In the previous chapter we left our survivors very worried because Jerome had disappeared. They were so right to be worried… but not for the obvious reasons…
Jerome was going through a bad moment. He had noticed George almost succeeded in making a transmitter and he definitely didn’t want to go home.
He hated himself for what he planned to do, but he did it anyway. He was the one taking some necessary parts for the transmitter away.
For the moment he hid it underneath his bed. But where could he hide it for it never to be found?!!!
That would be very difficult, unless… he would go through the dark, foggy forest.
The forbidden forest where no one of the others ever would go…
But when? People were always around him; at school and at home. Thinking it over…, he decided to skip school.
That morning he got up earlier than usual and instead of going to school, he went running through the canyon.
On the other side, he turned left and went to the forest. He made sure to stay near the mountain side, so he would find his way back.
Then he saw something very unexpected.
In some sort of a niche in the mountain side, stood an old weathered statue or totem!
What does that mean? he wondered. Could this island have been inhabited a long time ago? So it seemed.
As there was a lot of fog around the totem, he hurried away from it and continued going deeper into the forest. While running he thought that if it looked creepy now during the day… what would this forest look like during the night?
In the distance he noticed a rock formation. He approached it and investigated it from all sides.
On the back side of the rocks there was a large mysterious looking cave. He was almost sure nobody would find the robbed stuff if he hid it in there.
He was thinking to go back to the canyon when a noise drew his attention. ‘What was that?’
Since he was a very curious young man, he went over to the place the sound had come from, trying not to make much noise himself.
Then he saw something that made his jaw drop… There was some kind of a hut and stuff scattered around it… Hell… now it started to rain!
He ran towards the hut and noticed that there must be someone living there.
Then a man stepped out through the door. He seemed as surprised as Jerome was.
“What the heck…! This is supposed to be a deserted island!”
“What are YOU doing here?” asked Jerome.
“I was setting up the stage and the preparations for a reality show but… if this isn’t a desert island I’ll have to inform Channel 5. They’ll have to look for another island that can be used for their reality show ‘Lost’. Heavens, think of all the work I’ve done here during the week I’ve been here already!”
“How did you get all this material here? I don’t see anybody else.”
“It has been brought here last week and it cost us a hell of a lot of work to get it all here. I am in charge to prepare everything for the stage.”
The man took a picnic basket and brought it inside the hut. He invited Jerome to come inside to get out of the rain.
Jerome’s brain was working at full speed. He had been lucky to find this man here. As he didn’t want to be rescued… he said: “Yes, there are many of us living on the other side of the canyon… and I don’t think they will be very pleased with your presence here.”
“Thank you for telling me, young man. Have something to eat as well!”
“No, thank you.”
The man didn’t seem to be in a hurry.
“I want to rest a while before informing my boss. If I do that right now, he’ll send me to do some other job… so I might as well take the rest of the day off and inform the director afterwards. We’ll come back later to pick these materials up. It seems it stopped raining.”
They went outside.
The man still wasn’t in a hurry. He sat down on the grass to enjoy the afternoon’s sunlight.
“Weren’t you going to leave?” asked Jerome.
“If I were you, I wouldn’t wait too long because here, in the Tropics, we don’t have twilight time and without electricity in this forest… you might not find your way out! Besides that, this forest is very foggy during the day… so just imagine what it will be during the night.”
The man said: “That’s a good point you have there. I didn’t think about it. Well, I suppose this material is safe here until it will be picked up. Hey… it’s started raining again!”
He started running away.
“Yeah sure… don’t you worry!” said Jerome out loud. “It will be safe here”.
After that, Jerome made his way back through the forest and to the canyon. The sun was setting already, and the rain was pouring. He doubted he would make it home before dark.
He almost made his way out of the forest when he heard the other survivors call his name. It sounded as if they had been looking for him for a long time.
“There he is!” Lizzy exclaimed. “He’s coming out of the forbidden forest!”
They were relieved they found Jerome after all. Well… as a matter of fact, the boy had been coming to them.
“Where have you been? I told you not to go into that forest!”
“Hey, I’m not a child anymore. I can take care of myself and I don’t think I have to tell you about my whereabouts!”
We will see about that… young man! While you are still in your scholar years, you are considered a boy and we grownups will decide about what’s good for you.
For the moment, you go straight to bed and tomorrow, you’ll take me where you’ve been hiding today!”
Seeing the unwilling expression on Jerome’s face, John raised his voice “Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes John… sorry”.
They all went home.
Jerome didn’t sleep very well that night. He hoped the materials would have been removed by the time he and John would arrive there.
Wait…! He could always say he had to go to school first, and after school he would show him that place. Then there wouldn’t be anything left there… He was sure about that.
At last he fell asleep.
To be continued…