When Ethan Rathbone was at his wit’s end, work helped to calm the upheaval of his recent feeling of hopelessness. The phone on his desk beeped. Knowing his secretary had gone home hours ago, he clicked the red flashing button.

“Sir, this is Walter from the parking gate. Are you getting ready to leave anytime soon? It’s going on midnight,” the young man said.

“I understand, Walter. I’ve got my card to open the gate. You go ahead and get out of here. Thank you,” Ethan politely instructed.

Ethan got up. He took a break by looking out onto the city lights from the 16th-floor windows. Going over again what transpired at yesterday’s morning confrontation with his daughter, he realized any hopes on the drug’s success to address this ancient curse had come to an impasse.

In the last six weeks, he knew his daughter’s nightly hunts had turned to a savage end of unconscionable manifestations of a ghoulish creature. Tears rolled down his cheeks. A thought came to mind before he finished up. He needed to write an email to his lawyer.

TO: Forrest Baines, atty. at law

If there arises an unfortunate demise to my person, alert my faithful butler and friend, Wesley Thornton. He has no knowledge of the change to my Last Will and Testament to the Rathbone assets, holdings and current residence to go to him.

My kindest regards,

Ethan Rathbone, CEO of IndyMerck Pharmaceuticals

A weariness surrounded Ethan. It was time to go home. His brand new Lexus shined out in the center of the employee parking lot like a beacon from the dark sky above. He stepped out from the double doors to find out he was the only one around.

He heard a low-pitched ticking sound not too far away. His heart sank. Thinking to himself almost a prayer, Oh, Lord, got to get to my car. Maybe I can outrun it.

Three yards from the driver’s side of his car, the ticking became so loud it was painfully deafening. In seconds, he was wrapped in the black netting of an impenetrable substance of what he knew to be wings. He felt the vacuum of being high in the night sky.

During the night flight, Ethan was forced to breathe the surrounding foul odor of the material that held him immovable in and out. He could hardly breathe and could not move or cry out. He remembered the rare times he had climbed up the cold three levels of the stone staircase to the Tower quarters.

Inside the room only furnished by a soiled mattress, the smell of sweat, vomit, and finally the stench of decomposition hit his nose. He fled the interior of where the creature found sanctuary until the effects of her transformation brought her to be a human again.

He was able to move as the winged creature unloaded him onto damp ground. The wings unfolded and parted away where the terrorized middle-aged man viewed his captor. The full moon above reflected its illumination to reveal half of the creature’s grotesque facial features.

In the past, Ethan had been told from his wife Divinia a description of this type of aswang. No one could have ever been prepared to the terror griping deep into their soul as this evil was revealed for real, the eyes reptilian bulging with a line of blinding yellow instead of the human pupil.

Its head moved back and forth, taking in Ethan’s fear. The mouth opened to a protruding red tongue curled out partly through, showing upper and lower set of teeth formed in razor-sharp fangs.

“Amora, if any inkling of humanity can hear me, don’t destroy your father. I’ve fought for you since your adolescence to keep your affliction secret!” Ethan pleaded, choking on his many tears.

Holding him still with her long claws, her head plunged down to tear away the middle of his face. One claw raised to make a precise movement. She finished his life as one long, sharp digit cut his throat almost to the point of decapitation.

The defining moment that she had killed her father in such a hideous manner was not recorded to be defined as wrong on her part. The savagery and ghoulish nature of this curse came to full circle where this man who had raised her and protected her was only another victim.


For all installments from The Islands Tell of It, click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Chapter 1: The First Victim
  2. Chapter 2: Four Months Before October
  3. Chapter 3: Bobber’s Café
  4. Chapter 4: Heat Wave
  5. Chapter 5: Deep-End Dining
  6. Chapter 6: Rathbone Estate
  7. Chapter 7: Althea’s Run
  8. Chapter 8: Emergency Interrupts
  9. Chapter 9: Girls Talk Turkey
  10. Chapter 10: There Came a Lull
  11. Chapter 11: Dangerous Mind
  12. Chapter 12: Luana Barba
  13. Chapter 13: Trip to Milwaukee
  14. Chapter 14: Enough Killing
  15. Chapter 15: A Parking Lot Visitation
  16. Chapter 16: The Restaurant