The Island

The Island: Ending the Tale

An Explanation

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 😀

Recap

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.
The Island - A native touches a stone
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!
The Island - The Storm

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!
The Island - The Professor touches a stone

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.

Night night,
Your Doni x
**********

The End…

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.

Backpacking Burro and The Island: Time for a Reboot

Well, the tale just told (The Lost Journal) has really started something – it’s pretty much killed of one of my stalled stories (The Island – TLJ used its plot) and has forced me to question the Backpacking Burro tale.

Thing is, Backpacking Burro is kind of why I started this blog (or weblog, for Dale 😀 ) way back in July 07. I wanted to tell a tale that lasted only a few posts and then led me to a place where I could start publishing the notecard travel guides I was writing and distributing through my group in-world. Problem is the tale sort of got out of hand – I began to tell a grander story with a greater scale and soon I was in a place where I couldn’t finish it and move to the travel guides. Mind you, the travel guides petered out and stopped in early 2008 as I got more and more involved with other activities such as TSMGO.

So there I was with a story that was threatening to engulf me and if that wasn’t enough I had also started the tale of the shipwrecked man in The Island. Both were draining me, I couldn’t see either ending, I couldn’t see where they were going and, eventually, both stalled. I recapped Backpacking Burro a year ago and restarted it, but it soon stalled again. I also recapped The Island and had the next post written, but neither recap nor post ever made it out of draft folder in the blog.

Cut to last month and after I published a series of diary entries I had written two years previously to set the scene for a horror party I organised, Darien Mason suggested we work together to continue the tale. The Lost Journal seemed to unblock me and I poured words onto the screen. Even when poor Darien was cast out of SL by LL, I continued and within three weeks had written more on one tale then I had in a whole for the other two combined.

So what to do with those two tales? Well the easy one is The Island because as The Lost Journal just used its plot I’ve decided that I’m not going to continue with it. I will publish the final post written simply because it took me so bloody long to write it and set up the photos, but after that I’m afraid it’s gone. And you know how it ends anyway; the natives sacrifice the shipwrecked professor and then years later his grandson finds the temple and faces a similar fate but manages to destroy it. The End. I think The Lost Journal handled it better – it became more visceral in its action scenes and amusing in its dialogue, especially with having another person to bounce off in Jeremiah.

As for Backpacking Burro I’ve decided on a reboot, to use the popular jargon of the moment. I have three or four posts written and in the blog’s draft folder – I am going to harvest them for ideas and re-write. The new Backpacking Burro tale, free of the need to include aspects of a travel guide, will be harder and faster than before. I still don’t have an end mapped out, so it will be open-ended but I’m planning that it will branch off into short tales like The Lost Journal and then come back. In effect each tale will be part of the overall quest in the BB tale. I also hope that I can drag some other folks into this, replicating the involvement of Darien & Jeremiah as I really do believe that collaborative roleplay makes this more fun.

So there you have it – expect a flurry of posts as I wrap things up and restart, then I’ll be on holiday so I’ll take the opportunity to write and get back on track when I return 🙂

The Island: Making Camp

The Journal of Professor Headonius Burroffski,
Assumed Date:- 14th July 1930, Early Evening.
Location:- Unknown Island.

Night is drawing near my love, and I have finally found a clearing to make my camp in for the night.

I trekked all day through sweaty heat of the jungle; again and as always, my passing was watched by countless unseen eyes. The green, leafy roof above me was alive with the scampering of claws and talons that followed my every move. Whenever I stopped, a blood-curdling barrage of yells and hooting started, only to be answered in a similar fashion deeper into the jungle. After a few hours of this, I do believe the heat and the constricting closeness of the pungent perfumed atmosphere was starting to affect my thinking, as I fancied that each of these cacophonous caterwaulings was answered by one in exactly the direction I was headed. Silly, I know, but the idea that these wild creatures could somehow predict my every turn was most unnerving and I had to struggle hard against the urge to flee back the way I had come.

I pressed on. The jungle is thick and wild, and it can be terrible job to find a suitable path at times. Roots overgrown with deep moss threatened at every step to upend me and crack my ankles. Creepers and branches pulled at my cloths and face. The creatures above occasionally pelted me with sticks and hard fruit causing me to cover under my pack until they grew bored and reverted to howling at me. The deeper I went, the more I developed the feeling that the jungle, not just its inhabitants, but the very jungle itself resented my presence within its interior. I felt, I fancied, very much like a lone germ must do inside the human body as the immune defenses are mustered about it. And the feeling was getting worse as afternoon gave way to evening and the light began to fade.

