Perish Island: A Short Thriller (Chapter 2)

At the bus station, it smelled of old people and moth balls. Though Tasia and I lived in an upscale gated community, the perimeters weren’t as lavish. I saw homeless people, drug heads, and beggars. I held my things close as so they would not be touched. I finally heard my bus get called and ran to the gate. I beat this man out by a split second. Loading my things under the bus, I quickly boarded and walked to the very back.

Plugging in my headphones, I took out my tablet and played some music as I wrote on my blog. I wanted to respond to some comments and begin this series. I had many comments saying how crazy I was to even be doing this. About three months ago, I found some interesting things about Perish Island. I also found some disturbing things.

Perish Island got its name because many people died there or just simply disappeared. Those who were found, were found in the most gruesome ways: eyes cut out, bodies dismembered, even a pregnant woman whose baby had been cut out. Through my extensive research, I read that the island was cursed. I also read some opposing articles on how the curse was fake and those bodies were staged, photoshopped, etc.

What got me interested in wanting to see for myself was lately, many people have gone missing or have come back changed. Changed in a way that no one could describe. They said something about their eyes were changed, to a purplish green color, and they spoke a dead language. I researched the language: Charishian. It was a language that was used by people of that island in the early 1500s, when the island was named Charish. I looked up and studied the language for the past month or so. It was a pretty hard language to learn, but I had the basics covered.

I hadn’t even noticed we had left the station until the bus came to an immediate stop, thrusting me forward, hitting something. Luckily, I gripped my tablet in time. I looked around and saw a bus full of confused people. I looked out the window. I didn’t see anything. I stood up and saw the bus driver getting off the bus. I heard a scream and saw the bus driver run back on, closing the doors hurriedly.

I took my headphones out and began walking down the aisle. As I got closer, I saw something, a huge something, lying in the middle of the road. I turned my tablet to camera mode, zoomed in as I got closer and snapped a few pictures. Others were standing up around me, snapping photos as well. I heard the bus driver radioing a police officer.

“Open the door,” I said.

“Wh…wh…what?”

“Open the door. I want to get a better look.”

“Are you fucking crazy?”

“No, I’m a blogger and this would be a good way to boost my ratings, now open the door.”

“You’re fucking…”

“Open the damn door!” I yelled.

She jumped, but opened the door. As I walked off, I heard others behind me coming off the bus. We walked around to the front and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I heard snaps of cameras and phones as people crowded around. No one said a word. I snapped about 50 shots from each angle. I am not sure what it was but it definitely was not human, or animal. It looked like a big black cloak, that could breathe, yes, it was breathing. I took out my camera and began recording. Making sure to get the thing in the background as I described what it was. I ended the recording as soon as the police, ambulance and UBF (Unidentified Beings Force) showed up.

They ordered us to get back on the bus, but I had everything I needed. They also made us swear not to post anything. Yeah, right. Soon as I got in my seat, I put my headphones back in and pretended I was listening and reading. I turned on my hotspot, hooked my camera up to my tablet and began uploading. The signal was weak, as I could tell we were getting close to a dead spot. It took about 10 minutes to upload. As it was working, I watched UBF haul the thing off. Whatever it was, it was still alive. I was so glad I would not be there when it woke up.

Another 45 minutes and we were back on the road. It was 12 in the afternoon and the sun was beaming high. I looked out the window, capturing as many photos as I could of fields, flowers, nature. Before long, I had dozed off, unknowingly, until I began to dream, and this was not like the other dream.

“You shouldn’t be here! Go back to where you came from!”

I was looking around. I was in the middle of the street, but no one was near me, saying anything. People walked by and didn’t seem to notice me. “I am well known but never seen. Don’t try to look for me, for your eyes can’t see even what is in front of you.” My heart started racing. I ran up to someone to ask if they heard the voice. Then I saw their eyes. I stopped breathing. It was real. The curse. Their eyes were purplish-green. Everyone. I darted down the street and I felt something cool on the back of my neck. I looked behind me and saw a shadow with no face. I screamed as it engulfed me. Everything went black.

I jolted awake and realized I was still on the bus. I looked around and many people were sleep or just not paying any attention to me. I grabbed my bag that had the food my sister had made me. I took out a sandwich and some chips with a bottle of water. I heard dings in my ear and realized it was my tablet.

They were comments to my photos and video I had posted earlier. I skimmed through them as I ate, reading what people thought that thing was, and still calling me crazy for continuing and not going back with the police. I scrolled through until I saw a comment that almost made me choke on the sandwich.

“I know who you are Iris. You should go back home. Perish Island needs not its secret exposed. Continue on this journey and you to shall perish.”

The comment shook me to my core. I tried to respond back but I kept getting the message that the user didn’t exist. Then the strangest thing happened. The comment disappeared, like it had never even been there. Did I imagine it? Was I losing it? Dammit. I knew I should’ve taken a screen shot.

My phone vibrated, scaring me from my thoughts. It was my sister. I let it go to voicemail. As I finished eating, I browsed through some more articles about Perish Island. I looked at old photos of people, businesses, schools. I compared them to recent photos and noticed that a lot of things had changed.

