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Island in the Sun

island in the sun


Estimated reading time — 35 minutes

May 10th
It’s an island. That’s it! An island.

Let’s make something known from the get-go, I’m not here because I want to be, I’m here because I’m fucked. Yup, fucked. That’s me! Good old fucked Roger Garland. What more can I really say?

I know this island may be another person’s paradise, and really, it would be mine should the circumstances be different. Right now, however, the circumstances are not different. The circumstances suck. I’m stuck here and have been for three days if I’m counting right. I think I still have enough wits about me to count correctly. Though I don’t know how long my wits will sustain, so I decided to open my soggy backpack, grab a notebook, and write this down. That way, if they ever discover my rotted corpse here one day, they will at least know who I was. Again, Roger Garland. Got it?!?

You never know, I get off this mound of sand and trees, I may sell the rights. Become the real Cast Away. All I need is a Wilson. But there are no volleyballs around here that I can see, not even a lost coconut. I thought all islands had coconuts but apparently, I was wrong. I haven’t ventured too far into the heart of the island yet so there still may be some hope for a coconut but I’m not going to get my hopes up. Plus, I hate coconuts, yuck! I think I’d rather starve.

About 20 feet past where the beach ends and the vegetation and trees begin small patch of stones that has a bubbling underground spring. A bit odd but it’s there and it at least tastes like fresh water, so at this point, I’ll take it as a win. Fresh water is first on the survival list and I got that one checked off.

While the island lacks coconuts, bananas trees are everywhere and have kept me from gnawing my arm off, so for now I at least won’t starve to death nor die of dehydration. As far as next week goes, I don’t know, but I sure as hell hope that I am not here to find out.

I guess if I am here long enough, I may have to start venturing around the beaches of the island a little bit and see if I can find anything of use. From what I can tell the island no more than a mile across and I am pretty sure at this point that there is no other civilization here so, I really see no point in extending the energy unless I must hunt for resources. I’m hesitant to take off as I’m afraid I’ll be in the damn trees if a plane of boat should happen by, and I’ll miss it. That just may be enough to push me right into insanity.

Last night I heard some strange sounds emitting from the heart of the island. While I’m sure it’s some small animal or bird, it’s still creepy. I tried to look through the bushes and trees to see if I could get a glance at whatever it is, but I saw nothing. Sometimes, not knowing is the worst part, it plays with your mind. It’s like I’m alone and know I’m alone, but yet still I feel watched.

May 11th
Well, I guess I should at least tell you how the hell I got here in the first place, a fact I so neglected to state in my previous entry.

You see, I’m a pilot. Not some big commercial pilot, just a private charter pilot. Not that it’s a bad gig at all, I make good money, damn good money! I make a living flying stars and social elites and all of their family and friends all over the world. Not a bad gig at all and it’s fun. Though I wish it left me more time to spend with my wife Lauren and son Liam, it does afford us to live a very nice lifestyle.
Well…..

Ok fuck it.

I’ve never flown anyone anywhere. If I’m being honest with you, whoever you will be, I transport drugs. Also, let me be clear, I don’t do drugs! I’ve never even tried any type of drug other than smoking a little weed every now and then with my friends when I was much younger. I prefer to be in a sober and clear state of mind. But I do transport them for a large operation out of Houston Texas. How I got into it doesn’t matter but I figure that if this is my last will and testament, I need to be honest. Maybe I’ll get one less lashing in hell or something like that.

My wife knows but acts like she doesn’t. She doesn’t care as long as the money keeps rolling in and I keep my ass out of prison. Liam is only five so he wouldn’t know what a kilo of cocaine was next to a box of Lego blocks, and nor would I want him to. If I have my way, he will never know as I will afford him a life and education that he doesn’t have to do this kind of shit.

It catches up with all of us eventually, even the best of us. And right now, it looks like it’s catching up with me. I guess Ms. Karma decided it was my turn in the list of who was going to be screwed today, and I mean royally screwed. I never really thought it would be my turn though. You see, I don’t fuck people over, I don’t screw anyone. I treat my family, friends, and neighbors good. I live a good life. Except for the transporting drugs part, but then again I’m not forcing anyone to take anything. It’s not my fault they decided to waste their lives away getting hammered. If it’s anybody’s fault, it’s their parents for screwing them up, not me. I’m wouldn’t give a shit if I’m transporting bubblegum, as long as it pays, I’m happy as pig in shit!

So, as I was saying; I run drugs that end up in the US of A. It used to be cocaine, then it was heroin, but now it’s more meth than anything. I personally don’t like to get anywhere near that shit. I sure as hell can’t understand how people put that poison into their bodies the way it stinks up my plane. A few months ago I flew a little over 100 kilos of crystal into a small landing strip north of Galveston and my plane stunk like rotting copper and vinegar for weeks. Put that into my body? No thanks! This shit will eat you from the inside out.

I’ve heard they have this shit in Russia that gives you the same high like opium but its called something like the alligator drug or some shit like that. It’s cheap so people buy it since they can’t afford heroin and then inject it into their veins. It rots your flesh and muscle, and you are alive. I’ve seen pictures where people have exposed bone and muscle tissue in large open wounds. It’s nasty shit man. Nasty. The worst of it, they know it’s gonna happen before they ever do it, but they do it any way. What kind of fucked up mind frame is that?

When I do my pick-ups, the guys that load the plane are the same ones that cook it. They look like they use, too. They all look like spaced out skinny and dirty weasels. Their eyes are dead, faces covered in sores, their ribs are showing. I rarely see the same guy twice. They either blow themselves up, overdose, or wind up on the wrong end of a machete. While my choice of career may not be for everyone, cooking for a cartel appears to be a short-term assignment only.

