and what little skills in masonry I had, had paid off. I followed the book’s instructions on fixing the hammer as well as the axe. I might try cutting another tree tomorrow since the day’s not enough to accommodate that.

I heard something snap, that must be the trap. With the little ingredients in the area, I think I’ll have some bland rabbit meat for tonight but that will do. I let my dinner cook by the bonfire while I piled some rocks to make a base for my house. I will have to make a better hammer to use in the next few days.

As the sky grows darker, noises started to come from the thickets. I did my best to finish what I could and eat my dinner as soon as I can finish it. Maybe the isolation from people is getting to me but I notice some shadows in the distance. I don’t think they would be people because they’d have heard me days ago. It’s also a little weird that they come out at night. I finished my woodwork and opted to let the embers slowly grow smaller. I quickly got up a big tree, albeit with some difficulty. It took some time to get up but this tree had more room for me to lay in which was a better alternative to the one I slept in the night before.

My body was quite sore when I finally got the chance to rest. I wanted to get the chance to look up at the stars but the thick boughs of leaves were in the way. With nothing to see I couldn’t help but glance back at the dark forest; the silhouettes were much larger than before. Did those shadows come nearer? It must be because my bonfire is dying. I hope they don’t do anything to my things when I wake up in the morning. Going back to the start would be a really frustrating thing to wake up to.

The light from my dying bonfire was growing smaller and smaller while the shadows in the forest are getting nearer and nearer. I closed my eyes before I could see them and finally got my share of sleep after a hectic day.

Day 5: Starting from the Ground

It’s not an easy job to try to build a house in just a few days. Though normally it should take forever to make one on my own but thanks to Tom’s guide I was able to make the base of the house with ease. I didn’t expect to get to where I was in just a few days. Of course, I can’t help but think the island itself has some weird quirk that lets ordinary tasks become so much easier. People should inhabit this place since it makes menial tasks so much quicker if not easier.

In fact, when it came to gathering resources, I wasn’t breaking much of a sweat. I chopped down some trees with my improvised axe with ease. I was quite surprised when they fell down after three strong hits. They were also easier to chop into smaller pieces which lead me to getting an easier job in building the house. I had to make a sturdy hammer to breaking down some rocks but they too weren’t much of a problem.

Food was no problem when it came to fruits but I also wanted some protein so I had to look around. There were a lot of wild sheep gathering nearby and some fresh meat would be a nice meal. I tried out my bow and I wasn’t able to get much from it. I missed numerous times, and eventually scared the flock before I could get one. On a good note, I managed to fix my fishing rod on my crafting table and have been able to get my share of fresh fish. Though, I might try to catch one of the wild cows or pigs. There were some wild horses here and there but I’d rather have a tamed horse than anything.

I was a bit tired of the monotonous scenery of the place where I was staying and made a trek back to the shore I washed upon. I shouldn’t be surprised to find that my boat’s debris is gone. They’ve probably been washed away by the waves. Though I can’t help but wonder if something had gotten hold of them. Nonetheless, there was no use to worry about splintered wood and items I can no longer use. I remembered a section from Tom’s book about foraging.

Since I can’t be constantly eating bland food, I gathered some salt water with my water container and followed the instructions on gathering salt from it. The book mentioned a lot about getting salt especially with how bland the food in the island is. I do miss the other flavors such as pepper and some herbs; salt is the best option for now.

I even picked out some fruit from the patches of fruit I passed by so I’m definitely eating a bounty today. I can almost say I’ve grown accustomed to living alone here but I still miss the camaraderie of my friends. I can’t help but wonder what they’re doing now actually.

I pushed the thoughts away and continued to hammer on the walls for my house. I can’t wait to finally get the chance to sleep on something comfortable. While I’ve grown accustomed to the very rigid feeling of the branches, I can’t help but miss the softness of a mattress from time to time. It’s been a few days since I got washed in this island but it doesn’t mean I’m not hoping for any company.

I hammered unto the walls well into the late afternoon. My arms were so sore from the repetitive work but I did appreciate how well the walls looked already. The house I’m hoping to make is small but it should be enough to cater to me. I even moved the crafting table inside so that I don’t need to worry about the table not fitting through the door.

