Chapter 2

Pure silence.

Odd, I thought. But was it really that odd? I looked around over my rifle, trying not to make noise by moving my body, and scanned as much of the land ahead of me as I could. There was no movement. I decided to start walking towards the island, still scanning as I went. Broken windows and boarded windows. Cleared pathways and piles of debris. It was starting to seem clear as to where the townsfolk were living, but why weren’t they out right now?

I turned to look at the ferry. It was run down and lacked a lot of maintenance itself, but that was understandable since Scott was the only one working it, along with his sidekick dock assistant. His assistant was on the dock, reaching up towards Scott to hear what he was apparently whispering to him. I started walking back towards them.

“Hey guys,” I said,” why isn’t anyone out? It’s broad daylight.” The two men took one look at me and Scott’s assistant quickly jumped onto the boat. In the next moment, I could hear the engine of the boat starting back up.

“Hey!” I shouted. At this point I’m running back to them. They’re leaving me here. I dropped my rifle and tried to catch up.

“Why are you leaving me!?” I throw my hands up at them, shocked at the image of them inching away from the dock. We had a plan… come together, leave together. Scott never left a visitor unattended, or at least that’s what he told me. And now, right before my eyes, he was leaving.

I slowed down to a stop once I realized that my efforts were pointless. The boat was too far away to jump back on. “I’m sorry!” Scott yelled out his window at me, and the boat slowly turned away from the island, “but you’ll have to do this alone!”

“What are you talking about!?” I yelled.

“Nobody ever comes to this island and leaves alive, and I’m not about to risk my life for another one!” The boat stopped turning and moved away from the island.

Another one? I was confused, scared, and somewhat in a panic, but I couldn’t bring myself to show it. I watched as the boat rounded the break wall and disappeared around the the west side of the island. They were gone.

My panic disappeared as their boat did the same. I knew that, since it was daytime, I was at least safe at the moment, and I had all of my packed belongings with me for this “mission” of mine. However, I noticed one more thing on the dock, just a few feet away from my feet. I picked it up and realized that it was an old walkie-talkie of some sort, and it was on.

“Can you hear me?” Scott’s voice rang out from the speaker as I held it in my hand, but the reception was shaky. “Hey… if you can hear this, I’m sorry again for leaving you. For what it’s worth, you’re the most promising one out of the bunch who’s tried to rescue this island. So, if you make it, call me back on here and I’ll come get ya. Over and out.”

I hear a snap and crackle as Scott finished his last sentence. I thought about angrily shouting back an answer, but figured it would be a waste of breath. I would need to save all the energy I could at this point. I clipped the walkie-talkie to my pants and turned my attention back towards the island.

I picked up my rifle and slowly walked towards main street. I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine, I kept thinking over and over, knowing that I wasn’t really in any danger but still afraid of the unknown. I finally reached the street and tried to look down as far as I could.

I couldn’t see very far.

In front of me stood a very bleak scene… the entire main street was torn apart, as though an earthquake had split the road in half and smashed back together. Buildings were torn up and scattered throughout – not one building stood on the water side – and yet some other buildings stayed intact with their frames withstanding the horrific event that happened here only several years ago. What was once a colorful downtown become a ghost town.

I could see a small path where I could walk, and started to make my way through town. At points I was on the mangled sidewalk, and other times I was jumping blocks of road from side to side. It was almost reminiscent of walking on the big rocks that surround the island, although not as fun. And above all, I stayed away from the shade.

Finally, I reached an intersection. The bright sun shone down on the island and it almost seemed inviting. I walked down to the end of another abandoned dock and noticed that almost all the original main docks were still intact. I turned to go back to the intersection when I happened to look up. A breeze had picked up and started to sway the trees up by Anne’s Tablet a little bit. I thought that it might be worth the trek to get up there for a bird’s eye view of downtown, especially since I still had several hours of daytime left.

I peered up some more. No… wait… is it? What I thought was just swaying trees was actually more. There was someone up there! Someone’s waving at me! I could see clearly now, the outline of a person, arms waving out for my attention. I quickly pulled out my binoculars for a closer look, and saw that indeed it was a person, wearing a brown leather coat, shades, and a thick, knitted hat. Although I had only been alone for no more than half an hour, I felt a huge wave of relief over me seeing another human being…

I ran back to the intersection and off the dock, carefully scanning the road for a path and jumping from spot to spot as I made my way to the end of downtown. I didn’t really leave much time to take in the dead grass that covered the park I was running through, but noticed a broken statue out of the corner of my eye as I ran past it. The stairs are still there! I thought excitedly, and went as fast as I could, careful not to tire myself out, and reached the top. I took a sharp left and swiftly crossed the trail towards Anne’s tablet, and as I reached my destination I slowed down to find myself standing in front of the most peculiar scene…

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