As you may have noticed from the title of this week's tale, I have taken a brief break from my usual story because I was inspired to write something else based on one of our weekly prompts. The prompt in question was "Where you going, nature boy?" I've been watching Lost lately, inspired by my daughter Sarah, and this is the result. I hope you like it. The Sheriff will be back next week, never fear. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what they've been up to. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
Run Through the Jungle
The billboard was one of the largest Hurley had ever seen, dominating the California landscape, eclipsing even the huge letters that spelled out Hollywood.
Wait, what was going on here? And who was the woman whose face loomed larger than life? Did he know her?
The suspicious-looking sign with the glandular condition began to shimmer, the woman’s face going in and out of focus, disappearing just as recognition began to wash over Hurley. He knew he’d seen her before, and he had a feeling he liked her. But now her image had been replaced. By numbers. Very familiar numbers.
4. 8. 15. 16. 23. 42
The numbers danced across the screen with maniacal intensity, fluorescing in psychedelic hues that hurt his eyes. It wasn’t until Hurley turned to the person beside him that he realized he was seated on an airplane, not in a fast car speeding down the Pacific Coast Highway, and he knew what was going to happen… and he was powerless to stop it.
We’re going to crash, we’re going to crash, we’re going to…
Hurley sat up with a start. The sun was already a flaming orange above the horizon. Another day in paradise. And another day without Libby, the ache in his heart where she’d been reminded him.
As if he could ever forget the one woman who had actually looked at him like a man, not a fat freak. And what had he done but gone and got her killed, him and his bad luck. He should have known better.
He wasn’t sure what to do with himself. Nothing felt right. Nothing felt good. Not even the food he’d stashed in the jungle, his secret supply for when things got bad. Now eating that just made him feel guilty. Like Libby was judging him or something. Although she never would.
Reaching for the bottle of water he kept beside his bed, he took a drink, rising heavily to his feet. The jungle beckoned to him. He decided to heed its siren call.
It wasn’t until he woke for a second time that he realized one dream had become another, and he wasn’t on the beach, in his makeshift hut. He was in the jungle, where he’d spent the night, on his way back to let the others know what had happened.
Oh God, they had them. The Others. And that Henry guy, the one they’d kept down in the Hatch, was their leader. They had Jack and Kate and Sawyer, and Hurley had no clue what was going to happen to them. They’d warned him not to ever step foot on that side of the island ever again, and Hurley believed they meant to hurt him if he did.
Gotta get back, get back… warm them.
Particularly Locke. Locke would know what to do, he always did. Hurley doubted that man knew the meaning of insecure, had never felt less than confident. He wished he could be more like Locke.
What was that?
A horrible sound, like something crashing through the jungle. Hurley’s mind instantly thought polar bear, and he felt his stomach clench in horror. God, don’t let him lose it, not here or now.
Hurley cast desperate eyes about him, searching for a place to hide. But before he could make a move in any direction, a strange figure burst into view. Too much view, to be honest. The man was buck naked.
Hurley quickly averted his eyes, even as he recognized Desmond. The previous inhabitant of the hatch. “Where you going, Nature Boy?” he quipped.
“Well, brother, I’m not sure, to be honest,” Desmond responded.
Hurley dared a glance and just as quickly looked away. “Dude, where are your… clothes?”
“Burned off,” Desmond responded. Did that man ever sound anything less than chipper?
“What happened?” Hurley asked in spite of himself.
“The hatch, it imploded.” Desmond made a sound that was undoubtedly meant to represent an explosion, and when Hurley turned his startled gaze toward the naked man, Desmond’s hands were outflung, then quickly drew inward.
Right. Implosion. Not explosion.
“Glad you’re back, brother,” Desmond continued. “Things going on. Happening. Jack behind you?”
Jack. That brought Hurley back to the seriousness of the situation.
“No, dude. They have him. Him and Kate and Sawyer.” The words tumbled out in a rush. “I have to tell the rest. The Others have them. And they said never go to that side of the island again. Or else.”
“You have to tell everyone, brother. I’ll come with you. Can you spare me some clothing?”
Anything just to keep from having to look at all that… nakedness.
“Sure, if you don’t mind tye-dye,” Hurley muttered. He quickly shed his shirt and tossed it to Desmond, who pulled it on. It reached almost to his knees, but at least his bits were covered.
“Let’s go,” Hurley said, already moving in the direction of camp. No time to waste, no time to lose. Even now, they could be… He didn’t dare complete the thought.
Someday, he swore to himself, those numbers would be the death of them all.
Now go see what the other Briefers are up to!