“F. W. Island you said?” I turn to Jack, my superintendent, confused.
“Yes,” he says, frowning. “F. W. Island. A young man named Henry Grount who has gone there camping is reported missing this morning.”
I remain silence. F. W. Island is one of the small scattered islands near the city. When summer finally comes after a long, brutally freezing winter, lots of people love to go to some of those islands for camping. But no one really goes to F. W. Island because 30 years ago, a couple went missing there, and the case is never solved. My dad was the inspector who investigated the case and drowned on duty. That was a few months after my mom was pregnant with me. I can never understand how my dad would drowned there, since he used to be in the swimming team in university as I was told, but for some reason the case has been left unresolved like that. My mom never allows me to bring up this topic.
I snap back to the present and realize Jack is studying me.
“Sorry, sir,” I straighten up. “I…”
“I know what you were thinking about,” he says, his eyes still on me. “Do you want to take this case?”
In a couple of hours I’m on the boat bound to F. W. Island with my colleague Emily. Although you can’t really see the island from Google Maps because it’s so small, as we draw closer, F. W. Island is actually bigger than I imagined.
“That’s so strange,” Emily says as she squints at the island.
“It seems to be particularly foggy there.”
I look around at the other islands and back to F. W. Island—indeed, even though it’s sunny and very hot today, the island remains somewhat opaque, and I can’t really see the trees except a smudge of green.
“Whatever. If you are suggesting there’s anything supernatural in there, you can save your breath. I don’t believe in that bullshit.” I sneer.
In about an hour, we reach the island. This is definitely a godforsaken place and I really don’t get why some people would want to come here to enjoy the summer. It’s humid, misty, and depressing. Because of the thick mist, the sunshine cannot reach here. And as I look back at the sea, I can’t see the city at all.
“Let’s walk around and see if the camper left any traces,” I suggest, trying to get moving to shake off the chill.
We spend the next few hours walking along the shore just to see if we can find the camper’s boat or any traces of recent habitation without success. But just when I see our boat again, Emily suddenly catches my arm.
“Look,” she points.
I look at where she’s pointing and saw an obscure shadow of a cottage in the woods.
“Why didn’t we see it at first? We couldn’t have missed it because we were just right there,” I point to our boat.
“I don’t know. Let’s check it out,” she shrugs. “Do you have the flashlights?”
I throw her one and we stride into the woods.
That cottage looks like it’s a hundred years old, nor does it look like it’s been recently occupied. The cottage is very small and is made roughly of wood planks with holes and moss. The windows don’t even have glass, and I can’t really tell what’s inside because it’s so dark. I turn on my flashlight and point it through the window—I saw what seems to be a part of a bed, a chair and also a desk.
We walk up the stairs to the door and I push it open. It creaks like the ones in stupid horror movies, except in this misty and dim woods, it actually sends a shiver down my spine. I smell really strong smell of wet rotten woods. Emily walks inside and looks around with her flashlight.
“There’s nothing here except some furniture,” she says quietly.
I look at my watch. It’s 6:47 p.m. “Shall we spend the night here? It’s getting too dark to boat back, with all the fog.”
She nods. “Be right back. Gonna head off to take a piss.”
I listen to her feet stepping on the mud and cracking branches, and her footsteps getting fainter and fainter. What the heck, I thought. She thinks I will peek at her pissing or something?
I walk around the room and inspect it with the flashlight. The bed is not so broken and the planks looks pretty white compared to the ones the house is made of, as if it’s dry. I touch them.
They are dry. Someone made the bed recently. So Henry Grount did sojourn here. But where is he? As I inspect each corner of the room, I notice a small notebook thrown in one of them. I pick it up. It’s soaked, and when I open it, there are writings in it. It was written in pencil and the words are barely legible because they seem to be written in a hurry. It’s a mess. I sit down in the chair and start to read it with the help of my flashlight. It’s already pitch dark outside.
“I’m an adventurer. I came here to camp because I heard about the rumors and I never believed it or thought it was anything supernatural. But after a few hours of staying in this cottage, I had a feeling that I’m horribly wrong. There’s something going on in here…When I first came in the cottage, I found that the wood planks of the bed were white and dry, which is extremely bizarre because no one has come here in 30 years after the couple went missing and when that cop drowned. But I ignored it and decided to camp here. In the first night, I was woken up by something pulling my feet. I was horrified. I dared not to move or do anything but to open my eyelids a gap and look. I almost fainted…the cottage I was in was gone! And I was lying on the bed in the woods…and I saw many hunchbacked old women from every direction staggering toward me…one of them was at the end of the bed trying to pull my feet off! I remained motionless for I didn’t know how long, wishing it was a dream. But the old women only got closer and closer. Within what seems to be 10 minutes, the nearest one was only two feet from me. It was when she suddenly bent over and put her face in front of mine that I lost conscious…because on her face, god, there weren’t two eyeballs in the socket…they were two wide-open mouths! When I woke up and found myself in the cottage again in the second day—just when I thought it was a dream—I found that my feet are gone I couldn’t walk. Couldn’t think properly my yskins are rotting like I was a corpse. wwithevery minute my body is rotting more and more I realize this island is illusional and its cannibal teh mist here consumes humans and if youu ar e readinng this leav aasaap I ccannt”
All the hair stands on its end as I finish reading this. I swallow with difficulty. Then I realize I don’t know how long I have been lost in this. Suddenly, I hear footsteps behind me. I immediately turn and pull out my gun.
I saw a headless corpse of Emily. The limbs of Emily’s headless body are trembling and convulsing on the bed, with blood splattered all over the room.
This is when I completely break down—I fire multiple shots at the body and run out of the cottage.
I am running as fast as I can from the cottage, but when I look back, the cottage is always still there, and I catch a glance of the headless corpse of Emily, which is now walking out of the cottage toward me in an extremely twisted manner.
Another corpse of Emily suddenly appears in front of me and I run straight into it. We both fall over into some water. The corpse’s arms wrap tightly around me, and in a second I feel many hands on my leg, dragging me down.
I pass out.