I’m knee-deep in foliage – a sharpened bone in hand – when a giant scorpion catches me off guard, sinking it’s sharp, venomous tail into my foot. My vision immediately blurs, cloudy red dancing at the edges. I plunge the bone through the chitinous exoskeleton and into the creature’s soft, juicy innards.
I scramble – waiting for the pain to fade and desperately searching for my next weapon. I find an all-too convenient bushel of spears, weapon of choice for the tribal people on this island. They’re sturdier than all these bones strewn about, but I know their presence here spells trouble. It seems the second I get ahead on this damned island I’m thrust two steps back by an onslaught of monstrosities.
Sure enough, more scorpions. The bugs are the worst. They move unnaturally and seem to arrive in waves. I could have sworn I’ve seen some of these beasts appear out of thin air, as if a puppet master is toying with me behind the scenes. The irony of this is not lost on me – we are filming a movie on this island after all.
I plunge the last spear into the last scorpion and retrieve it from the corpse. I’ve been making a habit of this. Weapons are scarce, and the few real guns we have seem to burn through ammo at an alarming rate.
Battle won, I move on in the only direction available to me. For such a dense jungle, it seems there’s only ever one way to go. Regardless, my adventure must move along.
The atmosphere of Skull Island is palpable. Despite being a relic of an ancient time, I’m impressed by its vistas. If only the natives who dwell here had been more conscious of its beauty. Their structures are ugly and repetitive. I feel like I’ve camped out at the same fire pit dozens of times – they only serve to slow me down.
At my camp I dream of what it would be like to be Kong. These dreams are nightmarish – life as that clumsy beast felt awkward and frustrating. In one final, somewhat more lucid dream, I have him climb to the top of the Empire State Building, only to fall off and die. This dream was oddly satisfying.
You’d think dreams would be a break from the stressful life of Skull Island, but I’ve found some sick enjoyment surviving by the skin of my teeth here. Down to my last bullets, fighting off enormous dinosaurs, deadly insects, and giant bats with any spear or bone I can scrounge off the jungle floor is quite a thrill.
Still, I can see myself going mad. The dreams, the insects appearing out of thin air, and the sense that I’m sometimes doing the same thing again and again have me questioning my mental state. Just yesterday, I spent well over an hour combing the jungle for the perfect stick to open one of the native’s many giant doors. Their puzzles send me into a wild rage.
Skull Island probably isn’t for everyone – I’ll probably die here after all. But I’ve been lucky so far, and I have a growing respect for the unconventional ways of survival here. In our modern times, we fight with guns and bullets, and here you’re more likely to survive if you grab a spear and take aim.