The Thai Island Attack
One new voicemail.
Transcribing. . .
Yes. Hello? This is an emergency. Please pick up. Anyone there? Hello? My name is Manikandan Singh. I am currently employed as the Bosun on a small charter boat, Mirana, located west of Thailand, in the Andaman Sea. Half of our crew is dead. The other half is missing. There is a large, unidentifiable animal in the vicinity, and I don’t know if I have a lot of time. Mayday. Mayday.
Oh God. I don’t even know if this fucking radio works.
Oh God. I’m going to die out here. I’m going to die.
I don’t even know if this… this thing knows I’m still alive. I don’t know if it’s waiting. What the fuck for? I don’t know if it’s coming. I don’t know if I’ll be dead before I finish talking. But I do know it’s out there. I can feel it watching me. I can feel its eyes on me.
Oh God. Help me.
Alright. If anybody should listen to this message, and find me missing from the ship, or find our chewed up bodies in the surf… well.. maybe this story will serve as a warning for what the hell happened here. Stay away from the island. Please, for the love of God, stay away. No one should ever visit this place again. It doesn’t want us here.
Alright. I’m going to start at the beginning.
We set sail out of George Town on the 20th of November. Our party included an oil tycoon, his buddy, and a diverse cast of four drunk bimbos. Mirana is a luxury boat. We get paid thousands of dollars to take our guests for a week or weekend long getaway through some of Southeast Asia. As Bosun, I am the petty officer, or deck boss. It’s a shit job. The pay is low. The work is hard. But the promise of exploring the world is one most people wouldn’t turn down.
From Cape Town, we sailed North out of the Malacca Strait. Our staff was extremely short handed on the trip. Two of our deck-mates called out due to illness. The Captain had to find a replacement as well, and the new guy seemed to be somebody’s relative, because he acted like a complete idiot. Most of us were working together for the first time. So the basic stuff, like pulling anchors, and setting up the equipment, and dealing with the guests became all the more difficult.
We hit a rough storm due West of Ranong. That didn’t help.
The guests bitched and moaned about the amount of money they paid to have to hide under deck. The rocking boat and the moans of shit faced sex hung through the crowded air worse than the stale seawater. People started to get sick on the second day. By the third they were unable to get out of bed. But by the fourth, miraculously, the Captain found a patch of blue skies, and the guests started to make their way back on deck.
We served a full breakfast of bacon and eggs. We set about the work anchor in a beautiful little spot somewhere off the shore of Lord Loughborough Island. The water was blue and immaculate. The sun hit at full strength. We broke out the Vodka, and beer, and champagne, and the group relaxed with a little swimming off the side of the boat. It was perfect. I couldn’t believe our small deck crew and rookie captain had pulled off such a comeback job. The group would surely still stiff us on the tip, who could blame them, but at least they would pay for the fair.
We set about our plans for dinner.
The chef prepared this delicious medley of Hors d’oeuvres, blackened chicken, shrimp, ice cream, all kinds of shit. The goal was to take the guests ashore Lord Loughborough, where they could dine on the beach, with some wine, and the enchantment of a disembodied nature behind them. It wasn’t a new move. We had done this many times before for previous charters. Loughborough was largely devoid of dangerous wildlife and people. It made for the perfect little lost getaway for the tourists.
But the oil guy wasn’t interested.
“Every asshole in the region has been to that island,” he huffed like a jackass. “We want to go somewhere wild.”
I couldn’t understand where the group got that idea. The world is a mysterious place. But most land masses across the globe have been discovered, explored, and exploited by mankind to some degree. I got the idea in my head that one of my new crew members, a local named Shin, had egged on the drunks about finding a random island. He confirmed my suspicions a moment later by opening his big fat mouth.
“We could try Pisac Island,” he suggested to the guests. “It’s beautiful.”
I had never heard of the place. In five years working in the region, Pisac Island had never been mentioned to me once. I thought my deckhand might be fucking with them. It would be a perfectly opportune time to pull a random island out of the air. And the way he described it sounded like something straight out of a bad travel guide.
“The last settlers on Pisac disappeared in 2012,” Shin said with a suddenly thicker accent. “Some folks say they left because of the flooding. But we all know the truth.”
He paused for emphasis.
The oil tycoon asked why the settlers really left. His buddy wanted to know how the island got its name. The girls only cared it if still had a beach. The conversation moved quickly. Just like that, it was decided; the guests wanted Pisac and nothing else.
Shin looked towards the Captain. The Captain looked towards me. The three of us shared an awkward and uncomfortable laugh. I motioned for our staff to meet in the crew lounge. As soon as we were apart from the guests, I hounded Shin for the truth.
“It’s just an island,” he claimed. “No more than two miles wide. Lots of trees. A shitty little beach. Nobody goes there. It doesn’t even have a name. I just made it up.”
That gave us some relief. Shin got with the captain to share the coordinates. It was somewhere due south of Ranong. I worked with my remaining deck hand to pull the anchor and start the engine. The service staff returned to the guests and told them that dinner would be arriving shortly on Pisac Island. I thought, maybe, our group gratuity could still be a possibility. I didn’t think anything else could go wrong. None of us did – including Shin.
The island did not have a port of anywhere near suitable to set down the boat. And so we anchored a little way off the coast. We sent out a small dinghy with the service staff to set up dinner. They placed the food under a cabana on the beach and returned without issue. Then the Captain set out with the guests.
