INFERNO ISLAND / by Joseph Castorino

 

Overture

“This is the prophecy of

  The island of spice:

Beware of the wicked wench

  Who seeks to entice.”

 

Act I

Idiot!

 

I waited too long;

I simply waited too long!

 

I should’ve followed

my passions

when they were hot,

acting more quickly,

and more boldly.

 

I should’ve followed

my first raw instinct.

 

I will have revenge

on Cassano --

I’ll have revenge

on them all!

 

This stinking, wretched isle

must be Inferno Island,

though it’s far from being

the supposed paradise

that I heard it was.

 

The terrain is dark and desolate,

twisted and torn,

savagely split apart unlike

any island I’ve ever seen,

with a forlorn fog

encircling this murdered mountain

like a shattered halo.

 

I remember seeing this island

from Mai Tornar,

with the cratered eye of

its volcano glowing red,

and a ring of fire

marking the perimeter

of the island.

 

But how bizarre

this isle really is --

to be quite honest,

this peculiar place

would make

most people shudder

with fear.

 

Black as night,

the raging storm

still swirls above me

but is strangely mute,

with no thunder at all.

 

The volcano now appears dead

and the beach surrounding

the isle shows no signs

at all of fire, and is as silent

and lifeless as the grave.

 

The lightning is constant

with its pale, deathly light,

creating an eerie atmosphere

in this land of darkness.

 

If I didn’t believe in

such rubbish,

I would say this island

almost looked haunted.

 

Act II

After Cassano escaped with the Lady,

  The Dark One’s anger began to flare,

The pretty island’s face painfully writhed,

  As it exhaled a sickly stench into the air;

The false paradise powerfully quaked and its

  malevolent skin became heavily scarred,

It transformed into a dark, wicked wasteland,

  Whose grisly visage was blackly charred.

 

A few days later, Gonzalo groggily awoke

  On its cadaverous black-sand beach,

Dagger-like lightning bolts lit his path,

  And shelter he was hoping to reach;   

The vomited lava flow had hardened,

  But it was still warm under his feet,

He was all alone in this ghastly place,

  So his heart was drumming a beat.

 

In the gloom, he saw the mouth of a cave

  And it was bursting with fiery light,

Standing in the midst of murky black mud,

  He began to hear shrieks of utter delight;

He silently and stealthily peeked inside,

  Not very sure of what he would see,

Dozens and dozens of merry maidens

  Danced convulsively with reckless glee.

 

Looking inside, there was a massive cavern,

  With flames seductively bright,

Lava cascaded smoothly down the walls,

  Like a bubbling curtain of red light;

Spear-like stalactites of ice jutted out,

  In the colors of a dazzling rainbow,

And everything which Gonzalo observed

 Was bathed in the most enchanting glow.

 

The large chamber had a circular base,

  And the lava flowed into a moat,

Transporting passengers back and forth

  Was a grand and luxurious boat;

This moat ringed around a tropical forest,

  Its trees loaded with the juiciest fruit,

And the song of the siren-like girls

  Sweetened the sensual strings of a lute.

 

Gonzalo breathed in the scent of spices

  And was captivated by its lovely perfume,

But then he noticed a flaming black altar

  Was located in the dead center of the room;

Dozens of magic maidens erotically danced,

  Filled with electric ecstasy around the altar,

They spasmodically writhed in wild delight

  Until their girlish strength began to falter.

 

There was not a single man to be seen,

  It was a world of the most beautiful girls,

Their colorful dresses were short and tight,

  And they were stitched with little pearls;

Suddenly, one of the maidens leaped up --

  She was playful and seemed ready for fun,

She screamed with joy, “Look up, girls!

  That handsome man must be The One!”

 

Act III  

Hail, O Dark One!

 

So far your plan

has worked

like a charm,

and your control of

the Sea of Shadows

has brought us

our victim,

Gonzalo --

so far

he has suspected

nothing.

 

When he appeared

at the mouth of

the cavern,

with her alert eyes

Tristina caught sight of him,

and drew our attention

to him.

    

The music ceased,

and I invited him

to descend the steps,

down, down, down,

until he reached the

cavern floor.

 

I crossed the lava moat

with the royal barge,

and a few other maidens.

 

He bowed his head

and introduced himself,

and, as the queen, I regally

and elegantly did the same.

 

He was taken aback

by my stunning beauty

and also my

enticing charm.

 

There is no question

that I am the

most radiant and the

most voluptuous

among us,

and Gonzalo could not

keep his eyes

off of me.

 

So I opportunely

took one of his

arms and

wrapped it,

snugly and

sensually,

around my slender

and shapely waist.

