I was roused out of bed last night by a call from my editor.
Something strange was happening on Roosevelt Island.
I hopped on the F train out of Queens and came out on Main Street.
There was a green fire burning in the lighthouse. Bright and sickly.
It just flared up! There was humming and laughing and screams in other languages. Then the lighthouse lit up!The island feels weird sometimes, but never like this.
I made my way up Main Street towards the Northern point of the island. Street lights flickered and dimmed. Others burst, sending sparks.
I could see figures dancing in front of some glowing light in Octagon Field.
The lighthouse went out.
The entire island went out.
I cut through Pony Field in the dark. Across the baseball diamond I could see a faint glow. More green flame.
I know the history of the island. But, normal people don’t think about those things, you know? Ghosts and angry spirits. I know what conditions were like on this island back when. I know about the prisons and hospitals.
I stood in front of the Octagon. The last, remaining part of the of the asylum.
It looked different. The walls were blackened with smoke, the apartments were flickering in and out of sight, hazy, unreal.
I took a few step backwards, trying to take it all on it.
Black water. I had fallen into the pool and could not get out. Something kept grabbing my ankles, ripping at my clothes.
A humming started underwater.
I scrambled out of the water and into the nearby trees.
I wanted off of the island.
I reached out to my editors, begging for support, begging for a helicopter ride out.
It was too dark on the island to land anything, a boat would be waiting for me at the lighthouse though.
Old sounds. That’s the only way I can describe it. Sounds from the islands past. Prison fights. Insane screams. Construction where there is none. My apartment is gone…now it looks like the pictures I’ve seen of the old hospital.
The new Coler Goldwater hospital flickered out, replaced by the old madhouse and the distance I could see the pavilion buildings.
The past was taking over.
The lighthouse flared up. Blinding.
People were staggering around, sick. Hollow eyes and vomiting.
It’s that damn old Lab. Strecker. First the asylum shows up, then the lab, spreading disease. This island can’t take it. Where are the cops? I called them five hours ago.
I dodged old and new buildings making my way north.
Shadows ran around me. Laughing and swiping at me. Some in prison garb, others in asylum greys and blues.
I ran for the lighthouse. Through trees and through the park.
There was no boat.
This is an S.O.S.
I can’t reach my editors. The new island is disappearing.
Welcome to Blackwell, not Roosevelt.
I hear war drums and blood.
The water behind me is black. Clouds have descended. I can’t see Manhattan anymore.
Shouldn’t the sun be up by now?
Where’s the boat?
I think I hear sirens.
Some kind of humming.
I’m going to have to swim for it. I make it through the darkness to the bridge. Maybe the subway. No. Definitely not underground right now.
My editor called. Sit tight, he says. The boat’s on its way.
It didn’t sound like my editor.
The boat’s here. The driver is not someone I recognize.
I’m sending this before we leave the island.
The lighthouse has gone dark, but the asylum still remains.