360 Mystery Island is a Yahoo!360 community story, started by Scott, and written by various bloggers one chapter at a time. What you see below is the 8th installment of this story, written by yours truly. To read the full story, follow these links:
Chapter 1 - Scott
Chapter 2 - Rich
Chapter 3 - Malice
Chapter 4 - imstv1969
Chapter 5 - Hyiidra
Chapter 6 - Mame
Chapter 7 - Joss
I hope you enjoy my chapter.
I blinked. This couldn't be happening. There was simply no way this was true. I had to be dreaming. Not wanting to believe it, I slammed my eyelids shut, willing myself to take leave of this place. I wanted no more to do with it. I wanted it to be over.
I waited for what seemed like an eternity, then slowly cracked an eyelid. To my dismay, I remained in my nightmare. I could see someone watching me, waiting with such patience that I found myself infuriated. And then she spoke.
"Father, don't you remember me?"
Her voice sent chills down my spine, extinguishing my anger. It was as if I was listening to myself, but coming from another. I gathered what strength I could muster and forced myself to look her in the eyes. As I stared, she rose to her feet and began sensuously walking toward me. I was unable to tear my eyes from her, and all the while my mind was racing. Suddenly, a name found its way to the forefront of my thoughts.
Why this name surfaced in my mind I have no idea. Her eyes sparkled at the sound of her name.
"Ah, so you do remember."
"I.....I.....no." I shook my head.
She cocked her head in thought, as if waiting, then smiled. "Not to worry. You will, all in good time. All in good time."
What she was playing at, I could only guess. I stared around the room, trying to regain my bearings. Dom, it seemed, had deserted us. And yet, I found myself not where I had last remembered being. This place was dark, damp, and also produced an echo. I had no recollection of this odd place.
Noticing my glances, Calypso explained, "You passed out, and we had to bring you to the only location on this island where the device can be operated."
As my eyes adjusted, I realized that I was in some sort of cave. Slowly, I clambered to my feet, slipping as I did so. I crashed to the ground, unable to catch hold of anything to break my fall. A loud thud echoed throughout the cavern as I suddenly became aware of a sharp pain in my back. I cried out, but before I knew it Calypso was at my side, hand over my mouth.
"You mustn't make such noise, lest we all wind up dead. This island is ideal for our purposes, but is extremely unstable. The slightest change in conditions of any kind will spell doom for all of us."
I silently nodded in understanding, and waited tensely for my heart to stop pounding. Suddenly, I heard a loud rumbling all around me. Calypso noticed it too.
She darted into the darkness, and emerged moments later bearing a large briefcase and pack strapped to her back.
"We have to go!" she yelled. "If you want to live, follow me!"
Instinctively, and despite the pain, I got to my feet and started after her. We rushed through the cavern. She moved at an astonishing pace, and I struggled to keep up, hobbling and attempting to run as best I could. The rumbling grew louder, and we increased our pace. At long last, I glimpsed the opening of the cave, which sent a wave of relief through me.
Sensing my relief, Calypso warned, "We're not out yet. Once we escape the cave, we've still got to get through the jungle and to the beach. We must get off this island."
"Why?" I asked. "Is it volcanic?"
"I wish it was volcanic. No, no, it's quite a bit worse than that."
I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was serious. Though my body ached and shrieked its displeasure at me, I pressed on, knowing that a terrible fate awaited me if I didn't. Finally, we escaped the cave, and what lay before me did nothing to make me feel better. What I saw before me was a vast expanse of trees, of seemingly limitless length and entirely too thick to run through, especially in my condition.
Suddenly, Calypso, who had been surveying our escape route, came up to me from behind gave me a shove. I went tumbling forward, crashing down the hill toward the forest below.
"Sorry, Chuck, old chap! We had to make time somehow!"
I barely made out her apology as I fell uncontrollably, crashing into bushes that refused to break my fall. I reached the bottom of the hill, and my fall was broken by large tree unlike any I'd ever seen before. Calypso was waiting for me, and before I had time to wonder how she had managed to beat me to the bottom of the hill, she grabbed me by the arm and pulled me to my feet.
"Hurry! They're going to be after us any minute."
"Your friend Dom and his cronies."
At that point, I was so out of breath and so weary of this entire situation that I did not question her further. I no longer cared about Mortis, the man with the black door. I no longer cared about my former apprentice Dom. I no longer cared about D.A.U.G.H.T.E.R (Definitive Anatomic something or other). I had only my own survival in mind, and I knew, without a doubt, that Calypso was there to help me.
We ran on, her leading me in a bizarre maze through the trees. I lost all sense of direction. For all I knew, we were running in one big circle, like some dog chasing its tail. But Calypso was determined, ignoring the changes going on around us. From what I could glean by occasional glances, the weather was changing rapidly. Clouds had rolled in, the ground beneath us seemed to be softening, and heavy winds were kicking up.
I was so engrossed in our plight that I was not aware that Calypso had stopped, and I ran into her.
"Hey!" she said. "Careful. We've made it as far as we're going to get. About fifty paces ahead is a massive cliff, and beyond that the open sea. Our only chance is if we jump off the cliff and escape this island in the water. We've run out of time for any other option."
I groaned. Was everything about this just another opportunity to die? My long-time fear of heights certainly did not help any. Before I could respond, however, Calypso grabbed my hand and yelled "Let's go!!!!"
As the ground I was standing on threatened to swallow me suddenly, I thought best not to argue. We ran with all our might, keeping our heads down, me praying that that last ounce of adrenaline would kick in as soon as possible.
Luckily, and not a second too soon, we made it to the edge of the cliff. And with the last bit of energy I could well up within me, I squeezed Calypso's hand harder and jumped.