I managed to stumble upon some wild sheep with really thick wool. While they aren’t the most pristine wool I’ve seen, I can get them if I managed to make a knife to shear the wool off of them. The book does mention on how to make a bed out of the wool that can be gathered. I might also try to design a bed that could be good to sleep in. I don’t have the best skills on designing but a simple bed should work for me. I doubt I’ll be able to finish everything so soon so the canopies are still where I sleep.

I did manage to make a makeshift pillow by packing some dried leaves and clumping them together in one old shirt and blanket from some wool I gathered, so the nights aren’t as cold as before. Though I have to wash the blanket a lot because of the choice of fabric; I might get some dyes from the flowers too. Man, Tom’s book has a lot of information that can really help someone out.

I proceeded to make myself some dinner after a day’s toll of building the house. It wasn’t much, simply some fish that I caught on the spit. It’s becoming a common choice of meal since it’s so easy to fish them. The salt is a great addition and I’m trying to find some herbs that would add more flavors. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the best in the kitchen so it’s going to be a test of memory to which worked with food. The fruits I gathered earlier are a welcome treats but I do miss the taste of chocolate and ice cream from time to time. I don’t know when I’ll ever get the chance to get those sweets again but these will have to do.

Dinner was a quick affair as always. With little to do during the night, I usually just sat down and imagined my life back in the bustling city. Here in the outskirts of nowhere, life was quite simple. I guess that’s probably why most people in the province tend to live longer since they had lesser things to worry about. Or maybe it’s also the food that they eat. I patted my belly, feeling full at the fish I ate. Without any of the artificial additives in my food, I could tell a big difference at how well my body is coping in this environment. Ah, I’m having really deep thoughts already.

I climbed up to my temporary bed for the night, hoping that I could finally sleep in the comfort of a bed made with copious layers of wool and not having to climb up tree branches again. I have to say, my body has gone quite toned from all the exercise I’ve been doing these past few days. I can’t help but hope that I get the chance to get back home soon. I miss all the good things that a bustling city can provide. Though, I can be honest and say that I would also miss how simple life here is.

Day 8: It hisses.

I wake up in the middle of the night to some really loud hissing noise. It took some time before my eyes adjusted to the darkness. The sun wasn’t even up yet so it had to be around after midnight or something. I looked around; trying to understand what was making the noise. It took me awhile to check the ground and I almost jumped off the tree canopy.

There was a weird blocky monster standing at the base of the tree. I’m really thankful my tree is quite tall as it can’t reach me from where I am. It stared at me with its black bottomless eyes with that weird smile-like expression on its face. It continued to hiss but only stared at me. I couldn't help but watch its back and slowly slip further into the tree. I looked around and there were some other shadows that were walking about. There was also a distinct hiss from afar but I wasn’t so sure. I was still a little sleepy despite the horror that I found at the bottom of my tree.

I tried to rid away the image of the creature just below me. It was hard to try to get back to sleep but I’m pretty sure I woke up a number of times to the sounds of the hissing by the foot of the tree. I tried to shake the feeling away and dearly hoped that whatever that creature was would be gone by morning.

I don’t remember when I fell back to sleep but it was already late in the morning when I woke up. I carefully checked the ground and breathed a sigh of relief to see that the creature was no longer there. I don’t think I would want something to creep around me like that. I should probably call it a Creeper since it tends to creep around. I shudder at the thought, unhappy that such a creature was lurking just a few feet below me. I should try to make the house faster so I won’t have to deal with such things.

I slowly got down the tree, eager to get things started so that I don’t have to deal with seeing the creeper watch me as I sleep. I looked around; making sure that nothing was out of place especially with the knowledge that I have nighttime visitors. They didn’t touch anything but it’s really creepy to think that something would go here just watch someone sleep. I took my fishing rod and tried to catch something to eat; I can’t dive into work with an empty stomach. Once I was sure that I have a chance of catching fish easily, I left the rod to stand by the bank sandwiched by some rocks.

I proceeded to the pile of wood that needed to be hammered to make the wall of my house. All in all, the structure of my house is getting there. I didn’t expect to get this far in just a few days. Tom’s book did give some shortcuts on how to get things faster. Maybe if I brought it with me, it would help me out? But then again, life in the city is more advanced than here in the outskirts of nowhere.

