By Michael Heyworth
This is the Diary of Timothy McCormick
Friday 3rd June
All is ready for tomorrow's sailing trip. I have packed all my fishing tackle - beers and food are in the fridge at home, ready to be put in the cool box tomorrow morning before I leave. I am now aboard Claire, my beautiful white fishing boat, writing this diary. Tomorrow should be great fun " peace and quiet all to myself with a few bottles of beer and plenty of fishing. I can hardly wait!
It's time I went to bed now " I want a nice early start tomorrow. I checked the weather report on the internet and my chosen fishing spot is set for some fine weather. Fantastic!
Saturday 4th June
Mary is always worried when I travel out to sea. I was sure to comfort and reassure her before I left the house this morning. I couldn't ask for a better wife " loving and caring she does look after me as I look after her. She even made my sandwiches for me last night, ready for today. Roast beef and mustard!
I'm all set to go. Food and beer are in the cool box, and all is packed and ready for off. There is a good strong breeze today and I should be there in no time.
I have been fishing for half an hour now and caught some decent fish. This place is beautiful. There are some amazing islands here where I have anchored. There is, however, a very unusual sound coming from one of the nearby islands. A very high pitched screeching. Fortunately though it is not loud from here at all, at least not loud enough to force me to move on from this otherwise tranquil spot.
The temperature has dropped significantly and I will be leaving soon for fear of bad weather. I have had a great time though and hope to return here at some point in the future. For now, though, I will finish off my roast beef and mustard sandwiches (which are delicious), throw back my catch, and prepare to go home.
Catastrophe. I'm in serious trouble. A storm hit not long after I set off home. I fought with the ocean to keep the boat away from the rocks but to no avail. The weather proved too much and the huge waves threw me around like a leaf in the wind. Claire is now wedged between two huge jagged rocks which have badly damaged " nay ruined - the hull. I have no chance of repairing it without decent materials and tools " of which I have none.
As for my location, I have no idea where I am in respect to home or my previous fishing spot, but I was in the storm for about five hours before hitting the rocks. The strong winds and heavy lashing rain have, thankfully, since ceased, and I can now see that I can swim quite easily from where I currently stand to the nearby island's beach. I guess that is my only saving grace.
For tonight, however, I will stay aboard my boat where I can at least sleep in the cabin. I will have a couple of beers to calm my nerves and keep a sharp eye for any passing ships before it goes dark. I have two signal flares on board so I can attract attention if any soul travels these waters by light of the moon.
Sunday 5th June
I swam from my boat to this island this morning. I brought everything I could carry that I might need in my waterproof backpack - a bar of chocolate, five bottles of beer, a penknife, a pencil and the two signal flares. Of course, I also have this diary. I have no intention of attempting to fix up the stranded vessel now as it is irreparable with the resources I have, and I can make shelter here on the island until I think of a way to leave. Perhaps I can build a raft with some wood from the boat.
The swim here was short and the beach I was presented with is absolutely beautiful - Golden sand, bright blue water and further inland a dense jungle. It is very picturesque with the only sound being that of the gentle waves breaking on the shore.
I say the only sound, because at this moment in time that is so, yet last night there was another. I heard the screeching sound again, the one I heard whilst fishing, only this time it was much louder and closer. It made me wake up in a jump. I am not sure what on earth it is, and I will be all too glad not to come by it while this place remains my home.
For now I have other things to worry about anyway. I have a lot of work to do building my shelter and finding a water source pure enough to drink.
Some very good luck " as I walked along the beach I spotted a small cave. It stuck up from out of the sand and was just big enough for me to sleep in and store my rucksack. This has saved me so much work gathering materials to build a shelter that would probably have collapsed under the stress of a light breeze anyway!
Now I can concentrate on finding water and some food. The bar of chocolate I have won't last very long at all. I had two pieces of it for breakfast, but this was not sufficient food for the work I will be doing. I plan to swim back to the boat and collect my fishing rod " perhaps I can catch some food.