I was beginning to wonder, with no small amount of rising alarm I don’t mind telling you, if I would actually find a suitable spot to make my camp for the night when suddenly, and with no warning, I fell forward into a clearing. One moment I was pushing past huge rubbery leaves and dripping vines, and the next I was tumbling face first in to a large stone jutting from the forest floor like a javelin!

I rolled off the rock and onto the ground where my belongings stopped me from getting up and like a turtle on its shell I lay on the floor looking up to a clear evening sky framed by five cigar shaped stones pointing upwards. There was no canopy here. No vines, no creepers and hardly any vegetation at all beyond the cool moss beneath me. The stones stood silently about me like sentinels and I felt sure the air smelt differently here, it seemed to carry less of the heady scent of the jungle and in its place I detected a slight hint of ozone, as one would smell after a fresh summer storm had passed.

Rising to my feet, I circled the small cluster of stones, marveling at how old they must be and at who placed them here and how. In the fading light I could just make out weather worn indentations on their surface; curves and lines and intersections that I could make little sense of in the approaching twilight. I decided that this clearing would be the ideal place to set up camp for the night and I could study the stones in the morning before I set off once more.

And so here I am, my love. My tent is up and I have a roaring fire to keep me warm and safe. A strange thing about this clearing though – none of the creatures that have dogged my every move since leaving the beach have been in evidence here. All the howls and yelps and calls I hear now are far back into the jungle, away from the edge of this clearing. My guess is they do not like the fact the canopy is open here, for what else would make them so seemingly timid of this area?

I will write more from my next camp my dear. Imagine me kissing your forehead goodnight my love, and dream of me.

All my love,
Your Doni x
***********

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To Be Continued…
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Visit The Island here and follow the story as it unfolds over the next few weeks.

The Island: Into the Jungle

The Journal of Professor Headonius Burroffski,
Assumed Date:- 14th July 1930, Mid Morning.
Location:- Beach camp. Unknown Island.

Well Rose, here I go. I am about to set off in to the depths of the jungle having discovered in some basic explorations I undertook yesterday, that both sides of my small sandy cove are rendered impassable by a series of jagged cliff faces and sudden plunges on to some of the most vicious looking rocks you will ever hope to see. Indeed, witnessing the merciless way the sea pounded into them caused me to realise just quite how lucky I was that the Telesto was driven up onto what looks like the only forgiving section of coastline for many miles; a few hundred yards in either direction and, well, let us just say I would not be writing this to you now my love.

So, with backwards cut off by the sea, and both left and right denied by the cliffs, I had no choice but to head forwards into the jungle – that strange, living, breathing verdant entity that squats behind my tent and contains God alone know what manner of noisy creatures and hidden perils.

I spent the remainder of yesterday preparing for my journey. I used some material and rope rescued from the wreck to fashion a knapsack; I smoked some fish and wrapped them in banana leaves for storage; I boiled as much water as my small collection of sealing containers could take. After such a hard day I slept like a baby and my prediction for the nightmare seems to have come good for I remember dreaming nothing.

I rose early this morning and made good my camp. In lieu of something more suitable, I used drift wood to fashion a crude SOS sign on the beach before attending to my supplies.

I packed up my trusty tent, what limited medical supplies I have, my matches and some dry tinder. I have no idea how long I would be away, but I think it wise to be as prepared as possible and if nothing else I can sleep under canvas and boil water no matter how long I am away from what has become my home of sorts.

All my love,
Your Doni x
***********

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To Be Continued…
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Visit The Island here and follow the story as it unfolds over the next few weeks.

The Island: The Dream

The Journal of Professor Headonius Burroffski,
Assumed Date:- 12th July 1930, early morning.
Location:- Unknown Island.

I’m still not awake, love. I had a terrible night. My sleep was disturbed from the start by the howling winds of a small storm. It set in with a vengeance and seemed determined to keep me awake by loudly tugging at the canvas of my tent, and between this and the ceaseless screeching and caterwauling from the jungle, I found it all but impossible to sleep. Still, a hard day toiling under the tropical sun will weary even the strongest soul and I eventually sipped into a deep but troubled slumber.