The rod began to shake and I quickly got to it, tugging on the line to get my brunch. It felt heavier than usual and I couldn’t help but wonder if this place had those monster fishes that I used to watch on television. Thankfully, when I got the fish in the shallows, it wasn’t as big as the ones on media. It was big enough for me and I’m thankful that the saltwater I’ve dried for salt has given me something to flavor my food.

As I ate my cooked fish, I couldn’t help but wonder who Tom was or how’d even get here. It might have been tough on Tom since he was the only one here and there’s nothing that could have guided him like how I’m living now. I wonder how long the guy stayed before he left or went elsewhere, the book can’t be perched on a very fancy pedestal if he didn’t put some care into it. This leaves me to wonder just what was he hoping to do by leaving a book behind? I turned the pages of the large book, some of it had been washed away from the rains that passed by but it has stayed intact. Any usual book would have already decomposed under all the stress and the change in weather.

I let the deep thoughts simmer while I ate my fish. I couldn’t help but wonder what could I do after I finished building the house? I could probably make a boat that could get back to where I’m from but then I’m no good at sea without a map. I wonder if people normally visit the place, I’m hoping that some individuals might make their way to this island. That can’t be impossible and I’m hoping that Tom comes back somehow; it’d be nice to know how he can get off of this place.

I patted my belly, now that was a good meal. Now that I’ve had something to energize me, I went back to work. The house won’t build itself and it’s quite better if I don’t see those Creepers trying to stare me awake in the middle of the night.

I piled some of the rocks together to act as a base, as per Tom’s words. I should get some other materials, the book mentioned about making glass from sand and fire. First, I’ll need a fire so strong it’ll melt sand to glass. While I could possibly try with my bonfire, Tom’s notes did mention that I can possibly harvest some lava. Lava, wow, that’s something you don’t expect to be harvested. Then again, Tom’s book doesn’t make things up so if this island’s lava can be harvested, that does say a lot.

I continued to do the walls, making sure I get to finish the overall structure so that I can worry about the roof later. I might have to rely on grates because I don’t think I can gather some lava in the near future. Maybe if I make a house near the shore, which would be really convenient if I could make glass so, I can see the outside with ease. I would probably miss climbing up trees at night though.

I worked and worked until the sun was slowly setting. I didn’t notice how many hours have gone but I felt immensely proud at my work. The walls were finally finished and I was able to make them stand and they looked very sturdy. Tom’s guide did help on how I can make the base. I left an opening for when I make a door, so that I can go in and out with ease.

Before it gets too dark, I went to the nearby fields and got myself some meat. One of the wild pigs in the area was alone and I dove in to make myself some bacon for dinner. I lathered the meat with some salt and proceeded to cook it, the wonderful scent made my mouth water but it will be a while before I can have my meal. The surroundings were getting darker and it would be only a few more minutes until my bonfire goes out. I don’t want to be in the midst of monsters soon so I hastily finished my meal. Once I had settled my night time habits, I climbed my way back up the tree. I looked at the ground grimly; there will come a time I won’t have to go up the canopies for my protection. With the light growing smaller and smaller, as the sounds of the forest gets louder and louder, I slowly settled under my makeshift blanket. I wanted to look down and see if the creature that had woken me up during the wee hours of morning was still there but I know that wouldn’t be a good idea. I might even end up missing on sleep because of how terrifying the thought is.

I laid down on the hard surface I’ve called a bed for the past few days, finally feeling the soreness from all of the day’s work. I should double time tomorrow, so I can finally get my own actual bed to sleep in. I wonder how good wool would be, not like my old mattress from home but hopefully better than here. The scented dyes I made from the flowers that I plucked some days ago were a good soothing addition to tonight’s sleep. I could get used to this.

The hissing noises were back and as much as I really wanted to look down, I know that wasn’t a great idea.

Day 15: Adding some finishing touches

Today, I got up really early. I think I’ve gotten used to the routine of getting up early to get work done. I even notice how well my body has gotten since I got here. I’m no longer as groggy every morning and I’ve even shed some pounds off from all the hard labor I’ve been doing. I didn’t think I could even admit to myself that I have been enjoying the days that I was building on my house. I’ve gotten used to the nightly visitors that drop by; I’ve even made a timetable for them. There was a particular night that I stayed up to watch them. I had actually wanted to see what else would be walking into my camp while I slept through the night.