The island had been modernized but the population was still dropping. It was only at about 1,100 people. For such a large island, that was not a large amount of people. I went to my saved searches to look at the Air BnB I was staying at. It was a nice little cottage, just outside of town. Not too far from everything, but far enough that I would have privacy.

There were a few houses in the area, mostly older couples and one or two younger singles my age. It was behind the main house, a small pool separating the two. I assumed it had been a guest house for when the owner’s kids came into town. I sent a quick message to the owner letting them know about the earlier incident and that I may be coming in a little later than expected. I looked up and it was beginning to get dark.

I hated that I had to take the ferry in the night time. The waters would be black, unknown depths. We pulled into the bus station about an hour later and it was much nicer than the one back home. I gathered my things and headed to the ferry. There were a lot of people being taken to the island. I wondered if it was a special occasion. I sat alone, staring into the night sky, looking at the stars and the sun.

My phone buzzed and it was 4 voicemails and 23 text messages. Some from my sister and other from Jermail. Basically, my sister was pissed that I hadn’t told her that Jermail and I had broken up and Jermail was pissed that I had still been lying to my sister that I was going with him. I turned my phone off and stared back into the waters. It was about a 30 minute boat ride to the island. It was all lit up. I could see the light from the lighthouse.

Even at night the island was just as beautiful compared to the photos I had seen of it during the day. We docked and loaded off the ferry. My Uber was waiting there for me. I got in and we headed to the cottage. As we were leaving town, there became less and less street lights. Of course, I thought it odd.

“You ever been to the island?” the driver asked, distracting me from my thoughts.

“What? Oh, no, I haven’t.”

“How’d you hear about it?”

“I stumbled across the place that I am staying at and saw that it had great ratings. I just needed a vacation somewhere that was secluded.”

“Yeah, the Barry’s are nice and offer great service and hospitality.”

“How did you know where I was going?” I asked nervously.

“The address that you put in when you ordered the Uber.”

“Oh, right.”

I had in fact forgotten. I had also forgotten that there weren’t many people who lived on the island, so everyone probably knew each other. I began to relax as we talked for the next 10 minutes. He then pulled into the driveway of this beautiful, Victorian house. The architecture and pointed triangular roof tops. It was a large house, two stories. For two people in their 50s, this was a lot of house. The driver got my things out of the trunk as I walked up to the door. Before I could knock, it opened and their stood this woman, almost scared me half to death.

She had mocha skin, tight, like it had been pulled back, long, jet black hair, beady gray eyes, a neck like a giraffe, extremely high cheekbones, and skinnier than a rail. I quickly put on a smile to hide the fact that I was terrified. She looked possessed.

“Hi, you must be Mrs. Barry. I’m Iris.”

“Good evening, and please call me Janelle,” she screeched in her high pitched voice.

My heart stopped at her voice. I didn’t even want to go in anymore. I wanted the driver to take me back, but as soon as I turned around, all I could see was his taillights in the distance. I’m screwed. I turned back to the demon lady and she invited me in. I clutched my suitcase and slowly walked in. The inside of the house made my breath get caught in my throat. Obviously, this couple was into taxidermy, for there were stuffed animal heads and full animals everywhere. I’m not religious but even looking at this house I wish I had a rosary.

“Why don’t I show you to the back house and you get settled in,” came the voice again.

“Um, sure. Yeah, that would be great.”

I followed the decrepit lady through the foyer into the living room. I stopped dead in my tracks as I saw a cat with its teeth baring, hissing at what seemed to be some sort of dog.

“Oh, don’t mind them dear, that is how they play,” she said, giving me this look like I was dinner.

Out the back door I began to relax. The pool was lit and the water running down the rocks was soothing. There were lawn chairs lining the pool, a gazebo with a grill and some outdoor couches, a small garden on the outskirts of the pool area. It was beautiful to say the least. We got to the back house and she unlocked the door. I followed her in.

“Here are you quarters. Don’t be too shy to ask for anything. Also, make sure to look the doors and windows at night.”

“Why?” I asked, regretfully.

“Why dear, there’s a storm coming. There are also boards for the windows.”

As she walked out, I knew that was a lie. I locked the door behind her and made sure the windows were locked as well. I looked around the small cottage. There was a bathroom in the back with just a toilet and small shower, like that of a tiny house, the bed was king sized, the desk was small but usable and the décor was lovely, not like in the main house. I showered and unpacked some of my things, putting them into drawers. I was only going to be here a week. That meant I had five days to get my story and get the hell out of here. This place just had ‘bad idea’ written all over it.

Part of me wishes I had listened to Tasia and Jermail. The other part of me knew that this was going to be my big break into the world of independent blogging. I setup my tablet on the desk and finished the post for today. I responded to some comments, plugged it in to charge and my phone and camera, then headed to the bed. My eyes were heavy from the long ride. Though, I was a tad bit scared to go to sleep because of the nightmares and being in this nightmarish place, I knew that my dreams could be worse. I turned off the lights and let the sleep consume me.

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