I dreamt of the sailing ship again. I say again but realise I have not mentioned it to you in my previous entries because up until this point these dreams had been half-remembered and vague at best. Upon waking all I could recall were the briefest of fragments of images; being stood on the wooden deck of a creaking ship, sails flapping above me, a feeling of something uncomfortable yet indistinct beneath me. I merely put them down to Freud’s wish fulfilment dreams giving reign to my desire to be off this island and back with you. The fact they always left me in the doldrums I reasoned was down to the simple fact that I awoke to the reality of being marooned.

But now… well after last night I don’t know what to think. The dream I had last night, the dream that woke me in a cold sweat all but screaming, seemed to have nothing do with either the good Dr Freud or my wishes to get off this damnable island.

Of the dream itself, well I shudder as I organise its events in my mind, but I feel that if I commit it to paper I shall rob it of some queer vital energy it holds within me. I shall endeavour to tell you of it in every detail I can recall and hope that by this act I will dispel it from my mind like early morning mist vanishing under the sun.

Well, as I say, it took me a long time to get off to sleep but as I finally dropped off, the sound of the canvas flapping in the wind appeared to travel with me. It seemed I had no sooner closed my eyes than it was time to open them. I was startled to find myself stood on the deck of the ship again, only this time I seemed fully awake. I was aware, totally aware, I was asleep in my tent on the island, yet I was equally sure I was stood on the slowly swaying deck of a large wooden ship the like of which hasn’t been seen for nigh on a hundred years. Above me, under a clear blue sky and burning yellow sun, the sails flapped lazily in the light breeze. The ship rolled lugubriously and I turned to look at the wheel. No one stood on the deck. No one tended to the sails. No one climbed in the rigging. In fact, as the wheel slowly turned with the whim of the ocean pulling at pushing at the rudder, I had the all too familiar realisation I was all alone. This ship was deserted, a ghost ship, except for one soul alone… and that was mine!

I walked slowly about, my footsteps echoing on the wooden deck as I looked for any sign of life. No replies answered my timid calls of “Hello” and “Anyone onboard?”. A door creaked and swung on its hinges, its dark mouth leading into the body off the ship. I took a step towards it, my gut knotted with fear, when a sound behind me brought me to a dead stop. A sound of heavy metal chains dragging over themselves.

I waited, frozen to the spot, my mind telling me to wake up, that this was only a dream, but my body unwilling, or unable, to listen. A cold dread began to spread through me, as though my spine had turned to ice and was freezing my organs one by one.

And again; chains dragging only this time accompanied by the unmistakable sound of a footsteps somewhere beneath me. I turned slowly but the deck was empty. The only feature on deck was the latticed wooden hatch over the cargo hold. I walked slowly towards it, my stomach in my mouth as I noticed that it was not only bolted and locked but nailed shut all the way round.

I stopped, cautious lest I should get too close to the lip although what I was afraid of I could not have explained. From inside the dark, shadowed bowels of the ship the sounds of chains came again and I peered hard into the gloom, unable to make anything out. “Hello,” I ventured.

The darkness below me moved and for a moment I thought it was a mere shadow creeping across whatever cargo was down there; but then almost like a liquid coalescing into a solid form I saw it! Oh god I saw it and it saw me! My heart stopped. There, in the swallowing blackness of the cargo hold, seemingly carved out of the darkness itself, a beautifully terrifying face glared at me. Topped with enormous onyx horns, its flaming eyes, full of pure malevolent evil and a naked desire to not only kill me, but to consume me entirely, fixed upon me and I felt my soul wither under its glare. I wanted to wrench out the nails, smash off the lock and open the hatch. I wanted to throw myself, body and soul, to him. I was being drawn, piece by tiny piece down into his burning, oh ever burning eyes…

I awoke with a shout, the storm outside had blown itself out and even though the night was warm, I was covered in a cold clammy sweat that chilled me to the marrow.

I hope that is the last I see of that blessed ship and I certainly never want to encounter that face of evil with its burning eyes again. Maybe I have not been drinking enough water under this sun? Maybe it’s just my mind adjusting to this new environment? Whatever the cause, I hope my nights are less disturbed from now on. Today I shall tire myself out with a hike into the jungle – I have rocks to find and I want to see how big my new home is – and then I shall sleep like a babe, I am sure. I shall write of my findings later my darling Rose. Think of me in your prayers and I think of you.

All my love,
Your Doni x
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To Be Continued…
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Visit The Island here and follow the story as it unfolds over the next few weeks.

