The Screaming Island

📅 Published on July 11, 2021

“The Screaming Island”

Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek and Seth Paul
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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“Are you sure there’s buried treasure here?”

“Yeah, I have heard strange tales about this place.  Ghosts and zombies and shit.”

I resisted rolling my eyes as the small skipper boat we were on slid up against the sands of the island.

“It’s not like a treasure map, Zach.  There won’t be a dotted path leading to x marks the spot,” I told him as I surveyed the encroaching jungle.

It was exactly like my friend Will had described.

It was haunting how still the foliage was.  Not even a sign of wildlife could be seen.  Maybe the rumors of there being something supernatural on this island were true.

“Well, that ain’t necessarily wrong, though.  I mean, if there is treasure here, it’s not exactly going to be scattered about,” Jack commented as he lit a cigarette and paid our guide.

“When should I return to pick you up?” the Egyptian man asked.  His eyes betrayed his fear of the island, a clear danger that he was sure existed just beyond this line of trees.  He was anxious to leave.

“Circle back near dinner time.  We should be ready to go by then,” Jack decided.

“You really think we can find something in just twelve short hours?” Patsy asked as she took out her camera.  She was always so eager to capture everything on film.  As we tramped through the overgrowth, it was beginning to look like there wouldn’t be much to see, though.

“According to Will, the crash site was near the north cliffside,” I said as I grabbed the heavy gear we would need for the eventual dive.

I knew my friends were likely expecting to find gold doubloons or medallions, but my interest was in antiques of a different kind.

“Just for clarity, remind me again what you said,” the last member of our party, Anni, insisted.

“If you weren’t so busy wasting time making out on the trip over here…”

Jack gave me the stink eye, and I sighed, rehashing all the details that I felt were necessary.

“Okay, so a few years back Will and his mates came out here on spring break.  Said that they wanted to just get away from the hustle and bustle of the main islands and just chill with nature and shit.  Well, anyway, while they were here, they went for a few swims and stumbled across an old World War I bomber.  He was able to dredge up a few cool things from the wreck before they returned to land,” I told them.

“What exactly could an old aircraft have that we could sell?” Jack asked.

I pushed the jungle overgrowth aside, and as we kept walking toward the north cliffs, I explained it to them.  “These were probably the first of their kind.  The findings of these artifacts could even reshape the history of the time.  And they’d be priceless…if we can find them, that is.”

“What about the rumors, though?  Why is it called the Screaming Island?” Anni asked.

“Probably just to scare off any tourists.  The place has been abandoned for a while, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if a few legends came from here,” I responded.

“Maybe there are howler monkeys somewhere inland,” Jack joked.

“I have enough oxygen for about four hours of diving,” Patsy said as we got to a clearing.

All of us paused for a short tangible moment as we came across a pile of human skulls.

It was jarring and shocking, and immediately Anni spoke what was on everyone’s mind.  “Uh…Mark.  I thought you said this place was deserted?”

“Well…now we know why it’s creepy here,” Jack muttered.

I swallowed a gulp of air and continued to push through to the next trail.  “That’s what Will told me…and that was two years ago.  Maybe it’s changed since then.  Maybe someone came to the island.”

“That looked like more than two years’ worth of skeletal remains,” Jack snapped, grabbing my shoulder and shoving me against a tree.  “What ain’t you telling us?  You keep mentioning you heard this story from Will, well…what about his mates?  Why ain’t any of them come forward with stories of treasure?”

I didn’t know what to say, except that it was pointless to lie to them now.

“I’m not really sure what happened to them…Will never talked about that…but it’s not like he was in the right frame of mind…”

Patsy’s eyes sparkled with that sudden realization.  “Wait a tic.  Are you talking about William Carter?  That guy that committed suicide last year?  I dated him sophomore fall semester!”

“Yep…that’s him,” I said, diverting my eyes.  Jack was clearly more suspicious now than ever.

“So…we are following the words of a stupid crazy person that offed themselves?” Patsy realized.

“Why did he try to commit suicide?” Jack asked.

“Can we walk and talk?  I don’t like staying near that…” Anni commented as she pointed back toward the pile of bones.  We agreed to that, but Jack kept a close eye on me as we arrived at the cliffside where it looked like some makeshift cabin had once stood.

It was clear from the ashes on the ground that it had also recently been burnt down.  Probably within the last few months, I realized as I checked the perimeter.

“Something doesn’t feel right about this…besides the obvious,” Patsy said nervously.

“Let’s not overstay our welcome, okay?  A lot of the info I got is probably old, so why don’t we just dive, grab the goods and just hang out at the shore until Abdul shows back up to take us to the main island,” I suggested.

