With a population of only 15,000, news on the Island of St. Helen’s managed to travel quickly. Hardly nothing happened that did not get out eventually. But unknown to the younger adults, there was a secret that the world would not believe.
Danny had lived on the island all of his life. He was now in charge of sales and renting boats on the island. Mount St. Helen’s got quite a bit of tourism year round. Danny was 30 and still refused to settle down. He planned to live his life the way he pleased and it did not matter who he hurt in the process.
Danny was a lady’s man. That in itself was not a bad thing but the way he ended up treating the lady’s was disgraceful. He had been popular in high school. Had grown up with most of the other teens, but as word got out about his harsh treatment of the girls, most of his friends found reasons to be busy until he knew they wanted nothing to do with him. The same happened with the women. But Danny didn’t care; there were plenty of women that visited on vacation looking for someone to take them around town.
Lately Danny had been a little uneasy about some things that he had heard around the island. A lot of tales about animals being found dead. A secrecy about that and some other things were beginning to bother him. He had tried to talk to an old friend who was a police chief but the chief just shrugged it off as foolish talk. Was it the fact that he disliked him or was it that he did not want to tell him anything? He had tried to talk to others about the things he had heard but no one wanted to talk the subject. Danny did not even know what it was they were avoiding.
Danny ran into an old friend as he left work one day. He invited him to a party out at the old mansion on the far end of the island. He was able to talk his second cousin into going with him just so he would be able to go. No one goes to these things alone. But there was something that bothered him about the mansion. As he and Jenna drove out, he ask her what she thought. “Jenna, have you heard any of the stories about the old Kindle mansion?” She quickly answered yes, “as a matter of fact I have. I work with a lady who recently went to a party and she was quite upset when she talked about it.” “she would not talk about why.” “Let’s try to do some snooping around while we are there tonight.” Danny said. “That will be great. We can act like we are under cover detectives.” “Lets not get too carried away. I do want to be able to come back again..” Danny had an ulterior motive. He only worked at the Boat rental part time, the other time he was a writer. Right now he was in between books looking for a subject. His sights were set on the old mansion.”
When they arrived at the mansion things were already going on. Men were standing in groups of 3 or 4, the lady’s that were not dancing were whispering or walking around trying to get attention, the elderly population was shooting pool or throwing darts, and their wives sipping their drinks, laughing a little to loudly . Danny thought it was an odd combination of people. He also noticed that there seemed to be more elderly people than any other group. That could be because over half of the Island’s population is older people. The rich that built the island and made it what it is today seemed to be invited to everything. “I personally wish they would leave some of these old coots out every now and then so we can really party.” he said to Jenna. As Jenna looked around she made a comment about half of the old men having some pretty young women. “Looks like they know how to party to me” she told Danny.
As the night progressed and dinner was over Danny and Jenna had to play the love sick dates in order to sneak away. They had found quite a few things that were interesting and some that were a little weird. Managing to make it to the third floor, as they passed the old floor to ceiling window, Jenna clasped her hands to her mouth to quieten herself. “What is wrong with you?” Danny ask. “I saw something. It it it looked like a man, but Danny, the face wasn’t right.” “You must have drank too much Jenna. Are you telling me you saw something that did not look human?” “Yes, Danny, I swear, something was wrong with his face. Maybe he had been in an accident or something. I don’t know. I don’t like this anymore.” Jenna whined. “Well, come on. We will find you something to drink and you can rest for a few minutes.” He said. Danny thought she was imagining it all anyway.
As Danny looked for a place to let Jenna settle down, they passed a few rooms. He stopped at each one trying the door knob. They were locked. Odd thing was, he thought he heard something in them as he passed by. When he was nearing the fourth one, he heard some kind of weird sounds coming from inside. It sounded like groaning. He stopped. He gently knocked. Silence. The groaning stopped but he could hear someone walking on the hardwood floors. “We have to figure out how to get a look in one of these rooms.” he told Jenna.