I have found a very narrow trickle of seemingly fresh water much further down the beach " about a mile from my shelter cave. Certainly no fish living in it, but the water tastes pure so I emptied out my beer and used the bottles to bring back water, as well as having my fill there and then.
I also found two coconuts on the ground and managed to smash them open on the outside of my cave wall. The juice was tasty and refreshing and the flesh satisfying and filling. After depositing my newly filled water bottles back in the cave, I wandered to the edge of the jungle to look for some firewood. There was plenty lying around, but as I bent down to pick it up my eye caught something high up in the branches of the trees.
It sat there watching me. The dark creature was too far away for me to make out properly but from it's outline it looked like a monkey crossed with a dog. It had a piercing accusing way of watching me but I needed the fuel. I hurriedly collected firewood and left the shadowy creature behind in the trees, hoping not to see its unsettling silhouette again.
Today has been a very long day. I returned to my boat in order to collect my fishing rod and gather materials for a raft. Armed with a strong tree branch I picked up from the borders of the deep jungle, I managed to pry some wood from my Claire. It was difficult swimming back with the large pieces and I would need a lot more than I could salvage from here. Tomorrow I will venture a short way into the trees and attempt to find some large buoyant branches, as well as vines to lash them together. Hopefully that hellish creature will be long gone.
I am writing this diary entry by the light of my fire, which took all of three hours to get going. It was an act of friction with dry wood that eventually created the embers but the process was very tough and has left my hands blistered and sore. Still, I can now stay warm in the cool night. It is very encouraging to have a large flickering flame and warmth. I will now retreat to my cave to sleep, using my rucksack as a pillow.
I was lying here dropping off to sleep when I heard something that forced my heart to beat inside my mouth. Very soft foot steps drawing closer and closer to my cave. I could see nothing despite the flickering bright flames of my fire. Something was, however, definitely approaching.
I sat still as long as I could, not even daring to move, hearing the delicate footfalls. All of a sudden I saw something that made my heart stop momentarily. I saw the black hair slowly appearing round the entrance to my cave followed by two blood red eyes. The creature from the jungle was staring at me with the most hideous, aggressive face. I could not move " paralysed with fear. Then the screech came. It was deafening and I felt my life was about to end. A vision flashed before my eyes and I could look back at my own face " fear stricken and horrified " before I was face to face with the creature again. It was as though I had been visited by a beast from the depths of Hell itself.
Then it was gone. I won't sleep tonight.
Monday 6th June
Under the intense heat of the sun I collected materials for my raft. I was careful not to walk into the woods for fear that the terrifying fiend I saw last night would be there.
There is plenty of material on the island that I can use to create a small raft and oars. I can use the sail from my own boat. Claire still sat on the rocks " a sorry sight that for any sailor brings a tear to the eye.
I have started work on construction of the raft. It is beginning to take shape but I am becoming very tired and the large number of coconuts I am consuming is making me sick and giving me diarrhoea . I have, of course, attempted to catch fish but am having very little luck with this. There doesn't seem to be anything else to eat here " at least nothing I'm going to risk. I have no objection to trying new foods, but here in this strange place " this place where horror lies in wait in the trees " I am not willing to try anything I am not familiar with, for fear of poison.
I put some more work into my raft this afternoon. It looks pretty good if I say so myself but I have spent all my energy putting it together.
I'm not sure the raft will withstand a stormy sea, despite all the vines I have used to lash the timber together. I must therefore take care to set off at the right time when the waters are calm. Unfortunately, I have only a rough idea in which direction I am to head, but am hoping when I leave the cove there will be some recognisable point that I passed along the way. If this is not the case, I will just have to make an educated guess using the position of the sun, although my skills in this area are severely limited. I do remember being able to hear the screeching sounds whilst fishing so a good guess is that I am in that area. Only time will tell, once I am in open waters.
I hope to finish the raft in the morning, and perhaps set sail before midday. I would not normally rush a sailing trip but this is more than such a thing. I am absolutely petrified of the creature that lurks in the jungle. Those blood red eyes and razor sharp teeth... and that mind twisting screech.
