Island of Terror
Copyright 2005 by Destiny Stock
This story is dedicated to Greg Faber for all his help and support.
His heart pounded in his chest as the winged creature moved closer. He had not remembered when he fell into the hole he was now hiding in, or how he had gotten on this island in the first place. All he knew was that the creature was not human or animal. It stood on two legs and seemed to have the exact shape of a human save for those reptile-like wings and tail. The creature turned toward him, flicking its snake-like tongue. It’s golden eyes settled on him. For a brief moment he thought that his heart had stopped. The creature let out an awful shriek that would have made a man beg for mercy, but the man in the hole stayed as still as he could. The creature glanced around one last time then departed into the air. The man let out a low breath that he had not known he was holding. He sat there a moment in a daze thinking back, trying to pry his name out of his mind. Russ. He smiled to himself. My name is Russ. He let out a sigh of relief.
He paused for a moment, waiting to see if the creature was really gone. He heard another shriek; though it was very distant this time, it still sent a chill through his body. He slowly climbed out of the hole and peered around. Pictures flashed through his head. He could not really see them before they were gone again. He shook his head as if to push the flashes aside. The sound of water falling from leaves to the ground was all around him. He tried to focus on that. Flash. Now he remembered. He was a photographer with a team of biologists here to study the wildlife. Pleased with what he found, he set off in search for the others that he had come here with.
As Russ was walking through the trees he noticed something… a drop of red on a leaf. He bent down to inspect it. Hesitantly, he touched it. It was blood. He stood up with a gasp, looking everywhere to see if it was an injured animal or someone that fallen prey to the creature from earlier. Russ peered around the tree and fell to his knees when he saw what it was. Unable to get up, he moved closer. The body of a leopard was completely mangled. Its stomach was torn out and there were empty holes where the eyes should have been. The surrounding trees were painted red with blood. Russ felt as though he were going to be sick.
“Hello! Is anyone out there?” a female’s voice called. Russ tore his eyes away from the body of the leopard, before finally answering.
“Candice? Candice is that you?” he called. She walked through the bushes after a moment of silence. She was a tall woman with hazel eyes and golden hair. She was wearing her favorite blue jean pants with a little flower sewn into the pocket, and a plain white shirt.
“What happened here?” She asked when she saw the red-coated trees. She looked to the ground and saw the leopard’s mangled body. Candice fell to the ground; her face was masked with horror.
“Did that… that thing do this?” she managed around a lump of fear in her throat. She quickly looked around as if to make sure that the creature had really left. Russ decided that he did not want to remember the creature and changed the subject.
“Have you found anyone else, Candice?” he asked.
Only you so far…” she said without taking her eyes from the animal. Russ was starting to feel dizzy; the smell of the dead animal was starting to get to him.
“Maybe we had better get moving.” He finally suggested. Candice agreed quickly and pushed herself off of the ground. Brushing the dirt off of her jeans, she heard something.
“Somebody help me!” shouted someone from a distance. They looked at each other exchanging nervous glances. Russ started off in the direction of the screams. Candice raced close behind him.
The screams were getting louder; they could tell that they were getting close. Up ahead in an opening; Russ saw Tom, one of his research partners, clawing at the ground as the creature from earlier began shrieking. That sickening sound made Russ’ stomach tense and his brain feel as though a thousand needles were trying to crush it, but he forced himself to keep running toward Tom. He grabbed a nearby stick and bashed the creature over the head. The creature hissed at him; its snake eyes watched him furiously. Russ jumped at the reptile-like creature and hit it again. This time the creature fell to the ground. It slowly raised its head and looked into his eyes. Russ stopped himself from beating the creature any more, and looked into its eyes. There was something in them. They weren’t the eyes of an animal exactly, behind what seemed like the snake was intelligence, this creature had a soul. Fury returned to its fierce eyes but instead of attacking it took flight. Russ dropped the stick when it was finally out of sight.
“Are you alright?” he asked as he rushed over to Tom. Tom was a short, skinny man with blue eyes and blonde hair.
“Are you alright?” Russ repeated. Tom’s terror filled gaze shifted to Russ, then to Candice, and then back to Russ. He forced himself to control his breathing.
“I’m fine…” he managed. Tom looked around once more before he got up.
“Where do we go from here?” Candice asked. Russ looked around wondering the very same thing.
“A thought,” Tom said in a near whisper. Candice and Russ looked at him.
“How about we try to find the shore and see if our boat is still there.” He said in a more confident tone.
“Sounds like a good plan to me.” said Russ and Candice in unison. Tom turned around and started for the shore. Russ and Candice shared one more look before following.
The deeper into the forest they got the greener and darker it seemed to get. Russ was watching to see if the last member of the team was having problems with that creature. Tyler, the last member of the team and Candice’s brother, had not been seen or heard of since a little before Russ had fallen into the hole when he first saw the creature. Candice listened to see of he might scream. Deeper and deeper into the jungle they went. A smell caught them off guard. Tom looked around to see if he could still see Russ and Candice in the dark trees; but he couldn’t.