“Suits me just fine.  But don’t think for a second I’m letting you off the hook about Will,” Jack said as he started to strip down and get ready for the dive.

We had only brought enough gear for two people, and since he and I were the top swimmers from college, it made sense we would go.  In the meantime, I told the girls to stay watch and tug on the line if there was a problem.

I prayed that my growing tension about the island was wrong and we could find the wreck quickly and leave.

We swam about to a trench that was about two kilometers from the cliffs and chose that as the spot to dive.  I instructed Jack to stay near to me in case of a sudden riptide, and the two of us soon found ourselves in a pocket of the reef that looked like it might be the perfect spot for debris to be scattered in.

To my surprise, though, it looked like it was an underground tunnel of some kind carved completely into the trench.  The dive light on my scuba helmet barely penetrated the tunnel a few meters, and from there, it was complete darkness.  For some reason, though, I felt compelled to swim deeper.  The ocean seemed to be calling me to search.

Jack was right at my side, motioning for us to go back.  But something told me that a find bigger than any ruined aircraft was below.  This was going to be groundbreaking; I just knew it.

Soon we found ourselves swimming up into what I soon realized was a chasm of some kind with an air pocket.  I could even make out a distinct glow from the cavern walls.  Something was hidden here beneath the island.

As we came up, I found myself staring at some kind of ancient wall.  The carvings on it looked far more prehistoric than I imagined possible for this area, and it immediately sent images of the legends of Atlantis running through my mind.

Jack took off his helmet and rubbed his ears.

“I hate when they pop like that…we must be pretty far down.  I don’t see any sunlight anywhere,” he commented as he checked around the exterior of the wall.  Who knew when the last time humans had stood here, I thought to myself?  The wall seemed to stretch for miles, dark and untouched and foreboding.

A strange, eerie sense of unease began to creep along my neck as we found an entrance to the other side, deeper into the labyrinth.  A voice telling me that I should wonder, was this wall meant to keep us out…or keep something within?  What had this place been built for?

The deeper we went, the more treacherous the path became.  It wasn’t exactly designed for people; the shapes were too oblong and nonsensical.  It felt as though lightning had crossed through the stone and pushed its way into the crevices, even though it was clearly manufactured this way…as if not meant for humans at all.  Some strange, unholy abomination made these, I thought, as we arrived at a massive chamber that reminded me of a cemetery.

There were at least twenty oval-shaped coffins standing in a row in front of us, each one of them placed in such a pattern to indicate their place in the hierarchy of this ancient society, or so it seemed.  Jack whistled softly and took one of the lids off without even hesitating.

“What are you doing?  That stuff could have some ten-thousand-year-old disease!” I shouted.

“Don’t be a wuss, Mark.  Forget the aircraft; this is where the money will be.  Museums will pay through their asses for a fortune find like this.  It could even reshape what we think about history,” he said as he reached into the cylinder and took out a strange black stone.  It looked like it was made of pure marble.

“This feels like a bad idea…something about this place reminds me of Will’s trip.  He said he ran into trouble…and that there were forces here that we couldn’t understand.  Maybe we should head back,” I suggested.

“Not until we grab a few of these,” he insisted, taking a few of the stone urns and then following me toward the entrance.  All the while, it felt like we were being watched.

As we made it to the air pocket where we would need to dive again, I heard a strange whistling noise and turned back toward the tunnel instinctively.

There was something there.  It was larger than any normal human and had eyes that covered its body.  It looked like it had formed out of the shadows themselves.  At first, I thought that I was seeing things.  And then the monster slid against the wall the way a blob of jelly might.

I grabbed Jack to look, but in that split second, the creature had vanished.

“What’s wrong with you?” he snapped.

“I saw…I’m not sure what I saw,” I admitted.

“Don’t go crazy on me down here.  I won’t hesitate to drop your ass,” my friend told me as he put his helmet back on and placed the black stones in his satchel.

I heard the whistling again, but this time didn’t look back.

We just need to leave as soon as possible, I told myself.

The tiny rocks shimmered with more intensity as they hit the water, and I swam behind him, watching as it seemed like they were beginning to erode in the deep waters.

As we got back toward the trench, I realized that wasn’t what was happening at all.  The rocks weren’t just dissolving.  The urns were hatching.  Some strange black tendrils were moving out from his satchel, wrapping around Jack’s leg as I swam and I tried to catch his attention.

