Matthew McCauley’s Diary

Once again we come, crossing the blue water that surrounds our summer home. Three generations descend in a cloud of luggage, food and supplies. Once the boats have dropped us off and departed, we’re alone, isolated on our island.

We begin the now familiar opening litany.

“We honor and remember Julian.” Julian drowned in the cove four years ago.

“Simon.” The year after Julian’s drowning, Simon went exploring the cliff caves and died from a bee sting.
“Bella.” She was found lifeless in the woods two years ago, her eyes wide with wonder.
“Little Tonio.” He disappeared one night last year, his empty cot just yards away from his sleeping parents.

“And this year, who?”

“Come,” says Uncle Hiram, moving toward the house. We follow, spellbound by music we can barely hear, longing for something we don’t understand.

Thousand Islands Police Station

“They’re back,” Inspector Coleman sighs. “Hiram just won’t listen. ‘Stay away,’ I warned him last summer. But here he is again, with his entire family. And one of those McCauleys is a murderer.”

“Respectfully sir, I don’t think…” Kanti tries to speak, but the Inspector silences him.

“We have irrefutable evidence. The McCauleys are alone on the island every summer.” He reads the case files.

“Experienced swimmer Julian drowns in a cove as still and safe as bathwater.
“Simon, a man with life-threatening allergies, is found in the caves without his EpiPen.
“Bella, a young woman described as exceptionally timid, ventures into the woods alone.
“Little Tonio is still missing.”

“But sir, they are not alone. The island spirits …”

“Enough of that!” the Inspector shouts.

Song of the Island

The cave flickers with candlelight, as Simon’s rich baritone leads the chorus.

Beautiful lands, marvelous lands –
A thousand pieces of Paradise
Among the bright waters.

We are the guardians of shorelines, caves, and woodlands
We welcome our long-lost brothers and sisters
With gifts of singing!

Tonio listens, entranced. His Spirit-Mother teaches him the last verse.

Come share our home, our world
Our own special island
This shining piece of Paradise
Among the bright waters.

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    1 month ago

    Initially wanting to stay on the island to join in the families’ remembrance, one finds oneself “longing for something we don’t understand”. Kanti, the Inspector’s assistant, senses the spirits are benevolent. Has he heard the Song of the Island? Could we? In this world today mankind needs an island respite such as this.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    2 months ago

    Lovely picture! And truly your story is a spellbound that strongly captured and fascinated my imagination and emotion. Well done, Fuji.

    Last edited 2 months ago by Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Fuji
    24 days ago

    Congratulations on your win, Fuji. Job well done.

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    2 months ago

    A unique tale and enjoyable read, Fuji. I suppose that if you are going to become a spirit, a paradise island is the best place for it!

    2 months ago

    Fascinating story Fuji full of mystery.

    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    2 months ago

    Oh, spooky in a gentle quiet way. It is as though both the family and spirits welcome death.
    Should there be closed quotations after “Little Tonio is still missing.”

    Greene M Wills
    Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
    2 months ago

    There aren’t enough words to describe how much I enjoyed your story, Fuji! I find it a fascinating mix of magical folklore and police procedural, the unexplained and magical clashing with the reality. I guess the police will be stumped and all the family will be extinct, then the legend will begin! Loved it!

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