Thankfully, I found it easy to climb any of the trees and knock off a coconut when I was hungry. There were also some root veggies growing near the center of the jungle that were tastes. But out on the beach, it was hot and it was difficult to find shade during the day. Although I faced a world of water, the surf brought nothing but salt. Making drinkable water was a slow process. I hated that it was warm but I was glad when I had enough to gulp down despite the temperature.
I had intended on visiting the island to see if my calculations were correct; Is this where Amelia Earhart had crashed her airship? But circumstances, beyond my control, left me stranded on the island with nothing to eat, nothing to drink and no proof at all that the pilot had actually been on the island at all. What a waste of time.

I had programmed the door to take me to the mouth of the small cave where the jungle and the beach merged. I was hoping to arrive on the island moments after Amelia’s ship. Maybe I could help her. (I have rescued other famous missing people before. Of course I had to help them with new identities and start new lives. I explained that their place in history needed to remain as a missing person but they deserved a life anyway. So, for example, Glenn Miller became a middle grade music teacher in Kansas in the year 1980. He is, in fact, still there, living the life of a retired man on his farm.
When I walked out of the cave, the ground shook. An earthquake? How could that be? I was on a small island in the middle of nowhere. But the ground did shake and the cave collapsed behind me. There was no way for me to return.
I made a little hut out of branches, mud and thick leaves. I used my coat for a blanket at night.

My brass goggles were wonderfully suited as a magnifying glass to help start a fire. I would could but there are only so many ways you can make coconut and jungle root taste. Anything beyond coconut and jungle root.
I saw Amelia’s plane fall from the sky and into the water near another island in the distance. I had miscalculated. I used my goggles to zoom in on the island. I could see that Amelia, and another, had made it. They were crawling out of the surf and onto the beach when I heard a voice behind me.
“There you are,” she said. It was my niece, Molly.
“Where did you come from?” I asked.
Uncle Buster, you’ve been missing for ages. I had to sift through everything in your basement before I could figure out where you had gone to,” she said. “I had always assumed you would come back on your own, but soon I realized you were stranded somewhere. I finally figured out how to bring up the history on the door’s memory log. And there it was; Amelia Earhart’s island. I always knew you would attempt to find her. You’re very predictable.”
“I found her,” I said.
“Oh wow! Where is she?”
I nodded to the other island.
“Seriously?” She shook her head. “You got the wrong island?”
“Yep…”
“So what have you been doing all of this time?” She asked.
I offered her a coconut. “Hungry?”
She wrinkled her nose and waved her hand unpleasantly. “I hate coconuts,” she said. “Let’s go home, Uncle.”
I grabbed my coat from the mud hut and shook it off. I followed her to where the new door waited.
“You stink,” she said sniffing the air.
“I do stink, ” I said. “I stink at a lot of things in fact.”
“No, I meant that you just stink… As in you smell bad.”
“I know. I stink.”
The door pulled us in and the island vanished.

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