Thursday, October 4, 2012


After the accident the island was cut off. Not just quarantined, but permanently isolated from the rest of the world. They still had radios and televisions – they could still communicate – but no one, no thing, was allowed out. It was a safety precaution, everyone said. Even the millions who lived there agreed. Theirs was a culture of self-sacrifice, so it wasn't a hard sale. Promises to send the occasional barge of outside goods helped. Sure, there were complaints. In this day and age of mobility, of island hopping and world travel, it was understandable that some would fuss about being stuck on an island. But it was necessary.

At first there were jokes about Godzilla and Mothra, but when the mutations began to appear even the anti-isolationists shut up. There was no predicting what changes would happen. They came in waves which scientists watched until they could use the patterns to prove the theory of evolution. That was pretty much the only good that came of the disaster.

The megaflora, including humans, that survived the initial accident did so without much effect. More hair, or less. Occasional tumors or growths, but nothing truly weird. That was for the plants and smaller animals. Ants hatched with eight legs, although their behavior didn't change. That spawned a lively debate about the definition of insect versus arachnid, but it was mostly academic. Hermaphroditic plants developed, which was fine until they began moving themselves around to find suitable mates. People couldn't adjust to having their philodendrons relocate for love.

The rest of the world watched like it was a giant reality show, agog with wonder (and mockery) at the strange creatures that developed, and the haplessness of the humans “in charge”. That is, until the day the dock showed up.

No one knew it was missing until it landed on the west coast. Actually, no one knew it landed on the west coast for several weeks, until someone from the planning office tried to fine the builder for an unlicensed dock and in the process figured out that it hadn't been built. It was torn off a city on the island and floated across the ocean. At first inspection they concluded the cargo was mostly a collection of sea stars, barnacles, and algae. Initial reports stated that a “natural disaster” had caused it to break free. 

Then stories emerged about strange creatures in the trees in the rainforest up in Oregon. Strange attacks that left people cut up and covered in circular bruises. The victims said octopus and everyone laughed, until they found the dock. They had seen on Island TV how some of the cephalopods were using sharpened tools to hunt. And after the accident, anything was possible. So no. There was no disaster. The dock was a ship used by a colony of mutants ready for adventure to sail across.

Inspired by Nightmare Fuel

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