“Maybe we should all join hands so that we can stay together,” Tom said through the silence, “after all we don’t want to get lost.” Even though he was trying to make a joke, Candice felt uneasy about the idea. As they walked deeper into the forest, the smell got stronger. Russ’ head was spinning; he looked around to find what was causing the awful stench.
“Hey, look! There is light over thee!” Tom exclaimed. Russ turned to where he thought he was pointing. Sure enough, there was light. Russ had a bad feeling about the light though, something was wrong. It’s all in your head Russ Light means we are close to the end of this place. Not more trouble. He thought about the last thing he thought of. But how many times have your instincts been wrong? He quickly cleared the thoughts from his head and ran to catch up to the others. The smell was getting stronger as they got closer to the light. As they stepped into the light Tom gasped. Candice nearly fell again but the two men helped her stay on her feet. They looked around in horror. The ground was drenched in blood. It was splattered on the trees, and human body parts were scattered over the ground. Russ felt sick. They slowly backed into the darkness of the trees.
“That was…was… Tyler” She said in a sob. Tom held her close to comfort her while she sobbed into his shoulder.
“I think we had better leave…” Russ said in a low whisper as he looked around nervously.
“Right now? Are you that inconsiderate? I mean, here we are in a dark forest, Tyler is dead, and you want to leave now? Candice is a wreck.” Tom growled angrily. Russ was still looking around as if he were a guilty child afraid of being caught stealing a pack of gum. He shifted his uneasy gaze back to Candice.
“Listen Candice,” he started, “I know that Tyler was your brother and that it pains you to see him die, but if you listen carefully you will see why I want to leave.” Candice held back her sobs and began to listen. Tom looked around with fear filled eyes. Russ slowly got up and started for the lighted area again. Tom lifted Candice off of the ground and slowly followed. The sound of something breathing was near. And it wasn’t one of them. Is that fear I smell? Russ stopped walking to the light and turned to face the creature. It moved with the dangerous grace of a snake. It seemed to glide to him. Yes fear… that’s it. Fear of death… The creature stood not five inches from his face. It flicked its snake-like tongue at him. Russ stared right back into the creature’s eyes. No, there is no fear here. You are a brave one aren’t you?
“I’m brave enough.” Russ growled back at the creature. The creature staggered as if it had been beaten back with a bat. It stared at him fiercely, no this creature was studying him. You can hear me? It sounded as though wind were whispering to him as it spoke. You can understand me? That whispering made Russ shiver.
“Yes…” Russ’ voice trailed off. He watched the creature suspiciously. It held out its scaly human-like hand. I am Shai’ron. I have awaited your return… brother. Russ staggered back this time.
“What the heck are you?” he yelled. I am a Soran. In ancient language it means dragon spawn. You, my brother, are a true Soran; your great grandfather was a dragon. The Soran’s eyes began to glow and then there was complete darkness.
When Russ awoke he was in a cave. He looked around and noticed that there were drawings on the walls. They looked to be dragons. A small fire was lit in the center of the cave. In a far corner there was a dead antelope with its eyes gouged out. He watched it as though it may come back to life at any moment. We are not meant to be seen by anyone or anything unless it is other Soran. Shai’ron said as he came out of a branch in the cave. No, he hadn’t said anything, he thought it. He was carrying a rat in his mouth. Russ watched him wearily and tried to get up, but something stopped him. He tried again, and again he failed. A Soran’s gaze can paralyze a victim if need be, but you escaped it twice brother.
“I’m not your brother or a lizard!” Russ shouted as loud as he could. Then explain why you can hear me and translate my thoughts. Russ tried to say something but he shut his mouth before it got out. I don’t want to die paralyzed on the ground. He thought. The Soran looked over in his direction with its golden gaze, and then continued slicing out the rat’s eyes. Russ froze, wondering if the creature could hear his thoughts as he could hear its.
Candice rushed through the trees as fast as she could; Tom was racing behind her.
“Wait up will ya!” he shouted at Candice. Ignore him. She thought. He will shut up sooner or later. She looked up at the sky to make sure that the creature was not following them overhead. Suddenly, something grabbed the back of her shirt.
“Tom! Let go of me!” she screamed. Tom pushed her over to a nearby log and sat her down.
“Listen,” he started, “I know you want to find Russ, alright? But we can’t help him if we are out of breath when we get there.” The rage in her eyes was replaced with an uncomfortable calm. Tom got up and held his and out. She accepted it and he pulled her up. They started walking again, Tom setting a milder pace. He looked up at the mountain where the creature had taken Russ. You knuckle head. How are we gonna get you outta this one? Tom shook his head but kept walking on. There was a scream in the distance. Candice and Tom looked at each other. Soon they were running toward the sound of Russ’ screams.
