Darkness, it’s all their is in my dreams. I awaken and open my eyes, darkness blooms and the cold engulfs my body. I am lying on a bed, something taps at the window. Beams of light sneak through the dark curtain. I get off the bed. My joints are sore and ache. Nothing is visible with the light from outside. I walk to the window and draw the curtain. The window is dirty. I wipe the dust off one of the window panes. Dark clouds cover the sky, and only a fraction of the light comes in the room. The city looks like hell or on its way there. Trash covers the street and not a single person in sight. Everything looks familiar, but I don’t know if I have been here before. A sense of déjà vu comes over me. All I can see is a bed, cooker, fridge, and a sink all squeezed together in a tiny room. The sink is in front of the bed. The taps handle squeaks as I turn it. The water spews out and then calms down, and I wash my face. The room is too dark to see my face in the mirror. A bulb hangs behind me in the middle of the room with a string below it. I pull the beady string down, and the light comes on. The bulb is dim and flickers. I look into the mirror; the face in it is not familiar. Who am I?
Dust covers the whole room, except for a patch on the bed where I lay. It’s probably been weeks or months since this room was cleaned. No dust on me or my clothes, why? How long have I been here? Where am I? The phone rings. Should I pick it up? No one here but me. The black phone vibrates as it rings.
“Mr. Goodman, your cab is here.” A man says with a deep voice.
Goodman, is that my name, or is it the person who lives here.
“I’ll be down.”
I search my pockets, and the room for any Identification, but I do not find any. A cab is on the street with a man leaning on it. Have to get out of here. May be someone can help me. The door squeaks as I open it. I step into the dark hallway. Suddenly the light comes on and blinds me. I slowly open my eyes as I try to adjust to the light. Everything comes into focus. Twelve is the number of my room. Cobwebs cover the walls, lights, and doors. Garbage all over the floor, water floods the hallway, the paint is faded, and the walls are crumbling. No one else seems to be here. The rooms all look like mine. I walk down the hall. I see stairs at the end of the hall. I walk to the end of the hall, and down the stairs three floors down to the ground level.
A man stands behind the desk. I walk to the desk; the name on the desk is gate keeper.
“Excuse me, I am from room 12 and was wondering…”
“Good morning, Mr. Goodman. How have you been? Enjoy your rest.”
“I am Goodman.”
“Why yes, your Mr. Goodman, I make it a point not forget my only customer. Been up there a long time.” the gatekeeper says.
“Listen, I woke up this morning, and could not remember anything. I need to go to a hospital.”
“They are no hospitals near here, you would have to leave town unfortunately that bridge is out. You do not need to go a hospital sir, you look fine. You will be ok just give yourself time it will all come to you.”
“Did you just hear what I said? I woke up in this building, and I do not know who I am, where I have been, or how I got here? How long have I been up there?”
“Wa.. What!? Twelve years, what’s the date today?”
“You are saying, I have been in that room for 12 years.”
“Look to the future sir, it’s all that matters.”
“Where is this place, what happened here, why is everything so messed up?”
“This is Fate Island. Things here are either asleep or dead. Few things stay awake here. Your cab is waiting for you sir, do not want to be late. Late?”
“Late, for what?”
“Who am I meeting with?”
“Mr. Memo called and said you were going to meet some people today. Do not worry sir all your questions will be answered at your meeting.”
I look out the door for a second, and say. “Who is Mr. Memo?”
I look back, and the gatekeeper is not there anymore. Where did he go? I look behind the desk, but can not see him. He just disappeared.
I step out of the building, and it stops raining. The town looks like it has been turned upside down. A cabdriver leaning on his car is the only living thing in sight. Why would he or anyone come out here? This looks like I am in the ghetto part of the city. The cab driver is dressed in an old black leather jacket, brown pants, white shirt, a black hat, and brown shoes. He looks calm. How can he be so care free in a place like this?
“Hello Mr. Goodman, how are you?” he said.
“Have never seen you Mr. Goodman, but have heard a lot about you.”
He walks up to me, and shakes my hand.
“My name is David, thought you had gone for good. It’s an honor to meet you sir.”
“What do you know about me?”
“Only that you have been away for a while, but now you are here, that’s all that matters. Do not worry Mr. Goodman; I will get you to where you need to go.”
“Who called for this cab?”
“The gatekeeper told to come and pick you up.”
“I do not have any money, so I can not pay you for this.”
“That’s all right Mr. Goodman it has all been paid for.”
“I do not know where I am supposed to go.”
“The gatekeeper told me.”
“Can you take me to the hospital first, I am sick? I think I have amnesia.”
“Sorry sir, but the only hospital is across town, and the bridge is out. Why don’t I take you to your meeting sir, maybe someone can get you some help.”
David opens the cab door for me. I get in and see springs poking out of the seat, the seats are torn, and the sit is shaking.