The Island: Of Fire and Water

The Journal of Professor Headonius Burroffski,
Assumed Date:- 10th July 1930, early evening.
Location:- Unknown Island.

Well Rose, I am managing quite well so far. Thanks to the storms that brought me here (and no doubt the countless ones that have preceded it over the years) I have enough drift wood to keep a small army warm; I have even managed to construct a beacon fire over by the rocky outcropping that juts out furthest to sea.

I have practiced the run and it only takes me approximately three minutes to run there – I just have to hope that any craft I see, whether it be in the water or the air, is around long enough to see the blessed thing go up! Still, it is a start and is faring better than my idea the spell out the international distress sign of SOS in large black stones on the beach – I can only find a handful of suitable candidates! I think that I shall have to venture further into the jungle if I am to locate some more.

Speaking of the jungle, I had a stroke of good luck earlier today. I was fishing for lunch before making my daily trip into the belly of the great green beast for water, when I saw something glinting in the sands beneath the waves. I put my rod down and walked over to the edge of the sand; deep down, where the shelf drops off sharply, I could see two metal buckets from the wreck. If they were in good shape, I could collect more water from the spring!

I swam out and dove down. It took a few attempts to get them out, but I’m now the proud, and relieved, owner of two perfectly sound buckets that hold enough water for a few days! This means I’ll have more time to explore this island and look for a way to get off it and get back you my darling wife.

For now, I shall make myself a coffee and call it a night. I just hope I can manage a night’s sleep without dreaming again, but more of those tomorrow my love. Sleep tight and know that I miss you.

All my love,
Your Doni x
***********

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To Be Continued…
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Visit The Island here and follow the story as it unfolds over the next few weeks.

The Island: First Explorations

The Journal of Professor Headonius Burroffski,
Assumed Date:- 7th July 1930 late-afternoon.
Location:- Unknown Island.

Rose – I have found water! Oh joy of joys! I am so relieved. Looking back to my entry yesterday I listed the need for water as almost my top priority and to say I have been concerned about it would be something of an understatement. But fear not I have found it my dear, I can almost laugh out loud at my silliness. I am on a tropical island and fresh springs must be abundant here! Still, as you have counselled me many times, what’s done is done and I can’t take back the irrational worries of yesterday. Instead I shall purge my soul of my foolishness by telling you the tale of how I came to find my saviour pool.

I rose early; in truth I have little choice for between the dawn light and the blessed caterwauling it heralds from the jungle behind me, sleep is somewhat difficult. Every mahttps://headburroantfarm.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=25
Backpacking Burro › Edit — WordPressnner of squawking and shrieking and whooping and wailing animal and bird on God’s Green Earth must share this island with me and every one of them lives within ten yards, I’ll wager. I think only the fish must sleep well in their silent watery beds, and Oh! how I envy them! Still, I welcomed my alarm call (although a newspaper and breakfast outside the door was sorely missed, my dear) as it meant I could all the sooner start my hunt for water and calm my fears. I stood at the border of the jungle behind my tent (or Casa Burroffski as I now call it) as stared into its immense green maw, feeling for all the world like a very small worm staring down the gullet of a hungry fish too large and vast to comprehend.

Its fecundity oozed over me, enveloping me, drawing me in. Its perfume was heady and filled not just my nose, but it seemed my entire head. Greens of every shade drifted past me, branches heavy with fat flowers and juice leaves moved slowly in on me and then back away as if the jungle were breathing as one mighty organism and I were merely a speck of dust in its lungs.

I pressed on, deeper and further. I did my utmost to keep my bearings, constantly watching the sun and relating its movement to my small camp, now far away and suddenly as welcoming as any old, loved home. Strange sounds were all around me. Scuttlings. Clickings. Movements. Queer animal calls. I began to fancy the denizens of this place were watching me, tracking me. In the canopy above… things moved. Large things. Leaves and twigs rained down to mark their noisy passage and frequent perching places. More than once half-eaten fruit thumped into the floor next to me but upon looking up, I saw nothing but the sunlight filtering through dense leaves and the trees endlessly swaying in the scented breeze.

