I had a school project to finish for photography and was very stumped. So a few classmates and I went to the pub and started discussing what we were going to do. There were four of us in total. We were all in the same boat: two weeks away from the deadline and nothing to show for it. We felt very overburdened.
The pub was about to close, so we went to pay our bill. As we approached the pay counter, the barkeep leaned over and said to us, "I know a good place for your project." He explained to us that there is a place just off the coast of Bella Coola between Queen Charlotte Sound and Fitz Hugh Sound. We put the idea to a vote, and it came out unanimous.
We decided we should go to the Hakai Protected Area of British Columbia, Canada. The island was called Hecate Island. We were to leave the next morning at six o'clock A.M. We decided to meet in front of the coffee shop so we could get a morning cup, then set off.
I was well into my packing when my classmate, Ricky, called. "Joey! Man! You aren't going to believe this," he excitedly yelled into the phone.
"What's up, Ricky?" I asked.
"Duuuuuude, I tried looking that Hecate Island place up. There is nothing on the internet on it! Well, except that it's an island off wherever that bartender said it was."
I was not impressed and inquired how it was so exciting.
"Man, when I was looking it up, I found an article on this Greek Goddess called Hecate. She's said to have knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, as well as necromancy. Think we're walking into something strange here, Joe?"
I didn't know what to say to be completely honest. I just answered "no" and explained that I had to finish packing and get some sleep. After I hung up the phone, I noticed that I had received a text message from my other classmate, Rachel. It read, "Hey Joey, Rick is off his rocker I think. He called me in hysterics, thinking we're walking into some Greek voodoo death trap or something. Think we should bring him along?"
I felt the same skepticism about him coming too at this point. I still gave Ricky the benefit of the doubt and answered Rachel by saying he's just reading ghost stories before bed and that we'll be just fine.
Ellis, our last classmate, arrived at the coffee shop just before me. He had already ordered a large coffee and he was waiting for everyone. "Hey Joey," he looked up at me as I walked in the door, "did you get a call from Ricky last night as well?"
I chuckled a bit to myself, "Yeah, told me that island we're going has no information on it and that it as the same name as some Greek Goddess that knows about herbs, poisonous plants and necromancy."
Ellis rolled his eyes with a chuckle.
As I ordered my coffee, Rachel and Ricky arrived at the same time. They ordered their coffee. We all complained about being up so early in the morning. Ricky especially wanted to stay home and watch Saturday morning cartoons. We finished our coffees and headed for the ferry terminal.
The ferry trip was expensive, long and extremely boring. We all fell asleep, and woke up shortly before we reached Bella Coola. When we landed, we took little time in getting to the ferry station that would take us to the Hakai Protected Area.
I looked across the water while we were waiting for the ferry. I could see Hecate Island. As I looked at it, I fell into a daze. A trance, if you will.
"Go home..." I swear I heard a whisper say.
I snapped out of it when Rachel put her hand on my shoulder, "You okay, Joey? Our ferry has been here for five minutes, and it's about to depart."
I rubbed my eyes and face and nodded. She tilted her head and looked at me strangely for a second before following everyone else on board. I was the last one on. I felt a little spooked.
After another twenty-minute ferry ride, we landed on Calvert Island where we sought direction. We were told that there was one person who would take people across to Hecate Island. We had a small break for lunch, then headed on our way.
We arrived at the man's cabin at about 12:30 P.M. It was an old-looking cabin, more shack-like. It was weather torn and pasty white in colour.
"Look at this fuckin' dump!" Ricky barked out.
I wanted to say something, but I couldn't. It was a fuckin' dump. It had all sorts of things lying around. Boat motors, gas cans, paint cans, some netting drapped around the side of the house. How could I forget? It smelt of dead, rotting fish.
We approached the cabin together. Rachel called out, "Hello! Anyone home? We were told that someone here could take us to Hecate Island. Is this true? Can you please?"
