Please come, you are most welcome…
Robert looked at the island in front of them. Lush green trees, calm blue water. From this distance it looked normal. Peaceful almost. But no-one had ever come back from visiting it. Not yet, at least.
He put on his backpack. Heavy, but he didn’t want to take any risk unprepared. We are looking forward to your visit… He had promised Sarah to face whatever it was that was waiting for him there. And then come back. He would finally solve the mystery that had made people avoid this part of the lake for as long as he could remember. Even as a young boy, his mother had threatened him with sending him to ‘the island’ if he misbehaved.
The Island is nothing to be afraid of…
Things had changed a few months ago. Steve, his best friend since elementary school, had announced he was going to go. He felt it was time, he had said. All that anybody could ever talk about was the Island. And he was done with that. He would clear up this mystery and then people would be able to go on with their lives and talk about the important stuff. What ice cream flavour was best, who was buying a house, the newest videogame. Normal things.
But Steve hadn’t come back.
Come to the Island, don’t wait any longer…
Soon after Steve disappeared, the voices had started. Robert was still not convinced they were real, as nobody else heard them. They were persistent. Keeping him up at night. He didn’t want to tell anybody about them, he knew it was crazy. Come… But it was as if the Island was calling him.
He turned around to Sarah, who had come to see him off. Her eyes were red from crying. He didn’t know what to tell her, but he didn’t feel afraid any longer. It is time… They were becoming persistent. Annoyed he sneered at them. “Yes, it is time.” He had blurted it out before he knew it.
Sarah looked up as he said those words. Her eyes darted over his face, looking for some kind of sanity. As if she was doubting this was really the man she had married.
Robert hugged her tightly. “Don’t go anywhere! I’ll be back in a jiffy.”
That made Sarah smile, as he knew it would. “You’d better get back soon. I have some important news to tell you when you get back.”
Don’t listen to her. You have to step in that boat and come here. This is where you belong. Nothing else matters.
Robert kissed Sarah on her forehead and jumped into the boat that was made ready for him. He reeled in the ropes and pushed off. “I love you, Sarah. I'll see you soon!”
No, you won’t.