I had begun to give up on finding any water – I judged I had been in the wilderness for nearly two hours – when I heard, faint at first through the ceaseless rustle of leaves and cries of assorted creatures, the unmistakable burbling of water! Oh, Rose! I could have yelled were it not for the oppressive nature of my surroundings (how many eyes watched me I wonder? How many little mouths slavered at my passing? How many little minds calculated their odds of making me their meal? It chills me to think of it even now). I slowly, with as little noise as possible, began to home in on the source. It took some time and when I did, I all but fell into my source of salvation! A deep, bubbling well that smelt and looked clean and clear. I refrained from sampling its wares as one never knows what water-borne diseases even the cleanest looking spring hides.

I carefully filled the few containers I had and decided on the best path back to the camp. If my crude attempts at following the sun were right, then I had looped back on myself quite a lot and this watering hole was not all that far from the camp. I mentally plotted a course and set off. Oh Rose! You’d be proud of me alright – a mere hour later I found myself on the very sandy beach my tent was pitched on.

So here I am, my love. Tired, hot and very sweaty I’m afraid, but I am boiling my newly found water and cooking a fish I caught last night (my old fishing pole hasn’t let me down). I think I will be needing some more containers for water – maybe a dive down to the sea bed where the wreckage of the Telesto lies? See what I can find, eh? Oh, and what I wouldn’t give for some tools! The natural resources of the jungle are mine to look at, but no more. I could cut down any number of trees and build a most homely wee cabin but for want of a machete, axe or hammer.

I must sign off for now, my love – the water is boiling hard and I should decant it to cool before I boil my hard-gained treasure to nothing but a small could. I will be home soon. I promise will all my heart.

All my love,
Your Doni x
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To Be Continued…
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Visit The Island here and follow the story as it unfolds over the next few weeks.

The Island: Priorities For Survival

The Journal of Professor Headonius Burroffski,
Assumed Date:- 6th July 1930. Mid-afternoon.
Location:- Unknown Island.

1) Shelter:- For now, I have shelter. If I am to be here longer than a few days and if the weather turns nasty again then I’m afraid my tent won’t be enough, but for now it shall have to suffice. I will have to search for a more secure location soon.

2) Water:- This is urgent. I have a few days of clean water left at the most and my new home is already proving to be somewhat hot under the noon sun.

3) Fire:- It will be cold at night; I need to cook; I need a signal at the ready and, of course, I will need to boil any water I find. I have a book of water-proof matches, but they will not last long. I need to find some stones with which I can make a ready spark. Tinder I shall keep both with me and in the makeshift store with the wood.

4) Food:- Whilst not as desperate as the water, nevertheless I will need to turn my attention to eating. Without food my attention will slip and simple jobs will become nigh on impossible. I have to stay healthy and alert if I want to get back to you Rose, and a proper diet will be important. I have my rod so I shall try my hand at catching some fish for tonight’s meal, but I will need to investigate the local flora and fauna and look at making traps.

5) Location:- Where am I? Is there anyone on this island bar me? Am I near shipping lanes? I have to explore this island. I will need to set up signal fires that can be lit at a moments notice. If I can find enough material, I will set up a large SOS sign on the beach.

6) Health:- My medical supplies are woefully limited. I shall have to be very careful in the coming days and weeks (God Forbid! Months? Years?)

So there it is Rose, that’s my plan. I shall set up a fishing line now and see what I can catch for supper. Then tomorrow I shall begin my first explorations of my new home and see if I can’t locate some good, clean water.

Sleep well my love. I shall think of you and nothing but you from now until the day I make my way back to you.

All my love,
Your Doni x
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To Be Continued…

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Visit The Island here and follow the story as it unfolds over the next few weeks.

The Island: A New Home

The Journal of Professor Headonius Burroffski,
6th July 1930 (assumed). Mid-morning. Location: Unknown Island.

I woke early this morning. My body was stiff and sore for the beating it had taken and I was cold, but it was not this that woke me. No, what woke me from my deep, dreamless sleep was the quiet. The utter silence around me. Oh, when I listened carefully I could hear the lap of waves and the birdcalls of the nearby jungle, but the tormenting, ceaseless roar of the storm that had done it best to kill me before dumping me here had, in fact, ceased.

I opened the tent and stepped out to face a brilliant sunrise, the sky platinum bright with streaks of rose pink melting into the now calm azure sea that stretched unbroken to the horizon.