How I got here you probably guessed it by now. Plane crash. Thank all the gods that I wasn’t hurt, or this shit situation would have been a hell of a lot worse. I’m not sure what went wrong I knew I was about 4 miles south of the Florida Keys coming in from Mexico when my plane just went dark. Obviously, I have no tower communications and I fly below the radar, so no one knew I was here, so therefore I didn’t disappear as I never existed. I do have a flight recorder, but we disabled the tracking due to my exclusive line of works. I am so fucked. What is my wife going to do? Call the cops? I can just see that going south quick!

‘Hey cop. My husband was out transporting meth and assortment of other part favors into Florida, and he disappeared about three or four days ago. By any chance can you go find him?’

Not only would they have a field day with that but that would completely screw up her life too, so who knows. I don’t. I have no back up plan and as far as I know neither does Lauren. And if I do die here, how will she explain my disappearance? Oh man, the more I think about it, the more depressed I get. While I am an empathetic person and have always put my wife and son first, I need to be selfish right now to get home to them.

Last night was the first night I was able to get a little fire going. I carry a little survival kit in my backpack that luckily washed to shore with me and inside was a fire starter. Even though I never used one before I saw enough on survival TV shows to be able to figure it out. Never thought I’d actually learn anything from TV. After finding some dry grass little trial and error, I was able to get a flame. Man did that feel good!

The temperature here strangely seems to stay warm day or night, it almost doesn’t fluctuate at all as far as I can tell. Still, I’m not about to sleep on an open beach and have the tide come in and carry my ass away in the middle of the night, so I’ve had to stomp some underbrush down at the tree line, kind of like a little cove. I laid some large banana leaves down on the ground and now that I have this little fire, I think I got more than three hours of sleep last night. The lack of any decent sleep was starting to get to me, and even though the moon is near full and providing good light, being out here in the dark alone can fuck with your mind.

Soon I’m going to have to find more to eat than just bananas. My wild berry knowledge is limited to pretty much nothing so with my luck lately, I’ll eat something like nightshade and the next thing I know I’m eating my own fingers off. No thanks! I’ve no way to fish so I am tempted to venture further into the island brush and trees to see if there is anything else to eat other than bananas. The lack of protein is starting to wear on me, and I can tell I am already losing weight.

What keeps me from going into the island further are these noises coming from within. They only come at night, every night; when the waves are calm and there is nothing to see or hear but placid darkness. If these noises happen during the day, I don’t hear them at all and that makes it that much more fucked up. I’m a man of rational but I guess some things just don’t fit into that category. Kind of like Lauren when she’s pissed off at me for one reason or another. Not rational. Anyone who’s married can probably relate.

The noises are like a gurgling screeching growl all at the same time. Like there are two demons carrying on a guttural conversation underwater. I’d hate to think what that conversation would be about. Just a soft close murmur that eats aways at your imagination in the dark.

Click Click
Gurrrrg Clack
Ruuuuhhhhh
Na Na

That is the only way I can put it. Menacing and uninviting.

I figure if I’m here much longer, I have no choice but to go explore a bit deeper into the heart of the island. A day trip for sure.

May 12th
It’s barely morning here and I never thought I’d be so thankful to see the morning sun. Whatever is making those noises in the trees sounded close last night, too close. Like it was floating right above my head.

Click Click
Gurrrrg Clack
Ruuuuhhhhh
Na Na

Click Click
Gurrrrg Clack
Ruuuuhhhhh
Na Na

Over and over and over……….

At first, I accepted it as just part of this place, but then I started to feel threatened, like I was about to be attacked at any moment. It was that feeling you get when you are the only one walking to your car in an empty dark parking garage, where every shadow chases you and every noise is a lurking psychopath. The night lasted forever.

As the hours crept by, all I could do was pray for dawn. The slivered moon barley pierced the night as the gurgling slowly approached my camp and then slowly moved away again and again. Nowhere to run.

When the first hint of red sunlight began to show over the horizon, the noises stopped and all was silent, except for the morning waves gently finding their way to shore. I finally fell into a dreamless deep sleep.

When I woke up the sun was almost at peak. I wanted to believe last night was all a dream, or my imagination running wild; but I knew better. This was real. A real nightmare.

……

The ocean started washing crabs ashore this afternoon. At first, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Crabs?! They are smaller, no larger than the size of my palm. Their shells and claws are a very strange yellow color with grey legs. While I have no idea what kind they are, I’ll eat anything I can other than another damn banana at this point. I guess if the diary ends here, I’m dead from alien death crab poisoning.

……

What’s really strange is the fact that I’ve not seen nor heard one plane, chopper, or boat the entire time I’ve been here. How could that be possible in today’s time? Not a Lear nor 747. Nothing! Just where in the world am I? I’m beginning to think rescue will never come.

Eventually I’m going to have to go deeper into the heart of this island and with those noises emanating from the trees, I’m a bit afraid of what I will find.

I’ve seen small burrow trails tunneling though the brush and vines. While I haven’t seen any animals, those burrows tell me they are here. I know there is some snaring wire in that survival kit, though I have no clue how to use it; it’s time to learn. That’s a project for tomorrow as I need some real food and rabbits will fit nicely into that category.

The sun has fully set now and there is only a soft breeze and incoming tide to listen to. I’m getting paranoid for sure. Every tree sway and leaf rattle I hear, my head turns and I’m at full attention. My back hurts with tension as I lay in wait for my nightly guttural visitor. Whatever in the hell is in those woods is starting to haunt my days by making me dread the nights. The tide is nice to hear, I pray it stays that way.

