The Mysterious Floating Island

“We have to run!” one of the deputies exclaimed in a panic, as we stared at the large green object heading directly toward us. “Swim. Whatever. We have to go now before it gets us!”

“No,” the Sheriff told him in as calming a tone as he could manage while treading water in the middle of an ocean. “If it’s going to attack us, it’s going to attack us. We can’t out-swim whatever that is. There’s nowhere to swim to. Eventually, we’ll get tired and then it’ll be able to pick us off one by one. If we’re going to have to fight it, then we’re going to need to make our stand now, as one.”

“But we can’t stand,” Toleuk said. “We’re stuck in the ocean and the ground is far beneath us.”

The Sheriff gave her a side eye that would have been far more effective if we weren’t all being splashed by giant waves.

All attention turned to the strange green object. It continued to get closer and closer and as it did, it also continued to get bigger and bigger. Escaping this behemoth seemed more and more impossible. It wasn’t as if it were a single rowboat that we could have just spread out and stayed away from. It was a leviathan that could swallow us whole. It was like being chased by a whale or a city or a…a…island? “Is it me,” I began, “or does that look like a…”

“A floating island?” the Sheriff finished for me. “Yeah. It kind of does. It kind of really does.”

The green, we could see now, was a forest. There were trees with big green leaves. And in front of the forest was a beach, a long, sandy, dry beach. And before the beach was a small outcropping of rocks that looked like they would hurt quite a bit if they hit us, but they also looked like maybe, just maybe they could be climbed.

“Everyone just wait a second,” the Sheriff said and he began to swim toward the island. We watched with trepidation as he got closer and closer to the island. I think we were all waiting for something bad to happen, like natives coming out to attack him or maybe the island growing a mouth and eating him whole.

But neither of those happened. He reached the island safely and began to climb up the rocks. He quickly made his way to the top. When he reached the beach, he sat down and waved toward us. “Come on,” he beckoned. We needed no more encouragement. None of us could wait to get out of this water.

We all immediately began to swim as fast as we could toward the floating island, but the trolls were all bigger and stronger than me, their strokes were much longer. I had no chance at keeping pace with them, but worse than that, as I fell behind, I quickly got caught up in their wake. I was thrown violently back and forth. I could barely stay afloat against their wake. I almost drowned again as the swam past me.

Eventually, they got far enough ahead of me that I was able to regain control. And, as I started to swim again, I could see that the fastest of them had already begun to start climbing onto the floating island. They climbed up it with ease, just a few handholds and they were onto the island.

I finally reached the island as the last troll was climbing up. I looked up at the wall of rocks before me. From down here, it looked a lot higher than it had when I had started swimming. Those giant trolls had made the thing look like it was nothing. But I was much smaller than they were and I realized I was much more tired. After getting caught in their wake, I was gassed out. Not to mention, I had been out here longer than any of them. I could feel that I was low on energy and that my arms were already fatigued, but I started climbing anyway. What other choice did I have? Drowning? So I put one hand on top of the other and began to pull myself up as best I could. But I was tired and my feet couldn’t find any purchase, not with the waves crashing down on me. I didn’t think I was going to make it.

And then I saw a massive hand appear in my line of sight. I looked up at Toleuk leaning down above me. “Come on, little guy. Let me help.”

I reached out for her hand and her giant hand enveloped mine. It looked like a small child taking the hand of their parent. With relative ease, she pulled me up onto the land. When she put me down, I fell down right to my knees. I was so tired and so grateful. I kissed the ground. Then I looked up at here, with sand sticking to my face, and told her with great sincerity, “Thank you.”

She blushed. “Just part of the job.”

But before I could really catch my breath, one of the deputies asked, “Where are we?” I looked past the trolls and beyond the beach where we all sat. There was a dense jungle beyond it.

“I don’t know,” the Sheriff told his deputy, then turned to me. “Frank?”

I was a bit surprised that he had looked to me for answers. He was the one with the big hat and fancy badge, though he had lost the hat. It was presumably somewhere in the water right now. As I caught my breath, I looked at him, then the jungle, and then glanced back at the ocean. I then slowly rose to me feet and faced him again. “I guess we only really have one choice. We go into the jungle.”

“The jungle,” the Sheriff said with a sigh. “Trolls aren’t really made for jungle.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at that. “You made any better for the ocean?”