David gets in, starts the car and drives off. No cars on the street.
“Does anyone else live here?”
“No one has stepped on or off Fate Island for twelve years. Everyone lives on Hope Island or Devils Island.” David says
“Hope and Devils Island.” I said “Strange names.” “We are going to Hope Island then I will drop you off to meet your friends.”
We drive across the bridge, and they is not a car in sight just a lonely bridge. I wonder what I am doing here. Who am I going to meet? Questions I ask myself in my head. Hope I can find some answers soon. A huge sky scraper appears over the horizon as we drive.”
“Is that Hope Island with the sky scraper?”
“No sir, that’s on Devils Island. It has been there a long time. Started out as any other of the islands, but over the last twelve years it has prospered. That is the richest Island.” David says
“We are about to reach Hope Island Mr. Goodman.”
We go through a tunnel and darkness engulfs us. Once we get out of the darkness on the other side of the tunnel, a sign reads
“WELCOME TO HOPE ISLAND, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”
Children flying their kites. They is life here not like Fate island. The Streets look better, the sky is clearer here, no rain, just the blue sky, white clouds, and people.
I am dressed differently from the people here. The architecture of the buildings around all looks different from the one on Fate Island. Not that they was much to compare to.
“Who lives here?”
“Dreamer’s sir. That’s why they call it Hope Island, like the sign says, anything can happen here.”
The car stops, and David says
“Here we are.”
I look outside the window and see a library.
“Is this where I am supposed to be?”
“Yes, your friends should be in the library.”
“Why a library?”
I step out of the car and stare up at the library sign above.
“Good bye, Mr. Goodman and good luck.”
David’s says as his voice fades with the sound of his car engine. Luck, I hope I won’t need it.
People are walking around, dancing, and listening to music. I look around; no one seems to be expecting me. I walk into the library, and look around. I see paintings hanging on the walls. I start to walk down the hall, and notice that it’s same person in almost every painting. The paintings seemed to have been made as the boy grew up, why are they two of the same paintings on each side of the wall. On the other side of the wall a painting is covered with cobwebs. It looks like a boy, but can not quite make it out. The paintings end after the one with cobwebs, but continue on the other wall. Why the contrast? I reach out to touch the painting, but someone behind taps my shoulder.
“Yes, that’s me.”
“How are you sir? It has been a while. Let me be the first to welcome you to Hope Island. I am Mr. Memo.”
“How was your trip here? You must be tired.” Mr. Memo said
“I am not tired, but could use your help. I woke up this morning, and did not remember who I ….”
“Do not worry sir that happens to all of us once in a while. Besides you should always look to the future.”
“Why does everyone keep saying that?”
“Follow me.” Mr. Memo says, and we walk down the library hall.
“What am I doing here?”
“Meet your friends.”
“Where are they?”
“They appear to be a little late, but they will be with you shortly. This is our history room, look around as you wait. Good day sir.”
Mr. Memo says as he walks out the door and shuts it. Two floors in the room, but no desks or chairs down here. May be they are some upstairs. I walk up the spiraling stair case to the second floor. Only a desk, chair, and a bunch of books stacked on shelves. It’s smaller than I imagined. Newspapers on the shelf, might as well read one as I wait. I pick one up it disintegrates in my hand. Is anything in this library new? I pick a peace of paper up from the floor, and the date on it is 01/05/06. Why is this 12 years old? I look around the library, and everything is 12 years old. Why is everything twelve years old? What happened twelve years ago?
I hear the door open and its slam shut.
“Hello, anyone there!”
I say, no reply. I look down, and I see a tall man in a leather jacket all dressed in black from top to bottom. Gold ring on his index finger, silver chain round his neck, and a toothpick in his mouth. He looks up and stares at me. Something about his eyes scares me, and it’s familiar. He continues to stare at me, and says
“James, get down here.”
“Are you taking to me?”
“Who do you think I am talking to, the damn stair case.”
“I am Goodman.” “Boy quit playing and get down here!” he shouts.
This guy sounds crazy, and has the look too. What should I do? He is still staring at me; his eyes are turning red, and his face is filling up with rage. What is this man’s problem? “I am not sure what you want from me, but I do not want any trouble.”
“Trouble, you do not have to want it. I will bring it to you for free.”
He walks towards the stairs, and starts to come up. My heart beats faster, and I fear what he want might do to me. I look around for something to defend myself with. I hear his footsteps get louder, and louder. He is getting closer; I have nothing to grab except, the chair. I hear him reach the top. I turn around, and swing. I hit nothing, but air, no one is there. Where did he go? I put the chair down and try to relax.
“What just happened?”
Am I seeing things? The door opens again, and I look down. Two beautiful women come in. The ladies look up
“James.” The older lady says.
