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Author's note: This idea came out of nowhere, as do most original ideas. Much effort was put into this piece and I hope everyone enjoys. To those who love action, thrill, and sci-fi, this is for you.
When destiny is against you, one must pray that gods still out there. At first, there was intense fog and none of our navigation or radar was working. There was no direction to our voyage and we blindly followed our instinct. To make it worse, along with the already present misfortune, the winds picked up and the waves barraged the ship as the storm of the century decided on us to be its victim. We should have listened to the captain. There’s no saying what could happen in Mary’s Point. So many Navy ships have gone missing; the U.S government won’t even allow us to enter the area. Yet, we still took the shorter route and now regret the decision. Currently, we don’t know where we are. The last thing I remember is the storm. Now my comrades and I are in an unknown place, an unknown island. Who knows, maybe we’re dead and all this is heaven. Or maybe it’s hell.
Being on the island, the first thing I notice is that no one inhabits the island. A lie. Most of us think that we were all going to survive. Another lie. Back when I was in training, I heard a story of a dead colony; a failure of early American migration. In 1603, British colonists had found a new fertile island in the Caribbean. The island was shrouded by fog and was accidently found by Captain James Carter, much like we did today. Since then the place was known as Carter Island and by 1608, it became the crown jewel of commerce and plantation wealth. However, I sincerely hope that this isn’t the same island because starting 1609, people started disappearing. They started vanishing, leaving belongings on weird forest trails like they were chased and sucked out of their clothes. The island was dead and forever lost in history, buried deep by the thick fog.
Back to reality, my crew and I start building a camp on the coast. Who knows if it’s placed east, west or whatever. The camp might last us a few days and currently we can’t go back. No technology works and the ship is still under repair. Broken spirits and wavering minds haunt us sailors tonight. All we can do is remember our life back home and hope we’ll make it back. All I can do is hope that this place isn’t Carter Island. For me, the calm wind and tides cease to sooth my soul as they usually do on long departures. Even as I fall asleep, the back of my mind is alert and weary of what might be out there on this unknown island. I fear for what this island might be and feel that I will find out soon enough.
“Wake up, you bums. Time to move!” Such were the gentle commands of our oh so subtle captain. “We need food and wood. Split into three groups. Group A, collect plants, fish and game using the rifles and nets back on the ship. Group B use whatever equipment we have to cut wood and bring it back to the camp. Mechanics stay here and work on the ship!” I am in group B. We decide to venture further in the island since the coastal area has many rugged rocks, useless shrubbery and only a few malnourished trees. At first I feel hesitated to venture into the island. However, now I realize that all my worries the night before were just a reaction of all the traumatic experiences of the day. There’s no way that this is a dangerous island. Hell, I doubt Carter Island’s even real. It’s just a drunk navy man’s story that fools believe….”wait what’s that.” It can’t be. “Jesus Christ! Everybody back at the camp, now!”
This isn’t happening. I did not just see a man in the distance. His pitch black eyes were not staring right at me and his aura was not of such demonic nature that it sends the chill of death piercing through your heart. Now, his shrilling voice starts to crawl into my mind and bombard my every thought. It speaks to me as a calling, as a warning and threat. “Carter, you’ve come to play. Won’t you let me taste the delicious blood that trickles down your dead body?” I can’t make it stop!” As my group reaches the camp, a few mechanics including my friend Jonathan immediately come to my side. I shout as loudly as possible, “Get out of my head!” The captain soon follows in concern. He asks the others in my group what happens and becomes caught up with the rest. Jonathan still stays and looks at me with curiosity and worry. “You’re as pale as an ethereal being,” he remarks. I immediately try to explain my situation. “Not pale, but dark. There is a dark demon that lurks in the depths of this lifeless island. It feeds from the fear of your soul and….and…. ” I could barely finish as I fell unconscious. The sudden peace of sleep took control of me as consolation before the storm of death, awaiting my presence.
As I wake up, the afternoon sun stings my newly opened eyes. I still remember the traumatizing voice of the creature but feel much more stabilized now. The captain passes by and sees me awake. He explains that Group A found a few tracks that led them to an old road or trail. “They followed the trail and found an old settlement. It has tools, and other resources and some of the men want to go in and collect some stuff. However, they heard of your little encounter and I’d prefer if you tell them it was just a bear or something. I don’t know what you saw but I can’t have and lunatic behavior on my crew. You understand that.” “Yes sir,” I reply. I’ll tell them it’s a bear or ape or even a damn mouse. I need answers and I’m willing to bet that the little town we found on this godforsaken place has all of them.