May 13th
Last night the sounds did come, I guess around midnight, but I’m not sure. They slowly approached my camp again but still stayed distant. After what only seemed like a few minutes, the gurgling clicks stopped and either didn’t return and I slept through them. I was exhausted to the point that I was either going to sleep, or die trying.

My eyes opened to a cool morning sun. Apart from a few minutes, last night was the best night’s sleep I had gotten since I’ve been here. I don’t know if it was the crabs or if it is sheer exhaustion or maybe my body is shutting down. But if my body were shutting down I wouldn’t feel as good as I do this morning. I’m not sure why but maybe a good night’s sleep was what I needed. My mind is bright and aware and my body feels like I could run a marathon.

When I woke, I was alert but for some reason I felt like my sleep had been foggy. Like I had been stumbling around in some deep dark web all night. I remember glimpses of dreaming of Liam but I can’t remember much. He was close to me but I couldn’t see him. His little voice sounded like it was in a tunnel, “Daddy, Daddy! Where’s my daddy?” He cried over and over. That’s it, all I can remember and that’s enough to hurt. Man I miss that kid and I’m sure he misses his daddy too.

That kid is the joy of my life. While I do what I and skate the long arm of the law, I never really considered what would happen if something like this were to occur or if I were to get locked up. If I ever did get caught, we all know I would be put away for a long fucking time, and if I ever get out, he would be well into his adulthood by then.

Not to dwell but I miss my wife and my boy. I wish I could just pick up my iPhone and FaceTime like I did on so many trips. I’ve never been gone this long; three days was the most before. They must know something by now. Probably think I’ve been killed by the cartel but who knows? Unfortunately, my cell phone is at the bottom of that broad blue ocean out there somewhere, probably still stuck in its holder on the dashboard of the wreckage that used to be my plane.

I wonder what Lauren is doing right now. I have this vision of her standing in front of our bay glass windows overlooking the backyard staring into the darkness of the woods wondering where I’m at. She’s naked, tall, slim, tan. Her brown hair rests over her front shoulders sitting atop of her breasts. Her eyes are saddened and worried about wondering where I am. Killer man. I’m a lucky guy to have a woman like her. I hear horror stories of marriages and mine is a constant fantasy come true.

I hate this fucking island!!!!!!

It’s time to gather a few things, put some fresh water in my thermos and set some snares. I never thought I’d ever have to use a survival kit but between the matches, snares, and saw wire; it’s already paid itself off in dividends. I guess I could shoot whatever is making those noises with the flare gun. One never knows.

Lauren gave it to me a few years ago when I had an instrumentation malfunction over the Gulf of Mexico. I made it home safely by the seat of my pants, but after that she bought it and asked me to take it with me on trips. Said it makes her feel better, a security blanket of sorts. Damn it, yet again, she was right. Man, I can picture the smile on her face when she hears me say that!

Since this island is so small, I can’t imagine getting lost. Just in case, I checked my compass, but I guess the sea water screwed it up, too. The damn thing just spins in circles, non-stop. It’s acting strange. Strange as this forgotten island. Everything is strange here. Everything. The trees, the vines, the bushes and yellow fucking crabs!

The days keep ticking by, so I have to do this.

May 14th
While this island is strange, it’s also a dark and mysterious bitch. The trees towards the heart of the island do not have bark like a pine or an oak, they have a light brown stretchy type bark. Dare I say it’s almost like skin? When I touched the bark or whatever it is, it was soft like a rubber band. I don’t know if it was fear or bewilderment that hit me first, but whatever it was, I needed to get away. While the outer band is almost all Palm trees, there isn’t one that I saw past a few feet into the brush and undergrowth that border this entire island. The leaves of these skin trees are small and in an array of what I consider normal tree colors, if there is such a thing.

There are also several ferns inside the island. But these are not your grandma’s type fern. These guys are covered in nasty thorns and spines. I’m still pulling crap out of my arms and hands from running into one of these little fuckers.

Before I get into by journey yesterday, my night was horrendous. Those noises came list night. They sounded like they were right outside of my camp and frankly it took everything I had not to run into the ocean. They were so close. What’s worse, it reminded me of someone trying to talk while under water.

Click Click
Gurrrrg Clack
Ruuuuhhhhh
Na Na

I swear I thought whatever that thing is, was going to come out and kill me. The previous night’s, it always sounded annoying more than anything, last night, it sounded pissed, aggressive. I could feel by body shaking with fear. I eventually put my head between my legs and covered the back of my head with my arms. Anything to stop the insanity that is sure to come listening to that, not knowing when it will finally decide to take me.

I did find sleep, sitting there like I was prepared for a blast in war. I don’t know when they stopped, or if they did at all. What I do know is something was different last night with them. I don’t know what but I have a feeling, whatever that thing is, it did not like me going into the heart of this island.

Getting into my adventure into this island’s inner workings. I walked into the brush where I had worn a trail to the water fountain, as I call it. Filled my thermos and looked for the path of least resistance. The Palm and Banana trees were surrounded by thick underbrush, thorns, and wild berry bushes. I saw what looked like an old trail so that should equal the least resistance, even if it wasn’t used in years. Parts of it were canopied in tangles of vines and limbs, and some spots were almost wide open.

I made sure I could still hear the ocean as the trickling of the water fountain faded the further I went in. I started seeing the odd trees with the skin like bark at first pepper the landscape, some small and some tall, but the trees and vegetation grew thicker the closer I go to the center, like no one or nothing ever stepped this far in, and who knows, maybe no one has.

