Story Contest 2016 #2 - Outstanding Stories » Escape from Dark Moon Island
“Escape from Dark Moon Island” is one of the outstanding stories of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2016 written by Swati Mahadevan, Singapore.
Escape from Dark Moon Island
Ariana gazed out of the Study window at the moonlit sky. It was hard to believe that today was the last day for completing her Science Project. She flipped through the pages of Einstein’s theory on time travel. She was racking her brain to figure out what went wrong with her “Constellation 2050.” A moment later, her Persian Kitty Fudge pounced on the red button on her console.
There was a flash of light and her vision was extremely impaired. Once she returned to her senses she looked around and found her battered time machine on the floor. Her fingers flew over the console in vain and she heard a beeping noise followed by a message which warned her of impending catastrophe. The message on the screen displayed, “150 Million B.C., The Dark Moon Island”.
Ariana heard a low queer noise followed by a loud bellow, which made her shudder. She looked around to see where the loud roar was coming from. Then she saw a ghastly creature approaching her. It had the head of a vulture, body of a wolf, the wings of a phoenix and bloodshot eyes. It picked her up in a swift motion and brought her down to the passageway of a deep tunnel. She saw dull, greasy drops of water trickling down from the inside of the tunnel. The tunnel was pitch black, moist and desolate. Soon the wild beast dropped her down in a prison cell and locked the gate. She heard a low whimper and turned around to face a creature which had the head of a sparrow, body of a horse and the wings of an archaeopteryx. The creature introduced itself as Zorax.
Then she heard a human voice “Who are you?” and looked around with hope, but instead of seeing a human face she saw only a shadow of a lady in a tailcoat.
In a frightened voice she replied, “I am Ariana, I am from the Earth.”
“I see, you are the next victim of Wulrakas.”
Ariana questioned, “Who are you? Why are you a shadow? And who is Wulrakas?”
The lady replied, “I am the Moon Queen. I was ruling over this island. I was turned into a shadow by my evil cousin brother Fizzwick. Fizzwick turned himself into deadly creature which is invincible and called himself Wulrakas. Wulrakas has taken all my powers and put it into an amber stone necklace. As a result, the moon lost its glow and the once bright Paradisea Island became “The Dark Moon Island.”
Ariana said, “I want to return home.”
The Moon Queen replied, “There is only one way to return home: you have to kill Wulrakas and restore the amber stone to me. That can be done only by crossing the Sea of the Dead. You will have to kill the sea monster. Then Wulrakas will lose all his powers and he can be defeated easily. For crossing the sea, you can take along with you Zorax who will guide you. Also take this magical sword.”
Ariana followed the Moon Queen’s instructions and was soon out on the shore. Then with the help of Zorax she flew over the deep sea. Just then, a giant, terrifying sea monster with large tentacles emerged from the depths of the sea. Ariana drew her sword and fiercely fought with the sea monster. The sea monster charged at her with its large tentacles. Ariana took a lurching step forward, took a deep breath, and pierced the sword through the heart of the sea monster, and the sea monster fell with a splash and sank into the sea.
She crossed over the Sea of the Dead and soon reached the shore. She saw that there was a door to that mysterious island. As she turned the knob and opened the door, she fell into a deep, long tunnel. She felt suffocated, as the tunnel was filthy.
From the opposite side she saw Wulrakas approaching in high speed. He stopped a few yards away from her and said, “Let the dead rise.” As soon as these words left his mouth an army of mummies charged. Just then her kitty Fudge leapt out of her coat and gave a sharp “meow”. Cats being associated with the Guardians of the Underworld in Egyptian mythology, the army of mummies gave a loud shriek and disappeared. Ariana promised Fudge his favourite milk.
Wulrakas emerged with a growl. He punched her which expelled the last bit of choking air from her belly. She dropped low and caught Wulrakas with a pair of terrific kicks. A crack was heard. Wulrakas was badly hurt. He was on his feet, shaking his head, trying to see through the dust. From the corner of his eye, he saw Ariana’s another arm begin an upward trajectory. The blow meant for his jaw whizzed by in a blur of knuckles. Now he was seriously hurt. Still he made an effort to keep to his feet, but fell down with a thud and that was the end of Wulrakas.
Ariana grabbed the necklace from Wulrakas’ neck and as she walked a few steps further she saw fluorescent light. She felt that her eyesight was almost disabled. She saw that she was in the prison cell and the gates were open. Moon Queen was standing there in her original form. “Thank You Ariana. Good Bye,” she said.
Ariana found herself lying on her bed and her kitty Fudge purring at her. She found the book on Einstein’s theory on time travel lying on the floor. She realized that she was reading the book while she fell asleep and dreamt that she had ventured on a wild journey.