Thursday, 13 September 2007

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

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