I have used my penknife to sharpen a stick as a weapon in the event that we meet again. It is about three feet long and gives me a little bit of confidence as I face the nocturnal terrors. I will sleep with my spear in hand and one eye open. Lets hope that whatever is out there keeps itself to itself, at least for one more night.
Tuesday 7th June
Last night I heard it again. It was watching me as I lay in my cave, and once again I was paralysed from head to toe with absolute fear. I awoke to the sound of heavy breathing, lay on my back staring at the ceiling of my little cave. I could not see the entrance and was not prepared to sit up and look for fear of startling the creature.
I heard it walking up to the entrance, and the soft slump as it sat and glared at me. I did not hear it leave but I had somehow fallen asleep. I awoke, this time to something that forced all manner of emotion to surge through me.
The sight of my raft ablaze made my heart thump, then sink all the way down. It was completely ruined. I ran at full pelt to drag what remained into the sea but it was too late, all was lost. My raft has gone up in a furious fire. It looked so sad and I could feel that it had begged for mercy under the flames that licked the air. My only hope of escape was gone, and with it any remaining motivation, energy and hope that I had previously hung on to.
I have been puzzling over how my raft had set alight. There seemed no valid reason other than that someone or something had done it to prevent my escape. It couldn't be though... surely not... could that creature have had the intelligence to destroy the raft knowing that it was my only hope of escape? I don't know. Is it toying with me?
I decided to start work on a second raft this morning. This one will be kept close to my cave and I will watch over it tonight. I do not plan to sleep. I am determined to escape tomorrow no matter what.
I feel very ill now. After working all day on my raft " which is almost done " I can rest. But my eyesight and hearing are behaving very oddly. I keep going deaf " only for a few seconds at a time " but I suddenly stop hearing my own footsteps. On top of this my vision seems to double up and make me very dizzy. I worry too about my state of mind, but my new raft gives me a little hope. It's all I have.
I took my weapon into the jungle. This time I wanted to find the mysterious creature that has been haunting me since I got here. I ventured deep into the trees and heard the screeching I am now familiar with, but that still terrifies me. So loud it is. As I looked up to where the sound was coming from, I saw two red eyes staring down at me, the creature sat glaring with its teeth exposed, looking very aggressive. The dark would normally mean I could see nothing but it had no effect tonight. I could see clear as day. Very unusual.
I watched the creature and the more I stared the more hateful it appeared to become. Then my fear kicked in... but not fear of the creature " no, the creature had a purpose. The fear was of a man escaping the island. He had to be stopped. I turned around and ran out of the trees and towards the shore.
Wednesday 8th June
I awoke this morning to the smouldering remains of my second raft. For some reason that I do not know, a strange sense of relief filled me, but I was simultaneously disheartened.
My body and mind have now given up on escaping. I have something to find. Something hidden on the island. Perhaps something physical that I can hold in my hand, or a secret that can be held only in my mind. But I know it is here.
Wednesday 9th June
Not sure of the time
I awoke today feeling so depressed. I am not sure if it is light or dark any more, as I can no longer feel what I could before. It is almost as if the world has placed me in a sleep walking mode. Yet I am aware, to some extent, of my surroundings.
My ears are pounding and blood oozes from my nostrils. The sun and moon fight to provide their own style of illumination to me yet none are effective.
I still hear screeching and moaning coming from the trees - or maybe they are coming from my mind... I will stay guard today. I feel it is coming for me again.
Time is no longer a dimension in my world any more - I can see only shadows whether my eyes are open or closed. I can smell blood and feel weaker by the hour, yet I feel no pain.
I will now sleep, but dreaming is something I have long since ceased to do.
I can see again! As clear as day I looked down on myself as I walked through the trees with my sharpened stick, ready for the enemy. I appeared terrified and looked up at myself, sat in the trees. My face fearful as though my own gaze gave away my darkest secrets.
It will all be over very soon.