A man walked out from the cabin. He looked very old. He had a pipe in his mouth, very thick grey facial hair, and wore a blue sailor's hat. "Aye, I can. But I warn ya troup, there be strange doin's on that island. You shouldn't stay past sun down. You shouldn't be going there at all," he said in a grim voice.
"Please sir," I begged, "we shouldn't be longer than a few hours at max. We just want to take a few pictures and be on our way."
The old man looked down at me, almost scornfully, "There is plenty o' other island around here, lad. Why Hecate? Calvert prolly looks jus' the same, I tell ya."
Ricky jumped out, "What's so bad about Hecate, anyways?"
The old man shook his head in anger and blurted, "Ya all are a bunch o' damn fools!"
I was a little shocked by the this whole thing, I was wondering why he was getting like this.
"So, you won't take us then?" Ellis piped up.
The old man took a few long deep breaths and rubbed his forehead, "I'll take ya, but don't say I didn't warn ya!"
Rachel wanted to say something, but Ricky stopped her and shook his head.
"When do we leave, Mr... We didn't catch your name," I said.
"Just call me Cap'n O'Reily, and we leave now."
It was a relieving sight to see that the boat looked fairly new. No, we couldn't complain at all about the boat. It was a fairly short trip to Hecate, but I couldn't shake what had happened earlier. It didn't seem like I was making the right choice coming here, and the good Captain was right; there was all of the protected area to explore. I swallowed hard and thought to myself, We're already almost there now. No turning back.
I took out my camera and took a picture of the beach we were descending on. You could see the lush forest line and the beige sand of the beach with the blue water rolling into white as it hit the beach in the picture. As I gazed on, the others kept themselves preoccupied by playing with their cellphones and annoying Captain O'Reily.
We were almost at the beach when my trance hit me again.
"Go back! Go back!" a hoarse voice screamed in my head.
I dropped to my knees, holding my head. My chest grew tight. I felt a chilling pain go up and down my spine. As I was holding my head, it felt like some force was making me try and crush my skull with my own hands. I wanted to scream. I clenched my jaw tight and felt drool fall out of my mouth.
"Joey, snap out of it man. We're here," Ricky said, patting my back.
I was out of my trance, but I was still standing. I could feel a cold tingling sensation in my stomach. I just jumped off the boat first and lay down on the sand.
Everyone looked at me as the captain bellowed, "I'll be back by sunset! Be ready!"
Rachel took out a bandana, got it wet, and put it on my forehead. "Are you okay, Joey?" she looked worried.
"I had a trance again, sorry. Just not used to getting up that early in the morning I guess." I wasn't ready to admit that I was hearing voices in my head.
After a couple minutes of me laying on the sand, Ellis and Ricky went off to take pictures. Rachel stayed behind with me until I felt better. I felt that I should've stopped Ricky and Ellis from breaking off from us. I could feel that there was something watching us, watching me.
"Hurry up, sleepy head! Ellis and Ricky aren't too far, we can catch up!" I got up and walked with Rachel. We could see Ellis and Ricky in the distance.
As Rachel and I walked, I was looking at Ellis and Ricky in the distance. I felt a heavy feeling come about me. It slowed me down. I began to feel dizzy, and I started to waver back and forth. My eyes fell to the ground as I stumbled about. I looked up to see Ellis choking Ricky on the ground in front of me. I could see Ricky struggling and fall limp on the ground.
"Come on, sleepyhead! Keep up!" Rachel said as she came to help me from stumbling. Ellis and Ricky were still in the distance.
"Come on, slowpokes! If you both don't hurry up, you guys are buying the drinks when we get back to the mainland!"
I looked with astonishment. "What the fuck?" I muttered, and Rachel looked at me in confused.
"Joey? Are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost or something."
I took the still wet bandana and whipped my face. "Yeah, I'll be okay." I lied.