The creature I had named a Creeper would constantly stand by the bottom of the tree I was in. At certain times, there were around two or three of them. They didn’t do anything, merely standing and staring which made them ridiculously creepy.

On one very cold evening, I had heard a different set of noises. They sounded like garbled murmurs, those that are really common in horror movies. I was very surprised to see zombies prowl along the ground. I had always thought that zombies didn’t have the chance to be real but on this island they stalk the earth at night. That experience made me really cautious and I usually turned to bed a little earlier in the night.

At certain nights, there were also some very human-like creatures that walk around the camp. I think my vantage hidden in the trees had made me hidden to their presence. I can’t imagine what Tom went through without a guide to help him out. Thankfully, these humanoid creatures didn’t destroy my house or else I’d be quite frustrated with them.

One thing I’ve also been doing is practicing with a sword. Tom wrote a lot about trying to fight to fend off the creatures and monsters that I might encounter in the island. To be honest, holding my newly forged sword from my brand new smelt was not reassuring. In fact, my very mockery of a rock sword was quite brittle at the start. With how heavy it was, I didn’t think I could even manage to swing it. I had to make a dummy wooden sword to practice the past few days. With my better experience with some rocks and a little smelting with the ore I found off the coast, I was able to make a more durable and slightly lighter sword. I even used it to hunt some wild pigs for meals.

I was able to explore the island a little more, especially when I felt too lazy to finish the house. The canopies were slightly appealing from time to time, I like to tell myself. I stumbled upon some large spiders and had to fight them off. They had a lot of durable strings that Tom wrote about. I’ve been using some of the strings when I do some fishing but most of it is just kept in a storage box that I made. I’ve been hoarding a lot of items as of late, especially when they’re from sources that are far from the house.

I stretched for a bit after I got down the tree. The house is almost done; I’m left to finishing the rooftop today. I’ve actually put the task off for quite a few days especially now that I have an actual bed made. Tom had mentioned a lot about making a house which leaves me to wonder where his house is. There should be a house much like mine out here but unfortunately, I’ve found none even after scouring the island for countless times.

The house doesn't’ have a door as of yet but I did make one from a tree I cut down a few meters from here. I was able to make a working hinge out of stone, through Tom’s instructions of course. It’s a little scary that a single man was capable of creating such things. I made my way inside the house, picking up an apple from my stock. I remembered washing it yesterday morning and studying how the roof looks. The floorboards were a little wet since it rained last night especially in the spot where there was a big hole on the roof. It’ll take me the morning to finish covering the hole, which I should be doing.

Once I finished the apple, chucking it through the openings that I had called ‘windows’ since I don’t have glass to cover them as of yet.

I took my hammer and some of the planks; there’s a ladder outside which I can use. I got to working on finishing the roof so I can finally sleep inside the house tonight. I had moved much of stuff inside the house. It was a little surprising that there was a good amount of room to put my things in. Tom did mention the ideal dimensions but it was surprising to see that the house had a bigger floor space compared to what I was expecting. Tom’s book even had its own pedestal beside the crafting table so it was easily accessible in case I needed anything.

Once the roof has been settled, I set to work on making my door. It was a simple solid block with a piece of wood jutting out as a door knob. I had improvised a lock so that I can keep the house ‘locked’ while I’m wandering or sleeping. I surely don’t want to wake up to someone getting inside the place while I’m sound asleep.

The downside of the house though is I still have to cook outside since I don’t want the whole place smelling like smoke and whatever I cooked for the day. This also means I’ll need to make a gate around the place to keep the monsters out. With those thoughts in mind, I hammered away at the pieces of wood invigorated by the promise of a better bed tonight.

Truth to be told, I did finish by the time noon came in. I took my chance to fish for my lunch while browsing through Tom’s book. There were some notes about getting minerals and trying to make armor out of them. I was a little skeptical, the swords were already heavy enough but wearing armor made me feel like back in the medieval times. Then again, the island had a whole bunch of monsters to deal with so it’s going to be quite a feat to wear armor. This also means less chances of being bitten by zombies, right?

