It was a peaceful summer's day. Unfortunately, just because it was summer did not mean it was summer break. That meant most high school students were imprisoned at the local boring library, studying for the exams that meant the difference between a free summer and boring summer school. These students condensed into small groups either dedicated to improving their grades or had gotten well off-track and were now focusing on improving their social lives. One said group, three boys and one girl, were fully concentrated on talking about anything besides their exams.
"We gotta do something to celebrate and it can't be another one of Winston's parties," one of the boys drawled, leaning back on his chair without caring if he got in trouble for it.
"My party would have been better, Charles, if you hadn't gotten your head stuck in the doghouse. I told you that it wouldn't work, but you never listen," Winston said, putting down his large Spanish-English encyclopedia to glare at Charles. Charles grinned back at the boy.
"What about going out to the haunted bridge. We can stay there the whole night. No one would bother going over there and ratting us out to the cops," the third boy stated.
"The bridge? You snorting something, Peter? That place is boring as hell and everyone knows its not haunted. I got something better…" Charles growled, glaring at Peter in mock-disgust and annoyance.
"Shut up, idiot," the girl grumbled.
"You shut up, Ilene. I'm talking. Look, there's this island. Shadow Island. My buddies say its supposedly haunted. It'd be better than that stupid bridge. Everyone knows that one is not true," Charles stated.
"Shadow Island? My old man said something about that place. Man, I wish I actually listened to him now…" Peter grumbled.
"It'd be the best dare. A perfect way to celebrate graduating from high school and going on to college, booze, and sex," Charles replied.
"Fine with me. We can borrow my dad's boat, unless one of you guys bought one while I wasn't looking," Winston said without looking away from his book.
"Whatever. I'll show you two who's the bravest of us all," Peter replied haughtily.
"All right, we'll meet out by the docks at ten! This is gonna be so great," Charles said excitedly.
"I want to come," Ilene said.
"Men only," Charles quickly said, as if to keep her boyfriend Peter from saying anything that might cause her to go with them.
"You'll let em go or I'll rip off your balls and give them to your ex-girlfriend Ginger. I'm sure she'd love them," Ilene snapped back.
At ten o'clock that very night, the four of them met at the docks. They all drove in Peter's car, hoping that simply having one car loiter near the docks would not attract as much attention as four cars would. They quietly found the boat Winston's dad owned and sped out of the docks and away from the town.
"This is so awesome!" Charles yelled excitedly.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I hope we have a map to this island. It's easy to get lost at sea and I don't want to end up getting lost for several days and having to take summer school because of you," Winston growled from the driver's seat.
"Relax, Winston. Everything is under control. I got it right here," Peter said, pulling out his GPS and showing Winston. With the help of the GPS, they eventually found the supposedly haunted island. They stared at the large island growing bigger over the horizon, a large abandoned fort and dark manor looming above the shrouded woods.
"That is so creepy..." Ilene said quietly.
"Yes, isn't it perfect? I told you it was haunted," Charles crowed excitedly. Winston rolled his eyes as he looked at the shore, looking for a dock to land the boat.
"Guys, I don't see anyplace to dock. This won't work," Winston said.
"You're a liar, Winston. Look, there's the dock over there," Peter said, pointing out a dock hidden in the shadows. Winston grumbled as he directed the boat to the docks. They tied to boat to the dock to keep it from drifting away while they explore Shadow Island.
"Okay. Let's stay together..." Winston said. He then looked up and noticed that all three of his companions had vanished. Winston sighed before getting off the boat and heading off in search of his friends.
"It's so peaceful here," Ilene stated as she looked around. Even though the trees were dark and gloomy, she felt at peace with her boyfriend at her side.
"Yes, and secluded too. You could do anything we want without anyone ever noticing," Peter whispered.
"Really, you're horny now? Your friends…"
"Will be too busy looking for some damn ghosts," Peter murmured as he wrapped his arms around Ilene. Ilene smiled before turning towards him. She leaned up and kissed him, only to stop upon hearing something snap.
"Did you hear that?"
"Nope," Peter stated.
"I think one of your damn friends is watching," Ilene grumbled.
"Lighten up, darling," Peter replied. He was about to continue talking only to be interrupted by growling. He frowned and looked around. Then something dark raced out and leapt onto Peter, knocking him and Ilene to the ground. Ilene squealed as the full weight of the attacker and her boyfriend landed on top of her. Peter yelped in pain and swung backwards, knocking off the attacker from his back. The thing hissed as it skidded across the dirt and pulled itself up, bloody teeth flashing in the moonlight. It was a dog, or at least what once looked like a dog. It's flanks were wet with blood and foam dribbled down its maw. It was horribly thin and its fur was matted with dirt. Ilene jumped as she felt something wet fall on her and realized that it was blood dripping from her boyfriend.
"Oh my God, it bit you!" Ilene stammered. Peter hissed in pain as kicked out at the dog again. It yipped in pain before latching its teeth on his legs and shaking savagely.
"Help me!" Peter yelled, flailing and grabbing at Ilene as the dog pulled at the boy's leg. Ilene acted as any girl in her situation would. She pushed her screaming boyfriend into the creature attacking them and fled, slipping twice on the dirt ground in her panic to escape. The mutilated dog howled angrily and bit down on the screaming Peter, tearing the poor boy apart while his girlfriend fled for her life.
