Read Excerpt: 'The Other 8 Hours' by Robert Pagliarini

Because it rained often, Sarah found it necessary to continuously replace wet wood and vegetation with dry supplies. Her rock signs around the island also needed care and attention. Not wanting to alace her fate in the hands of a rescue team that might never come, Sarah started building a raft out of bamboo and vines -- a little bit each day.

Of course, she'd relax as well. Her favorite time of day was sunset. Sarah would take a handful of nuts and berries she'd picked earlier in the day down to the beach and sit under her favorite palm tree. She'd daydream about her family and how wonderful a big piece of her mother's special chocolate cake would taste. During these daydreams, she'd also spend a few minutes going over her rescue plan.

Day after day, without any fanfare or recognition, Mark and Sarah Did what they needed to do to survive. After several noneventful weeks, That day finally came. Sarah was picking fruit near the beach and Mark was trapping crabs when they both -- almost at the same time -- saw a small plane in the distance.

Sarah jumped into action. She ran to the small fire and used it to Light the large pile of wood. She dumped the vegetation on it and used Her homemade tiki torch to light the other stacks of wood on fi re. She Then ran back to add more wood and vegetation to the fi re. Huge Plumes of smoke rose into the air and fi lled the sky above her island. Meanwhile, Mark was frantic. He ran around trying to fi gure out What to do. He fumbled, trying to light a fi re, and once he had one lit, He was disappointed that it produced very little visible smoke. He sprinted into the jungle and grabbed any kind of vegetation he could find to throw on the fire. Unfortunately, the vegetation he used quickly suffocated the fire and Mark wasted several precious minutes trying to light another one. Each time he threw new vegetation on the fire to create more smoke, the fire would die and he would waste time trying to restart it.

The plane turned and started heading toward the islands. As it got closer, Mark realized it was not flying toward him but was headed several miles off course. The plane circled Sarah's island and touched down a hundred yards off shore. Two rescuers jumped out of the plane and started paddling toward her in a raft. As they got closer, she looked around her island one last time and dove into the ocean and swam toward the raft. Minutes later, Sarah was airborne. The pilot asked her if there were any other survivors and Sarah told them that she had been alone.

Desperate to get their attention, Mark resorted to running up and down the beach waving his arms in the air and screaming in desperation. As the plane flew out of sight, Mark realized that he had missed his chance.

Mark survived. He survived the fifty- foot plunge into the water, lived through the violent storm, made it to dry land, built a shelter, and found food and water. Sarah also survived. She did what was necessary To make it each day, but she had a bigger plan -- she wanted a better life. She wanted to see her family again, to taste chocolate, and to read a love story. She wanted to hug her friends and hear the sounds of her church choir. She wanted to pet her dog, attend a play, and grow old with her husband. She needed to survive on the island, but she made the decision that surviving was just not enough.

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