The older lady loses her balance, and almost falls to the floor. The young girl catches her. I run down the stairs to try to help them. The lady who is on the floor looks at me, as if she wants to say something. The words won’t not come out. She starts to cry, as the younger girl tries to help her.
“What is wrong with her?” I say
The girl is focusing on her and can not answer me.
“Wait here, while I go get help.”
I rush out the door, and shout
No one in sight. I run looking for someone to help then I see Mr. Memo.
“Mr. Memo, help this lady just fainted.”
“Where?” Mr. Memo says in a calm manner.
“In the history room come quickly.”
I ran to the history room, but Mr. Memo walks behind me slowly.
“Come on a woman just fainted. Do not walk, run.”
I head to the door, and open it. The room is empty no one is around.
“Does not seem to be anyone here.” Mr. Memo says.
“They were two ladies, one fainted, before that, a man was here, and he threatened me. He also just disappeared.”
“I do not think your friends are coming, so you can leave anytime you fell like.”
“Did you just here what I said? Did you hear anything at all!”
“Things like this happen all the time in this library. They can be disturbing at first for anyone.”
“What kind of place is this? Sir would you like me to escort you out.”
“No need, I am leaving.”
I walk out the door, and wonder what’s going on in my head. Why I am seeing things? I get out of the library and look at the sign, and wonder what’s wrong with this damn place?
Where do I go know? I am lost and alone on this Island. Why did the two women and man call me James. I thought I was Goodman, I am Goodman aren’t I? Someone’s pulls my trouser. I look behind, and it’s a young boy.
“Mr. I am lost. Could you take me home?”
Like I do not have enough problems of my own.
“I am lost too.”
I want to leave, but have no where to go.
“What’s your name?”
“I am Goodman. O.k. James, where do you live?”
“I live on Hope Island.”
“Where on Hope Island ?”
“I do not remember, may be I can stay with you for a while sir.”
“Didn’t anyone tell you not to talk to strangers?”
“But I know you, everyone knows you. Your Goodman.”
“I can not tell you, soon enough it will come to you.”
“James, I need you to do me a favor.”
I sat as I stare into the boys eyes.
“Tell me what’s going on here. Why does everyone know me, but not tell me anything? Is it normal to see people disappear?”
“Yes, it happens all the time, but they come back sooner or later. You always seem to come back. Well you, and him any way.”
“You mean I disappeared?”
“Who is him? I can not tell you anymore. I have to go home now.”
James turns around, and starts to walk down the street.
“Wait James you can not just tell me half the story and go away. You do not know where you are going.”
“I remember now.” James says as he walks down the street.
“James!” I say
His pace quickens.
“James wait, I just want to talk.”
He turns round a corner, and disappears from my sight. I shout his name as I turn round the corner, and see him running like the wind down the alley.
I chase after him. This boy is fast, and it is dark in the alley. He ignores me and runs out of the alley then turns left. I get out and turn left. I see him stop at a gate. He looks at me and signals me to come in.
I try to catch my breath as I was walk up to the gate. I look at it and ask myself again why everything seems familiar. My hand starts to shiver as I open the gate. I walk towards the door.
“Leave him alone, he did not do anything.” a woman screams, and the door shuts.
What is going on? I run to the door and try to open it, it’s locked. I bang,
and push hard on the door, it won’t open.
Another scream, but this one is a different it is from a younger girl
“Mummy!” she shouts.
Panic hits me; I have to find a way inside. I see a window and look through; I see James at the table, he stares directly at me as tears run down his face.
“James I am coming, do not worry.”
Nothing on the deck to break the window with. I will have to use my elbow. I put my back against the wall and raise my elbow to slam it into the window. I slam my elbow into the window, but it does not break. I slam harder, and harder, but it won’t break. I have to try to kick the window in. Just as I am about to put my foot through the window. James comes to the window and shouts
“Forget it, Goodman it is ok. Just forget. Its ok there’s more out there.”
A hand reaches out for James grabs him by the shoulder, and pulls him away. I look through the window and see James being dragged away.
He shouts while being dragged into a room. I hear his screams along with those of the two women. Oh no, what is going on? I kick harder and harder on the window, but it does not even show any sign of shattering. I try the door and it still will not open. All I hear are the screams of the women and James. What is happening to them?
I step back and start to kick on the door. My legs start to give out.
“No, do not touch them, do not touch them, leave them alone.” the woman screams. I kick till, my legs give out. The screams stop, and the door opens. Sweat drips down my face, and I try to catch my breath. I hold my breath and run inside the house panting. “James!”
I say. I try to shout and catch my breath at the same time. I see two doors on the left; James and the women must be in one of the rooms. I open first door, no one is inside. No one is in the second door either.
“James! Where are you?”
I search the room, in the closet and under the bed where are they.
“James if you can hear me shout.”
