Matt Heller was a man to be reckoned with.
Once upon a time, Matt, Shari Wiggins, Chip Gregory and Scott Gordon were the only survivors of a plane crash. Upon gathering up the supplies, they discovered there was enough to last them some three or four days. Of course, that involved eating all the little bags of Eagle Peanuts. Unfortunately Shari Wiggins turned out to be allergic to Eagle Peanuts.
“Great! All the more for us!” said Scott Gordon (a man to be beckoned with!)
Matt pondered the problem. Matt finally suggested that he and Scott strike out into the trackless wilderness with ¾ of the Eagle Peanuts, leaving Shari and Chip to sit and pray and indulge in the left over ham with pineapple sauce.
Matt and Scott were on their way through the savage jungle. Suddenly, Scott fell into a tiger trap set by primitive natives. He was in a pit at least 25 feet deep, and had torn a ligament in his ankle.
Meanwhile, Shari and Chip (a man to be checked in with) were preparing a campfire. Suddenly, Shari suddenly heard a sudden rustling noise suddenly.
Matt, after pondering, spent several futile minutes beckoning to, and with, Scott, who just groaned. Seeing the tiger just in time, Matt shinnied into a tree.
Back at the camp, several large baboons, incited to frenzy by the smell of pineapple sauce, confronted Chip and Shari (not a man at all, but a gal to be speckled with). Chip, with reflexes he didn’t know he had, quickly grabbed Shari and speckled the baboons with pixie dust. Since the baboons were thinking good thoughts of pineapple sauce, they began to fly, and floated up out of the earth’s atmosphere, where they died and provided much confusion to scientists.
Meanwhile, Matt realized that unless he acted, Scott would be killed. Bravely, but somewhat foolishly, he leaped from the tree into the pit, promptly knocking himself out. The tiger approached him, hungry and angry. Scott, ignoring the tremendous, horrendous, almost insane pain in his ankle, grabbed a bungee stick from the pit floor (one of several which all three of the present occupants had miraculously and rather ironically avoided) and hurled it at the growling tiger. He missed. Luckily it bounced off the pit wall and struck the tiger in the head, dazing but not knocking it out.
Matt stirred, but was too stunned to realize the danger he was in. “Emma,” he murmured.
The tiger recovered and began to salivate profusely as it approached Matt. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a figure leaped from the top of the pit and landed on the tiger. “Ride ‘em cowboy!” she yelled and the tiger bucked and twisted, but couldn’t throw his rider off.
Scott gaped in disbelief. “Carey Krandall!”
Matt’s vacant stare rested on the ridiculous pair cavorting around in the center of the pit and murmered, “Emma,” more audibly. Scott sighed.
Chip and Shari were just finishing a rousing debate on the merits of orange bandanas, of which Chip was amply supplied. The fire burned low and the night fell like dead fish. Being night, Chip finally put Shari down and whipped out their roll-away sleeping bags and got ready for bed. Shari worried about the fate of Matt and Scott. Greg said, “And I wonder whatever happened to Carey Krandall, who disappeared in that shipwreck those many months ago.”
Meanwhile, the tiger (whose name, incidentally, was Alfred) was getting tired of trying to throw Carey off his back and decided as a last ditch effort to leap out of the pit. Sensing this, Carey grabbed Scott by the collar, who in turn grabbed Matt out of the collar, who in turn murmured, “Emma….” The tiger leaped out of the trap, bringing the three old friends with him (it’s not a very good tiger trap, is it?). Carey rolled off the tiger as Alfred bounded away into the jungle to rejoin his wife Erica and their three children, Billy, Dana, and Alfred jr.
Chip awoke with a start to the tumultuous noise of drums and the searing light of torches. Eyes wide in disbelief he watched several shriveled men in beanies and English business suits twirl and holler wildly. He noticed Shari was bound and tied in her sleeping bag and almost simultaneously noticed that lo, he was too. Shari tried to yell something but it was drowned out in the very obnoxiously loud ceremonial bellowing. “Chip, your orange bandanas!” Yes, it was true: they were to be sacrificed by the mysterious lost tribe of Blinkydom to their false god Zorn. The tribesman prepared thousands of hungry ants to pour all over Greg and Shari, and Shari screamed…
Meanwhile, Carey Krandall had made a crutch for Scott’s leg, and poured cold water all over Matt until he came to his senses. “And I was having such a nice dream,” he said.
Carey explained how she wound up in the jungle when her luxury cruise liner shipwrecked. “I still don’t know if Gordy (my fiancé) ever survived.” She explained how she hadn’t seen a human months, except for the primitive tribe of Blinkydom. “They’re really into human sacrifice,” said Carey. This alarmed Scott and Matt as they were concerned for Chip and Shari.
They raced back to their camp, where they saw thousands of heavily armed natives surrounding Shari and Chip, tied up and about to be devoured by millions of ants. “We’ve got to save them! If only Sha-ne-abi-gubi-brrrrr-ohs were here!”
Scott sang out a happy note. “You’re wish is fulfilled, here he comes now!”