 

But I did so

in such a way that

my warm, perfumed

hair was brushing against his

flushed cheek.

 

Then I surprised him --

so insidious that I am --

and suddenly I held him

tight in my invincible arms and

kissed him,

long and hard,

with my spiced lips,

and we clung together,

with his heart pounding violently

with the strongest palpitations

against my curvaceous and

seductive body.

 

I captivated him

with my goddess-like eyes --

my green eye gazed intently

into his defenseless

brown eyes,

while I began to

subtly and stealthily

secrete red lava into my

bewitching black eye.

 

Ever so slowly,

and ever so gradually,

the hot red lava

hypnotically oozed and

blended together and

my left eye became a

magnetic, mesmerizing

tornado of swiftly swirling

black and red.

 

Gonzalo appeared

quite smitten,

but after the incident

involving Cassano,

I was not going to

leave anything to

chance this time.

 

So with full

flirtatious force,

I playfully and

smilingly led him

across the moat

and through the fateful forest

of tropical fruit trees,

slowly sauntering towards the

black altar of pleasure.

 

In the meantime,

the other magic maidens

giggled and whispered

among each other,

with great anticipation.

                                                

Then the two of us

sat down under the trees,

while the rest of the

magic maidens watched

me spin a tangled web

for my victim.

 

They observed from a

safe enough distance

in order to give us

sufficient privacy --

to avoid interference

of any kind --

so through the bushes

and around trees

they all sat there,

dumbfounded,

at my ability to

coquettishly tease Gonzalo

and lasciviously lure him

into the jaws of

my trap.

 

His heart,

like a budding flower

in winter,

opened too soon,

too rashly --

as is Gonzalo’s nature --

and the frost of

foul play

began to freeze

his sense of

reason.

 

He squinted his eyes,

scrunched his mouth

into a wry smile,

and said,

“I intercepted a

letter from

a man I despise,

and in it he spoke

of this island

as if he were a

stupid, superstitious fool --

one who is spooked

and afraid of

his own shadow.”

 

I winced,

ever so slightly,

but immediately

regained my composure

before he could notice

anything at all --

he was busy looking

around and marveling

at the beauty of the

fruit trees.

 

Then I saw

my chance and

wasted no time

in strategically

making my move.

 

I quickly replied,

“As you can clearly see,

Inferno Island is a

paradise of pleasures,

so just relax

and let go --

the only thing

that matters here is

to feel!”

 

Gonzalo smiled

a very broad smile,

and, as he chuckled,

his glance danced

back and forth,

from my swirling eye

to my stationary one.

 

On the soft grass,

I slowly reclined into

an arousing supine position

and smiled back at him.

 

I looked intently

into his eyes again

and the swirling eye

spun around even faster

with excitement.

 

Then I asked him,

“Would you like

some fruit?”

 

All of the other

magic maidens

held their breath and

awaited his response.

 

His face fell,

as if he had suddenly

pricked himself with

a sharp blade --

he was overcome by

a profound fear,

and he stumbled

terribly over his

words as he

tried to come up with

an excuse.

 

But with an alluring,

irresistible voice

I persisted

and asked him,

“Surely you’re not afraid --

are you, Gonzalo?

 

“Why, my love,

it’s impossible

that a handsome, brave,

and passionate man

like you

would be afraid

of anything!”

 

With that,

my wanton body

slithered stealthily over

that of his own,

and then he found his face

immersed in the

serpentine ringlets

of my clustered curls

and wild, wicked whirl

of my cascading dark hair.

 

My perfumed breath

was indescribably delicious,

and his self-control

was noticeably weakening --

he appeared emotionally chained

by the poison pride that

strongly surged within him.

 

I looked at the

multicolored fruit

in the tree above us,

then I stood up and chose

a couple of them that dangled,

as if hanging

by a noose,

over his head.

 

The two that I picked were

of a bright, fiery red,

very round, and

very, very ripe.

 

I placed them in his hands,

its sticky juice bleeding

in profusion over

his quivering fingers.

 

Again, there was a hush

among the maidens,

and the whole island

seemed to be still.

 

Breathing faster,

he looked at the fruit

in his hands --

I suspect that Cassano

must have said something

about the danger of

the fruit on this island,

because Gonzalo

turned very pale.

 

He was frozen

with uncertainty

for a moment,

but he was no match

for me.                                            

 

I persuasively urged him,

“Here… take this, Gonzalo...

eat some of it…

you must be hungry.”

 

Then I drew near

to his left ear and

whispered,

even more softly,

“This luscious fruit

will help you relax,

and it will make our

time together

even more memorable.”

 

Suddenly,

he made his

decision.