I settled the book down once the line moved and concentrated on trying to get the fish out of the water. To be honest, I’ve surely missed the food back home to the point that I hardly remember how some of them tasted. Once the fish was out of the water, I quickly got into a habit of preparing it to eat. I should probably start on making a boat so I can get out of here. I let the fish cook and started to plan out what I’ll be doing for the afternoon.

My eyes went to the completed structure. It surely didn’t look the best but it was standing and could keep me sheltered for the time being. I guess I could start on getting those pickaxes done and try to find the entrance to the caves. There was something odd about Tom’s journal.

He mentioned about punching the earth as much as possible until I could go underground. I know that I could technically punch the ground to gather soil but punching until I get underground, that’s quite unheard of. The soil would fall on you before you can even explore any deeper. But heck, I might actually try that out once I’m done with making the tools I’d need for mining.

I let the thought simmer while eating lunch, Can you really do that? I mean, I did finish making a house in such a short time with such flimsy materials but its standing. With so little to do, I might actually try it out since there’s nothing for me to lose.

The sun was way up in the sky. If it weren’t for the tall trees, I’d probably be sweating a lot all ready. It’s probably mid-afternoon when I stared at the space in front of me. I chose a spot that was a few ways off of the house. Tom’s book mentioned that if I dug until I reached the underground, chances are there would monsters in those places so it’s best I do not get the opening near where I was staying.

I punched the earth, just like the first time I did. The ground gave way, making a cube like hole in the space. Odd, this didn’t happen before. I punched on the other side; the ground gave way again to a similar shape. I tried to punch a little lower, hitting the earth at the bottom. The earth still had a square like dimension when the earth gave way. Tom’s book wasn’t kidding at all; it looks like this could actually get me underground.

I slowly tried to dig a hole through the means of punching the ground. Once it was a decent sized hole, I carefully got down. The earth beneath me was still blocked so I could just climb up if I wanted. What’s surprising is they didn’t give way when I stepped on them. Now came the very tricky part, Tom’s book mentioned that I could just punch the walls and it won’t cave in. Logic tells me that they should but with how the blocks of soil beneath my feet still disintegrate, I did what the text mentioned. Slowly but surely the earth gave way but the soil above didn’t fall down on me; that was a sight to see. There was a very thick layer of earth hanging above my head which I fear would come down but it didn’t. Feeling a little courageous, I continued to dig my way through. It was getting darker and darker as I continued; maybe a torch will be useful in this kind of situation. I didn’t bring with me any materials aside from a small knife strapped at my hip.

I pressed onwards, the sense of curiosity that I’ve been putting off for the past few days starting to show. The earth slowly gave way to darkness. I instantly heard something skittering and a shadow jumped towards me. By sheer instinct, I had pulled the knife and fended for myself. The creature dropped to the ground, twitching for a while before ceasing to move. It was a large spider, similar to the ones I encountered in the fields a few days ago. I slowly backed away, hoping to avoid any more encounters especially with the little equipment I have in hand.

I made my way back to the actual ground and stared at the decent size hole for quite some time. I can’t help but wonder if there were any more creatures in the dark depths. Would they make their way out at night? I surely hope not, I tried to cover the hole to avoid them from getting out. It seemed effective but I didn’t want to totally cover it since I wanted to check it out tomorrow. I trudged back to my house, washing the dirt by the waters and preparing my meal for dinner.

While the fish cooked, I set to work on the pickaxe and fortifying my sword. Tom’s book held information that there were a lot of minerals underground that could help. I could try crafting a better sword with some ore. I set the door to my house in place, checking if the makeshift hinges were working as expected. Thankfully they were and I opened and closed it to make sure they would keep everything out. I hope the door is enough to keep the creepers and the zombies out.

I sat down to eat dinner, after cleaning everything up. My body was quite exhausted from the digging I did earlier. I couldn’t help but wonder what else lied in the bottom of those pits. Hopefully it won’t be so hard to mine some ores and stones. I don’t have any experience in finding those kinds of rocks but I hope it won’t be so much of a trouble. Once dinner was sorted out, I kept all the things and made my way into the house. I had to make use of torches as a way to light up the place, though I had to keep them away from the walls. I sat down on a wooden crate I haphazardly made and tried to make a pickaxe based on Tom’s instructions. It was a little hard to see the text in the little lighting but I tried as best as I could.