Yes, Sha-ne was strolling through the trackless jungle right at them, toting his 8-string guitar. Matt calmly but quickly explained to Sha-ne the dire situation facing them, or Chip and Shari rather. Sha-ne instantly bounded into the clearing and strummed out a droll melody only pleasing to ants and Blinkydom savages. The ants immediately disbanded and the savages began to dance savagely.
Sha-ne yelled, “I don’t know how long this will last!”
“Quick, Matt, time for us to go into action!” Matt and Carey climbed a tree, grabbed hold of some vines and swung over the tribe into the clearing, grabbed hold of Shari and Chip and landed in the tree on the other side of the clearing.
“Good work!” said Scott
Matt and Carey untied Shari and Chip, and the four climbed down the tree. Sha-ne then switched tactics and played a lullaby. The tribesman fell into a light sleep, and Sha-ne tiptoed his way past all the savages. The six friends all hugged each other.
“What are you doing here, Sha-ne?” asked Shari.
“Why, I’m in charge of the expedition to find any survivors of Carey’s shipwreck.”
Suddenly, one of the tribesman awoke. Realizing he’d been tricked, he woke up his comrades, and they tore into the forest. They stumbled upon Matt the Reckonable and the others, now including Sha-ne (a man to be picked on with) and Carey Kastle (a gal to be checked-on with). The hurled spears, which all missed except one.
“Aaargh!” cried someone.
“My goodness, they hit Will Jefferson!” (a man to be wrecked). Blood streamed from his arm, and Scott’s face blanched and then turned bright red. “Aaaaar!” he cried. He rushed toward the nearest knot of tribesman and laid their innards open with his procured bungee stick. Sha-ne and Matt rushed toward his rescue. Grabbing Scott, Sha-ne and Matt pulled Scott way from his raging bezerking frenzy of death and bloodshed and started running away. The tribe was so startled by Scott’s rage that they ran away. Our heroes took no chances, though. Carey flung Will, who was trying to figure out what he was doing here, over her shoulder, and they ran deeper into the jungle. Finally they stopped. Scott had calmed down and Carey put Will down.
“What’s going on here?” he demanded. Shari set him down and made a makeshift bandage out of Sha-ne’s coat. “One second I’m sitting in my living room and the next thing I know I’m here!”
“And even spookier for my pet Snooty.” Will pulled a small furry pet out of his pocket.
“Oh, he’s so cute!” said Scott.
The Snooty made a little squeaking noise (“Meep!”)
“What I want to know,” said Chip, “is what are we doing here?”
“Yeah,” said Sha-ne, “It’s almost like some mysterious force is controlling all of this.”
“So, what now?”
Chip added, “Despite the fact that we’re having a jolly good time renewing friendships, we still have no food. Those silly men in beanies took care of that. They used our supplied to light their fire, and we are just as lost in this trackless jungle.”
Shari gaped at him. Sha-ne spoke up, “I’ve dwelt in these trackless jungles for years curse them and I know as well as could be expected the ways of this horrid, tepid, fetid place.”
“Good,” said Matt, “then lead on.”
The procession started off, but Carey was worried, and Will was faint with hunger and loss of blood. Scott was not confused. Matt noticed Scott’s clear-mindedness.
“Scott, you seem unconfused.”
“Yes, I’ve just had an amazing revelation.” Will, barely conscious, asked him what it was. “Do you see that ocean? We’re on an island!”
Sha-ne struck a dramatic note on his eight-strong guitar. “Of course! No wonder I kept finding the same places over and over again!”
Chip asked Sha-ne if he had a boat.
“Yes. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find it, or the rest of the expedition, for nearly four years now.”
“Well that’s our only hope for escape,” said Chip. “We’ve got to find it!”
Suddenly, the ground started shaking. “It’s an earthquake!” Cracks opened in the ground. Trees fell. Landslides began.
“We’re doomed!” hollered Will Jefferson.
Sha-ne looked dismayed. “Not even my 8-string guitar can calm these elemental upheavals!”
A cry of pain from Will brought the others attention back to him: a tree had fallen on his leg. He surely was a man to be wrecked.
Now he was also a man to be wretched. Everyone pitched in to help heave the log off his mutilated leg, and they soon were through. Then a sound came from the air above the crashings of falling large objects and splitting rock.
“It’s a plane, but the;y don’t see us!”
“Chip – your bandanas, quick!”
Chip looked crestfallen. “Aw, shucks, guys. I lost them.”
“Drat!” yelled Matt, “What do we do?!”
“I don’t know, but I recognize that plane,” said Carey. “It’s Kiersta O’Flanagan’s private jet!”
“You’re right, but how do we signal her?”
“Wait! I’ve got it!” Will reached into his pocket and pulled out his pet Snooty, which happened to be colored bright fluorescent orange.
“Brilliant!” Shari grabbed the creature and tossed it high in the air. The plane circled around.
“She’s seen us, but where will she land?” said Scott.
