Beneath the Darkness Isle

I’m working on this for NaNoWriMo

Part 1 is here

this is the rough work I did today. (This needs work).

At the end of the dock Lucas stopped and looked down at the enormous puddle that had accumulated in a divot at the end of the dock. His overcoat was already wet from the journey to the island and now his path set him to go through puddles of mud. What luck I do have.

He checked his cell phone, no reception. Right they do everything by radio out here. It’s like going back in time. Then he proceeded forward, through the deep puddle soaking his shoes and socks and across the flat muddy lot to the wide path between the trees on the hill.

You could fit a car down it, if they had cars on the island. The trail was well worn and littered with gravel to help deter plans from growing on it. Tree pushed in from either side of the trail reaching out like fingers to grab weary travelers like Lucas. In the fall darkness the leafless trees were like skeletal demons in the dark stretching their tendriled, lanky, bits out for affection.

Once a branch did bump Lucas’s arm and caught him off guard. In the dark he let his imagination get the better of him and he nearly drew his pistol. From then on he walked in the center of the path. His pack was supposed to be waterproof but was beginning to feel heavier, like it was taking on water.

Aside from the trail it almost didn’t look like anyone lived on the island. After the small hill, which seemed to trace at least the western edge, if not the entire island, the path sloped down gently towards the center of the island. This caused a tiny river to form in the center of the path and at its edges. If Lucas had thought to bring an umbrella it might actually have been a pleasant jaunt in the rain.

There was the occasional sound from the woods that made Lucas uneasy. There’d be the sound of a branch shaking in the breeze or a twig snapping. Once it sounded like a full branch, or a small tree, even fell over. If there was a little thunder and lightning this would look like the opening to a shitty horror movie.

Lucas bundled himself in tight as the temperature seemed to drop. The cold and wetness were getting to him and causing his body to shake from chills every few moments like he had on the boat. His little light had lead him well enough and the town, however dim and nearly impossible to see had to be somewhere in the distance.

The trees around him may have been too thick to see around in the dark but the town was illuminated by the moon’s light as though it’d been focused directly at it. With the first two buildings on the main road through town in sight Lucas picked up his pace. Warmth was within reach.

***Possibly add a town leader contacting boatmen on radio? He’s here? Also have the townsfolk chase a girl into the church and “get her” or tie her up***

 

2

The first two buildings were small houses with covered porches, after them there was a series of four more houses on either side, all identical. They were painted white with green shutters. Their doors were a slightly deeper green than the shutters. All the door handles were copper. None of the chimneys bellowed smoke and none of the homes carried light. There were no visible people in the town, only a small empty laundromat and a tiny general store. Down the crossed split in the town there were more houses. In the middle of the town was an old well.

Lucas hoped that they’d progressed beyond bringing up water from wells by now. There’s no excuse to be drudging up water by the bucket in the 21st century. He looked around for an inn or a local bar. Surely they had to have a place to grab a drink. They were a fishing town weren’t they? Sailors drink. Or so they say. There were only twenty houses for the fifty people that lived in the town and they all seemed to be relatively the same.

Lucas stood in the dim town, next to the well and slowly turned around hoping he’d missed a light in one of the buildings but he hadn’t. It was like he was the only living thing on the island. He was alone with a bunch of building and trees.

There was a gurgle from the well. Lucas turned around hoping he may have heard someone behind him. The well gurgled again, which was odd. Wells generally didn’t gurgle in Lucas’s limited well experience. There was a moan and what Lucas’s imagination turned into a little whimper from the bottom of the well.

The cold is getting to you Lucas. You’re hearing things now. You’ve just gotta find someone and get a hold of Mrs. Louis. Then you can check the report and run a quick investigation. If it’s a murder there can’t be that many suspects. Should be able to leave by noon tomorrow.

Lucas entered the small general store and was surprised that he wasn’t greeted by an old metal bell ringing to say someone had entered. In a town like this he expected those little touches. Instead he was greeted by cold silence and a long creek of the door pulling itself closed. The lights were off and Lucas wondered if maybe the power was out in town. That would have explained the quiet and the darkness.

He yelled, “Hello!?” into the store. There was no answer. He eyed a package of nuts, sighed, and wished that he could purchase them. Then he wish that could allow himself to simply take them, but did not.

When he left the little shop he headed east. The north and south roads each looked like dead ends in the dark and the north road bent upwards towards a high point in the distance with a pointed structure on it. Perhaps there was more town at higher ground. Fletcher had mentioned a church on the island, maybe someone was there seeking god’s warmth as a refuge from the rain.

The trees and shrubbery around the path east was more kept than the western entrance to the town. The gravel over this part of the path was pressed into the earth. Years of daily crossings made the dirt hard and smooth so that the water ran off of it almost like cement. This portion of the path even had a raised center so that the water all ran off to the sides.

Instead of gangly fingers reaching out for Lucas, the trees retreated. Many of the branches were trimmed and cut but most were went and tied in another direction. This created almost a wall like feel to the greenery around the path. The branches formed almost a fencing. Lucas examined the wide weaving of the branches more closely and found that there were many old and tattered ropes that had forced the branches to grow in place. Some branches had grown around the rope and absorbed it into themselves. Still other, thinner branches, were tied with newer ropes. It looked like it’d been cared for in this way for a dozen lifetimes. There were only a few sections that Lucas through a person might fit through.

Do these people some a nature connection or something against cutting back branches? Wouldn’t it be easier just to trim and burn the branches? Lucas continued east and the rain began to ease into just the occasional droplet. The weaving of the branches alone could draw in tourists. It extended for nearly half a mile. An exhausting amount of work could pay off. This would be a nice place for a bed and breakfast.

Lucas thought it might be nice to visit the island again, in the summer. That it’d be nice to stroll the island in the daylight with his girlfriend, if he had one in the summer. Surely there was a beach to sit on, it couldn’t all be rocky. They could have lunch. That would be nice.

The path opened up to a steep hill with a sort of pyramid structure at it’s peak. This pyramid however had a rectangular base instead of the typical square one which caused it to have the deep elongated stature of a wide based triangle.

At the tip of the pyramid was a cross like symbol with a circle at its center. Inside the center was a weirdly twisted shape that looked to glow as the moonlight passed through it. Puffs of grey smoke rose from thin pipes which came out from the base of the symbol. The smoke was so thin that it aided in catching the moonlight. Lucas, where the hell are you?

Lucas moved to what looked like the front of the pyramid, it was the only section of it with a recess that leads to a door. The remainder of the pyramid seemed to be plainly layered wood. Thin vines grew over moss around much of the base of the pyramid. Leading down to the entry wide double doors were stone steps that went about waist deep into the earth.

The double doors were built of a darker wood than the outside of the structure, which was itself darker than normal from the wetness of the rain. The dark wood of the doors had a deep cherry tint and a thin lacquer that make some sections partially darker than others. Each door had a metal handle with a latch that you pressed down on with your thumb to open.

 

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