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Island Otherside

by Bradley Ramsey (He/Him) about a year ago in Horror
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Real People, Real Spirits, Real Drama. Watch New Episodes Every Wednesday, only on SCN

Image: Daniel Jensen via Unsplash

The Intern sat quietly at his desk, enjoying a roast beef sandwich with sliced mozzarella and mayonnaise on lightly toasted white bread. In front of him, six monitors mounted on the wall in rows of three all displayed black-and-white images.

The phone in his pocket vibrated. The Intern set down his sandwich and answered it.

"Hello," he said.

"Hey, thanks again for being willing to do this on such short notice. Did you find the recording room alright?"

"I'm here," The Intern said.

"Good, excellent. So, as I was saying, these recordings have become quite popular among internet pirates, so we usually cut all communication to avoid any leaks prior to broadcast."

"I understand."

"I know some people get freaked out by the ghosts, but honestly, they're harmless. We use some ancient angelic runes to keep the good ones contained on the island, and to evil spirits from entering. They're old as dirt, but they do the trick. The ghosts, sorry, supposed to call them spirits, also give us permission to trap them here."

"Of course," The Intern said.

"Okay, so just use the emergency line if anything goes wrong, but otherwise you just need to monitor the cameras and make sure the host and contestants do what they do best. Any questions?"

"None whatsoever," The Intern said.

"Awesome, really appreciate you doing this man. Should be fun!"

"I'm sure it will be."

The Intern hung up the phone and placed it back in his pocket. He glanced over at the paper identifying the six cameras:

- Camera 1: Courtyard

- Camera 2: Living Room

- Camera 3: Kitchen

- Camera 4: Bedroom

- Camera 5: Forest

- Camera 6: Docks

The Intern committed the assignments to memory. The red glow that bathed the recording room switched to a vibrant green light. He looked to Camera 6 as the host began the show's introduction.

Camera 6: Docks

Tyler Randal stood fidgeting with his red suit, lined with black velvet. His black hair was thick with gel and slicked back. Heavy eyeliner and a dash of lipstick completed his vampiric persona as the host of Island Otherside.

Tyler looked up at the camera mounted on a nearby wooden post as he heard the boat coming in the distance, carrying the season's latest contestants.

"We live in a world where spirits are a part of daily life. We proved the existence of the afterlife, and in doing so, cut ourselves off from it forever. Without the ability to cross over, spirits wander the Earth when they perish. We interact with our departed loved ones, our favorite celebrities, and ethereal strangers on a daily basis."

Tyler paused, taking a breath and waiting for the sound of the boat's engine to register on the camera.

"One week, six singles ready to mingle, six cameras poised to track their every move, and all manner of spirits roaming the island. Will these young people find love, or will the spirits drive them to give up?"

The boat arrived with the six contestants, pulling up to the doc.

"This is Island Otherside!"

His demeanor changed immediately. The smile melted off his face and he spun around to face the contestants.

"Alright people, let's get settled in," Tyler said, gesturing towards the manor on the hilltop.

"When do the cameras start recording?" a young blonde woman asked.

"Oh honey, they're already rolling, but don't worry, we'll fix everything in post."

The blonde giggled and winked at Tyler before joining the others. The Intern looked down to his notes.

Brittany, swimwear and lingerie model. She certainly looks the part.

Camera 4: Bedroom

As with most reality shows of this kind, the contestants shared a common bedroom with beds lining each of the walls. The Intern referred to his notes as each of the contestants entered:

Brittany, we saw her on the dock.

Felicia, fashion designer, runs her own line of women's clothing.

Lacey, internet celebrity, livestreams video games.

Jake, star quarterback. Confident, but shallow.

Chris, singer and songwriter. His music is derivative, but popular nonetheless.

Reggie, game developer. Had an indie hit but hasn't produced anything new since.

The Intern cracked open a can of seltzer water with lime flavoring. He took a small sip as he started on the second half of his sandwich.

"Ladies, I know this bed is small, but there's enough of me to go around, so don't be a stranger now." Jake said.

Brittany took an immediate interest in him, but the others shook their heads.

Lacey walked over to Reggie, a scrawny man with a head of unkempt curly hair.

"Oh shit, you're Reggie Preston, aren't you?" Lacey asked.

"Yeah, that's me."

"I totally streamed your game for months after it came out! It's part of the reason my channel took off."

"I'm glad to hear that," he replied.

"What are you working on now?"

The Intern turned his focus to Felicia and Chris, who were hitting it off in their own corner of the room.

"So, what kind of music do you write?" Felicia asked.

"I would classify it as a kind of folky acoustic vibe. You want to hear some?"

"No thanks, I'm good," Felicia said.

The Intern went back to his sandwich as they continued to drone on. Everyone climbed into their beds.

It wasn't long after that a loud smash came from the kitchen, waking up Jake and Brittany.

"Shit, did you hear that?" Jake whispered.

"Go check it out, it's probably a ghost or something."

"It's definitely a ghost, do you not know what show you're on?" Jake asked.

"Just go look!" Brittany said.

Camera 3: Kitchen

Jake flipped on the lights in the kitchen and spotted the shattered dish on the ground immediately. It had been lifted out of an open cabinet and thrown onto the floor.