At some point, I saw that these skin trees were everywhere and sunlight barely broke though the canopy of trees above me. The ground vegetation all but disappeared. I kept expecting another thorn bush to come through the darkness and slice me up, or to trip over something hidden in the thick grasses, but there were neither and the walking became easy. With that though, the darkness beneath the trees played tricks on my mind. I kept thinking I heard something scurrying along the ground, or that I saw a shadow racing out of the corner of my eye. The temperature shifted much lower in the shade and chills of anticipated fear found me arms and neck.

After what I guessed to an hour, I came to an impenetrable fortress of brush, thorns, and skin trees. As I walked around it, I could see some slivers of light on the other side. Thinking about it now, it’s like nature built its own boma, and a damn good job it did. I walked the entirety of it and saw no easy way through, really no way at all. The treetops went far above the canopy of the forest that surrounded it, as did the vines and thorns. After a few trips of walking around it, amazed in wonder of how this came to be. And just what the hell was this? Is this where whatever is making those noises at night comes from? If so, how did it get out?

Something like this almost certainly had to be manmade. But if the height and thickness of these tress indicated anything, it was done a very long time ago. I’ve never seen anything like it. Impenetrable, foreboding, dark. How in the hell did I not see trees this tall from my camp near the edge of the island? It’s not that far. How? Did I just not pay attention?

I heard a small limb fall from up above me somewhere and my senses became hyper aware suddenly. My skin tingled; my hair stood on end. Everything was silent again, but an eerie silence. There were no more shadows, no more scurrying, no nothing. No ocean. I also realized that I allowed myself to go so far in that I could no longer hear the ocean. Fucking dumb. What if I can get lost? What if darkness comes and I just run in circles, lost in a maze of trees? This island isn’t normal, and nothing here feels right. What if that……

I decided that I didn’t want to know what was making those wet guttural sounds after all. I didn’t. Something inside me told me to run; and run as fast as I could. Go back the way I came and to never, ever return, and frankly, I almost did. I would not allow anxiety and irrational fear to overcome me!

“Fuck you forest! Fuck you click-click! Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck You!” I shouted over and over into the darkness around me. I wanted the nothingness to know I wasn’t afraid; I wasn’t going to run! My voice was horse, my head was pounding, and my soul was empty.

Everything came collapsing at that moment. Lauren, Liam, my life, my bleak future. I sat and leaned against a skin tree. It was soft and I was spent. I didn’t care at that moment if the tree itself came alive and tore me into pieces. For a split moment I was prepared to stay right there, against that tree and waste away. To allow whatever creature my imagination conjured, to come and take me to hell. I was done. The flame of hope was out.

I took a deep breath trying to find my center, if I even had one anymore. I looked up at the massive circle of gnarled trees, vines and brush in front of me. Just what in the hell was this? Who….or what made it? Just what was this island? I found something in myself. My burning desire to know, to understand. I found strength in that and stood.

I began to walk the circle of trees, to find a way in; if there was one. Slow, methodical, observant. Unless I was a mouse, I wasn’t getting through. Trying to peek through, only blinded me with the light coming from the other side. Presumably from the sun…

The urge to run was still there with each step, but I allowed my rational mind to prevail and convinced myself, if only for the moment; that all was fine. So, through the shaded darkness, I pushed forward. Infatuated with the fortress of nature that stood in front of me. Staring and examining it, wondering what was inside. The circle, not forty feet in diameter held something. Instincts or my imagination swore that to me. And I, being person of adventure, needed to know what. So in the low light of the canopy above me, I walked around, and around and around it. Looking for any possible way in. Thorns that covered every square inch of space told me that I wasn’t getting in easy. The thorn vines wrapped trees, brush, limbs, everything. I tried moving the entangled vines aside with a stick only to find more thorns, some three and 4 inches long covered in thousands of razor shard tiny thorns. Whatever in the hell made this, wanted to keep everything out. Or maybe keep something in? Maybe I’m just going crazy and this is just a thick patch of entangled nature from one end to the other? But if that were the case, how could I see patches of sunlight poke though?

So around I went, I had to know. I could tell that the little bit of light creeping in from the above canopy was starting to fade, meaning that day would soon be dusk and I’d be out here with…with whatever and my over active imagination. If there was life here, I surely would have seen it, or at least heard it by now. The only thing I here are those godforsaken noises at night. I needed to get back to camp and soon.

I decide I would take one final trip around and leave. There would be more days I could examine the circle. As the sun shifted and sent light in at a new angle, I saw it. A different tree. The bark was the same skin like texture, but this one was daker in color. The vines around it had no thorns, nor did the vines handing from its limbs. If there was a way to forge even a foot into whatever this was, this was going to be the only way. There were layers upon layers of them vines and gnarled brush, but not one thorn for as far as I could see into the entanglement.

What I would have given for a machete. When I make my pickups, almost everyone you see has a machete, they don’t just use them for brush and snakes, but maybe we can get into that another time. I pulled at a few of the vines and was able to make a small dent into what was sure going to turn into some serious labor. Labor I could not afford to expend, but I had to know, I had to understand. Something drew me into this and now it will not let go.

The shadows shifted again and light was fading fast and imagination or not, It had to go. I promised myself that I would return tomorrow, ready to burrow in.

On my journey out, I swear I constantly heard another set a footsteps mimicking my every step. They were not close, but they were careful. I would hear my foot crunch leaves and then almost in perfect timing, somewhere in the distance and darkness, the end of other footsteps coming down. I hastened my pace and the mimicking steps hastened. I soon found myself in full stride and heard them still Not like and echo. No. There was something out there. Something watching me, following me. I looked over my shoulder as I ran countless time. With each glance I was expecting to see something horrible right on my tail.