Don’t worry brother… Shai’ron thought. Your transformation is nearly complete. It let out one of those awful shrieks then looked out of the cave. Your friends should be looking for you. I’ll take care of them. It hissed then leapt out of the cave. Russ struggled to get up and walk over to the entrance of the cave. There was a drop of probably five hundred feet. So that’s why he left me alone. He looked around trying to find something that he could use to get down. A vine was hanging just outside the cave. He ran over and snatched it. Russ paused, looking at his hands for a moment. Razor sharp claws were growing out of each finger. When he turned to look behind him there was a long reptile tail with three spikes on the tips that closed into a point. Oh no. No, no, no! This can’t be happening! He ran over to a puddle that was in the far corner of the cave. The creature back at him was himself. His eyes were turning golden, and wings were emerging from his back. As he watched the water, the reflection grew more reptile-like.
“Hurry up!” Candice yelled back at Tom who was falling behind again. Tom was breathing harder than he had been before. “I’m coming.” He muttered breathlessly. He put his head down and started to charge forward to catch up. He stopped suddenly when he hit Candice in the back.
“You know you really should tell someone when you stop in the road!” he whispered harshly. She seemed mesmerized in something. He looked in the direction that she was looking in. the creature was standing in the middle of their path. Fury filled its golden gaze.
“Run.” Candice whispered to him. Tom obviously did not need to be told twice. He spun around and ran toward the dark trees. The creature dropped out of one of the trees and hissed at him fiercely. Candice screamed.
Russ spun around quickly as the scream faded into the distance. He looked at his newly acquired wings and flapped them once.
“You gotta learn to fly sooner or later.” He told himself. With a deep breath, he ran to the cave entrance and jumped out. A little more…little more. He thought. He opened his wings just before he fell into the trees. Whoa… this is pretty cool. He thought to himself. “What am I thinking? I’m supposed to go find my friends before Shai’ron does!” He dove through the trees and steadily landed.
Trough the trees he heard Candice cry out again, closer than it had been before. His heart pounded as he raced toward the cries. Closer and closer, the cries pierced the darkness. In an opening up ahead he saw the Soran. It raised its razor sharp claws, preparing to slice through Tom and Candice.
“No you don’t!” yelled Russ as he leapt at the creature. He dug his claws into its chest and his fangs were firmly planted in Shai’ron’s shoulder. The creature shrieked in pain and slashed at Russ. He quickly jumped away as the creature did so. Blood from the Soran painted Russ’ reptile mouth. He spat to the side to get to get rid of the taste that suddenly appealed to him. The creature glared at him with fury filled eyes. Russ met its glare with a glare of his own. A low hiss rose out of the creature’s throat as it leapt at him. Just before the creature reached him, it disappeared. Russ looked around, searching for the creature. A steady breathing came from behind him. His eyes widened in shock as he tried to wheel around to see the creature. But just as he did so, it sank its gleaming teeth into his shoulder. Russ hadn’t realized the awful shriek that had come out of his mouth until he saw Tom cringing in pain once more. He quickly ripped away from the creature. Blood was dripping down his arm now, he felt himself losing his grip on consciousness. He shook it off and charged the creature; this time he jumped over it and caught the Soran around the neck with his tail. Russ spun quickly and flung him into a nearby tree. Apparently it had some effect. The creature tried to get up to face him once more, but Russ’ gaze held him in place. This is not the way brother. The creature hissed, we are meant to rule the humans. However, I will kill you if I must! It broke free of the Soran’s gaze and charged at Russ. Before Russ knew what he was doing, he closed the tip of his tail and slashed through Shai’ron’s chest. It fell to the ground… dead. He looked over at his friends to see if they were alright. Candice and Tom were huddled next to a tree. Russ stepped toward them, but stopped as Candice gasped.
“Hey,” he said gently, “it’s only me. Russ.” Candice peered over her arms and looked into his golden eyes.
“Russ? Is that really you?” she asked. Russ looked at his reptile-like arm and his eyes began to glow. He took on the form of a human again! Candice jumped into his arms and hugged him. Tom walked around him and patted him on the back.
“Well done buddy.” He said, his voice still sounded exhausted though.
“Let’s go home.” Russ said with a huge grin on his face. Candice noticed that the only thing that did not go back to his human state was his eyes, but she decided not to mention that.
“How do you suppose we are to get home then?” Tom asked. Russ’ grin widened.
“We’re gonna fly.” He quickly changed back into his Soran form and loaded them onto his back.
“So tell me Russ,” Candice started, “how exactly did this whole lizard look come to be?”
“It’s a long story…” his voice trailed off.
“Well we have a long flight.” She grinned and kissed him on the cheek. Russ smiled back at her and launched into the air.
Destiny Stock is 14 years old and lives in Baker,
Nevada with her mother, Lori Magner and step father, Timothy Magner.
She started writing short stories by the time she was 11 years old.
She enjoys spending her time with her computer and her pets. She
hopes one day to be a published writer.
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