Nothing, not a sound in the room, I look for a window may be they run out there. The windows in both rooms are locked from the inside, so they could not have gone out through here. Where are they? I put my hands on my head try to piece it together. I can not even try to make sense of this. I give up; this is all just insane. I go through the whole house not a sign of them. I parade up, and down the house like a mad man but find nothing. May be I am mad. What happened to James and the two women? Are they alright? Who was that man? All these questions in my head, and no answers. I still do not know, who I am, and why everyone knows me.
O.K think, think, think. What did James mean when he said him, and why did he run away from me? I’ve got to find someone who can help me, police. I have got to go to the police; they could help find James, and the women who where here. I run out the door and yell
“Somebody help me.”
The next door neighbor opens his door and says
“What’s the problem?”
“James, his mother, and sister, have all disappered, they are gone. A man did something to them, and disappeared with them. Didn’t you hear the screams?”
“Goodman calm down. It happens all the time.”
“What happens all the time?”
“The parents, they fight all the time they scream, but eventually it goes away.”
“You are crazy, you do nothing at all. You hear a kid is screaming, and you do nothing.”
“This is Hope Island, things like this happen all the time. They may not always be good things, but they all happen.”
I get so angry at what this man that I pick up a rock. I want to throw it, but something in me won’t allow me to throw it. The man sees me with the rock in my hand and runs inside. I drop the rock down and walk away
Where do I go now? I ask myself as I walk down the street. I am thinking about the last thing James said
What did that mean? Forget, what was he trying to say? I have to find him, his mother and sister. I hear the sound of a police siren behind me.
“Goodman.” A man says through a speaker.
“Sir you are going to have to come with me.”
“What did I do?”
“You threatened Mr. Gazinsky. Now, do not make sudden movements, put your hands on your head, and get down on the ground.”
What else can go wrong today? I stare at the police officer with his hand on the holster. I do not want any trouble; I have had enough for today. My knees hit the cold hard ground, and my arms go behind my head. The officer comes, grabs my hand, and puts it behind my back. The cuffs go on one hand, and then another. He lifts me up by the shoulder with force, and it hurts, but I am not going to complain. He puts me in the police car.
The policeman sits in the car. I stare straight ahead, and wonder why these things happen.
“Hello Mr. Goodman welcome back, been a long time.”
I have had that sentence so many times, it makes me sick to hear it. No one wants to tell me who I am, or what I am here for. I am tired, and the thought of jail bothers me.
“I am Erwin, by the way.” he says.
Erwin starts the car and drives off. Erwin talks, but I do not listen. I have nothing to say, or hear for that matter. All the things happening make me think I am going crazy. People disappearing, everybody knows me, but me. I have got to get some answers soon. Out of all the people going to jail today, its me. All I did was get out of bed this morning. May be I should have never woken up.
“Well we are here Mr. Goodman, Hope Island police station. Never thought I would find you hear, but it is better than Fate Island any day.”
We walk through the police station and no one is around. He takes me to his office, and sits me in a chair.
“I will be right with you.”
I look at his desk, no family photos, or anything to show that this guy has a life. He comes back, sits in front of me, opens his desk, and pulls out a file. Well now let’s see this is your file,
“Ring ring.” the phone goes.
“Hang on just a sec.”
“Yes, why hello sir, how are you doing? Yes I have him here, no I can not hand him over to you sir. You know the rules. I know who you are, but I do not make the rules. Well that will be settled between you and him. No he does not know anything yet. He will figure it out sooner, later, or never. All right now goodbye.”
Erwin puts the phone down.
“Well, them boys really want you now don’t they.”
“Who? Why am I even asking you, your not going to tell me anything are you?”
“Well at least you have figured that part out.”
“You know me right?”
“Yes.” he says as he leans back and lights a cigar
“Everyone does, everyone knows, Mr. Goodman. I guess it’s safe to say you are famous.”
“Then why won’t anyone help me.”
“This is a journey that you have to go on your own.”
“O.k. fine, but I need your help with something.”
“James, he is in trouble. I heard him, and two other women in the house scream for help. Today in the library a tall man, a woman, and her daughter came in and both disappeared.”
“Just like that; in front of your eyes.”
“No, but one minute they were there and the next minute they were gone.”
“Well about the boy forget about it, he is long gone.”
“Do not worry now about him, he is fine. What do you mean how do you know all of this?”
“Doesn’t anyone in this island care about anyone. Are you going to put me in the jail?”
“Well sir, I do not honestly see how I could possibly do that. It’s not really up to me to decide. You are the only one who can put your self in there.”
I stare blankly at Erwin, and he looks back at me, like he is trying to tell me something. “Your saying if I want to be free all I have to do so is just say so.”
“No, not really, but if you give up you will never be free. You have to fight for your freedom. Ironic isn’t it freedom is not free. It’s not this prison you should worry you, but Fate Island. They do not even need prisons on that island; it is a prison in itself. Dark, lonely, isolated, and no people around there. That’s not a nice place to be as you already know.”