She sobbed in terror as she followed the path back to the boat. She wiped the tears away and then ran into something warm. She shrieked as she fell down, imagining horrible fangs drenched in blood attacking her.
"Dear lord, Ilene? Can you stop shrieking for just one second?" she stopped shrieking as she realized she had run into Charles. She quickly jumped back up to her feet, embarrassed for just a split second about screaming like she had. Then she remembered what happened to Peter and immediately started panicking once again.
"Oh God, it was absolutely horrible! I think Peter's dead. Get us off the island now!" Ilene screamed.
"Or you got lost and panicked upon seeing some bush move," Charles replied nonchalantly.
"I'm serious!" Ilene yelled, raising a hand as if to punch him. Then a high-pitched squeal of pain startled the both of them.
"I know that shriek. That's Winston!" Charles shouted, running immediately towards the shriek. Ilene shivered in terror before following him, not wanting to be left behind. Charles only got a few steps before the side bushes shivered and Winston came rushing out. His glasses were missing and his face was covered in mud and scratches.
"Monsters! There are monsters on this island!" Winston howled, clinging to Charles in terror. Charles pushed him away in annoyance and then noticed his green shirt was covered in blood. He looked at Winston and blanched as he saw that his friend's shirt was ripped apart and blood was spilling out of several deep slashes.
"I told you!" Ilene shouted.
"Shut up, bitch!" Charles yelled angrily. Ilene looked miffed at being called a bitch, but didn't say anything.
"I hate you for bringing us here..." Winston stammered before he collapsed. Charles swore angrily only to stop when they heard a low angry growl.
"It's coming! Run!" Ilene shrieked, running for the path.
"Not without Winston!" Charles roared as he hoisted Winston over his shoulder. The injured boy grumbled something, however it was too weak for either of them to hear. Charles quickly followed after Ilene, hoping that the girl was not leading him into deeper trouble. Then he heard the growls growing louder behind him. He tried to not think about the howls and tried imagining he was running a track event again. Then he lost balance and fell, dropping the silent Winston onto the ground.
"Ilene, help me!" Charles yelled. Ilene skidded to a stop and returned, staring wide-eyed at Winston.
"He's gone..." Ilene murmured.
"No, he's fine. Just help me get him to the boat!" Charles yelled angrily, pushing Ilene aside to pick Winston up again. Ilene groaned and pushed Charles back.
"He's dead! Unless you want to be dead too, you have to leave him!" Ilene yelled. Charles choked as he kept trying to pull Winston's corpse behind him. Irene ran back and smacked him hard across the face. He left Winston go in shock as his head spun from the hit. She knelt down besides Winston and fished out the keys to the boat. She then grabbed Charles' arm and pulled him behind her, running down the path to the dock. She shoved Charles off the dock and into the boat, knocking him to the floor next to the control panel.
"Help me untie this thing! Hurry!" Irene shouted as struggled to untie the ropes. Charles quickly got up and reached over the boat's railing to grab the one nearest to him. Ilene screamed in frustration as she untied the boat and took it away from Charles.
"Just start the boat! I got this!" she screamed. Charles nodded and ran for the controls. He stared at it before finding the key and starting it. Ilene laughed at the sound of the boat starting as she flung the rope over and leapt over the railing.
"Go go go!" Ilene shouted. Charles nodded nervously as he started the boat up. Then he heard a howl and saw a dog leap into the boat as it pulled away. Ilene shrieked in terror as she scrambled away. The dog snapped at her, trying to bite her legs and stop her in her tracks. Finally, it jumped at her and knocked the poor girl over the boat.
"Ilene!" Charles shouted as he stopped the boat and ran at the rabid beast. He shoved hard, sending the rabid dog both off the boat to his shock. The dog howled in pain upon hitting the water, clawing at Ilene in an attempt to stay above. Ilene kicked the dog, pushing herself closer to the boat and leaving the wounded dog to drown. However, its claws still ripped open her legs, tearing tendons and spilling blood into the salty water.
"C'mon! Swim, Ilene!" Charles yelled. Ilene tried her best to swim towards the boat, but could not reach the boat before she began sinking beneath the water.
"Shit!" Charles growled as he reached out for the sinking girl. He grabbed Ilene's hand and almost got pulled into the water. Ilene stared wide-eyed at him as he tried dragging her up. The more he pulled, the more the dark-colored cloud surrounding her seemed to spread. Finally, he managed to pull her up onto the boat. He dumped her on the ground and ran for the controls, sending the boat racing forwards in hopes of getting away from the island.
"Okay, okay. Concentrate…I'm mildly hurt and Ilene's in shock," Charles grumbled before grabbing a first aid kit and hurrying to Ilene's side. As he knelt down on the drenched floor, he turned her another side and realized that she still wore the same expression as she had when he had pulled her from the water. The only difference was that she was no longer breathing.
At around four in the morning, residents that lived along a local beach noticed a strange boat floating dangerously close to shore. Police were contacted and arrived to the scene expecting to find it abandoned. However, they discovered its passengers; a dead girl and a terrified boy.
The young man, later identified as Charles Preston by the locals, was found curled up on the dirty boat floor next to his drowned companion and covered in day-old blood. The police detained the youth as the forensic team searched the boat and the corpse for evidence, questioning him about the origins of the blood and what had happened that night. However, he could only give one response before his terror made him mute.