They had to get back to the party for fear that they would be missed. When they got back downstairs they noticed a lot of the older people had taken off and the music had been bumped up a little bit compared to before. They decided to give it up for the night and try again at the next party.
As Danny had the opportunity to lease boats to some of the tourist, he had a good chance of finding out if anything suspicious went on at the mansion. It was on the tourist list as it was one of the oldest homes on the island. Many a generation had lived out there and the more he thought of it the more he began to remember some things. Some things that had happened as he was a child and older. Its funny how we forget some things until someone jars our memories. Through the years, a total of 5 people had supposedly drowned while visiting. A family member had cut her wrist and rumor had it that there were some mental issues that were hereditary.
A few weeks later, there were sightings of people. People who did not look like a person. Speculation was that it was aliens. Again the Police Chief cut Danny off when he began to ask questions. Finally Danny was fed up.” Dang it Charles, I live here too, I deserve to know what is going on.” “Okay, I could care less what happens to you, but I care about your Mom and sisters so I will tell you this. Tell them to stay in at night. We don’t know what we are dealing with right now. We have found dead animals but we have also got 2 people who are missing.” Are you serious? I didn’t read about that.” Danny said. “That is because I have managed to keep it out of the papers. But I am thinking of letting it out if another person disappears. People need to know.” stated Charles.
As luck would have it Jenna was invited to the Halloween Party at the mansion. She managed to get a friend of hers, who had been invited to ask Danny to go with her. She knew he still wanted to play investigator. When they arrived the place was hopping. There were all kinds of costumes but Danny was surprised to see so many that looked like they just had on old clothes and a zombie mask. It was uncanny how spooky they really looked. He saw by the look on Jenna’s face that she thought they were hideous. She came to him and whispered something, but he could not hear her for the music. She pulled him away to the side and said, “Danny, that is what I saw that night.” Jenna, you have to be mistaken. Who goes around looking like that? Lets go have some fun, then we will go exploring again.” That is exactly what they did. As they explored, they noticed a lot of the locked doors were open. No one was there. Inside the rooms looked like small apartments.
Danny and Jenna felt like they had walked in on a game when they returned to the ballroom. The so called zombies were in a circle around the room and the guest, which had dropped to about 8, were in the center of the circle. “Join us, won’t you, one of the women said. She then gestured toward the center of the circle. They did as she said thinking it was just a game. But then one of the men spoke. “We have some rooms prepared for you. At least those of you who stay.” No one knew what he meant. All of a sudden, he threw his head back, half groaned and half yelled, then shoved Danny and two other men to one side as he produced a gun. Watch it Danny, I have never liked you anyway. One of the reasons you were chosen. We try to only take those who are mean and treat others badly.” he said. He then told one of the other zombies to take the rest downstairs to the big room and I will take these with me.” If Danny had known what was in store for him, he would have forced the zombie to shoot him instead.
By the time the three men reached the room, of course they all knew that this was a real creature. But how. He thought from the voice that this was Mr. Tanner. So he ask him. “can’t you at least tell us what is going on. Why are things like this. What happened?” Long story. But a big ship blew up 15 yrs. ago and something went into our water and our grounds. The younger ones were able to fight off the illness but not us. We were too old. It left us like this. Then he laughed this ugly laugh. I hate having to work so hard for my livelihood and my food. “Your what, Danny said.” You heard me boy. Your going to keep me alive and I will treat the lady’s a lot nicer than you ever did. Your going to give me about 20 more years.
Nothing was ever heard from Danny or the other 8 people. The only one to get out was Jenna. No one knows how. She hasn’t been able to speak since the incident happened. People were worried that the bad publicity of people missing would hurt the tourism, but they were so wrong. People love that kind of junk. Business was better than before. Talk of aliens, were wolfs,zombies, and ghost drew people to the Island. They just have to see what they have no business seeing.
Most of the time no one talked about the mystery. Only once. When they hired the new guy to run the boat sales and rental. He ask why the other guy left such a great job. People just looked at him and said they did not think he had a choice. Meanwhile the older population was flourishing.
source: Created by Patricia Burke