Monday, 22 January 2007
07:43:54 PM (GMT)
The sun was starting to sink behind the tree tops, Jack ran through the forest and to
his annoyance he tripped and fell flat on his face. He lay there for some time, tears
started to stream down is face.
“Who are you,” a rough voice boomed over him.
Jack slowly lifted his head to see to worn out boots.
“If you want to keep your head, I would stand up, boy! I have little patience with
trespassers,” the voice boomed again.
Jack stumbled to his feet to face a tall bulky man in long, blue pants and a dark
“Are you the brother of Sara?” he asked sounding as though he was losing patience
“Yes, I am Jack,” Jack said studying the man face. “Have you seen her? Where is
she? And who are you?”
The man’s face was relieved from the tension and he let out a little chuckle.
“Yes, she is fine, c’mon, I’ll explain everything on the way, and please, call
Jack hesitated, but followed.
“My father and I lived on this island for as long as I can remember, we called it
Farlong Island, because it took forever to walk to the other side if you were walking
long ways,” Richard laughed.
“That is true! I remember when I first saw the island; I thought it was a
country!” Jack agreed.
“Anyway, one day, when I came back from getting breakfast, I saw mother leaning
over father crying. I asked her what the matter was, and she replied saying ‘your
father is dead.’ She could barely say it. All I remember was her face; tears
streaming down, her hair was a mess, weeping all day she was. The next day, she told
me to pack my bags, because we were going back to the city. Mum got a job, and I
ended up going to school. When I finished high school, my friends and I came back
here, and this is where we have lived ever since,” Richard explained.
“What about your mother; don’t you ever miss her?” Jack asked in astonishment.
“No, I hate her for making me leave!” Richard angrily replied, but relaxed a bit
when he saw Jack’s surprised face, “you remind me so much of my father, and the
way he use to look at me when I lost my temper.”
“Our family sailed around the world, and about a year ago our boat sank, because of
a tidal wave. Both of my parents died, and that’s how Sara and I ended up on this
island,” Jack looked down; the lump in his throat was growing.
“Well, I’m glad to know someone is worse off then I am,” Richard laughed,
“here it is; my humble home.” Richard smiled, as Jack looked up in awe. Small
houses lined the trees above. Rope ladders dangled from each tree house, and log
bridges ran from house to house. People looking after screaming babies, excited
children ran along the bridges and young adults chattered in every corner.
“A few friends?” Jack sarcastically asked.
“Well, from there it kind of grew to a tribe.” Richard replied smiling.
“Why didn’t we ever see them?” Jack asked again.
“Whenever the tribe leader goes away for a while, that’s me; no one ever leaves
the camp. When we return, we investigate the whole island to make sure no one else
had found it while we were gone. I guess you didn’t look hard enough,” Richard
“You must be so pleased with your set up here.”
“Yes, I am; but I didn’t do it all myself, did have quite a few hands helping
“So where is Sara?”
“Follow me,” Richard said as he started walking in the direction of a ladder.
Jack and Richard started climbing the ladder when a familiar voice shouted,
“Jack! Look at this place, isn’t it wonderful!?”
“Sara?” Jack wondered knowingly, “What are you doing up here?”
“I’m looking after the sick tribal people; they have been so kind to me!” Sara
smiled excitedly, “Come and see!” Jack walked across a small log bridge and into
a small house.
“This is where all the sick people come, and this is where I have been, helping all
these poor people,” Sara explained. Jack looked around the room, beds lined the
walls and people filled all the beds that were available.
“Why are so many people here sick?” asked Jack, unsure of being there.
“There is a disease going around,” Richard explained, “many of my people have
died from it, so some have gone to get medical help. We were hoping your sister could
help the few who are still living, until they return. She has done a wonderful job,
if it wasn’t for her; most of these people in here have died by now. We are very
grateful to her.” He smiled at Sara when he saw that she was blushing. Sara looked
at Jack; she noticed that he was uncomfortable about being around the sick.
