Jane Porter could not remember her name.
The floor of the cage was cold and eerily still thanks to the absence of Terk, who could be counted on swinging the cage out of boredom at any given moment. But Terk wasn’t there anymore, and every time Jane opened her eyes and looked at the empty space around her, she knew the worst had happened. They must have taken her, and somehow Jane knew she wasn’t going to come back. She trailed her fingertips over the line she had drawn their first day being stuck together, the line that had separated them.
She lay down on the floor and tried to remember something. Anything. But all she could remember was a girl with long brown hair who shared the cage with her, who was almost certainly dead now. She wanted to remember her father, or Belle, or Eric. She wanted to remember the zoo and her home and Tarzan. But whenever she tried to search her brain, to dig through all the rubbish and try to retrieve something, all she could think of were the cards.
“Pick a card…Come on now. I SAID PICK ONE!”
Jane closed her eyes and wished the Red Queen away. She had been bored, her majesty had said. So she’d brought Jane back to her castle (wherever it was, Jane certainly hadn’t recognized it). She’d offered to play a game with Jane, given the only rule was that there weren’t any. The tasks ranged from silly and childless to completely illogical (how exactly was she supposed to cite Shakespeare’s sonnets while standing on her head, or dig up cheese on the moon?). Jane sat with pursed lips, thinking the woman was completely sane and telling her exactly that. And then the woman had brought out the cards.
Jane shuddered, staring out into the darkness beyond her cage. It was the middle of the night, and she was all alone.
He’d been searching for her for a good two hours now. At first some may have called him foolish, running as fast as he could through the forest. Unfortunately, Eric didn’t realize until a few minutes later that it wasted quite a lot of his energy in the process. He continued a bit slower from that point (although this didn’t waver his determination) carefully looking over any areas or trees that could even slightly resemble some sort of cage.
More often than not on his sudden journey, Eric couldn’t help but think that he was sort of dull for never thinking of a cage. He had tried to search the jungle several times in his previous attempts to find and rescue Jane, but didn’t really get anywhere. The only times he had actually been to the jungle— which wasn’t often —was when Jane was with him. She was the one who always dragged him there in the first place, and the one who knew how to venture through the paths and trees or whatever else could be lurking. On his own, he just kept getting lost. Unfortunately for him, the situation still stood for the current time. After a few hours of inspecting every insect on every plant, he still hadn’t found Jane and he didn’t have the slightest idea of where he was and how to get out of the jungle.
Giving up was out of the question, but he couldn’t continue without any sense of direction. Eric pinched the bridge of his nose and let out a sigh, taking a moment to collect his thoughts. Although sometimes he was sort of oblivious, he wasn’t stupid. He needed an actual plan. To continue running around aimlessly would most likely end up being ineffective. That, and it was almost completely dark outside. The sun had practically disappeared, only leaving a little slimmer of light that made it able to see. Once it disappeared for good, the only source of light that would be left was the dim glow of the moon and stars.
Wait— stars. The last time Jane had brought him into the jungle, she had pointed out all the constellations. The few stars Eric used to navigate while at sea were part of the… big spoony thing. He entered the jungle from the south side of the island, where he had docked the boat temporarily. Last time, he and Jane had entered from the other side. Assuming the cage was roughly in the middle… He looked up, studying the sky intently. The star beginning the handle of the spoony thing (he made a mental note to ask Jane about the name later) would be directly above him if he was standing dead center, but instead he was looking more to the right. Maybe if he could search the side to the east, he could come up with something. Without a second thought, he took off towards his left.
It took him a while, by the time he had reached the desired destination it was almost completely dark out. The sun had long disappeared and the tall trees kept crowded together in this area, making it harder to see. Every few feet or so he would trip or stumble over something. The ominous darkness surrounding him wasn’t exactly comforting in his journey, but he continued on anyway. Eventually, a large object swinging slightly came into view. Squinting hard, he identified a large square space with bars enclosing the sides. His mind hadn’t even registered that there was clearly something lying on the bottom of the cage until he was fifty feet away, it was only encouragement to run faster. “Jane!” He shouted, his throat was so dry he was almost wheezing from all the running he had done. “Jane!” He stopped, just now realizing how high the cage actually was. “I’m gonna get you down, okay?” He yelled up to her, and then muttered to himself. “Now I just have to figure out how…” Standing there and waving his arms like a crazy person probably wasn’t going to do it.
ms-jane-porter replied to your post: Oh Eric have you heard about the new school? Well I got a job there teaching and it’s an absolutely invigorating endeavor. You should sign up too I’m sure you’d do a grand job. We could compare lesson plans over tea!
Oh I’m sure daddy would love to keep Max! Eric don’t be silly there are loads of things you could teach! Astronomy, mathematics, meteorology. Maybe even a class on mythology and folklore!
Uh, well I guess he could. Hm, those don’t sound as bad as I was imagining. I just don’t really think I’m qualified, ya know? But I guess… if there was a boat study course I could do something.
Oh um, hi. The school? I think Mel has complain— I mean, she’s brought it up a few times. Really? That’s great!
…The tea is pretty tempting, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know if that would work out very well. I mean, who is gonna watch Max during the day? And, uh, I don’t know what subject I could even teach.
Are you feeling all right dear?
Um, yeah. Everything’s fine.
glad to know I’m one above your dog, Eric
It is pretty exciting, huh?
I got you a present too, ya know.
I admit mine wasn’t very memorable…because I was, well unconscious.
But now I’m mostly fine, and I’ll even be working once these doctors are convinced.
Merry Christmas, Eric. I got your pet rock a ladyfriend~*~*~
Oooooh— I always loved you best, Mel! But, don’t tell Max I said that. Thanks!