Okay... I decided to keep writing this story through Skull Island, or at least through part of it... I may write until after Hayes's death, or may use that as a poetic ending... It just depends on if I'm too depressed to keep writing past that or not. (Hayes dying makes me cry.) He won't die in this story for a long time though, so don't get too sad yet...
Also, it's been over a year since I updated this... But my goodness... My inspiration for writing comes at very bizarre times... Is anyone even going to read this? We'll see...
Because he had delivered meals to the guests and crew of the ship on several occasions now, Jimmy knew exactly which cabin belonged to each of the film crew. This would ordinarily be rather useless information, since he didn't really particularly care for any of the crew except Jack and Ann, and Jack didn't even have a cabin. However, though he didn't care to visit the members of the film crew, he did have other purposes for visiting some of their rooms.
He made his way to the cabin of Mr. Bruce Baxter, laughing silently to himself while he thought about what he was about to do.
The first time he had set foot in Mr. Baxter's room, Jimmy was appalled at how vain the man was. His walls were adorned with posters depicting himself in various films. Jimmy knew some people were slightly vain; they liked to look in the mirror and make sure they looked nice before going out where others could see them, but to decorate one's room with images of oneself seemed a bit extreme even for the most narcissistic of people.
With his newly acquired pen in hand, Jimmy entered the cabin of the film star, knowing he would have a few minutes to complete his task while the man was in the washroom.
Jimmy looked at the posters for a moment before vandalizing them. Baxter never actually looked so courageous in real life. The posters were a gross misrepresentation of the man's real personality. Jimmy shook his head and walked over to the first poster, drawing a mustache and darkening the eyebrows on the actor's face. On the next he tried to make Baxter look like Frankenstein. When Jimmy had finished, he stepped back and admired his work, laughing to himself. He would have liked to stay and laugh longer, but he knew Baxter could be returning to his room at any moment, and Jimmy did not want to be there when he did.
He slipped out of the door and made his way down the hall. He saw Baxter approaching from the other direction and it took all of his self control to keep himself from bursting out in laughter at the sight of the man. He smiled and held in his laughter as best as he could as he turned sideways in the narrow hall so that he and the actor could pass each other.
As soon as he turned the corner, Jimmy ran as quickly as he could to the stairs which led down below deck. He didn't go downstairs just yet, however. Instead he hid himself as best as he could while still keeping his eye on the exit of the hallway. He wondered if the actor would notice his alterations of the posters immediately. He somehow doubted the man could go long without looking at himself. Therefore, Jimmy predicted that Baxter would soon be coming out of the hall in order to find him and give him some lecture or another.
As he had thought, Baxter emerged from the hall within a few short moments, scanning the deck, likely in an attempt to find the culprit of the vandalism.
Jimmy gasped as Baxter appeared to look right at him. He immediately turned and ran down the stairs. He didn't know if the actor had actually seen him or not, as he had been partially hidden, but he wasn't taking any chances. He knew the layout of the cages and crates below deck and could surely hide from the man if need be.
As he ran below Jimmy gasped again, feeling himself collide with someone. The impact knocked him backwards and onto the floor and caused him to drop the pen he still had gripped in his hand. He first looked at the pen scuttling across the floor and then looked up to see Jack, who was reaching down, offering to help Jimmy up.
"Sorry about that," Jack apologized, even though it had been Jimmy's fault, "you okay?"
Jimmy gripped his hand and allowed the man to pull him up off the floor, "um... Sorry I took your pen," Jimmy said, reaching down and picking it up off the floor where it had landed. He handed the pen to Jack and then quickly added, "don't tell him that I'm down here... please..." Jimmy ran off to hide, leaving Jack completely confused.
Jack turned toward him to inquire further on the subject but didn't get a chance to before he turned back around at the sound of more footfalls.
Jimmy darted behind a stack of empty crates and peered through a crack between them, watching and listening, hoping that Jack wouldn't give him away. He liked the writer so far, but didn't know him well enough to be sure that he wouldn't think Jimmy deserved punishment for his prank. Jimmy knew better than to put his full trust in someone he had only just met.
When Jimmy saw Bruce he could tell the man was angry. Apparently he didn't think the mustache and Frankenstein drawings were as funny as Jimmy did.
"Have you seen that kid who's always running around?" Baxter asked of Jack, "the one who's always with the first mate..."
Jack shook his head, "no, I haven't seen him; why?" he lied but also seemed curious as to what Jimmy had done to upset the actor.