The Sheriff snorted. “Jungle it is.”

to be continued…

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Water, Water Everywhere

I went through the psychedelic pipe and out the other end landing with a big splash. Before I knew it I was deep underwater and sinking ever deeper. And worse, on impact I had accidentally swallowed a big mouthful of water. My lungs were filled with water. My body instinctively tried to regurgitate it back up but there was no air to replace it. All there was were gallons and gallons of water everywhere I looked.

My lungs were instantly burning. I needed air and I needed it quick, otherwise I’d pass out and drown. But to make matters even worse, I found I was having serious trouble figuring out which way was up and the panic that was seeping in wasn’t helping any. There was darkness all around me, but in front of me, I began to realize, was a lighter darkness. As soon as I realized that I began to swim for it, hoping with all everything I had that it wasn’t undersea lava flow that had fooled my eyes. But I really had no time to think about it. I just swam.

Just as I thought I was about to pass out, I burst through the surface of the water. I opened my mouth to breath and water came pouring out. I began coughing violently, vomiting all the water I had swallowed, as waves continued to crash over me. I struggled to stay afloat and not swallow anymore water. I knew I needed to find out where I was, but I needed to catch my breath first. Unfortunately, it didn’t look like I was going to have the chance. The waves were going to take me under before I had chance to recover.

There was water everywhere I looked, splashing over me, pulling at me, trying to take me back under, but then…there! I saw something! Something green! I think…the water splashed over…it was gone…where was…there! There it was! A tree? An island? A giant sea monster? It didn’t matter. I had to swim for it!

But before I could more than a few strokes out something large fell from the sky! I tried to get out of its way, but I couldn’t move fast enough away. The currents were to strong. It was coming down too fast! It splashed down nearly on top of me and took me under! It pulled me down under the waves with it, turning me all around, end over end. I was disoriented at first but at least this time I remembered to take a breath first.

I held my breath and immediately started looking for the surface. As soon as I found it, I began swimming straight up. I burst out of the water and took a deep breath just in time to see another object come hurtling out of the sky. As it splashed down, I went down again with it. I recovered as quickly as I could and immediately started swimming toward the surface, but as I got close I felt something large grab my leg. It wrapped around my ankle and began pulling me back down. I would’ve screamed if I hadn’t been underwater.

Whatever had me, pulled me down toward it. I fought as best I could, stomping at it with the heel of my foot, but it grabbed my other foot and held firm so I couldn’t shake it off. It was too strong. It pulled me down toward it until I was staring it dead in the eye. The eyes were angry and large. The face they were attached to were horryfing and ghoulish. The creature was truly monstrous. But, surprisingly, it wasn’t totally unfamiliar. Perhaps it was a slow realization on my part, but it eventually dawned on me that I knew who this was.

It was the Sherrif! What was he doing h…? I looked up in time to see another object splash into the water. And like that two and two made four. It was the trolls, coming in after me, dropping from the portal down into the water, just as I had done before them. They were coming in a little quicker than I would’ve liked, but they were coming in.

I signaled the Sheriff to return to the surface. He nodded and we both began to swim up, taking big gulps of air as we broke the surface. Just in time for another troll to come falling from out of the sky. The water had pushed us a bit off so at least they weren’t falling directly on us anymore.

“What’s going on?” the sheriff gasped. “Where are we?”

“I don’t know,” I replied trying to keep water out of my mouth. “I think I saw something over that…” I looked around. It was pretty hard to tell which way I had seen anything. “Somewhere.”

“Something somewhere,” the sheriff repeated, as he treaded water. “That’s not particularly helpful.”

I would’ve shrugged if I could have. “Sorry, that’s the best…”

I was then interrupted by Toleuk emerging from beneath the waves with a gigantic gasp. “Sheriff!”

He reached out and grabbed ahold of her. “I’m right here, deputy.”

“Oh, thank Giolsnda! I thought I’d lost you! Where are we, sir?”

“We’re still working on that, deputy. But first we’ve got to get…heads up!” he yelled as another troll came splashing down.

“How many more of you are coming through?” I yelled, tired of having giant bodies fall down on me.

“That should be it,” the Sheriff said, though I doubted he had been able to keep an accurate count. “But now we’ve got to go collect them all before any of those idiots drown.”

It was fortunately not hard to round them up. There were seven of us in all. Me, the Sheriff, three deputies, and Rosef the heavily pierced. Unfortunately from there, we didn’t have many choices. “Go back to the portal?” Toleuk suggested.

“No. One of my friends was sent here. That’s why there’s a portal. We have to find them. That’s why we’re here.”

“Then what are we supposed to do?”

“What about that?” Rosef asked. We all turned to see something green heading our way.

to be continued