But it was already too late.  Somehow this formless blob was expanding at a rapid rate and grabbing hold of his appendages, making him sink the way a true stone would.  I tried to grab ahold of him, but the creature was coiling into his skin tighter and tighter as he sunk into the depths, and I knew I wouldn’t have the power or the time.

I watched as his eyes bulged and he screamed in the deep, swarmed by the monsters and taken to their lair.

Instead, I said a silent prayer and crashed back toward the surface, calling out to my friends for help.

But the cliffside was silent, even as I tugged urgently on the rope.  Anni and Patsy…would they be alive when I got there?

I frantically started to climb up, worried that some other unholy terror might be attacking them.

As I made it to the ridge, I caught my breath and saw a group of natives standing there with spears drawn.  My friends were on the ground, trembling and trying to surrender.  It was clear that one of the tribal warriors had already injured Anni with a bloody knee.

There were at least twelve of them, all covering their bodies in a strange, smelly copper paint with war designs and fearful monsters that reminded me of the creature that had just swallowed up Jack.

“Please don’t hurt them,” I tried to say.  But it was about as useless as talking to a wall.  A language barrier was there, and the natives were only interested in seeing us punished.  So they grabbed me by the hair and tossed me into the center of their attack ring, a female group of musicians clamoring on the drums nearby as I was forced to make the decision to surrender as well.

It was the only chance I had to determine if we could escape and possibly get out of here alive.

One of the islanders shoved me to the ground.  Another jabbed me with a pike.  There was a bit of commotion among them as I began to bleed.  As I looked up at our captors and got a better view of them, I started to understand why they were amazed by seeing us.

Beneath the war paint, it was clear the natives were sickly, their skin a grayish green that was tight to their skin.  Worse still, against the sides of their faces, I saw long gills that moved up and down as they breathed and fish-like eyes.

These people had been separated from society for so long they did not even resemble humans anymore.

They pushed us toward the jungle, motioning for us to listen or face more brutal treatment and Patsy gave me a foul look.

“I thought you said this island was deserted!”

“It’s like I told you before; it’s been a few years.  Maybe something has changed since then,” I remarked.

“Bullshit, Mark!  And where is Jack?  What did you do to him!” she snapped.  One native became angry at her heightened voice and shoved her again.  I whispered, “Maybe we can talk about all of this when we get out of this mess alive?”

Soon we found ourselves at a very simplistic settlement.  It was made of the same materials that we saw in the cabin but clearly was only made maybe a year ago.

We saw more skulls scattered about what looked like a crossover between a throne and an altar, and the natives began to chant as they tied us up and forced us on the ground.

Everything about their behavior and demeanor told me that we were about to be killed.

“Any bright ideas?” Anni whispered.

I was watching all of them, trying to figure out if there was really any chance they might be reasoned with.

Then from the front of the altar, I saw a face that sent a shock down my body.

“Will??” Patsy screamed in surprise as her old boyfriend moved toward us, flaunting his strange bone jewelry like a king.

“You’re dead…I saw you jump at the school,” she whispered as he stood almost right on top of her.

“Of course I was.  Before I came to this island, I was dead to the whole world…” he whispered.  He seemed to be looking at us with amusement.  And a bit of surprise.

“I honestly never thought you of all people would come here.  My suicide was meant to stop you.  Keep you away.  I didn’t think you would let greed cloud your judgment,” Will said as he told the natives to pull us up to our feet.

“You came searching for treasure and found something much more dangerous, didn’t you?” he said with a sparkle in his eye as he looked toward me.

He barked another order, and a few natives came forward with what looked like a tomahawk.

“You’ve desecrated these people’s holy land, Mark.  For that, I’m afraid you’re going to need to pay a price,” he said.

I was still baffled by the strangeness of our friend being alive, but before I even knew what was happening, one of the natives was holding my arm still and preparing to chop off my hand.

“You don’t understand!  It was Jack!!  He’s the one that took the stones.  I tried to stop him; I knew something was wrong with them.  And then something under the water attacked him,” I said desperately.

A few other natives closed in to watch this strange and sinister ritual, each of them holding a different tool or instrument I was sure would add to the torture.

“Your honesty is refreshing, but you were just like all the others.  Couldn’t steer clear from the call of the gold.  And for that, you deserve this!” Will shouted and then motioned for the natives to enact his orders.

In one quick swoop the tomahawk came down and smashed at my wrist, cutting at the bone.  Since my arm was not resting on anything, the force of the impact was greater than I was ready for, and it sent me immediately into shock.  But Will didn’t even flinch when he heard my guttural screams.

He ordered the natives to slam the weapon against my arm again and again, severing the hand from my wrist until only bits of sinew and flesh could keep it together.