“I do not remember anything.”
“It will come to you.”
Erwin says as he walks behind me, and removes the cuffs.
“It will come to you.”
The cuffs came off, and my hands are hurt. I turn around and say
and like everyone else he’s gone to. All that was left was the smoke from his cigar floating around the room, and his cigar on the ground.
I stay still in the chair in awe at the number of times this happens. I wonder how long this is going to go on. Is everyone going to disappear? I guess that makes you number six Mr. Erwin. Think, I have got to find a place to think. I get off the chair and walk out. I see a sign that reads
“Hope Island Prison.”
A pay phone rings,
“ring ring. ring ring”
who are they calling for. Something inside me tells me to pick it up.
“Who is this?”
“Soon enough you will find out, and all your questions will be answered. That’s when we shall meet.”
“Who are you, and what do you want? Do you have James? If you do, and you hurt him, I will hurt you, so bad you will wish you were dead.”
“Dead, dead ha ha ha ha ha, If death was an option for you, and me that would wonderful. As long as James is alive we are alive. You and I, we have something special going on. We can never be separated, we shall battle forever. About James I would not worry about that. Well Mr. Goodman see you later.”
“Wait, no, tell me where James is tell me tell me where is he?”
The long sound of the beep replies. When will people disappearing, and useless warnings this stop. Can’t find anyone who can tell me anything. Just bits and pieces around this is one puzzle that I do not think I will ever solve. Right now I have got to find James he is the only thing that matters. Where do I start looking? Nine O’clock, I am tired, and I have no energy left in me. I need to lie down. I will sleep in one of the jail cells. I walk towards the cells and remember what Erwin said. I change my mind about sleeping there. I lay down on a soft bench in Erwin’s office and sleep.
The sunlight from the window hits my eyes, and I wake up. At least it is not dark anymore like in Fate Island. Have to look for James that’s all that matters. He knows something, but will not tell me anything at all. I walk to the bathroom and wash my face. I pick up the mouth wash by the sink and gurgle as I wonder about James. That poor boy what could be going through his head. I can only imagine the horror. I spit into the sink, and take a glance in the mirror. James stands behind me. I turn around, and look and there he is. They is something in his eyes that’s different.
“James is that you.”
I move closer to James, and he backs up. He looks at me like with fear, and moves backwards.
“James, what happened to you?”
The closer I move in the further back he goes.
“James it’s me, Goodman your friend. James I only want to help. James, you need to trust me. I can help you.”
He recognizes me, but for some reason over night he has come to fear me. Did someone tell him something about me?
“I am going to get you some help.”
I reach out, grab his shoulder, and hold it tight. My hand starts to feel like it is on fire, and the intensity increases. I let go to see my hand is burning and they is an imprint of my hand on his shoulder. James runs away screaming.
“James wait please, I have to help you. James!”
I scream out as he runs out the door. I have to chase him again. Out the door I go to find him. I look left and right there he goes around a corner again. I run round the corner to see him entering a car. The car cruises off and heads to Devils Island. The look he gives me as he goes away is filled with fear.
“James, James what happened to you? I will find out and help you.”
If I have too, I will walk up to Devils Island. I walk up to the bridge and the sign reads
“Devils Island 100 miles.”
If I walk, it will take forever. I need to find someone to give me a ride to Devils Island. I run to the only person that hasn’t disappeared on this forsaken Island, Mr. Memo. I run to the library as fast as I can.
“Memo, Mr. Memo where are you?”
I search through the library opening door after shouting out his name, but no response from anywhere. Do not tell me he is gone to. I have not checked in the history room. I reach the history room
he says from up above the stair case.
“You do not know how glad I am to see you. I need to get to Devils Island immediately, but I do not have a car. I need to get there quickly.”
“Great, your cab is ready.”
“What? How did you know that I would be here, and what I would need?”
“Why I am Mr. Memo. I have to know these things other wise I would be out of a job. Now go, hurry they is not much time left.”
Memo and I walk out of the library and I notice the old painting on the wall. It looks clearer and parts of it where still covered in cobwebs. Something in the picture catches my eye, but I just can’t make out why this picture looks so familiar to me.
“Mr. Memo who is this person in the covered picture is and why won’t you clean it up.” “The owner of the portrait told me not to clean it up until he comes back. Waiting for the day he comes back.” “How about the man in the rest of the pictures who is he.”
“You will meet him on Devils Island he practically owns the place.”
“Why does he have his pictures all over the wall? Most of the memories we have are of him. And the one in the corner we do not have so many memories he is gone, but not forgotten. I believe, you know the boy in the picture.”
“It’s James. What is he doing up there?”
“That’s your cab sir now you be on your way and hurry up.”
I get out of the library, and Mr. Memo says
“If you come back from Devils Island, I will tell you everything if you need to know.”
