Author: segisaurus PM
April 19th, 1955, a flight over the North Pacific Ocean crash lands on an uncharted island. Follows the events which lead to the placement of the cave's original inhabitants.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Mystery - Chapters: 5 - Words: 8,713 - Updated: 04-14-09 - Published: 04-12-09 - id: 4989539
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The jungle was dense, and dark. Matthew plunged through the jungle, his torn shirt snagging on dangling branches, threatening to lash at his exposed forearms. It was stiflingly hot underneath the canopy of trees, lying fifty feet above their heads. They were strung out in a horizontal line to the direction of their movement, carefully picking their way through the undergrowth. The ferns grew thickly, and roots popped up from the soil all over the place, tripping him up wherever he stood.
He's always been unfit for his age, but now it showed especially. His sweat soaked chest heaved against the material of his shirt, and his vision was darkened at the periphery. The air was strange here; it was as if half of the oxygen had been sucked out. The humidity made it seem as if he was using only one lung, and it made for a very hard time getting his breathing.
The pilot was off to the right, cradling his injured arm, and Ted was in the middle of them. Ted was tearing ferns out of the ground with his large, paw like hands. Matthew mused that he looked like a bear, his large figure looming four inches over the heads of the other two.
Hardly any of the light from the sun reached the ground in the jungle; most of it was cut out by the dense foliage above their heads. His vision was taking a while to adjust, and his retina's had been scarred by the brightness of the sun in the grass. All he could see was a bright green film in front of his eyes.
They were on a slight incline, slowly walking through the forest towards the coast of the island. He found himself wondering just how big this place was; from the plane he saw that it was expansive, much larger than their view from the field had allowed them. He had seen that they were somewhere near the northern tip of the island, and that it extended for many more miles to the south, and to the west.
The island was very large, and he wondered when they would see somebody else, because there was no land in the world this large that remained uninhabited. But even on the way down, had hadn't seen any clearings, or villages, no boats, or roads. No signs of human presence.
Of course, he only had a view of the tip of the island; there could be people elsewhere.
They passed a brief break in the tops of the trees, sunlight filtering down to the ground in great shafts, striking his face harshly. He squinted as he passed through it, back into the dense jungle, tearing a branch out of his way as he jumped over a log.
Graham rolled up a third parachute, alone on the slope. Malinda and Sarah sat next to the pile twenty metres away, as they had moved the chutes further down the slope to keep away from the brunt of the sun. But it hadn't worked very well, as they were still exposed in the field.
The orange material had been flattened on the grass, and he was walking across its width, one of the corners in hand. He dragged it end over end, and folded in half lengthways, running his hands along the edges to make sure it was equal.
He didn't understand why he was doing this; he guessed they could use the material for shelter, or for signalling. It was best to keep them out of the way anyway, instead of blowing around in the wind. Truthfully, he just wanted to keep his mind occupied, to prevent himself dealing with what happened. He had to keep a strong face for Malinda, and so he kept folding, pulling the fabric over the grass—
A voice whispered to him, very close. He span around; dropping the chute onto the ground, turning in a wide circle, looking for the source. There was nobody behind him; he looked over at the women, who looked back at him, wearing vague looks of confusion.
"What did you say?" he called.
They frowned. "We didn't say anything!"
The voice whispered again, harsh and loud in his ears. It sounded close. Very close.
He turned around again, but he saw nobody. He squinted into the trees, trying to pick out a face; but once again, he saw nothing more than the trunks of trees.
Another voice whispered off to the right, and this time Malinda and Sarah looked up with him. But there were no people, anywhere.
Another voice, whispered, and then another. Graham fought panic as he swerved around in a wide arc, looking for anybody. But there was nothing. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end, and he shivered involuntarily as he listened to the voices. There were barely comprehendible, despite their volume. He listened closely, trying to pick out a single voice, to see what there were saying.
The whispers continued, unstopping, even as he continued to spin around in the brightly lit field, desperately looking for the people making the noises. Through the cacophony of sound, he managed to pick out a single phrase.
"It's them," the voice said.
Graham's eyes darted about in their sockets, and he could see Sarah drawing into herself.
"Hello?" he called. "Hello, can you hear us?!"
There was no answer; just the unending stream of whispers.
"Hello? Help! HELP!"
But there was no answer.
Matt slammed a branch down to the ground, fighting through a thicket in his path. The other two were now behind him; they had noticed that they required less effort of themselves if they followed his path, due to his size. They were moving quickly, and it had been almost an hour since they had left the field behind. But they had no reference point, and so far there had been no other breaks in the canopy; meaning that they had no opportunity to see where they were in relation to the island, nor how far they had come.
Progress had been slow, and difficult. All of them were panting heavily, sweat coating their brows.
"So, what happened?" he called back.
"What?" said Adam.
"You know, why did we crash?"
"You tell me. We hit turbulence, nothing but clouds. Then there's this boom, and a flash of light, and we're falling down on some tropical island."
Matt laughed heartily. "Yeah, okay. You can say if you got lost and we ran out of fuel, you know."
"The engines exploded," Ted said from the back, "Is that something that sounds like a typical dry tank?"
Matt growled; he didn't like Ted already.
"Okay, so we're stuck in the middle of nowhere," he said, "What's this island called?"
"I told you; it shouldn't even be here. It's not on the map—"
Suddenly, the trees cleared. They entered a gap in the trees, the ground covered by nothing but mud, wet and slippery. Matt frowned as he saw a tall, stone walled well, positioned in the middle of the clearing, a thick rope lying by its side, dangling over the edge.
The men stopped in their tracks as they stepped into the clearing, towards the well. They looked at each other, and then to the well.
"I told you this place was inhabited," Matt said.
He leaned over the edge of the well, looking down into the darkness. He couldn't see anything down there, but the little light available to him allowed him to see down at least eight feet before blackness consumed the stone walls. It was very deep.
He picked up a rock from the ground, and dropped it down. He watched the stone glint in the light as it fell, disappearing into the dark. He tilted his head to the side, turning his ear towards the lip of the well. He waited over ten seconds before he heard the stone hit the floor. But instead of a splash, he heard a dull thud, and the clatter of rock against rock.
"Empty?" Adam said.
"Sounds like it," Ted murmured.
Deep down in the well, there was a twinkling sound, distant yet definite. It reminded Matt of bells.
They all looked around, trying to see somebody in the underbrush.
"If the well is here, then people must be close."
And then he heard a voice, in the jungle. It was nothing more than a whisper, but it was loud, as if amplified. The voice was strange, and hazy. Another voice emanated from behind them, and then a third. Soon there were voices all around them. Ted looked at him, frowning.
"Hello?" Adam said hesitantly.
The whispers didn't respond to him.
"Go," they said, one after the other, overlapping each other. "Go. Go now. Get away. The well. Get away."
It was creepy. There was no sound of movement; just voices.
"Hello?" Adam said again, "Can you help us?"
The voices changed immediately, and they said in unison, "The Others are coming."
They all looked at each other, and then to the jungle.
"I don't like this," Matt said. "I've read about some of those tribes that live on deserted islands. Cannibals and such, you know?"
But these voices didn't sound savage, not tribal. They spoke simple English, educated, and scary. "Get away," the said, still overlapping. The sounds were coming from everywhere, and they backed away from the well, looking warily around them. The voices continued.
"The well—Don't look."
"The Others are coming."
Adam moved off towards the other side of the clearing quickly, motioning for them to follow. Matt hesitated for a moment, looking around them, and then ran after him.