That’s when the problems began.
As soon as the group arrived on the shore of the Island, the dinghy’s engine failed. The Captain waived and radioed to inform us of the same, so I sent a deckhand, Emil, to swim to shore with some tools and spare parts. The guests sat down to dinner with the Captain while Emil worked. Shin, the service staff, and myself remained on the boat.
The first twenty minutes went by normally. From my binoculars I could see that the guests had finished their first course and were moving onto their entree. They all seemed to be smiling and happy. The cook was pleased with himself. Shin was too.
And then a storm cloud appeared to our Southwest.
I could see a wave of rain pelting the sea in the distance. I radioed for Emil to hurry up with the repairs. He radioed back that he needed more time. The Captain seemed to notice our commotion. He kept looking over his shoulder. First at the tree line – then at the storm.
At that point, he asked the guests to help him clean up.
The storm got closer.
Emil kept cursing through the radio. He couldn’t figure out why the dinghy failed in the first place. Everything appeared to be normal. The engine had fuel. There were no leaks or anything stuck underneath. But every time he hit the throttle… the damn thing died.
Rain reached the boat.
I could see that the guests were starting to panic. A few of them reached into their backpacks for rain coats. A few others started to walk over to the dinghy. The captain kept them all at bay while Emil steadily went about his repairs.
A crack of lightning appeared over the island.
And then they all started to run.
At first… at first I thought they were just reacting to the storm. I watched through the binoculars as one of the women jumped into the water and started to swim. It was a ludicrous plan. The surge had overtaken the coast by that point. Huge waves were pounding the shore. I kept my eye on her and hit the engine of Mirana to see if we could get a little bit closer.
I couldn’t. I lost track of her in the surf.
I refocused my binoculars back towards the beach and saw a man running. It was the oil guy. I couldn’t see what chased him because it stayed within the treeline. Thick branches and leaves buckled underneath the creature’s weight as it kept up magnificently step for step. A massive, hair covered claw reached out through the woods. And then the oil guy was gone.
Shin started to panic.
He grabbed the controls from my hand and tried to turn the boat around back to sea. But what he didn’t realize was that we were sitting on top of a long and extensive reef bed. Our propellers smacked up against some submerged limestone. I punched the idiot right in the face and he went down like a sack of bricks. But a wave of smoke erupted in the air to tell me that our boat was done.
I refocused my binoculars.
The beachhead appeared quiet.
A lone figure stood by the dinghy, pulling helplessly at the string, while a massive black shadow approached him from the trees. I couldn’t see the creature well. But I could hear its roar. The Captain hopped into the tiny boat and pathetically tried to paddle his way out to sea. But the shadow increased speed. There was a splash and a brief scream that echoed all the way out to the boat. Then the night grew quiet under the steady tapping of rainfall.
Without warning, one of our waiters decided to be a hero. He jumped into the water and swam his way towards shore. We screamed for him to get back. We tried to tell him it wasn’t safe. But one quick tug from something underwater… and the poor kid was gone.
And then there were three.
We sat in silence for the better part of an hour. We hoped it would go away. We hoped a passing ship would see the carnage and stop. But that didn’t happen. It wasn’t until later that we realized the Captain brought the only flair gun onto shore. Another rookie mistake by a rookie idiot. We would die if we didn’t try to get help. We would die if we sat there. Either the creature would kill us or we would run out of water.
We drew straws.
Two people would go on shore. One would stay back with the boat. I cheated the system by cutting the straw and palming it in my hand. Shin and the waiter never noticed. They said their goodbyes, exchanged good lucks, grabbed wetsuits, and hopped in the cold water. They tread water quietly and rode the current all the way to shore.
They found the flare gun.
I watched with bated breath as Shin picked it gingerly from the Captain’s remains. He raised it over his head. I wanted to tell him to wait. I wanted to tell him that whatever the fuck lived on that island would surely hear the gun and assuredly come back out of the woodwork. But I was too far away. Shin fired once, paused, then fired again.
It didn’t take long for the trees to move.
A creature on four legs ran out from the woods. It was huge. The animal stood even taller than a man in that position. It moved shockingly well in the sand. It moved so quickly that I could barely follow in my binoculars. I could see fur, and claws, and teeth. I opened my mouth to warn my crew. But it was too late. The animal landed on Shin from behind. It latched onto the soft spot of his neck. Blood spurted out like a leaky fucking pipe. The waiter, another young kid, screamed for his mother. He tried to get away. But it wasn’t long before the animal chased him down too. The boy cried like a baby before the creature ripped out his tongue.
And then there was one.
It’s nighttime now. I can’t see a damn thing. The dark has a horrible way of creating shadows in the sea. Every lapping wave or piece of driftwood looks like a spot of dark fur hidden under the current. Every crash against the shore sets me on edge. I don’t have any weapons. All I have is this long metal pole.
One of the girl’s bodies drifted back out towards the boat.
Her head is missing, and so is one of her arms.
I keep hearing a voice.
Sometimes it’s scattered in the wind. Sometimes it’s close by. I don’t recognize the language it’s speaking. The words are guttural and deep and don’t sound like anything common to the region. I don’t know if somebody else is out there. I know the only other alternative is the animal making that noise. I know that sounds absurd. But I don’t know what else could it be. What the fuck is this thing saying to me? What does it want?
Do you hear it?