I get into the cab and It is the same cab driver, David. “Mr. Goodman how are you?” David says with a huge smile on his face.
“Fine, Devils Island please.”
David cruises off. As we drive, I can not help, but wonder about what Mr. Memo said
“If you come back from Devils Island, I will tell everything if you need to know.”
What was James picture doing on the wall? What does this all mean?
Something bad is going to happen on Devils Island, but that is where all the answers seem to be. James is there, I have no choice. We approach the bridge, and hundreds people stand with signs with my name on it. Women, children, and men cheering; they are all happy to see me. The crowd shouts, and screams
Whatever I am going to do, I know it can not be bad, but fear, and uncertainty are all that I carry with me. I put on a fake smile on to give them hope. These people have given me hope. I can only return the favor. We drive through the crowd.
“Mr. Goodman, I guess this is it.” David says.
I would ask him what, but it would probably not get me any answers.
“Forgive me for asking, but are you afraid.”
“Afraid of what?”
David looks at me with a stare of disappointment through his rear view mirror.
“Nothing sir, everything will be fine.”
“You are not going to tell me anything at all are you?”
“Can’t sir this is something you have to do by yourself.”
“Same words that James said, I hope he is alright. Hold on James, I am on my way. We cruise through the bridge, and it takes us a short while.
A sign reads
with spray paint all over it. This looks the party Island. As soon as we pass the sign, I feel a burning sensation in on my hand. Like the one when I touched James. It slowly fades away as we get to the town. Hookers, and drug dealers on the side of the street. Do not need to ask where this town got its name from. Now where do I start looking for someone like James in this town? Nothing good could happen to James here. Why did James and I get burned when I touched him? Something really strange is going on here.
“Mr. Goodman where should I drop you off?” David says
“At the police station, I need to make a report?”
“There is no police station on Devils Island.”
“Why am I not surprised? O.K drop me off in front of that sky scraper.”
David gives me that look again. They is no point in asking him why, he is looking at me in that way. He will give me the same answer as everybody else.
“It’s a journey you must face on your own.”
David pulls over in front of the building, I open the door, and he says
“Mr. Goodman, good luck.”
“Hope to see you again.”
I step out and watch him go away once again.
When I turn round, everybody stops, and stares at me. Everyone is looking at me, by now I am used to the staring, but this time they are looking at me like they want to kill me. I stare back at them and wonder what is going to happen. People start to move about their business, but stay away from me as they move. What’s that all about? Where could James be? No picture to flash around of him. Someone comes up from behind and taps me. I turn round to see a beautiful woman.
“James.” she said.
“No, I am Goodman.”
“Sorry, you look so much like him.”
She looks like the woman I saw in the library earlier.
“I saw you yesterday at the Hope Island library.”
“I have not been to Hope Island in years. My name is Carla, and I am looking for my brother James. He is such a sweet boy.”
“How old is he?”
“What happened to him?”
“He ran away from home, and got into drugs, sex, violence the whole nine yards.”
“I am looking for a boy called James too, but he does not seem like the one you are describing.”
“I have a picture, look at it.” I stare at it, and could not believe my eyes. It was James. He looks so happy and he was with the Carla.
“Is this his mother?”
“You recognize him.”
“I saw this woman in the library yesterday, and you where with her.”
“Oh my God I am so happy where did you see him?”
“I saw him on Hope Island. Is this his mother?”
“You and this woman were never on Hope Island.”
She looks so happy that she found someone who had seen James. Didn’t even pay attention to when I said I saw her at the library.
“We have to go tell her mother. Follow me this way please.” Carla says.
I had no where else to go, and she seemed like she needed me to help her. May be she could tell me about his friends, and where, or who would want to take him and why. Should I tell her about the men who took James away, or should I wait?
“Forgive me for saying this, but you look a lot like James. May be that’s why I thought you were him. I do not why because you are so much older than him. Hope can do strange things to a person. We can get a cab, and go to my mothers.”
We stand on the sidewalk and try to wave down a cab. The continuous stares from people go on.
“Do you have any idea why people are looking at me?”
“You are being paranoid no one is looking at you. Besides may be it’s the way you dress where are you from.”
“I do not know.”
“Ahh we got a cab lets get in.”
We enter the cab and the cabbie gives me the same look that everyone on this Island did. Then it came to me. How come Carla is the only person that does not know me.
“How come you do not know me?”
“Are you someone important?”
“I do not know, but everyone else here knows me. How come you don’t?”
“I do not know, I am just looking for my brother.”
Carla says as a tear goes down her face.
“I am sorry I just can not stop crying, I hope he is alright.”
“So your famous, what do you do?”
“I think, I am because everyone knows me. Look, hey cabbie who I am I?”
“Goodman.” he says as he stares at me with fury.
“O.k. so you’re famous, how does that help?”
