Daniel’s grandfather hadn’t moved for a solid two minutes. His cold stance just faced that mysterious island that laid in the fog, looming to the starboard bow.
“He didn’t even see them at first,” his grandfather started, “Just an unsettling feeling. The guide had been missing from his piss for ten minutes. He hadn’t even noticed how much darker it seemed to be. How the fog seemed to thicken around them. It was his partner, Rupert, who saw them first. He began rambling and pointing his pistol to the trees.
“That’s when he noticed the noises. A twig snap here. A rock movement there. He turned to Rupert and motioned it was time to go. Drawing his sword, they began making their way back.
“That’s when they found the first ones. Just back up the trail a little ways. A stacked pillar of rocks which wasn’t there before. Slightly creepy. However, it had a face scrawled across it in blood.
“Now they began moving quicker. He thought he saw them once or twice. A dark figure moving just out of sight. When he turned around, he thought he saw them. Standing there. In the trail, watching them run. The fog kept him from any real observations.
“A Gunshot rang out. Rupert firing into the trees. A scream left his mouth as he pointed over Rupert. The guide’s hat was hanging high in a tree. Rupert demanded they leave.
“They can barely hear the sound of the waves as the shadows and movement stop being out of the corner of their eye. There are multiple of them, in the trees. With every turn of the head he can see them, staring. They are getting bold, beginning to move ahead of them. He can see two at a time now. He heard murmurs.
“He shouts out they are being surrounded. A few more shots and the pistol was empty. He only thought of leaving. Their run became a mad dash through the fog. There was a branch off in the woods and the middle one, their ticket out of here, was blocked. It looks as if brush and stones were stacked to block their path. Just beyond it, a dark figure. A rock stack shaped like a person. Bloody clothes and all.
“A spine tingling howl slashed through the silence. Rupert took off to the right. Crashing through the underbrush he was dropping bullets attempting to reload. However, he knew that wasn’t the way. Rupert was already too far in the thicket to be saved. He knew the left path and cutting through the woods would bring him to the coast.
“Dashing off, into the brush, he slashed at the plants and slashed through the fog. The hair on the back of his head stood on edge. He swore he could feel near misses of cold, sharp fingers. Just as he thought he was done, he cut through the bushes and there was nothing. Tumbling from a cliff, he landed on the beach hard. Plucking pebbles from his face and hands, he dashed down the beach, yelling to me.
“That’s when I saw them,” his Grandfather stopped his story, wiping away something from his eyes. He blinked for the first time in his story.
“He ran up that beach, bleeding and looking like death. He rambled something about the the fog. However, I didn’t need him to tell me. I saw them. … I saw them. I yelled to the deckhand to fire up the engines. I’m not even sure we waited for him. He barely got on board as we were tearing away into the ocean. I even had the shotgun out. However, the figures had disappeared in the fog, and the boat pulled farther away.
“I have never returned to the shores of that blasted island. However… he did. Like you, young Daniel, the money was too good. He couldn’t stay away. With a crew of a dozen men armed to the teeth and a willing boat and crew he returned to look for his friend, and secure the island.
“The next morning, I went out. We looked for seven hours from just off the shore. The boat had been torn up, and there was no sign of the crew or his team. And I’ve never seen him again.
“That island is evil incarnate,” said Daniel’s Grandfather, “Never set foot, son. Never consider it. Those who survive its dangers will pay the world to lead others to their doom. No amount of money in this plane of existence is worth it.”
Daniel turned to the island. It was almost concealed by the fog. He imagined how it would be. Staring into the fog and seeing what wasn’t there. Hunting you like a rat in a food cellar. A chill ran down his spine, and he turned away from his Grandfather.