I know I wasn't going to be okay. I was hallucinating. I was thinking Ricky, being the asshole he is, put something in my coffee. I couldn't blame Ellis or Rachel. Ellis is quiet and soft spoken, and Rachel is far too innocent. In my current state, I knew accusing anyone of anything would be a bad idea. I roughed it. We got to Ellis and Ricky eventually. Ellis and Ricky both looked at me oddly, I guess I looked shocked. I felt shocked.
"Are you okay, Joey? We can leave and come back another day if you want," Ellis said with a deep concern in his voice.
I was going to reply with a lie again when I caught something in the corner of my eye. I quickly turned to look, but saw nothing. To avoid suspicion, I took my camera and took a couple quick shots into the forest. With my luck, I actually managed to get a picture of a black bear and a couple birds flying. The others were amazed that I could move so fast in the state I was in. They were even more amazed I took a decent picture with actual wildlife in it.
We ventured on into the woods. I was still stumbling about. We were all taking pictures. I was struggling to keep my mind in check. I was not sure in any fashion what was going on. I had the urge to run away fast, but from what and to where? We're on an island after all, and I wasn't going to chance it by swimming across the Strait.
I began to feel very dizzy again when it happened. Rachel was screaming. I tried to turn and look, but I fell over due to my own dizziness. Ellis and Ricky ran and jumped over me to find Rachel. Ricky ran off, while Ellis stopped dead in his tracks and turned around. He was coming back to check on me.
"You okay, buddy? Did you see what happened to Rachel?" Ellis asked in a worried tone.
Sheepishly, I answered, "No, I got dizzy and fell over."
Ellis looked mad. He was about to say something when Ricky came back. He was panting hard.
"Something... Something took Rachel!" He wheezed out. "I couldn't keep up; it was too fast. It looked like a black bear. I didn't know black bears could carry people over their shoulders like that."
Ricky looked exhausted from running. Ellis helped me up roughly. "We gotta go after her! Do you know whereabouts the bear ran?" Ellis said.
He looked stern, "Yeah, follow me."
With that, we were off. We had to find Rachel. I was hoping this was a trance-induced dream again. I was hoping Rachel would rub my back and give me that sleepyhead bit again. Although I was dizzy, what was happening now was very real.
"I told you to go back but you did not heed my warning!" I heard a distinct whisper say. I had that feeling in my stomach again. "Your friends are dead!" the whisper became more hoarse. That's when my vision began to blurr.
As my vision blurred, I could see Rachel. She had a look of pure horror on her face. She was cut open and her organs were removed. There was something there still carving away at her when it looked at me.
It was like nothing I've ever seen before. It had a blank expression on its face. Big brown eyes, and pointed, sharp-looking teeth that seemed to be all over the place in its mouth. It did not have a nose in the conventional sense. It just had the two holes where the nose would be. It was furry, but had a bare chest that looked to be dyed a reddish-brown colour.
As soon as the blurr came, it left. Though a burning image of the creature was still in my eyes. I was up propped up against a tree. I was about to look around when I felt a hand slap me across the face.
"Fucking wake up! Snap the fuck out of it! God fucking dammit, Joey! Wake up!" Ellis was screaming.
"Ow what the fuck?" I had no idea what was going on.
"That fucking thing that took Rachel! That fucking thing took Ricky! It just picked him and ran the fuck off!" Ellis was in shock.
"Which way did they go?" I questioned.
Ellis was shaking. He was beginning to quiver.
"Ellis! Which. Way. Did. They. GO?! Tell me which way they went!" I started yelling at Ellis.
Ellis slowly pointed to behind the tree.
"Are you coming or are you staying here?" I grabbed at Ellis and shook him.
"I-I'm coming," Ellis stuttered out. He took a deep breath and we were off.
While we ran, I started to hallucinate again. I kept hearing the voice saying "Your friends are dead!" and "You'll be the last to die!" I didn't care. Ricky and Rachel needed help.
"Wait! Look at this!" Ellis called out. I stopped and looked. There was a blood trail. No words were spoken, we ran and followed the blood trail.
