As you will have read in this earlier post, I intend to halt this tale as not only had it stalled very badly, but I’d also used its plot for The Lost Journal tale. I’ve had a recap and full post waiting as drafts in my blog for a whole year and rather than simply delete them, I’m offering you both below along with a potted ending with which to draw a veil across this brave, but doomed, attempt.
I have to say that this tale, in the beginning, was great fun for me to do – from planting my jungle to destroying the yacht and smashing it on the rocks I had a wonderful time making the props and taking the photos for this story. And the people who followed it and helped out! Janey making the buckets & TR sending the poor chap some warming hot chocolate; in its heyday it was a really fun thing to write indeed. For the record, my favourite posts are:
1) Shipwrecked where it was a simple pull away of the camera to reveal the professor washed up and unconscious on the beach with his smashed and burning yacht behind him – the last shot took ages to do in order to capture a lighting bolt striking the wreckage!
2) The Dream for the final set of images which I still feel are incredibly powerful – and were a testament to what someone could do with very limited resources and lots of creative thinking. I used two different ships in a pirate themed sim whose name I have long forgotten – the final image of the demon’s eye was one of the key events that led me to Osprey as she liked it so much she asked me to pose for one of her Combat Cards.
Thank you for reading along and for visiting the ‘set’ I built on my small island and exploring the Professor’s jungle. I’m very lucky to have readers who care what I write and follow along – I hope you like the tales I’m planning to replace this one
July 1930 and Professor Headonius Buroffski of Miskatonic U left Miami in his new yacht, the Telestro, expecting to be in Key West in plenty of time to celebrate the fourth of July with his friends. The sudden and fierce storm he encountered mere hours out from land had other ideas though. The good professor had a terrifying night clinging on for dear life as the seas threw his little craft around like a toy until, in the wee small hours, he struck rocks and was thrown ashore as the storm tore the Telestro apart.
When morning broke, the professor found himself alone on a small sandy beach, the ruins of his yacht scattered about him and lapping between the cruel rocks that lay just off the shore. The next few days saw him undertake a search for food and water, all the time keeping a diary of his days for his beloved wife, Rose. And then the dreams started…
Dreams of a wooden galleon, abandoned, adrift. Wandering the decks. Feeling the presence of someone… some thing else. Seeing the burning red eyes glaring at him from the makeshift prison of the hold. Each dream more real than the last, each more terrifying.
In a bid to escape both the dreams and, more importantly, the island he finally set off into the jungle to see if he could lean more about the island and find a way off his new, unwanted home. Through thick undergrowth he fought until, in an eerily deserted part of the jungle he stumbled upon a strange circle of standing stones where he decided to make camp for the night…
The Final Post
14th or 15th – Night.
I have made an amazing discovery! Oh Rose! I can hardly contain myself!
I fell into a deep sleep almost as soon as I finished my last entry and had the strangest dream. Thankfully it was not about the queer galleon or its menacing lone passenger, but instead I had the strangest feeling I was moving out of myself, floating out of my body and out of the tent. The night shrouded jungle was all around me; dark impenetrable walls beyond the edges of the clearing in which I had set up camp. Hovering somewhere above the tree line, I looked back down at the stone circle and was amazed to see people lit by a small fire where my tent should have been!
I counted a dozen of what I guessed to be native islanders (their skin tanned and toughened by the tropical sun) surrounding the five stones. As one, they began swaying and chanting as five of their number had their entire bodies anointed and painted with a dripping, sickly green liquid. Once covered, they moved into the circle and stood each facing a stone with their backs to the fire.
The swaying and singing increased in pitch and tempo whilst the five chosen stood stock still, rigid and unyielding to the beat and rhythm of the chanting around them. It grew faster, louder, more wild and furious. My head swam with it, my brain pulsed to its beat and my thoughts began to reduce down to a point far removed outside myself. Rose, I truly believe I would been lost if in the next second the terrible chanting had not stopped dead. The silence hit me like a slap and I stared down at the scene struggling to bring myself back from whatever brink I had been teetering on.
The islanders all stood still until, upon a barked command, the five chosen raised their right hand and touched the stone in front of them.
From each stone there was a crackle in the air and the same smell of ozone I had detected before. From beneath the surface of the stones radiated a light the same queer green as the slime the five natives had daubed themselves with. It pulsed, slowly at first, but began to increase in speed and power. Soon the stones were lit like beacons and the five chosen were writhing in agony, there hands seemingly stuck fast to the stone’s surface. Suddenly each stone exploded with a blast of green light; the natives attached to them unleashed a chorus of terrifying screams as I covered my eyes, almost blinded. The light subsided, narrowing down to a vertical beam emanating from the very top of the stone. Of the five islanders at their base, there was no sign; they had vanished completely. The beams began to tilt inwards, moving toward each other, to a focal point high above the centre of the circle. When they met, an unholy thunderclap was unleashed from the sky above and the sky above began to boil and roll as dark clouds appeared from nowhere. Big fat rain drops began to fall and a the entire scene was frozen by an enormous lightning bolt that struck the jungle thirty yards from the circle. They had somehow generated a huge storm from a perfectly clear sky!
I watched in awe as the natives began to chant and dance, this time weaving in and out of the stones and waving up to the clouds above them. The clouds seemed to respond, pulsing and moving with the dancers below until they suddenly shot off over the jungle and out to sea, lightning bolts leaving a trail of burning palms and scorched undergrowth behind it.
I awoke with a start. I was in my tent, confused by my sudden dislocation. Outside I could see my own fire still smouldering – hardly any time had passed since I had drifted off to sleep and witnessed the strange ritual. I rose, groggily making my way outside; everything was as it should be, aside the strange quiet that hangs over this place like a shroud. I moved into the stone circle, the stones silent and dark against the jungle behind them, to throw some more wood on the fire.
And that’s when it happened, Rose. I lent against one of the stones and at my touch, a small spark of green static arced out to my hand and I leapt back in surprise. My fingers tingled, but were otherwise fine, so I reached out and tentatively laid my palm against the cool, rough surface. A strange hum filled the air, not so much heard as felt and slowly the stone began to glow weakly with the eldritch green hue I had seen in my dream. I moved the next stone and touched it with the same result! And the next! And the next! All five stone, Rose! All five were glowing, barely perceptible I’ll grant you, but glowing nonetheless!
That was some ten minutes ago now. Within two or three minutes the glow had vanished and try as I might, I just haven’t been able to get them to glow again. Maybe the morning will bring some fresh insight into this mystery. I fear that I may be too giddy to sleep, but sleep I must if I am to set my mind to examining this conundrum.
Your Doni x
The Final Ending
The tale was to end in much the same fashion as The Lost Journal (sans nuclear missile & Jeremiah Mason) – in one version the Prof found a temple and was evetually hunted, caught and sacrificed to the demon; whereas in another ending the same thing happened to the Prof but then his great-grandson returned years later and faced the same perils but managed to destroy the natives and their temple. From there I was planning a futuristic version with the same demon, but that never got past the very basic sketch stage Thanks for reading guys – keep an eye on my new stories and catch up with all my tales on the Burro Tales page.