“I am just wondering why you do not know me.”
“I do not know. All I am here to do is find my brother.”
“O.k. lets find James.”
We arrive at Carla’s Home. The streets are different, but the house is the same. Is my mind playing tricks on me?
“Hold on let me pay the cabbie then we can go and see my mother.”
I stare at the house, and wonder what’s going on.
“Follow me this way.”
She opens the gate and I walk in. Everything is the same; like the house where James disappeared in. Is the door not going to open again; is this all going to happen again. I stay back to see if the door will open. She walks up the stairs and opens the door. She turns around to see me, standing still staring blankly to her.
“Goodman, you can come in you know.”
I walk up the door, and look at the poach. It’s the same window that I looked through, and watched James disappear. I enter the house, and Carla tells me to have a sit. She goes into the kitchen. Everything looks the same, what is going on? I walk around, and the rooms are exactly the same as the other house. The paint, tables, and chairs all the same. The window; will it break, I can not help, but wonder. I walk up to the window and get ready to kick it in.
A lady says. I look back with my leg in the air. I must look like an idiot.
“Hello, my name is Goodman.”
The woman is the same one who fainted at the library yesterday.
“Are you alright? I saw you at the Hope Island library yesterday.”
“Library, I have never been to Hope Island.”
“My daughter tells me you know my son James.” she says.
I can hear the excitement in her voice.
“Yes, we met yesterday, he helped me around hope island.”
“James my sweet baby, where are you?”
She starts to sob on the table. I walk up to her, and try to comfort her.
“We’re going to find him.”
“Look at me crying all over you. I am sorry Mr. Goodman.” She looks at me and says “You know it might be that I miss James so much, but you look like my son, or what he would look like if he was older.”
“Carla darling, Carla” she calls out.
No reply, I peep round the door and see no one there. People are going to start disappearing again.
“Carla, where is she!”
“Well I think she must be downstairs.” I run down stairs, calling out her name.
I check the both rooms and see nothing.
“She’s not here.”
and I hear a voice from behind
“Carla, you are here.”
“Yes where else would I be.”
“Your mother is calling you.”
Carla gives me an odd stare and walks up. I give out a breath of relief. I am getting tired of people disappearing. These people seem so different for one thing they do not know me. They are the only ones who disappeared and came back. I follow Carla up stairs; she talks with her mother.
“Excuse me, I think we should start to look for James.” I say
“Yes, we should so where do we start?”
Carla’s mother says. Someone knocks on the door,
“Carla you expecting anyone?” the mother asks.
“No mum, you?”
“Well go, and see who it is.”
“Mr. Goodman, you have a sit.”
Carla goes to open the door as I sit to talk to her mother.
“Let’s wait for Carla to come back, and then we shall talk. Now Mr. Goodman, tell me where, and how you met James.”
“I was coming out of the library…..”
Carla comes in the room and says
“Goodman, this letter is addressed to you.”
Silence hits the room as we all stare at the envelope. Who knows I am here? I pick the letter from Carla and open it. The letter reads
Goodman I have all your answers if you want them come up to the devils tower everything you want to know will be answered. James will be here, when you arrive. Whether he lives after this is entirely up to you.
An old friend
My hands shiver with the letter in it.
“What is it are you alright?” Carla says.
“Its about James, they have him.”
“Who? Where? Oh my baby, my sweet baby, no.”
Carla grabs the letter, and reads it. The mother starts to cry. The cry is similar to the one, I heard before at the old house, but that does not matter right now.
“Miss, I am going to find James, and bring him back to you.”
“Promise.” she says
“I promise. I will bring James back.”
“Mum I am going with him.”
“No you better stay with her, I will be back. Where is devils tower? It is the sky scraper downtown.”
“Thanks, I am going.”
“How are you going to find him? I have to take you there.”
“What about your mother?”
“You go, I will be fine just, bring back my baby.”
“Alright, let’s go we will take the car in the garage.”
Carla hugs her mother and says good bye. As I was walk out the door Carla’s mother gives me a hug.
“Bring him back please.”
“I will, I promise.”
I rush to the garage, and get in the car with Carla. The engine goes on, and she opens the garage and backs out of the drive way fast.
“Didn’t think you could drive like this.”
“It’s my brother we are talking about.”
Not a word among us as we drive. I look into her eyes, and I see them full of hope. Looks like after all this time her prayers will be answered, and her family will be united. May be I can finally get some answers.
We reach devils tower, and park in front of the building. We both walk in and a man comes up to me and says
“Yes, that’s me.”
“Follow me this way sir.”