After an hour, thirty men including me, venture into the island equipped with rifles and cloth bags. The trail seems almost as crude and old as the island itself. I keep a watch out for the dark demon that I had encountered earlier. He is nowhere to be seen. I begin to think that what I saw was a hallucination. Only the memory of the torturous voice convinces me that the creature is real. My heart races as we reach closer to the town and nearly stops as we reach the entrance. The eroded sign reads “C R ER I LAND.” My fears are true; this wretched place is Carter Island. I stand in place, clenching my fist for what seems like a millennium. The rest of the guys have to call me three times before I react. Even as I tour into the town, my mind is completely awestruck at what I had previously suspected to be true. Still, somehow I feel peaceful knowing my situation. At least if death comes on my doorstep then I’ll be ready to give him a welcoming gift. I can’t let him go empty handed without my world famous led bullets.
The town seems completely untouched except for dirt and light erosion along with island plants reentering the area. As everyone checks for tools and other materials, I search for clues. Each house seems the same. Every aspect of the dull and untouched homes, appear dead and forgotten. As I walk, I see dolls and other toys on the ground. The creature that I had encountered must have killed the children on this island as well. I start to walk faster as I become sick of thinking of the possible things that the creature must have done. Eventually, my search leads me to some large houses on the edge of the town with a large field. One of them reads Carter Estate. I call some guys over to come with me. Years of built up dust dance in the light as we open the door. Every window in the house is barricaded with wooden planks and metal bars. Obviously, Carter had something to fear, something to run from. Maybe he had something that can help us now. None of the other guys know what I want to find so I just tell them to wait outside. In fact, I don’t even know what I’m searching for but I know that I have to keep searching. My mindless quest leads me up a creaking staircase to a master bedroom with a book on an old, dusty mahogany desk. The book is a journal titled “1608-1609.” I reach to grab it as I hear a shriek of pain and fear outside the Carter Estate. My hands move with haste and stuff the book into my cloth bag and I rush outside in mere seconds. Right outside, three pairs of clothing lay on the ground as if the men wearing them had been disintegrated or sucked out. I see one comrade nearby with his head severed and body on a tree. Right next to me one of the five guys that came with me is still barely alive. His eyes are wide open and he constantly wheezes as blood flows down his mouth. The creature must’ve choked him and crushed his larynx. The poor man suffers as he vainly tries to talk yet he still keeps trying. His eyes pierce into my heart as sadness and anger flows uncontrollably through my mind. In an instant, he picks up a nearby rock and cuts off his fingers and starts writing on the ground with his blood. He writes, “Sakarabru 5 Carter 0. You’re losing the game.” Then he falls to the ground, in a deep eternal sleep, leaving me standing their in shock.
My instincts awaken and I snap. “I’ll kill you!” My voice echoes through the forest as a cry of anger and war. Every rock, shrub and tree must have heard me. The rest of my group quickly rushes to the area where our dead comrades lay deformed and silent. One of the men in the group comes forward and decides to confront me. “What the hell is this?! Explain these massacres…..speak!” I reply in a frantic rage as tears flow down my face; “How do I explain this?! Huh?! Will you believe me if I say there is a monster out there hungry for blood and that this monster is responsible for the deaths of our friends!? Didn’t you all notice the dolls and random belongings everywhere? This monster killed everyone on this island, over four hundred years ago and we’re next.” Everyone stands still for a while. “Let’s return to camp. We’ll think this back with clear minds,” I order. We can’t lose any more men to this demon.
Seeing our distraught faces, everyone back at camp hushes in silence and watches as the captain comes to us and looks into our eyes. “Where are Collins and Richter? Hey! Why are there only twenty five of you?!” All I do is hand him the clothing of the men we lost and walk away. I can feel the eyes of the crew on me, curious and expecting answers that they don’t want to hear. As I sit on a rock on the edge of the coast, the sun is setting as another day closes. The ship isn’t even close to being fixed and traumatic events seem to end every one of my days recently. When will it end? When will I return home to everyone I know? I can imagine the tears on my mothers eyes when my name appears on the missing at sea list. I’m not ready for a twenty one gun salute. Taking advantage of the last light I pull out the journal I had taken from the house and flip through the numerous pages. The journal belonged to James Carter, the founder of the island. As I read, nothing seems out of the ordinary; the writing is mainly about squabbles with slaves and elegant parties. Then something changes as I reach the last three passages. They are dated Jan.19.1609, Jan.26.1609, and Feb.2.1609.
