Marooned

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.