Immediately the native woman poured a fine, coppery water on the wound, cauterizing it the way a laser might in surgery.  It burned, but the shock of the initial pain had caused me to go completely numb.  To my side, I heard Anni and Patsy screaming and crying, trying their best to not lose their minds as they imagined their own fate at the hands of our former friend.

Will took my severed hand and showed it to all the natives in triumph.  They cheered, and he turned the hand over to let the blood drain out, forcing me to have it drip on my face.

“Let the truth flow into your veins, Mark.  Open your eyes and see the dark reality of the world around,” he said as the natives forced my eyes open and the disgusting body fluids clouded my vision.  It burned, perhaps even worse than the amputation, and I cried for him to stop.

Then they pushed me back to the sands and took the hand toward their nearest bone pile, tossing it on top and lighting it on fire.

I stood there, still transfixed at the reality of losing my hand and numb to the world, when I heard the roar of the water and looked toward the horizon.

Something was coming up.  Was it the same creature that had attacked Jack?

Immediately the natives dispersed like cockroaches, and I grabbed at the girls to hide even as Will lost his focus.  He couldn’t control their fear.

Apparently, the amputation of my hand had been some sort of sacrifice that was meant to appease this blood beast.

We watched as Will approached the faceless creature, its formless body shrieking violently and towering two feet above his head, opening its maw, and spewing toxic acid into his flesh.

Now it made sense how these people had lost their sense of humanity.  They worshipped monsters… and as I watched Will get flayed alive like some dead cattle, I realized that it was their fervent desire to emulate these atrocious beasts.

With his face peeling off and his body being cut to ribbons by the monster, our old friend faced us.

“I am actually thankful you came…so you, too, could be granted the immortality I have.  I had to leave the life I knew for this, but it was worth it.  You’ll see that the infinite wisdom they offer will have you strip off your humanity, too,” Will said, his voice shaking as he was attacked over and over.  He was offering himself as penance for our crimes, confident the beast would resurrect him to a higher form of life.

I took the opportunity as a chance to run for the coast.

The girls followed behind as we heard screams from the natives.  But nothing could deter us from trying to escape.

We made it to the shore where our guide was supposed to be waiting for us, and I felt a gut-wrenching twist in my stomach as I saw the poor man on the sands torn apart like a beached whale.  The creature had found him before we had.

Anni screamed again.

Then I heard Will whisper an offer of freedom.

“One of you must return to the world and tell them of this place.  Tell them the danger so they too will one day be foolish enough to come to our shores,” he snarled as his organs began to grow back within his collapsing body.  He reminded me of a zombie, being powered only by the will of the mindless creature that was eager for more victims.

“We can pilot the boat, come on,” Anni insisted.

Patsy hesitated for a moment, and it was that hesitation that killed her.  A long, sallow hand from under the sand grabbed at her legs and started to pull her as we pushed the boat off the shore.

“There is nowhere you can run from this!” Will screamed as Anni and I climbed into the boat.  We tried desperately to reach for Patsy as she was swallowed by the undead monsters under the beach, but it was too late.

It was a miracle we made it off the beach.

As we pushed toward the open water, I activated the boat engine and didn’t look back.  We could still hear the shrieking even as we saw the last scrap of land fade away.

It’s been almost a week since we were there.  Anni and I made it back to the main island and got a quick rest before flying home.

At first, we agreed not to speak of what happened, to not even tell Jack or Patsy’s family or friends.  But such silence felt cruel.

So instead, we painted a picture of a terrible accident that happened on the way.

All the while, my anger and bitterness toward Will and the island grew.  He had lured me there.  But why?  He had forced me to even lose a limb.  And I still only knew that he wanted to satisfy a dark god.

His taunting haunted my dreams, until one day I confessed to Anni that I needed to go back.

“We can’t escape this,” I told her.

She refused to accept our role in our friend’s deaths and decided not to return with me.  But my mind was made up.

I have spent the time back to the island recording this to remember the fear and danger of my first excursion here.  My hope is that now with this new knowledge, I can gain answers.

But when I land, I automatically get the sense that nothing will be the same.

There are no skulls.  No signs of a cabin or other structures.  The island is simply barren and empty.

Only haunting laughter echoing in my head is now crashing into these shores.  And the reality that my madness will one day consume me, to take my life for having allowed greed to cloud everything I ever did.

Truly, this is the Screaming Island.

Rating: 10.00/10. From 2 votes.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Kyle Harrison
Edited by Craig Groshek and Seth Paul
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Kyle Harrison

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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