The Manifest

The Dark Island

From darkness I stepped into the light.  A sunkissed plaza surrounded by read buildings and populated by strangers walking around in pairs and minding their own. It was a nice square, with four rectangular seating areas within. Within each rectangular seating area there stood a massive palm tree. My lovely girlfriend called me over with a smile. I sat next to her and with her eyes lit bright she told me “I’m so excited to hangout tonight”. I look up for a moment to look at the sky, it’s the perfect color. I look down and I see my best friend standing, Sal standing by a red building across the square. “Sorry Claire I made plans for today” and I could sense how upset she was. I kissed her and walked over to greet Sal.

“Hey bud, what’s up?” I shook his hand and that’s when the floor started to shake below our feet. The sky turned dark and thunders groan filled the air. I turned to look for her, she had disappeared. The floor opened beneath us and Sal and I fell into a space black abyss. The falling ended after a couple minutes and we landed painfully into an ocean. When we broke the surface of the ocean Sal pointed up into the darkest sky I had ever seen “Look” there was only one speck of light, it was the plaza where we fell from. “Where are we?” I asked. “I don’t know, there’s nothing here, no land, nothing”. I decided to see how deep the ocean was so I swam down about fifteen feet and resurfaced in a beautiful crystal clear ocean and a huge tropical island decorated by palm trees and paper white sand stood to greet me.

Confused, I looked down and saw sals feet kicking and his hands keeping him afloat fifteen feet below in darkness. I dive back down, resurfaced in a pitch black ocean ” Sal you’ve got to check this out, come down here”. “What the hell” he muttered. We swam to the beach through the crystal clear water and finally reached the beach. We walked for a bit in this unknown place and found a friend of mine walking towards us with my boss from the real world at his side. Before this friend of mine could say hello an arrow struck him in the head and he fell lifeless to the ground. Sal, my boss, and I ran from the screams and shouts.  Once we got to safety in the forest of palm trees my boss explained to us that we were in a battle royale.

We were on an island where only one of us could survive.

We walked through the forest finding dead bodies and arrows dug into them. My boss built us a bow and told us he should hold the arrows. An argument broke out between my boss and us about who should hold the weapon. We raised our voices and while Sal tried to quiet the group an arrow penetrated his chest. His body hit the floor and my boss was shot in the back. An arrow just cut my arm but  I fell and pulled out a knife that I must have found. A black island native stood over me, and rose his hands to stab me with an arrow. Before I could kill him myself, a thunderous sound like that of a shotgun broke the silence and destroyed the natives head. Two more shots were fired and then a man with a black jacket appeared in front of me lifted his shotgun, aimed for my face. Thunder then darkness.

-Danny S.

Lake Skies

adult alone blur close up
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

I close my eyes, and they open to see a lake, I’m holding a rope and a wakeboard lies below my feet, I’m approaching a cloud white ramp that floats in the murky water. I hit the ramp and quickly fly over it and look up. The sky is picture perfect, beautiful white puffy clouds and baby blue skies. I look down and I have no board, no rope, nothing, not even my bathing suit. With nothing to hold on to I fall flat on my face, but  I feel no pain.

I rise to the surface and wipe the drops from my eyes. It’s a beautiful lake, the type of lake you’d find in Alaska, crystal blue water, a forest of pine trees. that starts at the edge of the river. At the edge I find two boys who look like natives. They’re messing around by the river wrestling to get salmon. I look down and see the salmon, there are red salmon with green heads and salmon that are black and white. They’re everywhere I cant see the ground. The boys are picking up the fish and throwing it at each other. I look up into the sky and I see the same lake that I am, dozens of identical lakes floating all around the sky. I look down and scatter the salmon, below me there is no ground. Through the water I can see other lakes just like mine floating below me endlessly.

I turn around to screams, the boys are frightened by two massive grey wolves. The wolves do not harm the boys, they just leap in and pull salmon out with their sharp teeth. The water turns red and an old Native steps out and mutters some that seemed foreign. The wolves picked up the salmon one by one and brought them to the old man and placed it in a basket he carried. He pet them and a smile broke his wrinkly face.

A man dove from the sky near the wolves. The splash soaked the wolves and the old man. A young native rose to the surface of the lake. Oh how he laughed, when he could finally say something he yelled in a friendly manner and with a foreign tongue. The old man seemed upset and muttered something angrily and pointed down, I could tell that the old man had cursed the young man. The young man shrugged it off and looked at me, he laughed he said something and gestured me to come with him. He dove back down into the water I looked down and saw him fall to the next lake but it looked more like flying.

I didn’t hesitate. I jumped on after him and the fall was exhilarating. The water must have been a hundred feet under. I didn’t think about how much it would hurt when I hit the water. The thing is, it didnt hurt, it felt like I dove in from the edge of the lake. I spent the rest of the day jumping from lake to lake with this young man. I met many natives and had the time of my life. When night fell the young man and I sat by the edge of a lake and he pointed down into the lake. Through the water I could see a white like, pure white and it was the only thing that lit up in the darkness. The light from the lake allowed me to see the terrified face of the young native I had befriended. He trembled and that’s when I noticed all the salmon were gone. No fear troubled my mind. I dove in and flew to the white lake, it was the farthest I had fallen, what was once a spec of light was now a circle of light that grew and grew with every passing second, until I was blinded.

-Danny S.