Four days ago, I purchased three women from a new shipment of slaves to the island. They seemed most fit and unaffected from the journey and as founder, I always receive first pick. However, they were extremely reserved and different from the other slaves. On the second night, I saw the eldest of the lot pacing outside his home and staring into my window. I let that pass but on the next two nights, I had my slave keeper monitor the women secretly for safety purposes. Earlier today, the slave keeper reported to me that the women had been performing strange chanting rituals. The women slit their wrists, pouring blood into a deep socket that they had dug into the ground. Today, I will report the slaves to the authorities for witchcraft and possible attempt of murder. I want them to burn on the twenty sixth as a public display of justice.
Today, I watched the burning of my slaves with pride and satisfaction. It went as planned until one of the women threatened me as she was burning. She exclaimed that her sacrifice will bring demise amongst us all. Then they all began to laugh hysterically before their inevitable death. Right now, as I write this, I am extremely disturbed by the events that occurred today. I no longer know what the future hold for my people and me.
The witches were right. I hope they rot in the eternal fires for the curse they brought upon us. A creature that coldly murders humans and devours them out of their attire has been unleashed on my island. The other slaves inform me of the demon that the witches had unleashed. Its name is Sakarabru, an African demon of darkness. After much research, everything the slaves explained is true. The demon can be sent back to its imprisonment but the process requires something that we can’t do. We need to make a Primordial Seal. It’s an ancient seal that Africans used thousands of years ago to seal Sakarabru’s tyranny. It can be created by molding a silver ring with the blood of the enemy and tears of the suffering. Then one must swallow the ring and have the demon devour them. Currently, there aren’t enough people to get the demons blood. Now, the remaining people of the island and I are barring the windows of my estate with iron and wood. This is our last stand. I fear death may come upon us all. God be with us.
At this very moment my whole being restores with feelings of hope as well as helplessness. I know the answers and hold the key to survival. However, the price of success is the sacrifice of multiple comrades. Seeing my distress, my friend Jonathan comes to may aid for the second time today. “What’s eating you Alex? Talk to us. We’re you brothers, your friends.” I glance at him with a serious face. “Jon, read these three pages and you’ll know everything that’s on my mind.” After reading, his face builds a serious edge. Then he and I try to organize a plan. After developing our strategy, we confirm each other before approaching everyone else. “Alright, so your mechanic squadron can create ring molds and we’ll use and melt any silver we can find on the ship and from the other men. To steal blood from Sakarabru, I’ll take half of the camp with me and call out the demon. We can easily produce the tears later,” I explained. “Let’s go back to the camp. We’ll inform everyone right away.” Watch out you sick creature, we’re bringing the game to you. I am ready to play, but there’s no way in hell that you’re going to drink my blood.
Back at the camp, Jonathan and I have a talk with the captain. The captain decides that my friend and I are to explain the whole plan to the rest tomorrow morning. For now the crew decides to take shifts keeping watch for the demon and catch up on sleep. I’m in the first shift and feel impatient for daybreak. As my shift ends, I fall asleep quickly, getting ready for tomorrow. It’s almost time for David to kill Goliath.
As the light of day enters my eyes, a new confidence resides within me. The captain calls for a crew meeting in the center of the camp. Jonathan takes the stage first. He vehemently reads the journal entries that we had gone through the night before. After he was done, I came forward. “In these past few days, we have lost our friends. We have lost confidence and peace of mind. But we can’t lose heart! We can’t lose who we are! We can’t give up! Now is the time to fight back. We got to stay strong and show that punk what the navy is made of! Now, the plan does not ensure that we’re all going to make it alive. Many of us may fall prey to the demon. To start the operation, half of us have to return to the heart of the island. The town is too obvious; instead we’ll wait in a common area under shrubbery and nearby ditches. There’s one spot near the trail that’s perfect. Through an instantaneous open fire there’s a possibility that we can wound him, collecting any spilt blood. Since the ring in Carter’s journal is made of silver, I’m guessing that we should mold bullets out of silver as well. Speaking of bullets, after collecting his wretched blood, I think that it would be smarter to mold a new breed of ammunition with silver, blood, and tears instead of making the seal ring. Perhaps we can make a Primordial Seal Bullet. With this technology we can prevent sacrificing our men and I feel we can have a higher success rate; if one ring fails, multiple bullets may work. Now let’s get to work!”
