Her Greatest Fear
A Gilligan's Island Story
Written by Matthew R. White
© September 17, 2012
Based on the Characters and series created by Sherwood Schwartz
Historians Note: This story takes place soon after the episode, The Hunter.
Run, Gilligan, run.
She watched in horror as her dearest friend tore through the jungle, trying to shake loose the madman who was stalking him. Her skin torn by the thick underbrush, Mary Ann struggled to keep pace with the man that she loved, by taking shortcuts through the dense jungle. Even on her best day, she found it difficult to keep pace with the wiry young sailor. In his current state of desperation, it was next to impossible.
He didn't know she was there, for had he known, he would have stopped to protect her. And that monster, Jonathan Kincaid, would kill him. She reached an elevated plateau where she was able to see the valley below.
Gilligan was making his way up her side of the valley, while Kincaid followed several hundred yards behind. The hunter could not see his prey, the jungle was too thick, but Mary Ann could see both of them from her vantage point on the cliff. She resisted the urge to yell out to him, that Kincaid was closing the distance between them. The reason he was losing ground soon became evident. Mary Ann's eyes went wide with terror, as she saw that Gilligan had been hit. The bloodstain on the side of his shirt was clearly visible.
Mary Ann turned and ran down the hill towards the path that Gilligan was using and almost ran into him as he crested the hill.
"Mary Ann, what are you doing here!?"
Saying nothing she dragged him into some thick brush hoping that it would provide both of them cover. Less than a minute later, Kincaid strode purposefully down the path. He stopped less than twenty feet from the pair. He stooped and knelt down, apparently checking the ground for something. A short time later, Kincaid stood and proceeded down the path at a slower pace. When he was out of sight, Gilligan said, "Mary Ann, you're bleeding."
"It's just scratches, I'll live. But you've been shot. Here…hold still."
Mary Ann lifted his shirt to look at the bullet wound. Staunching the blood flow with her handkerchief, she saw that it looked worse than it was. But he was still bleeding like a stuck pig.
Tearing a long strip from the hem of her shirt, Mary Ann fashioned a bandage from the excess material. A short while later she had managed to stop the wound from bleeding.
"At least you won't leave a blood trail now," she said.
"Yes, Gilligan, how do you think he was tracking you?"
"Gee, Mary Ann, how do you know so much about hunting?"
"I grew up on a farm. Uncle George and the boys went hunting all the time," said Mary Ann. "Do you think you can stand?"
Still weak from blood loss, Gilligan managed to get to his feet. With her helping him, the pair slowly made their way back to the path when an evil laugh startled them.
"Well, well. How touching," said Kincaid. He had his rifle trained on both of them. Gilligan drew himself to full height and pushed her behind him.
"Let her go! It's me you want."
"Oh, she's free to leave if she wants. But I suspect that she isn't going anywhere."
In what seemed to be slow motion, Kincaid raised the rifle and drew a bead on Gilligan's chest. As he reached for the trigger, Mary Ann felt Gilligan push her to the ground as the report from the rifle reached her ears. The impact of the bullet threw Gilligan back and he landed on the ground beside her.
She quickly sat up and cradled his head in her lap, oblivious to the madman that was still standing there. A circle of blood grew on the front of his shirt. He was still breathing, but Mary Ann knew he had been mortally wounded.
Wracked with grief, Mary Ann sobbed, "Gilligan, please hang on…"
"Mary Ann…" he struggled to say. "I…love…you…"
With that, the young man collapsed in her arms, giving up his spirit as Kincaid's sadistic laughter filled her mind.
"Mary Ann, Mary Ann, wake up honey," said Ginger, trying in vain to awaken her roommate from the nightmare that held her in its clutches.
"GILLIGAN…NO…THAT MONSTER KILLED HIM! GILLIGAN…"
By now, the rest of the castaways had gathered in the girl's hut. When Gilligan saw what was happening he pushed his way to her bedside and gathered the young brunette into his arms. He knew all too well what she was going through, and what she needed.