Bruce exhaled, frustration clear in his expression and tone, "The little vandal drew all over my portraits. I know it was him, because he was walking away from my room while I walked toward it... He wouldn't even look at me, like he was tryin' to hide somethin... That, and who else would dare, ya know? What kind of a captain would let a kid run around his ship messing everything up like that? Very unprofessional if ya ask me."
Jimmy could hear Jack let out a slight laugh, "well, I haven't seen him."
"It's not funny," Bruce complained, "if I can't find him, I'll let the first mate know what he did; surely he'll straighten him out. Maybe all the crew doesn't care if the kid turns out to be a criminal, but that guy seems like he wouldn't care for it. The kid probably already is a criminal," he added, "if he'll vandalize someone's personal property, who knows what else he'd do."
"I'm sure it was just meant to be a joke, Bruce," Jack assured him, "he's not a bad kid. If I see him, I'll talk to him about it, okay? He probably didn't know you'd really be offended by it." He clapped Bruce on the shoulder as he continued, "Now, I'm going to go give this script to Carl. I wouldn't advise you to stay down here for long. It's easy to get sick being down here, for some reason."
Jack turned and left, leaving Bruce standing alone, still fuming. Jack's words hadn't eased his anger at all.
Jimmy hoped Baxter would get over his anger quickly. He didn't know how long he could avoid the man, especially since he still wasn't leaving. Did he know that Jimmy was down here? Had he just been waiting for Jack to leave so he could look for him?
He decided he should try to sneak out without Baxter ever knowing he had been there. If he went all the way around all of the cages, he could slip out and up the stairs without Baxter even seeing. He turned quietly around but before he could start walking, the ship rode a wave larger than usual, causing him to fall backwards. It wasn't too large of a wave, but it did cause him to bump against the crates behind which he had been hiding. The crates fell down with a loud crash.
Jimmy held his breath and pressed himself against the wall and behind a cage. There was an old blanket draped partially over the cage, enough to hide him half way from Baxter's possible line of vision from the other side of the cage. Jimmy hoped Baxter wouldn't see him there.
Unfortunately, the actor had obviously heard the crates fall and didn't think the reason was merely the wave the ship had ridden. He made his way around the bend and stood right in the way of Jimmy's only means of escape. Jimmy didn't say anything at all as he stared at Baxter, who was staring angrily back at him. He contemplated how he might get around the man so he could run and maybe get up into the crow's nest where the actor would undoubtedly not attempt to follow.
He decided to push the actor to the side and run for it, but when he attempted his plan, he was unsuccessful. Instead of Baxter simply moving out of his way, he pushed back, grabbing onto the collar of Jimmy's shirt and pushing him backwards against the wall, not entirely in a rough manner, but likely just to get him to stay put.
Jimmy's eyes were wide as he silently stared at Baxter. He knew sometimes adults could be a bit rough just to get their point across but without actually intending any physical harm. Sometimes Hayes would cause a bit of pain when trying to get Jimmy to listen to him, like when he squeezed Jimmy's arm hard enough to force him to give back Jack's pen. He knew Hayes wouldn't ever hurt him seriously, but he didn't know Baxter well enough to be sure he wouldn't.
"Now you listen to me, kid," Bruce began, staring angrily into Jimmy's eyes. Jimmy frowned and grasped his hands partially around Baxter's arms so that he could feel he was at least partially in control of the situation. While Baxter had a tight hold on his shirt, Jimmy also had a slightly less tight hold on the man's forearms.
"I don't know who raised you to think vandalizing other people's things is funny," he began, "you can be sure that if we weren't on this smelly boat I'd have you arrested."
Jimmy frowned even further. The Venture wasn't smelly... and it wasn't a boat, "it's a ship," he countered.
"What?" Baxter clearly didn't know what Jimmy was talking about.
"It's not a boat. It's a ship," Jimmy told him.
Baxter shook his head, "that's besides the point," he continued, "I don't appreciate you breaking into my room and vandalizing my property."
"I'm sorry," Jimmy muttered. He didn't know why Baxter cared so much. It was just some paper, and the man was rich. The posters could certainly be replaced easily. Plus, if he wanted to see himself, he could always just look in a mirror... Why would he need to have posters depicting himself all over his walls? Jimmy continued, "it was just a joke."
"Vandalism isn't a joke," Baxter repeated himself.
Jimmy sighed, "what do you want me to do? I said I'm sorry... I didn't know you would care so much." Jimmy could hear the defiance in his own voice. Baxter had to know the apology wasn't sincere, but there wasn't really much he could do about it.