As soon as I was done with the pickaxe as well as crafted some tools to help me create more things, I focused on finishing a wooden table. I’ve been keen on trying to make as much necessary furniture that could be used in the house as I could. While much of the dining needs are not necessary since I eat outside, I can’t help but want another table in the place. The house was quite bear with just my crafting table and my bed.

Satisfied with my work, I wiped away the traces of dust with a spare cloth I cut from my old clothing. It was time for bed and I was very excited to finally sleep on flat ground. I climbed into my bed, feeling the difference of the choice of sleeping arrangements already. The ‘mattress’ took some time to get used to since I was used to sleeping on something solid. The thick layer of wool was a nice medium to keeping me warm for the night. The scent from the dye I made from the flowers was a welcome addition to soothe me to sleep. I lay down on my pillow, happy to finally have two of them.

I could hear some hissing noises from outside. It’s a good thing I didn’t put the window near where I was sleeping. I don’t think my heart can take it to seeing the creatures in the middle of the night, especially now that I’m no longer sleeping on higher ground. I inhaled the heady scent of flowers and let it lull me to sleep. Tomorrow would be another day to fend them off from this place I can now call home.

Day 20: Exploring can have its ups and downs

Today, I’m finally making it a point to explore the caves I found nearby. I haven’t actually tried to see what is in them. This is also because I have not finished reading that entry on Tom’s book. He wrote a lot about the caves, how the precious stones in armor making are in there but it’s really dangerous. Highly risky if I went in with a few supplies and I might end my journey in one of the caves if I’m not careful.

I’ve prepared some food for the quick trip and I won’t be staying until late into the night. That’s one thing that Tom really wrote not to do. I also wouldn’t want to encounter some Creepers. I didn’t get to them sooner since they were written at the back of the book in a glossary format. I didn’t expect Tom to follow the usual content of a book, which was quite surprising. Anyways, they were written to blow off when near and I surely didn’t like explosions at close proximity. I’ve stocked up on some arrows and had fortified my sword for this skirmish. Tom also wrote that I should make some torches in the cave and put them on the walls. I can craft a lot of torches in short time so I don’t have to worry about the amount of wood that I will be bringing.

I got up very early for today’s adventure, hoping to get a lot of ground covered in the mysterious cave that I’ve dug myself into. Once I had gotten my fill for breakfast, I made my way to the hole that I dug a few days ago. I’ve actually been checking out on it for the past few days. I dug up some of the soil that I had used to cover the entrance. There haven't’ been any monsters jumping out on me when I first got through it. I’m still hoping that was a mere coincidence when I stumbled on that spider but that’s just me pushing on my luck. I squared my shoulders and burned the tip of my torch.

It was a nerve-wracking experience to say the least. Stepping into a really dark place with a torch has to be the stuff for horror movies. I took one of the planks I kept in my improvise bag and set it on the wall. It stuck to the surface without any difficulty. Using my pickaxe, I picked on the harder earth. Tom’s journal mentioned that I should try to use my pickaxe on the harder earth else I want to get wounded knuckles. Well, I have to trust the expert on that.

I managed to pick my way through the darkened world, and was in awe at how big the cave actually was. I had to set the time of amazement later because there was a group of large spiders stalking towards me. I took out my sword and hoped my constant sword practice had finally brought some advantage against these beasts. I had to prop the torch against the wall beside so I could maintain a sense of sight. All in all, I was able to fend them off. The nervous jitters still stayed though, I never thought that I would ever encounter such things in my life so that’s surely off my bucket list.

Tom’s guide mentioned a lot about encountering monsters in the caves. That means he’s done his fair share of exploring. Though, there aren’t many caves in the island and I also don’t think there have been any recent explorations in these places. This leaves me to wonder how long ago it has been since Tom wrote the guide book. I kept my sword out in case I would fight something along the way.