 

He bit into the fruit,

with reckless abandon,

and I could see that

its fragrant flesh was

strikingly flavorful.

 

Then he bit into it

again,

and again,

and yet again,

as if eating it faster

might somehow

protect him.

 

He was giddy with delight

and soon said that it felt as if

his body had been placed in a

warm pool of melting sugar,

and he said he was experiencing

very intense pleasure. 

 

I stood up and then

pulled him to his feet,

but he appeared

just a bit dizzy --

as I looked into his eyes,

I could see the potion

already taking effect:

his left eye was beginning

to swirl black and red,

and his right eye was

turning sea green.

 

The maidens watched with a

feeling of euphoria,

because they knew now

what was coming.

 

I led him towards

the flaming black altar

and said,

“My dear Gonzalo,

now all your dreams

will come true --

let us go together

into the fires of pleasure

on the black altar,

and there we will both

experience pleasures

more intense than

you could have ever

believed in your

wildest imagination!”

 

He stepped up onto

the black altar of pleasure

and then reclined on it --

as the flashing flames

surrounded his body

and enveloped it,

he was overcome by

an ecstasy that completely

overwhelmed him.

 

Act IV

As he rested on the dark black altar,

  Gonzalo’s body tingled with restless delight,

Here on the flaming altar of pleasure,

  His ecstasy peaked at an all-time height;

But this dream darkened into a nightmare

  That for him meant certain doom,

It started with the war drums’ thunder --

  Boom baba-boom baba-boom!

 

The altar flames flared exceedingly high,

  Pulsating to the pounding drumbeat,

Pain exploded through poor Gonzalo

  With each and every heartbeat;

His bones were blasted by ongoing bursts

  Of scorching, unquenchable fire,

There was no question at all in his mind

  That his situation was really quite dire.

 

He screamed and wailed in utter agony,

  Writhing horribly on the altar of black,

The magic maidens happily looked on,

  Assembling quickly into a large pack;

They screeched with fiendish laughter,

  As if he were an insect in a trap,

Queen Thaliela had been totally victorious,

  And so, they all started to clap.

 

He tried to escape with all his might,

  But he was locked inside of the flames,

He was imprisoned on the black altar,

  Yet for the maidens it was fun and games;

But then something very peculiar occurred,

  When his stomach felt strangely sour,

Gonzalo vomited black-and-red blood,

  At the passing of each excruciating hour.

 

For sixty-six endless hours he suffered,

  Painfully squirming all around,

Then he collapsed from sheer exhaustion,

  Without making a single sound;

The cavern was filled with a vile stench,

  And a foul grey fog filled the air,

Gonzalo was nearing his inevitable death,

  But the magic maidens didn’t care.

 

Surrounding the burning black altar,

  There was a ring of fiery spears,

Thaliela grimly grabbed the closest one,

  And then trebled were all his fears;

With her wild left eye spinning madly,

  She raised the spear over her head,

Slamming it down, she skewered his skull,

  And Gonzalo appeared as good as dead.

 

The spear pierced through both of his ears,

  And flashing fire flared from each eye,

Blood then gushed out of both of his ears,

  Yet his tortured body just couldn’t die;

Gonzalo screamed with indescribable pain,

  He thought his poor head might explode,

His nightmare got worse as he vomited again,

  And blistering lava from his mouth flowed.

 

Then the fog in the cavern rapidly blackened

  Into an ominous broken ring of dark smoke,

The sulphurous smell was quite stifling,

  And Gonzalo was beginning to choke;

Then a booming bass voice so shook the cave

  That even the magic maidens were afraid,

The Dark One’s voice was unmistakable,

  And came from the mist like a grenade.

 

Act V

I spit at thee,

Gonzalo,

for you are a

stupid fool!

 

And now you will

pay the last penny for

your shortsighted selfishness.

 

You are an unworthy

citizen from the land

of the hated one --

I spit at your king!

 

And although you are

a contemptible scoundrel

who deserves to die,

he will undoubtedly

try to rescue you.

 

And so,

you will be used

for bargaining.

 

To free you,

he must give me the

magical candle and the

magical scroll --

these will liberate us from

this pathetic little island.

 

We will conquer

the capital city of

Paradise Bay,

and then we will

take control of the

entire Terrabella moon!

 

If the king agrees to

ransom you,

then you will be released,

and you can go on living

the pitiful life of an

insignificant scavenger.

 

However,

if the king does not agree

to ransom you,

then you can look forward to

an eternity of suffering --

a living death --

within the frightful flames

of this black altar,

where your unbearable agony

will only increase with the passing

of each nightmarish hour,

for the remainder of

your miserable life.