The plan is almost ready to go. The mechanics are almost done with the silver bullets. They also upgraded our rifles as a bonus. Finally, as the last batch of bullets arrives, everyone stats getting pumped. “Come on guys. It’s time to put this bad puppy down.” I call my group for our mission. We stealthily run to our posts, and wait for the demon. By now it has to be midday. There’s no movement and by now all of us are part of the scenery. We blend with the unwavering trees and rugged shrubbery. We are all one with the island and we all share a common enemy; Sakarabru. Finally, something appears to be moving in the distance. It comes close at an amazing speed but I still don’t give the signal to fire. My comrades look at me but I still hesitate. Some of them can’t take the suspense. A few men snap and stand up, shooting out every bullet in their gun. It is only a deer. I immediately called them back but it’s too late. The demon arrives at our most vulnerable moment. The definition of the veins around his black eyes amplifies and he opens his large mouth, biting down on the men and sucking their contents dry. He finishes by pulling their shriveled skin out of their clothes and devouring the remains completely. Right then I snap and give the go to shoot. I promise to lodge every single bullet I have into your demented black heart! The demon is in shock as he haste fully escapes the gunfire. He retaliates by psychic communication. This time I’m prepared for the shrilling voice that breaks into your mind and drives regular men mad. “You’re dead! Ahahahaha! You’re dead! You’re dead!” That psychotic demon continuously proclaimed threats in my head as I clenched my skull in pain. “Collect the blood and let’s go back!” This was my last command before falling unconscious.
I awoke to a glazed orange sky. It was already late afternoon and the monstrous Sakarabru could appear any time. Jonathan called me from a distance as he ran to my direction. “Hey, Alex! Thank god you’re up. The other mechanics and I worked as fast as possible. We forged the bullets with silver, blood and the rage filled tears of the other men in your group. Everyone is shaken from what they saw. However, at the same time, they’re even more motivated. I can’t believe it’s finally time to kill that devil.” I can’t believe it either. It’s time for one last stand. I gather my rifle and head to the ammunition. The bullets are blacker than night and heavy in my palm. They’ll look perfect inside the demons coal heart. I join the captain and the rest of my brothers. The plan now is to enter the island as one group, one family. We’ll follow the trail into the town and wait at the Carter Estate just as the people of this island had done over four hundred years ago. However, now we have the upper hand. The tables have turned and it’s time for the Sakarabru to pay for his sins.
We venture into the island for the last time, with caution. We move as swift as the evening wind that warns of a coming storm. We stay silent like the peering trees that protect us as we serve justice to the enemy of there home. As we reach the town, there is still no sign of the wretched being. We start to walk slower, around the sides of the buildings. Everything is going good until one of us steps on a twig. “Ktchk.” For a moment everyone stops breathing, but it’s too late. We hear the demons twisted laugh in the distance. He’s almost upon us! We start to sprint as fast as humanely possible to the Carter Estate. The captain is falling behind and his asthma seems to be catching up to him. Jonathan sees me looking at the captain and we both glance at each other. Knowing what the other is thinking, we both run to the captain and push him along. Directly behind us is Sakarabru, strolling slowly and cockily as if he’s already won. I don’t have enough time to prepare my rifle but Jonathan seems to have something I could use. Along with bullets, the mechanics also made knives incase of an emergency. I throw the knife as hard and accurately as I can. I hit him straight in the heart….game over. Wait. Why isn’t he dying? He seems extremely wounded but he’s not falling. We reach the Carter Estate, leaving Sakarabru behind and there’s only one thing on my mind. Have we failed?
Come on! There has to be a logical explanation. Is the reason that the knife didn’t kill Sakarabryu because it isn’t a ring? No, that doesn’t make sense. The material is still the same. Wait, is it because there wasn’t a human sacrifice? That has to be it. The witches finished summoning the demon when they got sacrificed! There’s no mistake, there’s only one thing to do. I turn to face my comrades. The captain looks at me with a grateful and tiresome face. As I look around I see men who are fighting for their lives. I see men who are fighting for one another. Pride fills my heart and I know that I can die happy. I reason with them about what I am about to do. “Listen. The bullets won’t work. You need a sacrifice. In the journal it explained how one must swallow the Primordial Seal and get devoured. Now, I’m not going to ask any of you to do it. It’s been a good ride.” As I am about to swallow the bullet, the captain immediately stops me. “What the hell are you thinking? You got your whole life. Let me do it. An old bat like me doesn’t have much to live for.” “No”, I respond. “The crew needs you to navigate them back home. It has to be me.” Before I can proceed, Jonathan grabs my hand. “Let me do it. You’re a good sailor. I’m just another mechanic. It won’t matter if I’m gone. Let me!” I try to console my friend the best I can. “Jon, everyone needs you to help fix the ship. Besides, you have a wife and kid. You need to go back home. What’s Sandra going to do without you? You know she needs someone to complain at.” We sat there for a while and laughed while tears flowed down our eyes. As I got up, the rest of them did as well. I receive a proud salute from every one of my comrades. There’s no fear within me as I swallow that two pound bullet. Right then, I remember the motto I had learned on the first day of training. Always be ready to lead, ready to follow, and never quit. I am ready to lead these men to safety, follow my instinct, and no matter how intimidating that demon looks, I’ll never quit…. “Come on!”