The cave was really wide now that I stepped further inside. I did aim to put some torches to some walls here and there. It’s really odd how I’m not really losing on some light despite the little oxygen there is in this cave. Not that I’m complaining or anything, just an observation. The spiders dropped some of their silk which is a great thing because then I’ll have more things to craft with. I went in a little further and was very shocked to find some zombies. They moved towards me and boy was I happy that I had taken more diligence in practicing with the sword. It was a grim spectacle and I’m glad that I didn’t get any of the mess on my clothing. Once they were out of the way, they did drop some very odd items which I should clean when I get back to camp.

I made sure that there would no longer be any beast that would be left to prowl about. Now that the cave has been fully illuminated thanks to my efforts of putting up as many torches as possible, I dropped my pack and took out my pickaxe. I hit the wall numerous times until it gave way and revealed some ore. That wasn’t so hard. I began to mine.

While I continued to mine further and further into the wall, I could distinctly hear running water. Was that coming from somewhere deeper? I continued to mine and no sooner a small stream of water came gushing out from the hole I made. I quickly jumped back, shock at the revelation that the water was on a higher level than expected. The wall pooled behind me, filling the crevice. I looked at the growing pool and back at the wall, there should be a way for the water to follow without me having to deal with swimming my way out.

I went to the opposite side of the cavern, picking on the wall to give way to something. I did manage to get some gemstones while picking and was a little surprised at the presence of some more spiders in the room I discovered. Zombies were a common sight as well and I quickly slayed them to continue on my menial task of getting water out of the room. Once I lit up the second section, I was surprised to see a reddened floor. I wonder why that was there. Making sure that there were no more monsters in the area, I walked to the reddened floor. Immediately, I was assaulted of how hot it was and that made me sure that lava was beneath my feet.

The water from the other room sloshed to my feet and I quickly picked on the floor. Red stones erupted from the ground and the heat of the lava was an unwelcome sensation. The water went down to the hot flow and immediately steam rose. I had to jump back in case I’d be burned by the sheer heat of the steam. The steam slowly dispersed despite the water still hitting the heat, must be the island’s way of doing things again.

Now that was sorted out, I got back to mining the wall for more stones. I can say that the strong stream of water was really a bother but it did help me on where I should mine next. I didn’t keep track of the time since there was no watch nor was there the presence of the sunlight. It was only the weight of my gathered materials that told me it was time to get back to the surface or else I might not be able to bring this weight back up.

I made my way along the cave walls, following the path I had set myself. No one wants to get lost in an underground maze and fall into oblivion here. That would be a really sad death especially the fact that there was no one else here. Wait, does that mean that the zombies are the former residents of this island getting turned? That’s odd; there are only a few zombies I’ve encountered so far. But that would mean that some of the people here did turn into monsters. I shudder at the thought; I wouldn’t want to be a zombie though.

I was quite happy to see the late afternoon sun once I was out of the cave. That means I still have some time to get myself some dinner as well as sort the things I’ve gathered. I trudged my way back to my house, dropping the loot by the doorstep before heading to the fields to catch me a nice juicy pig. I’ve practiced with the bow this time and I can finally do a good shot. I’m using it this time since I want to get a quick meal before night comes.

I rushed to the fields once a group of pigs was in the area. I quickly aimed and let the arrow sail, it hit the pig on the side. The others quickly fled leaving the one I shot on the ground. I made my way to it and quickly slayed it lest it attracted some wolves to the area. With my meat now secured, I walked back to the camp so I can prepare it for dinner. I took out the entrails and laid it far away, no use trying to make a house if you have juicy meat hanging around for beasts to eat. I salted the pieces of meat and cooked two slabs. The other pieces should still be good to eat by morning. I put the salted morsels on the spit while I waded through the water to wash the dirt away from mining. I should try to craft new clothes because the ones I’m wearing are getting torn in a lot of places.

I took a flask and set it aside for later; I’ll need it to clean the things I gathered. I took my pack and sat down by the spit with the contents of my adventure at my side. I set to cleaning the rocks I got. I’m not proficient in identifying the precious stones but I think the shiny ones are the gemstones while the dull stones are the ores. Not too shabby, I got a good amount on the first go. This is quite an achievement.

One thing I particularly didn’t like has to be cleaning the rotten flesh from the ingots that the zombies dropped. Were they miners before they died? That sounds like a sad way to turn into a zombie in my opinion. I cleaned up everything as best as I could and consumed my dinner in a quick series of bites. I was really hungry from my excursion.

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