The blood trail came to a small clearing by some water. Rachel was laid on a rock, and Ricky was crawling to her. Ellis ran to Ricky, and I ran to Rachel. As I approached Rachel, the last thing I remember is something hitting me across the face.
I woke up strapped down and blindfolded. I couldn't stop myself from screaming. I was scared.
"Relax, Mr. Hadishing. Everything is alright," I heard a voice say to me. I felt a needle go into my arm, and I began to feel woozy.
"The sedative should make him calm now, doctor," I heard a female voice say.
"Thank you, nurse. That will be all," was all I heard before I passed out again.
I was waking back up and felt groggy. I was still strapped down, but the blindfold was off and I couldn't see out of one eye.
"You have been giving us a lot of trouble, Mr. Hadishing. My name is Dr. Bateman. Now tell me, why were you found on the shores alone on the coast of Calvert Island, smelling of booze and with nasty gashes on your face?" he asked.
I told him the story, in full. He wrote it down in his notepad, then looked up. "Mr. Hadishing, I will come back tomorrow when you've had a proper rest and your imagination isn't being controlled by the sedatives we've put in you." The doctor began to get up and walked out.
"It's true! Every word of it! I swear it! Everything I've told you is true!" I yelled out.
"Sure it is, Mr. Hadishing. We'll talk soon."
It went on for three days. I explained what happened, and Dr. Bateman would just leave. On the fourth day, a woman came in.
"Hello, Joseph? Is it Joseph?" she asked.
"Y-Yes. You can call me Joey. Who are you?" I was confused. Who was this woman? What did she want with me? I have never seen her before in my life.
"My name is Dr. Benette, I am a psychologist with Riverview Mental institution. I want to ask you some questions about why you're here. Is that okay?"
She asked everything about everything under the sun. I told her about my childhood, what my parents were like, and had my mental stability tested. She asked what happened on Hecate, and I told her what I had experienced. I should have said I just got drunk and got in a fight with a black bear.
"Well, Joey. There is no easy way to say this, but I am going to have you admitted to Riverview where I will see you once a week," she said calmly. My chest sank.
"I told you, go home," I heard that familiar hoarse voice say.
I flipped out, yelling to the ceiling, "Fuck you! You killed my friends! You killed them all! Fuck you! We just wanted to take some fucking pictures and leave! Fuck! You!"
In retrospect, I shouldn't have done that in front of a psychologist.
"Joey! Stop!" yelled Dr. Benette.
I was rushed in on, sedated, and I was out cold again. I woke up in a different room, and Dr. Benette was sitting in a chair across from me.
"Now, Joey. I want to let you know now that we've contacted everyone that you seemed to have contact with on Calvert Island. They all said you were alone. The same people found you smelling of alcohol on the beach with a huge gash on your head."
I was totally confused. I told the story again. The doctor sighed, "We'll talk next week. The guards will come in and unstrap you in a little while where they will show you to the recreation room." She left.
Shortly after the guards came in, they shot me up with something and let me out of my bed. They showed me the recreation room. Everyone there was walking around like zombies, even groaning. I took a seat at an empty table and I began to watch the news. That's where I saw it. I saw Rachel's shoe! I began to freak out, "That's Rachel's shoe! The story I'm telling you is true! Get me the police! That's her shoe!"
Dr. Benette came in. "Joey, calm down. If you keep going on, we'll need to sedate you and put you back in your room," the doctor said sternly. I didn't calm down, I freaked out more. The guards held me down and sedated me again.
Now I sit here in Riverview like the rest of the zombies in here. I constantly mutter to myself "Rachel's shoe. It was Rachel's shoe. I know it was Rachel's shoe." I also hear the hoarse voice constantly laughing at me.
You believe my story, don't you? That's why you're here, right? Please, tell the police about Rachel. Ricky and Ellis still may be okay. I wouldn't know; I'm not allowed to watch the news anymore. Help me, won't you?