Suddenly the ground shook again, and there was a strange noise. “I…AM… ISLAND!!” Suddenly a small grove of trees toppled to the ground, and in the new clearing stood a great being, his appearance of stone. A greenish flame tinted the air around the giant being, and it strode forward with slow, deliberate steps. Matt’s eyes grew wide.
“I know…I know who that is!”
Simultaneously, Will and Scott noticed as well, for the creature was none other than Ben McClure, transcended and changed, for the moment at one with the Island, feeling all the island felt and experiencing all the island experienced.
“We’re saved! That’s Ben! We’re saved!”
Then a huge explosion accompanied by a massive fireball appeared in the sky.
“My goodness! That’s Kiersta’s plane!
“What happened to it?”
“Oh fat, look!”
Yes, it was true – strange invaders from the distant planet Erich were invading the earth.
“Oh this is great,” said Will, “just great, just peachy.” Lasers struck the ground and Ben/Island bellowed in rage.
Suddenly, a parachute with a person in it, landed. It was Kiersta! (A girl to be freckled with). “I bailed out just in time, and I have an inflatable survival raft!” she said.
“Great!” said Carey, “let’s get to the ocean!”
As our eight heroes ran – or hobbled as in Will and Scott’s case – more alien lasers struck the Island. In raging fury, Ben/Island suddenly grew larger. The spaceships concentrated their lasers on him. He withstood the pain somehow and smashed all the ships to pieces.
“Ben saved us!”
Ben’s sacrifice was costly, though. He fell to the ground, shrunk to normal size, and reverted to a battered, burnt, albeit normal human.
“He’s still alive, but badly hurt,” said Kiersta, standing over him.
Suddenly, the island rumbled even more fiercely! Volcanoes, earthquake, everywhere!
“Without Ben to control the island, it’s falling apart!” said Chip. “We’re doomed!”
Matt said, “There’s only one thing to do. Please everyone, join hands and follow my lead.” Matt began chanting, then singing and dancing. Soon, as the earth heaved all around, a sort of energy began building up within the circle. Matt’s singing grew fiercer and more off-key. Suddenly, Emma Fayette appeared in the center!
“Oh what have I done? I’m trying to transport us out of here and now I’ve got another person in grave danger!”
Needless to say, she was rather disoriented, but the circle was still intact, and suddenly Steph Conrad and Anne White appeared beside Emma. Needless to say, they were likewise rather disoriented.
“Matt! Concentrate your thoughts!” yelled the wounded Ben.
Matt joined hands with Mia and the others made room for Steph and Anne . The off-key singing began again. The energy began building up again. Then the twelve suddenly ended their existence on the island, just as a great tulip tree crashed on to where they had stood, moments ago.
The twelve friends re-appeared in the middle of the ocean. Quickly, Kiersta inflated the raft, and the twelve climbed in. They looked at the island.
“It’s dying,” said Carey.
“What’s going on?” asked Anne angrily.
“I’m not sure. But we’re safe now,” said Will.
“No! The Island…mustn’t die,” said Ben weakly. This alarmed everyone. “The Island is a prison to a great evil creature. I was the warden. The Evil drew the aliens to earth to free it. You eleven must have been drawn by mistake. With no warden, the Evil will free.”
Sha-ne said, “Someone has to go back.”
Suddenly, Emma yelled, “No!” as Matt dived into the water. In the moment of confusion following, Sha-ne jumped after Matt. Scott and Chip stood and stopped anyone else from following.
“They must do what they must,” said Ben. “It’s not to us that the task fall.”
Matt stepped onto the beach and strode into the jungle.
As Sha-ne reached the land, he heard a hideous bellow and crashing. Red and green fire shot from nearby and burst into pyrotechnics. Sha-ne ran into the jungle and found Matt standing among field of burning shrubbery. “Matt! What do we do?”
Matt looked somber. “There’s only one thing to do.” He raised his hands into the air. “I must become…Island!”
“No! Matt, no!”
Matt ignored Sha-ne’s protests and began to merge with the Island. Sha-ne strummed a few chords on his guitar and then took to his heels. The Island began to calm. Sha-ne reached the shore, picked up Will’s pet snooty (“Meep!”) and swam back to the raft.
“What happened?” asked Chip, helping Sha-ne up.
“Matt’s done it. He’s merging with Island.”
Emma wailed a cry of agony. Steph hugged her, saying, “It’s okay.”
“Look, the Island is still,” said Shari.
Ben looked up. “The evil…is contained?”
“Yes, everything’s okay,” said Kiersta.
“Then my job is done.” He closed his eyes for the very last time.
“No Scott, let him rest,” said Will, taking Steph’s hand.
“It’s over.” “Let’s go.”
Chip and Sha-ne rowed away, and were rescued by Sha-ne’s expedition, who had also rescued Gordy, Carey’s fiance. He and Carey were joyously reunited.
Meanwhile, the Island was still. The Evil was contained. Dana Tiger was going on her first date. The tribe of Blinkydom had just discovered income tax. Matt Heller had nearly forgotten his prior existence. Suddenly, a voice pierced through the air, bringing Matt out of his quiet reverie.