When I made it out into the open, the footsteps stopped. Whatever it was, did not want to be seen. This cannot possibly be my imagination in overdrive. The only think that consumed my mind was the circle and how I was going to penetrate its armor. The setting sun gave me a new energy, and new comfort, though I still felt watched. I made it back to camp and collapsed with exhaustion.

As though noises started again last night, after the sun set and sounding so angry my mind drifted. Was something watching me the whole time I was there? Studying me? Wondering what I was or what I was doing? Is there possibly another human on this island? Those steps sure sounded like 2 feet and not four. Did I lead whatever it was right back to my camp and now it knows where I am?

I decided to take a breath and allow my body to recharge today. While the hike isn’t that far, I am exhausted from a long day and a longer night. While I feel drawn to the tree circle, I must keep my survival senses about me. Soon I’ll head back, just not today.

May 15th
Dear Lauren and Liam,
I miss you guys. Do I ever miss you both! By now, you’ve made calls, you know something went wrong. But you don’t know what. I’m sure Liam is completely beside himself wondering where daddy is at now and that alone is enough to tear me in 1000 little pieces; but knowing what could possibly going through your heart is 1000 more. I feel selfish at times as I try not to think about home and I know that this is all you can think about. I try to keep my mind focused on what’s at hand, and if I ever want to get back home, survival is key.

You’ve called my contacts in Cancun and I’m sure. Maybe they even called you first when I failed to land that day. They probably thought I fucked them over, but Senior Gespeto knows me well enough by now that if I were gonna run with the dope, I’d take my family. At least I hope he does. I hope that they leave you alone in that respect. I haven’t run or lost a load in 12 years, why would I now?

I’ve told you the stories about what I’ve seen in Mexico and you know that Senior Gespeto is tough, ruthless even. You probably think he killed me and in turn he thinks I ran with the dope. Oh God. I’m going to drive myself nuts worrying about you guys.

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You know you’re always telling me to stop looking at the red lights and stop cussing them when they stop me because they very well may have saved my life. It’s funny how when driving through the city you notice every red light but never give a thought to any green-lights. And that’s how life is, we notice the negative things or the things that we perceive to be negative and we never take time to be thankful for the things that are good and positive in our lives. Even though we’ve shared a great marriage and have a great family, I never took the time to breath and take it all in. I never once stopped and looked at it from the outside.

So here I sit, a crashed pilot in his early 30s, married, one kid, stranded on an island with no birds, no life, no passer by’s, and voted most likely to be dead soon by the dead palm tree. You know the strangest shit about this is Lauren, I know I crashed I know I got out of the plane I know I made it to the beach I don’t remember the plane going nuts but I don’t remember anything in between starting to go down in here. I guess you could say I was concussed but I had no injuries whatsoever. My head didn’t hurt and my body isn’t sore at all. You would think I would be after crashing a plane into the ocean and you would think I would remember something if I didn’t get knocked out. Hell if I got knocked out I would’ve drowned almost certainly but I didn’t. One of these days I’m gonna have to go to one of those Hypnosis after you send me to a psychiatrist because I’m sure if I ever do get off this island I will be completely crazy and we’re gonna have to put these puzzle pieces back together because it’s just strange. Right now I need to think about survival and getting home do you too and not that but now that I’ve been here for a few days it seems that the large blank spot is somehow drifting back into my memory. Something I never even thought about before until writing this to you and now here it is. Wow I have not much to say about that just a lot to say about nothing or nothing to say about a lot.

I should be doing a lot of things today, but I’m tired, I slept horrible. There’s this thing in the woods that sounds terrifying and it felt like it was right above me all night. Clicking and growling and panting and licking and howling. I’d open my eyes thinking that some zombie from one of those movies you love so much would be right there, ready to eat my face off, but nothing. Just more noise. It came and went all night. Coming towards my camp and then back again. I almost went in after it as I’m just that tired of fearing something I know is just a small animal or some type of lonely bird, but I never could quite gather the guts. I just kept my fire high and warm, and thought our you guys.

Not much more to say now but I wanted to write you, directly, to say I love you Lauren. You and Liam are my life and if I ever find my way home, I swear that I will never take you for granted. You are treasure my love.

Kisses,
Roger

May 16th
Well, yesterday was a wasted day. While I did work on my shelter some, weaving in palms and sticks that I can find acting like I’m survival pro; even though the damn thing would blow away in a frog fart. I also and gathered a lot of firewood but I mostly moped around missing my family. It’s funny, I don’t know if I hurt more from me missing them or knowing how much they miss me. I know that Lauren is worried and Liam is probably confused asking every 10 minutes when daddy is going to come home. And that, makes me sad.

But today I have to keep them in my heart and put my mind here again and continue to fight for my survival. I’ve been walking the beach lost in thought and looking for anything that will help me in not only my survival, but also assist me in getting into the tree circle. I would have thought something would have washed ashore at one time or another. Lost fishing nets, boards, line, anything. But these beaches are clean. A few shells here and there, which I do collect as the stronger ones can be sharpened to a point and make spears. However, there is nothing to spear. No fish, no birds, no nothing. Crabs here and there but I just grab them.

I can tell I’m starting to lose a ton of weight. My ribs are starting to show a bit and eventually I’m sure the food will dry up. I’m tired, dirty, and empty already. What then?

My bunny snares stand empty, and I’ve seen no evidence of them at all. No poop, no tracks, no nothing. Maybe whatever was following me the other day ate them too? And now that the bunnies are gone, I’m next?

Being alone is killing me. Knowing my family is worried sick about me is killing me. This itchy fucking beard is killing me. My hunger for a substantial meal is killing me. My need for human interaction is killing me. This GADDAMNED FUCKING FUCKED UP ISLAND is killing me!!!!