Baxter sighed as well, realizing there was really nothing more to be done. Jimmy had apologized, and that was really all he could do, "you're lucky I have more of those posters back in New York," he released his hold on Jimmy, "don't let me catch you near my room again," he added before Jimmy could leave.
Jimmy pushed his way passed the actor, "whatever," he muttered. Jimmy knew he wouldn't stay away from Baxter's room entirely. He had work to do on the ship, and he used any hallway which was convenient to get to where he needed to be. He might try to avoid the actor for his own reasons, but Baxter was a guest on The Venture, and Jimmy wouldn't let him dictate what was off limits to him. Jimmy would go wherever he pleased.
Jimmy truly did try to avoid Baxter for the rest of the trip. Not out of respect for the man's suggestion that he stay away from his room, but rather simply because Jimmy didn't much care for the narcissistic man.
For the remaining portion of the voyage, Jimmy spent a lot of time making his way through the pages of The Heart of Darkness, either while in the crow's nest or while hiding below deck. Before long he overheard Jack and Carl talking while he as hiding out in one of the cages. Apparently Carl had made plans to take the ship to a different location than the crew previously thought. Jimmy felt it was his responsibility to inform Mr. Hayes of this.
Eventually, it was all sorted out so that all of the ship's crew, including Englehorn were aware of Carl's intentions. Unfortunately, the news was heard too late, and the ship made an unavoidable and violent crash into what appeared to be what Carl had referred to as Skull Island.
In all his days on The Venture, Jimmy had never experienced a more wild ride than the ship running aground had created for him. He had been thrown about quite painfully, as he held onto pieces of the crow's nest for dear life.
Once the ship impacted with the rocks and the waves settled down, Jimmy sank to the small floor of the crow's nest. He was very relieved that the ordeal was over, and felt very lucky to be alive. He hoped no one had fallen off the ship or fallen within the ship and gotten severely injured. They'd likely all have bruises, since they had been thrown around quite a bit... He had at least. But he hoped no one sustained any injuries any worse than his own.
With still trembling hands, Jimmy made his way down the ropes and back on deck. He was happy to hear no one had been hurt too badly. The ship had been damaged pretty severely though. Water was pouring in below deck.
Englehorn, Hayes, and the rest of the crew focused on trying to repair the ship while Carl, the film crew and actors went ashore to film. On some level, Jimmy wanted to go ashore as well, but he knew Hayes wouldn't allow it, and also knew he had a responsibility to help mend the ship.
The island looked very eerie, like something sinister might live there. The rocks around the island weren't just cliffs or mountains. They looked like walls, like someone had actually took the effort to build them that way. Jimmy wondered if they were ancient buildings of some extinct tribe. Maybe people still lived there... Jimmy shivered.
"I should go after them," he heard Englehorn say, "I don't like the look of this place at all."
"It's their own fault fer bein' stupid enough ta go ashore," Lumpy commented as he passed by with some tools, "they'll come back. Prolly get scared before they even make it to the land. Their prolly on their way back already. Soft folks like them. Aint as tough as they like ta think they are."
Lumpy didn't wait for anyone to agree or disagree with him. He said what he had to say, and he wasn't looking for a discussion or debate. He made his way back down below deck.
Jimmy looked over at Englehorn, "if you go after them, can I go with you?"
"No," Hayes answered before Englehorn could.
Jimmy turned and scowled at him. He hadn't even known the man had been standing behind him, "why not? There ain't nothing there. It's just some rocks. Why don't I get to see it? Why do I always gotta be left out of everything?"
"We don't know if it's safe, Jimmy," Hayes had a stern look in his eyes. Mr. Hayes had a way about him where he could say a lot without actually saying anything. Jimmy knew not to argue with him (even though sometimes he did anyway.)
So he sulked down below deck and helped the others who weren't deemed worthy enough to go on Englehorn's rescue mission.
He hoped nothing had gone wrong with the film crew. He figured they would probably be fine, but the fact that everyone was acting like the island may be dangerous, along with the fact that it looked like the scariest place on earth made him a little uneasy. If something happened to Ann or Mr. Driscoll, Jimmy was going to be heartbroken. He was really starting to like them...
I'm never sure how to spell Englehorn (Engelhorn) or Driscoll (Driscol) ? So I just guess every time...
Also, sorry if the plot seems a bit rushed... I'm trying to get them onto the island so there will be more interesting stuff going on...