In front of me bobbed what was left of The Telesto, its fires now out, its hull now mere splintered wreckage. I waded out as far as I dare (the fall off is surprisingly deep) and dragged what I could back to shore. One largeish section of the cabin I decided to use as a shelter next to my tent where it would help keep my supplies and any firewood I could salvage dry.By mid morning, I had rescued what I could and the ocean could have the rest. My stomach complained nosily at my lack of attention and I realised I hadn’t eaten for nearly twenty fours hours. I built up the fire and routed through the supplies. In no time at all I had some fresh coffee heating in a mug and some baked beans bubbling in a pan I had rescued from what had been the galley. Without a word of a lie, that was the best meal I have ever had in my entire life.

So, here I am, sitting by the fire and writing my journal.

My new home (for until I get off this island and back to you Rose my love, that’s exactly what this place is) is a small spit of sandy beach fronted by the wide open ocean and backed by a dense green jungle filled with God-knows-what wild creatures. I have no idea where I am. I have no idea if I’m on the route of any passing ships or planes. I have precious little food and water. I am, without a shadow of a doubt, in a sticky situation. I need a plan.

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To Be Continued…

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The Island: Marooned

The Journal of Professor Headonius Burroffski,
5th July 1930 (assumed). Mid-morning. Unknown Island Location.

I survived. I don’t know how, but Dear God I survived!

It has now been at least a day since I awoke, although how long I lay face down in the sand unconscious to the world around me I can not say. But wake up I did; stiff, sore, blooded and bruised but otherwise mercifully intact with all my limbs in place and all my senses functioning.

I remember, as if in a drunken stupor, crawling my way further up the beach. Lightning frozen scenes constitute the totality of that time. Trees bending all but double in the fierce wind, frozen like white claws reaching to grab and tear at me. Various parts of the Telesto picked out in monochrome moments as they smashed themselves on rocks or cartwheeled overhead. The storm raged. I drifted in and out of consciousness, unaware, numb, lost.

I awoke yesterday morning (I will take a guess that was the 4th July – I should have been in Key West celebrating with friends, not face down in sand god knows where!). It was early with the sun’s rays just edging over a now calm sea. My eyes gazed upward on a sky where platinum-edged clouds shone like white fire burning away the darkness of night. Shortly after I awoke, so did the various parts of my body that were hurting… and they awoke with a vengeance! I half-crawled, half-staggered up the beach, the sea broke gently on the rocks behind me and the palm trees of the jungle in front of me swayed in the breeze. Around me lay the wreckage of the storm; the flotsam of the jungle, torn palm leaves and splintered branches, and the jetsam of my boat, smashed hull and tossed supplies.

I had no idea where I was, I was in agony and my boat was so much matchwood bobbing in the sea in front of me or half buried in the sand around me. I was marooned.

I sat as the sun rose high above me, my mind numb to all around me. On the horizon, clouds began to gather and rise high into the blue sky. I found myself watching the small fireflies that played inside them with fascination whilst a small voice in my head, at first quiet, got louder and louder. ”Strom”, it whispered. “Storm” it said. “Storm” it shouted. Somewhere, deep in my terrified mind, something switched on and I awoke to the approaching danger.

I struggled to my feet and began to search the wreckage; I needed shelter, water, food and (as my throbbing head and body kept on reminding me) medicine. All of these things could be found on the Telesto… if they had survived.

As though moving through molasses I moved to the water’s edge and began hauling what I could onto the beach; crates with food and water, a small tent and (miracles of miracles) the boat’s first aid kit. I even found my journal half buried in the sand close to where I had come round earlier, it was a little worse for wear but, as you can see, still functional. The Telesto itself was smashed beyond all hope of repair. Its hull had been sheared in two and large sections of it had been punched through by the rocks. The mast was splintered and jammed up between two jagged boulders so that it pointed to the sky in a cruel mockery of its former life. The cabin, or rather what was left of the cabin, smouldered and smoked as it bobbed in the water, presumably ignited by a lighting bolt.

The tent, easy for a well and able man to erect, almost proved the undoing of me. I set it up as far from the shore as possible, but not within the jungle for who knew what dangers lay beyond that green and leafy border. I wanted to anchor the canvas down and it was the effort I placed into blow after blow on the pegs with a rock I unearthed from the sand that nearly saw me collapse and expire. Eventually it was up and solid, or at least as solid as I could achieve in my state. I dragged what supplies I could next to the tent, took the first aid kit and crawled inside, just as the first rumble of thunder drew near and first heavy drops fell on to the beach. I fastened myself in and rifled through the kit for pain killers. Soon, with their aid, I fell into black, dreamless sleep while once more the world around me was sucked into a maelstrom of noise and light…

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