"Mary Ann, it's okay…I'm right here…you're safe."
Eyes darting around the room, Mary Ann finally saw him. Like a drowning swimmer, she locked him into a death grip and began to weep uncontrollably. Gilligan rocked her back and forth, gently stroking her hair. He continued to whisper into her ears, reassuring her that he was alive and well and she was safe and sound among her friends.
"Gilligan…oh dear Gilligan…you are still here," she said, once she had calmed somewhat. She had released her grip on him and had pulled away enough to see his face.
"I'm okay now," she continued. "I'm sorry I woke everyone up."
"That's quite all right, Mary Ann. Folks," began the Skipper. "I think the rest of us can go back to bed."
As the group filed out and Gilligan rose to join them, Mary Ann reached out and grabbed his hand.
"Please don't leave me," she pleaded, sliding over enough for him to lie down beside her.
Gilligan suddenly felt confused. He wanted to stay with her, yet at the same time he was embarrassed. Behind him Ginger whispered quietly to him.
"It's all right, Gilligan. She needs you right now."
Gilligan nodded and he took the spot next to her while she snuggled into his shoulder. Ginger drew the sheet up over them and said to Gilligan teasingly, "Remember your manners, sailor man."
She kissed both of them on the cheek and returned to her own bed.
"Thank you, Gilligan," said Mary Ann, in a tiny voice.
"You're welcome. Good night, Mary Ann."
"Good night, Gilligan." I love you too, she said in her thoughts.
The next day, while Gilligan was fishing in the lagoon, he considered everything that had happened the previous evening. Although he was embarrassed at first, he found that spending the night in Mary Ann's arms had calmed his own fears, as well as hers. For the first night since the incident, his reoccurring nightmare had not returned.
Gilligan knew that he cared for Mary Ann and that caring went beyond friendship. When he was honest with himself he would admit that he loved her. But, because of a certain event in his past, he wasn't ready to tell her, at least not yet.
Still, he was forced to confront a possibility he didn't want to consider, what would happen if he had been killed and he never told her how he felt. After hearing most of the details about her nightmare, it left him with troubling thoughts.
"Oh, hi Mary Ann," he replied.
Mary Ann strolled over to the rock he was perched on and sat beside him. She still looked troubled about something.
"Are you okay?"
"Not really, that's why I came to see you."
"What's wrong?" he asked, putting his fishing pole aside.
"Gilligan, you were almost killed by that monster," she began. "In all my life, I've never hated anyone, that is, 'til now. I hate him, Gilligan, I absolutely hate him."
Gilligan saw that she was almost on the verge of tears. He put his arm around her and she leaned into his side.
"I've never told you how I feel, Gilligan. I care for you, more than anyone I've ever known."
"I care for you too, Mary Ann. If I had to choose one person to stay here on the island with me, out of everyone I've ever met, it would be you."
Mary Ann reached her arm around his waist and sighed contently.
"Last night wasn't the first night that I had a bad dream about Kincaid. They've been getting worse."
Gilligan could symphonize with her, his own dreams were quite disturbing until they had heard the radio report about Kincaid's fate. That, and the love and support he received from his island family. Mary Ann had stayed up with him for almost a week after the incident.
"What can I do to help?" he asked.
"Hold me while I sleep tonight. The nightmares went away when I knew you were with me."
"Mary Ann, I don't think Ginger will…"
"I asked her already. She agreed to chaperone as long as you promise to be a gentleman. Not that you need to promise, you've always been a gentleman."
"I guess it would be all right, Mary Ann, I mean, as long as Ginger is okay with it."
Mary Ann reached up and kissed him, "Thank you, Gilligan."
Convincing the Skipper and the rest took a bit more effort, but they relented when Ginger stood her ground. Nestled in his arms again, Mary Ann slept through the night, the demons of her greatest fear being held at bay by the unspoken love of the man of her dreams.