And just where the fuck am I at anyway? I’ve been on tons of obscure and shit islands from Caymen to The Keys, to the Turks to Bermuda to Tim-Buk-Fucking-Tu and I’ve never seen anything like this! There are always birds, always fish……always something. No planes, no boats, no birds, no nothing. This place feels like nothing. A place devoid of all that exists, all that lives. It feels like death.

Today I go into the woods. What really do I have to lose?

……….

Time seemed to slip by, and I quickly found myself on the outskirts of the dark and foreboding canopy of skin trees leading up to the tree fortress hidden within. My arms covered in goose flesh and that feeling of dread entombed me. Every nerve I had screamed to turn back. Those footsteps following me. Pacing me. Just what the fuck was that? Not a rabbit, I know. No, I had to know. I was drawn. I was hooked.
I swallowed my fear as far down as it would go into my anxious chest and pushed forward. My ears perked at the darkness, but I heard nothing. Maybe it was my imagination running wild last time? Maybe I’m slowly slipping into to insanity? But maybe, just maybe, they were real…….

I made it about thirty or so feet into the tree line and the noises started. This was the first time I heard them, or anything for that matter during the day. They were coming from the direction of my camp, not from within the dark woods in front of me. I was torn, do I go towards the tree fortress or back to camp. I stood there for what felt like forever, listening.

The noises were different. There wasn’t anger. There wasn’t menacing. Don’t ask me how I knew this. In retrospect, I don’t think I knew that at all, I felt it. The noises were different, too. Like a curious grumbling dog. They were no longer guttural but more from the surface of the water. The garbled mess coming from my camp was moving but staying close to my camp.

Did it know I was gone from camp? Has it been watching me? My nerves could not take anymore. Threatened or not, I felt like I was going to break. Is this what a nervous breakdown feels like? Is this what happens to people right before they are committed? Shaking uncontrollably and screaming about unseen forces grunting at them?

I decided it was best if I went back to camp. Camp is all I have on this fucking island and right now, it’s my home. I found myself in a full sprint to get back to my camp and finally catch whatever is doing this. Each step I took I could hear the sounds getting louder and louder. Gurgles, light, repetitive clicks. What the……a bird!

I stopped dead in my tracks. While the noises continued at my camp not fifty yards away, a large bird, about the size of a hawk sat atop a dead small tree. Its light brown feathered body was almost motionless, except for it’s head, swiveling side to side. I even think it was a hawk, studying the landscape looking for food, except it couldn’t be looking. Where the eyes should be were nothing but hollow black holes. It’s just a bird with black eyes, I tried to tell myself. Except this bird wasn’t but a few feet in front of me and the black spots were indented into its head. Plus, any other bird would have flown away by now. Maybe it couldn’t see and that’s why it didn’t? But if that was so, why did it look like it was looking around? And how in the hell did it get here?

Its head stopped. Then everything went silent. It was facing me. Motionless. Staring at me with black empty darkness. It opened its beak and let out a long unearthly screech. Ear piercing and growling in an evil choir of darkness. The sounds from my camp stopped. Everything stopped. Was this creature, or God forbid another one like it responsible for the noises I’ve been hearing? I fell to my knees and felt the sudden urge to vomit. And vomit I did. I threw up gallons of red and yellow bile. I’ve never thrown up that much in my life, never. When it was over, and I was able to catch my breath I opened my eyes to a pool of something that resembled gallons of curdled blood and piss. The putrid odor alone was enough to make me want to vomit more if I had anything left.

As I recovered from the vomiting, and found my legs again, wiping the sweat from my face. The bird was flying in shallow circles around me, squawking. It then landed not ten feet in front of me on the ground. It was examining me with its empty eyes like a rooster looks you up and down when you step into its coup. It turned it head and spread its magnificent wingspan and slowly approached me. Taking cautious step by cautious step.

“Fuck you bird! I screamed and took a step back. “Get the fuck away! Shoo!” I clapped my hands and waved my arms around. But this bird was not scared. Not in the least bit. Instead, it kept it wings spread as if to say, ‘Look at me, look how big and mean I am!’ and walked forward. It stopped at the outer edge of the vomit pool slowly absorbing into the ground and lowered its head to drink. I stood there, taking small steps backwards watching this thing eat my bile. No, not eat, gorge.

The bird was between me and camp and going around meant going off trail and risking walking through the think underbrush, but I really felt I had no choice. Why my mind was struggling to understand and believe what I was seeing, I didn’t want to become this creature’s next meal. It never picked it’s head up from eating as I walked around it as far as I could go into the brush. As I passed it, I kept looking over my shoulder to see if it was still there and sure enough, it had not moved. It was busy and I knew I best keep moving. Right before I stepped through the last tree line, I looked back one final time and it was gone. I studied the sky, the trees and surrounding brush but it was nowhere to be found.

That’s when it dawned on me why I came back to camp in the first place. The noises. But they too had gone. Did they mean whatever made them was gone, too?

As I stepped onto the beach, I saw nothing. No bird, no creature, nothing. The relief that came over me was welcome. After dealing with that bird thing, the last thing I wanted was to find another demon like creature roaming my camp.

My relief was short lived at best. As I walked towards my camp wanting nothing more than to lie down, I saw them. Bloody footprints. Hundreds of them all around my camp in the sand.

My stomach clenched with sickness and my chest raptured with anxiety. My head hurt. I just wanted to go home or to wake up from this nightmare. To be in bed beside Lauren, to hold her and smell her smooth perfume. I studied the beach, the tree line, the brush for whatever made them; but found nothing. Nothing but bloody footprints.