He walked over and bent down to inspect the chunks of ceramic. Behind him, a set of knives began vibrating. A collection of glimmering silver blades quietly levitated out of the wood block.

"Hey guys, I think—"

Jake turned around just as the knives shot forward. Several pierced his chest, but the final one slid directly into his throat. Blood pooled across his shirt and gushed from the open wound in his neck.

The Intern quietly took another bite out of his sandwich.

A moment later Brittany entered the kitchen. She shrieked at the sight of Jake slumped in the corner by the sink, causing the others to wake in the bedroom.

As she turned to flee, her hair floated above her. An invisible hand lifted her from the ground as she howled in pain. She reached upward, struggling as she was dragged over to the open sink.

Her head was forced down as the garbage disposal turned itself on. With a metallic growl, her hair was ripped downward into the sink until her scalp started to bleed. She managed to pull free, but only took a single step before slipping on the broken plate beneath her.

Brittany wheeled backwards. Her head struck the edge of the granite counters, and with that final crack, her body went limp as she collapsed onto the floor beside Jake.

The others entered the room in a mixture of gasps and muffled screams. They all fled from the kitchen immediately.

The Intern looked over at the plastic red emergency phone with a solid green light at the base. His eyes wandered back to the screens as he sipped on his seltzer water.

Camera 2: Living Room

The remaining four contestants wasted no time in rushing to the front door of the manor. Chris, the songwriter, was the first to reach the door. It was locked from the outside.

"Fuck, it won't open! I think it's locked." Chris shouted.

Reggie dug a small leather pouch out of his pocket and dropped to his knees.

"Give me a second," he said.

"Thank God for gamers," Lacey said.

As Reggie went to work trying to pick the lock. The antique furniture in the living room started to levitate behind the group. Felicia spotted the phenomenon first.

"Chris, look out!" She screamed.

Chris turned just as a massive antique radio soared across the room. The polished wood hit him squarely in the chest and sent him flying into a wall on the far right.

The radio sat in mid-air, pinning him down as blood trickled from the sides of his mouth.

"Reggie, you've got to hurry!" Lacey said.

From above, a sharp snap caught Felicia's attention. She looked up just as an ornate chandelier fell directly onto her, sending shards of glass spiraling through the air.

"I've got it!" Reggie said, throwing the door open.

The Intern pulled out a small Swiss Roll cake from his lunch bag and began eating it as Chris and Felicia bled out on the manor floor.

Camera 1: Courtyard

Reggie and Lacey emerged from the front door and into the courtyard, which featured an extravagant stone fountain. Tyler, the host, was smoking a cigarette and staring at his phone as they came out breathless and terrified.

Tyler stamped out his cigarette and slid the phone into his pocket.

"What the fuck is all this?" he asked.

"Something is killing us!" Lacey screamed.

"Did you lock the front door?" Reggie asked.

"What? No, why would I do that? Hang on a second, people are dying?"

"Yes! We're all that's left. We need to get out of here!" Lacey said.

Tyler didn't bother asking any more questions.

"Alright, let's head to the dock, follow me."

Camera 5: Forest

The trio sprinted through the forest between the manor and the docks. Multiple camera angles switched across the screen, triggered by tracking algorithms to show the best shot.

A phantom wind shot through the forest, knocking Reggie off of his feet. As Tyler continued to flee without them, Lacey turned to help Reggie up.

"Come on Reggie, us gamers have to stick together," she said.

"Something's got me Lacey, you need to go!" Reggie cried.

"Let him go!"

A trio of thick slash marks crawled across Reggie's back, made by some invisible monstrosity. Blood poured outward as the force overtook Lacey.

Reggie disappeared into the forest, dragged along the ground at inhuman speeds as he screamed with his final breath.

Lacey clambered to her feet. She only made it a few steps before a tree branch snapped off above her and soared downward like a spear. The jagged edge pierced directly through her chest and her eyes went dark as she fell to her knees.

Camera 6: Docks

Tyler Randal made it to the docks just as a sweeping force sent him flying off the side and into the waters surrounding the island. He struggled to breach the surface, but it wasn't long before something pulled him under, never to return.

The emergency phone beside The Intern rang out with a shrill call. He picked it up quietly.

"What the fuck is happening! I'm looking at a private feed and there are bodies everywhere! What did you let onto the island?"

"Wire ten million dollars to my account, in addition to my payment, or I upload this to the internet." The Intern said.

"Are you batshit? You're going to prison for the rest of your life, you sick fuck!"

"It's your choice. You have one hour." The Intern said, hanging up the phone.

A separate phone rang in the Intern's pocket. He pulled it out and answered.

"Departed souls, ripe for harvest," a gruff voice said.

"We shall feed the hungry hordes," The Intern replied.

"Is it done?"

"Yes."

"Good, upload the video."

The line went dead. The Intern started the video upload and stood to his feet, gathering his things. The air in the room turned to ice. The Intern felt a clawed hand on his shoulder, but saw nothing when he looked.

"Yes, you did well. Let's go."

Horror

About the author

Bradley Ramsey (He/Him)

Lover of dogs, gaming, and long walks on the beach. Content Marketing Manager by day, aspiring writer by night. Long time ghostwriter, finally stepping into the light. Alone, we cannot change this world, but we can create better ones.

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