The Island Chapter 5
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The Island

“I have found peace, it exists upon the rolling glass of a steady sea.”


Chapter 5
Retraced

I got to Hawaiian Harry’s at about a quarter to ten. Eight of the nine bar stools were occupied with patrons, the rest of the restaurant was now vacant. I again took the only empty stool and was merrily greeted.

“Jack! Welcome back! So soon?” Said Ornelas.

“I can’t stay away from those Bison Milks!” I graciously replied, half concerned and half enchanted by the remembrance of my name.

“They are my own recipe” Ornelas boasted, “Been making them for years, even won an award.” proudly pointing to a plaque that read ‘One of the Best Tiki Drinks In the State’.

“Congrats my friend.” I retorted. “By the way, I have an odd question for you.”

“Fire away.” He confided.

I continued “Do you know of any weird myths, legends, or Island secrets?”

Ornelas, thought for a moment, with much intention, “I’ve never heard anything spoken on the Island about anything. Everyone here is pleased with being here and nothing seems ever to get to them.” 

I sighed, dejectedly, almost resigned to never find my answer.

“However”, Ornelas continued, “I do remember…” He paused thinking back. “ Years ago, before I moved here, my friends Over-Town heard rumors that the Wakefield family had gotten their wealth from some secret society, a group ran by some foundation, and the reason they made so much money on the mainland was because they were tied into some government conspiracy in the early 1900s. But that’s like, all I know. The Wakefields’ barely even visit here anymore. It’s almost as if we’re forgotten here.”

I finished my drink, and soaked in the first bit of tiny information that alluded to the nature of what I might have been experiencing. Well beyond intoxicated, I knew it was time to head to bed. That massive pillowy bed, awaiting for me atop an absurd amount of stairs. I stumbled along Front Street towards the enclave street containing my hotel, diving and dodging all manner of odd abstractions my meddled mind could conjure. The town, myself, drenched in fog, all surrounded by thoughts of what spirit may be creeping across the rooftops in search of my torment. I neared the building, entered the foyer and headed up the first flight of stairs, disoriented, yet aware of my journey, continuing until I came to my room. Room “404”.

I made quick work of discarding my current outfit for one more attuned for sleeping. My sweatpants hung loose and my teeshirt breathed well, I fought through my nightly routine with a sink-wash of my hair, a brush of the teeth, and settled into the chair out on my balcony. George, was no longer there. My compatriot was long gone, possibly on a quest of fish and more exciting company.

I took a few swigs of a flask I smuggled aboard filled with Baijiu, basically Chinese moonshine, and tried to reconcile with the night. What was that taste? Where was that alley? What had happened? The fog settled low on the town, eerily low for any fog I had ever seen. From my fourth story view, well above the mist, the fog began to disperse after the second floor. The fog itself stretched for miles out to sea, but not far enough to block the small dimming lights of the mainland. The sight of these lights gave me a rush of comfort. A comfort that maybe I had just had a bad trip, maybe I got lost inside myself. I wasn’t alone, the outside world still existed. I sighed, and took another swig, noticing the metal shine of my flask.

When I looked up, the fog had disappeared, but so did the distant lights. The waves of some black void continued to crash on an unseen shore, and the taste of stale breath once again thickly permeated the air.

I opted for the only thing at this point.

I crawled into the oversized bed and attempted to sleep. After about an hour of unabated anxiety, the feeling of sleep took over. However, to my surprise, it was only the feeling of sleep, I could still see the hotel room, the TV, the mirror, the balcony, but only through my peripherals. I couldn’t move, I was stuck on my back, face to the ceiling, with only my eyes to move around. Substance had never done this to me and the time was almost well past its effect.

I could think, but couldn’t speak. I could see, but not move. I went to scream but my mouth wouldn’t open, and even if it could, somehow, I knew, no sound would come out. After the initial panic, the horror was utterly trumped and replaced by something greater than terror, greater than shock, so much that the feeling arrested my soul. If I were to have a heartbeat at anytime before this, it had ceased.

Out of the corner of my eye, stood a figure.

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