I couldn’t just leave my camp and move somewhere else on the island. Everything I have right now was there. I had no choice but to walk through the prints to get back to my camp. As I did, I studied them. I needed to know what I was up against. Whatever made those noises made these prints, that I was sure of.

There were two very distinct prints, one and somewhat human print and the other, a bloody drag. How could something losing so much blood and be in so much pain still walk? Were those noises cries of pain? Could there possibly be another person on this island just as scared as me?

One print looked somewhat human, from what I could tell, the right foot. It looked human but the big toe and the one next to it were gone, like they were ripped or cut off. What I guess would it’s left foot were just long drags in the sand behind the right. Obviously like the thing was dragging its leg. How could two people wind us on the same fucked up island in the middle of nowhere? Whoever or whatever this is, is bleeding a ton.

Looking at them now, as I sit here at my camp, I just want to scrub them away and act like they don’t exist. I somewhat felt safe here before, but now I feel open, vulnerable to whatever is out there. As I watch the tide ride and gently erode the farthest prints, I wonder, will it come again tonight? Will it show itself? Or will that evil bird come and eat my eyes out while I sleep? Am I being hunted? Or am I slipping into insanity?

As I watch the sun set to another day, a long fucked up day, I wish I could just get back in my plane or even a rowboat right now and go home. Curl up in my own bed next to my wife and son and be safe and warm and comfortable. My mind is spinning right now. How could any of this be real? I do know one thing though; I probably won’t sleep tonight.

May 17th
At first I was not able to sleep at all. My mind was too alert, too aware. I tossed and turned. I sat up and laid down. I walked around and sat back down. I stirred the fire. I washed my face. I walked again and laid down again.

Finally, I found solid sleep. I jolted awake. My eyes open, unable to move or speak, only to see. I laid there, still as a corpse. A large shadow looked down at me from the dark of the night. It stood over me and stared as I stared back. Why couldn’t I move? Was this a nightmare or real? A horrible disgusting odor of putrid rot and sharp fresh vitriol permeated the air around me. The shadow’s contorted misshapen head turning from side to side, studying me and my camp. Curious. Threatening. If I could move, what would it do?

Gurrrrahhhhh Tsskk Naaaaaah
Eeeeeah
Gurrrrahhhhh Tsskk Naaaaaah
Reeeeaayyyyuh
Gurrrrahhhhh Tsskk Naaaaaah

I heard unseen things, little pitter patters on the sand around me; small rustles scurrying through the brush. Like I was surrounded by a thousand rats waiting consume whatever this shadow creature left behind of me, I tried so hard to turn my head and see but nothing would move. I could not even shut my eyes away from the horrors in front of me. The thing stayed just far enough away from me to not be seen in detail, but close enough to be seen in darkness. I swear I felt something small an furry brush against my arms a couple of times. If I could have flinched, I would have. My dry eyes screamed at me to blink. To close and find relief from the pain and the images before me.

I woke to bright morning sun and waves crashing against nearby rocks. The nauseating aroma from my nightmare was still with me, burnt into my mind. If it was even a dream. I’m not even hungry. What was left of the bloody footprints of yesterday that littered the sands around my camp, had turned to a brown rust color. There were no new ones that I could tell. Last night had to be a dream. Had to. Though the fear and rotting aroma was still freshly with me, I attributed that to my imagination.

I stood up and swayed. Exhaustion, malnutrition, and God knows what else is destroying my body and mind. I took a walk on the beach to clear my head when I heard an unholy screeching above me. Flying high in broad circles, like a vulture, the brown eyeless bird had returned. It was too far for me to see its eyes, but I knew it was him. He kept his distance letting out several spine tingling shrills. What does this thing want? Was it signaling to its friend that I was awake? As quickly as it appeared, it flew off. It was headed for the center of the island as I watch it descend into the unseen island heart. I walked back and forth, not straying too far from camp, but far enough to try and clear my mind.

……

Fuck taffy. Long time after killing. Hatred spews blood hammer Tommy. Shit click tow to the left. I know sham sham. Scoup up the water damn you. I could just find the skipper he sang sang. Fucked me.

May 18th
Yesterday was a blur. Wasted. I seem to be losing blocks of time now. I’m so tired. I don’t have to eat anymore. I’m not hungry.

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Glimmer
Glimmer Shit fuck.

The circle is calling me and tomorrow I go. I think my wife may be inside waiting on me. It would be so nice see her.

May 19th
I made my way to the circle today and as I began to pry, push and pull my way through the vines by the blood tree. All of the colors faded purples and pinks were little glimpses of what was to come.

Lapper she knew ass scrum. Feel it inside but who would be there.

Soon I found myself standing on the other side of the tree circle. I was surrounded by a perfect circle of thorns and trees. The circle seemed to be so much bigger on the inside that the outside. How was that possible? There were rows of vine and thorn covered stones no more than chest high. They started in the middle of the circle and made their way to the perimeter.

The sun was bright here and I could not see the tops of the trees around me at all. They almost seemed to disappear in the clouds. I counted the stone rows, one, two, three….seven. Seven rows spaced evenly apart. Each with its own little trail ending in the brush and trees. Odd.

In the center of the circle there is a very deep hole, maybe 3 feet across. To me, it looks like a very old ground well. Walking around studying the rock rows, I almost fell down the fucking hole. At first I didn’t even see it. I guess I was so lost in the intentional patters around me. I couldn’t see far down into it all so I grabbed a couple stones and threw them. I heard several fading echoes of them bouncing from wall to wall, but never a final smack on the bottom. It had to go on for miles. My first thought was that this was a pit straight to hell. My second thought was that I’m losing my mind.