We walk up to and enter private elevator, and he hits the 13th floor, and walks out of the elevator. He grins as the door closes. Carla stands next to me, and I can see the water in her eyes. To be honest I hope she finds James, and may be I will get my answers later. The elevator moves we are up to the 11th, 12th and then the bell rings, 13th floor. My heart skips a bit. As the door opens I see a big office in front of me, and a view of all the hope and fate island. I walk out of the elevator; Carla holds my hand. Our footsteps hit the hard marble floor and echo in the room. We walk up, but see no one around.
“Where are we?” Carla says.
“Hello.” A man says from his chair in front of us, in front the window. He smiles devilishly as he stares at me.
“Are you the one who wrote the letter? Wait. You are the man I saw in the library earlier.”
“Yes that’s me.” He says
“Where is James?”
Carla screams as soon as she sees his face. She knows the man.
“Carla what is wrong, do you know him.”
“Ha ha ha ha ha you still have not figured it out.”
The elevator door opens, and guards come out. I hold Carla to protect her, but she disappears in my hands. I feel heat at the back of my head, and I see myself get closer and closer to the floor. I black out. The man’s shoes are all I see, and then darkness once again comes over.
Wind hits my face, and the sound of a strong engine roaring. I wake up in, a car with the man staring at me.
“What do you want?” I said.
I am handcuffed to the car door.
“Where are you taking me?”
“I am taking you where you belong, and then I am going to get rid of you once and for all.”
I look out, and see that we are on Fate Island again.
“You recognize this place Goodman. Take a good look cause this is were you belong. I do not know what made you think you could come back, and take over everything. I have been here for twelve years, and one night you just think you can come and change everything. You have some nerve; ever since the beginning.”
“I do not know you alright!!”
“Or you know me, you just do not remember.”
“I do not know who I am. What did I do to you?”
The car stops and he gets out, walks round opens the car door throws me to the floor. He points a gun at me.
“Goodbye, Goodman.” he says.
He pulls the trigger. The gun doesn’t fire, he pulls the trigger again; the gun does not go off, again, again and again. He removes the clip, and checks the magazine, the bullets are in it. He puts the magazine back in the gun, and pulls the trigger again. The gun does not go off. I see a kick come to my face. I close my eyes and wait; nothing happens. I open my eyes, and everything is frozen still. The cuffs are off my hands. This guy is just standing there frozen and nothing is moving. I see Mr. Memo.
“What’s going on?”
“Hello James,” he says
“I am Goodman.”
“Right and wrong you are.”
“Well you are not really James or Goodman. You are both.”
“Could you just give me a straight answer? What’s going on why am I here?”
“When James was born, so where you and he. You are have been here since the beginning of time.”
“I do not understand.” “You are good, he is evil, you are James conscience.”
“Twelve years ago, your enemy defeated you, and you have not been around since. James is you. When you touched James and got burned that was the your enemy as a child. The child that defeated you then, the evil part James. You are the grown up version of James. The good parts of James, but you have to defeat him to stay alive. A choice today needs to be made. If you lose, you stay here. That is why everyone remembers you. You are in his mind you are is conscience. Think about it you wake up with no memory do not where you are and everyone knows you. Fate Island is a place where people get lost. You where there and forgotten. Hope Island is a place of dreams, but dreams where lost there too. Hope Island came alive because you where around. Devils Island is where all the evil larks. Evil is all we have known for the past twelve years. I am Memo, your memory. James is you, the last good thing in that was left of you. A memory of what you were. Your family misses you. The woman you saw earlier was your mother. The girl was your sister, and the man was your father. You grow up in a violent home when you saw James disappear that was you trying to forget you past. You see what you want to see. The evil took his form to scare you.”
It all comes back to me. My last memory the last good thing I did. The battle I lost as a child because of the wrong choices I made. Now I remember everything.
Mr. Memo says everything unfreezes. I look at evil and his face changes he looks like me.
“Hi, been a long time.” I said
“You know, damn, damn it, damn it.”
“Why do you always try the bad way.” I said.
The fight begins he throws a punch at my face. I dodge it and he loses balance. I ram my knee in his stomach, he staggers and I punch his face. He’s weak; being good, I almost want to let him go, but we can’t co-exist. I kick him in the face again and he disappears. I come on top.
“Evil is dead.” I said.
Memo comes up from behind me, and says
“He is not dead he is going to stay on Fate Island. There he will lay until then; Devils Island is your place now you can begin to do good, and reconstruct everything in this life we have.
I stood up on the bridge and saw the sky scraper on Devils Island crumble, and all the buildings around it. Everyone who was there died. But they were just all the bad things I did, and thought of doing. The sky becomes blue again. I get into the car and drive out and see a sign
It was empty then I turned into street. It was the same street where James, where I grow up. I enter the house and see my mother, and sister standing outside waiting for me. I get out of the car and walk to my mum hug her.
“I am back home.” I say
I hug my sister.
James lost me, and now I am found, and I will stay here. I am his good side, and I will make good choices for him. When evil lurks we shall fight. Hopefully he will be forgotten like I was.