“Jack, don’t worry, you won’t get its not contagious,” she said to comfort
him. Jack quickly glanced in her direction and gave a slight smile.
“Let’s go shall we?” Richard asked, nodding toward the door.
“Ok, come on Jack,” Sara suggested as she started for the door. Jack followed
Sara and Richard across a small log bridge and into a large hut. The hut looked as
though it was in the middle of all the other huts, not to mention that it was by far
“Is there something special about this hut?” Jack asked as they sat down at a
rather large table.
“Yes, why do you ask?” Richard asked wonderingly.
“Just the fact that it’s the biggest and largest hut here,” Jack told him
casually. Richard gave a small chuckle and went on, “This was the first place we
built and it took a while to build because it was so big, so we decided to make all
the rest smaller. From then on, this place was called the church.”
“The church? What the heck is a church?” Jack asked sarcastically.
“Jack! Can’t you see that it’s a place they worship gods? Don’t be so
inconsiderate!” Sara flashed an angry look at Jack.
Just then a commotion went on behind them and the all turned to see puppets dancing
wildly in what looked like a small puppet theatre. There was a little girl puppets
with golden piggy tails coming out the sides of her head, an old man puppet with big
round glasses, and a lady puppet wearing a pink flowery dress. And all of a sudden
they stopped dancing. When everyone had caught their breath, the puppets began to
“Granddaddy, can you tell me one of the stories you used to tell me, the ones about
Jesus and the all the miracles?” The little girl puppet asked. The grandfather
“Why of coarse Lora.” Lora jumped on her grandfather’s lap and looked up
attentively at him.
“One day,” the grandfather puppet started, “when Jesus was in a house
preaching to a huge crowd, three men lowered a man on a mat down through the roof to
Jesus’ feet. One of the men told Jesus that the man on the mat could not walk.
Jesus answered and said, “Your faith has healed you. Pick up your mat and go
home.” The man stood up, and everyone watched in amazement as walked out the
door,” the grandfather stopped and Lora gave the final words,
“Are they practicing for a children’s story or something?” Jack cut in.
“No, they were telling you about something that actually happened when Jesus was on
earth,” Richard explained. Sara started clapping as three children appeared from
behind the puppet theatre.
“Well done my children!” Richard congratulated his children as they jumped on his
lap and giggled.
“Are they your children?” Sara asked in amazement.
“Yes, and this is my wife,” Richard nodded toward a lady who just walked in,
“Rosetta.” The tall dark haired lady whispered something in Richards’s ear and
left. Sara looked back and noticed that Richard’s once smiling face was grim and
“Another one of my people have died, I must go. My children will show you where you
will be sleeping for the night,” with that, Richard got up and left.
“Follow us!” the excited children said as the scurried toward the door. The two
were lead across another bridge and around a large veranda to a door.
“Pa said you should sleep here,” one of the children exclaimed.
“This is the nicest room I have ever seen!” another said with wide eyes as she
peeped around the door.
“Come on, we should let them get some sleep,” the older looking girl looked from
the younger children to faced Sara and Jack, “it’ll be a big day tomorrow.”
With that, the children skipped across the bridge and down a ladder. Sara and Jack
looked at each other and smiled, then turned and went into the room.
“Wow! This is quite nice,” Jack smiled as he walked into the middle of the room
and looked around.
“Yes,” Sara said, though her thoughts somewhere else.
“What’s on your mind?” Jack asked noticing that Sara wasn’t paying any
attention to the little dance he just did.
Sara glanced at him, “well, the people here are very sick, and I don’t know what
to do. Every one here has the disease that’s killing those people.”
“Even the children?”
“Yes, even the children. I just don’t know how to break it to Richard. He loves
these people, he cares for them like their his children.”
Jack, noticing her eyes filling with tears, reached over and put an arm around her
“We’ll find a way, I’m sure of it,” Jack whispered in her ear.