While I thought the circle of trees surrounding me before looked intentional and that someone planted them there a very long time ago, this just confirms it. Nature doesn’t put identical rock rows perfectly spaced like these. Someone has been here before. What they were doing here is lost to me. Almost seems ritualistic.

I just want out of this fucking place. I want to go home.

May 20th
All night! It was close again. I felt it’s presence. I tell you. I felt it. It felt me.
It felt me.
It felt me.
I fucked it.
It fucked me.
Oh yes, it fucked me.

Click Click
Gurrrrg Clack
Ruuuuhhhhh
Na Na

Click Click
Gurrrrg Clack
Ruuuuhhhhh
Na Na

Them rats are everywhere. I can’t see them, but I hear them. Thousands of them come at night and eat fecal matter. They cover the beach. They eat. They bite. They fuck. They kill. Many little lads they are. This island is made of rats.

May 21st
I’m losing track of the days now. I’m not even sure how many I’ve been here any longer. I don’t know one day from another. One night to the next. Strange shit is happening. Strange white and orange lights are floating through the sky screaming my name while they orgasm. The growling and clicking noise from the creature that lives here with me is maddening. His pet hawk sat on the beach this morning feasting on the yellow crabs I no longer have a desire to eat. He was shitting out rats.

I’m going back to the circle today. It’s calling me. The answer to all of this is there. Somewhere.

…..

Everything is dead inside the circle, including me. I’m dead. I’m just waiting to die.

I’ve walked the stone walls a thousand times today looking for anything out of the normal, if anyone would consider any of this normal. Just rows and rows of grey and white stones covered in vines and thorns. Something kept telling me to stay here, to look. To find answers. Answers to what I asked myself.

Then I heard it. Outside of the tree circle.

Grahhhhhhhhhhh
Clack
Ruuuuhhhhh
Na Na
Shum
Rahhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrr
SiSi

They were coming from the doorway that I tore through the vines. One way in. One way out. It did not sound friendly.

The sun was setting above me. How long had I been there? An hour? 5 hours? A day? Two? The sounds continued. My stomach clenched. It wasn’t coming closer, but it wasn’t moving away either. Fear filled every emotion I had. I knew that I was about to come face to face with whatever has been haunting me since I arrived here. At one time, I wanted to know, but now I don’t anymore.

I decided to run for it, but only took a few steps out and there it was. Standing maybe ten yards in front of me. The hair on neck stood straight up and my body froze in fear. Before me stood the most hideous thing I have ever seen.

Click Click
Gurrrrg Clack
Ruuuuhhhhh
Na Na

A creature no larger than I stood there beveling its mangled ruined head from side to side. The sounds emanating from what looked like used to be a mouth were wet and guttural. Was it trying to communicate with me? Its jaw was gone but there were teeth in what looked like was its upper mouth. It didn’t approach me as I thought it might. Instead, it’s body swayed back and forth like it was going to fall over at any second now. The torn rags that wrapped its destroyed body were covered in flowing dark blood and grass or weeds. Seaweed?
The head was smashed in and brain matter was pulsating from inside. It had one eye where the skull wasn’t caved in but it was red and swollen out of it socket. Somehow, I felt it could still see me.

The sounds it made were from a jawless mouth hole that gurgled blood. The torso had one arm and only a jagged stump for the other. It took one pained step towards me and dragged it’s other leg behind it. Whatever this was, was messed up bad. Like some horrific car accident survivor. I was speechless. This was what I dreamed of the other night. Was this thing really at my camp looking over me as I slept. When it moved the putrid odor hit me. So familiar, so disgusting. Rotting flesh and copper blood.

Run! I didn’t stop running until I made it to the ocean and would have kept going if I had to. I don’t think it could keep up with me with that useless leg dragging behind it but where could I go?
I’m losing my fucking mind.

It’s dark now. I’m going to try to sleep with the image of whatever in the fuck that thing is stuck in my mind. I’ve not seen or heard from it since I ran in the woods, but I must go back. That circle is the answer.

The flies can’t fuck me there.

Day 8
I’ve moved my camp to the tree circle. I think the water is poison, so I won’t drink from that fountain anymore. The creature stands at the door of the circle all day and night, but doesn’t come in. It stands there making those noises, pointing with it’s one arm. Pointing at the dead. They are all hear. The evil lives down the hole with the dead. I hear their screams at night. I masturbate to their pain.

The day we fell in love as we danced together. Everything is evil. Everything is dead here.

I smell it. I taste it. I fuck it. It fucks me. Orange.

I’ve still yet to see a fucking rabbit, speaking of tracks. I’m so hungry. Everything tastes like blood and cum.

March 12th

That fucking thing won’t leave. Lauren and Liam called me last night, but I missed the call. I almost fell into the hole while I ran to answer it. I was in the kitchen baking kittens. I hope Lauren doesn’t know that I’m having an affair with Click Click.

I can’t leave. That hideous thing just stands at the pathway out. The noises it makes are maddening. I randomly throw stones at it, but it just stands there; beveling its wasted head side to side. The entire side of its skull is gone and I see it’s brains. It points it’s one good arm at the hole.

I think he is me and I am him. I’m pretty sure now. I’ve thrown up so much blood that if the helicopter doesn’t get here soon, I’ll never get to tell my friends about this great place.

Tomorrow Click Click told me that he is going to come into the circle and take me home. It is time to go now. This place has nothing left to offer. He says salvation is down the hole where the other tortured souls are. It will be nice to sleep in a warm cozy bed with Click Click. I hope he likes my baked kittens, I worked really hard on them.

So judged I will be.

Credit: Jason L Drevojanek

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