Sometimes life (and even afterlife) can get so stressful and difficult that escape is the only option.
Whether you’re going to Monster Island to get away from the troubles and idiots of your everyday world or you’ve been banished from where you live now, go you must.
Those who are banished will be flown over the island and dropped. But those of you who are planning a trip should ask yourselves, What am I trying to escape and why?
If you realize you’re unhappy with your life because of a job, then you’re going to have to quit that job and go to Monster Island. You can live on the land. Note: It’s a predator/prey scenario there, so just make sure you’re the predator.
If you want to escape your life because of a bad relationship, then you’re going to have to go to Monster Island. Don’t forget to bring that bad relationship with you so you can throw it down into Sharks Reef when you get there. Then kiss that problem goodbye.
Some ghouls and goblins are just unhappy with where they live, in which case it’s highly recommended you pick up and go to Monster Island. Sometimes life is boring in the everyday world. Monster Island will keep you on your toes -- remember it’s a predator/prey scenario out there.
Before you have the chance to think about it and change your mind (or minds if you’re a two-headed creature), go down to Blood Beach on the eastern side of the Carpathian Mountains and find the boat landing. It’s a heck of a slog, but so’s life in your crummy neck of the woods if you’re looking for escape, so stop making excuses. On the beach, Charon the Ferryman of Hades gives death boat rides to the island.
Or, if you’re in Witches Meadow, go to Coven Creek. You can hitch a ride with Charon to the island from there, too. Coven Creek leads to the River of Death, which goes out to Dead Sea and on to the island.
Either way, you’ll need a coin to pay the Ferryman for passage. Go to FerrymanDeathRides.mon and type in the coupon code “JLP” for a free coin. We’ll send it to your location via raven.
Then, call on Charon by using the horn hanging from the tree, which is at every ferry stop. The skeleton driver will appear promptly from the fog in his cool little death boat. Put the coin in the driver’s bony hands, climb aboard the boat, and you’re on your way.
Monster Island is way out in the middle of the Dead Sea. It’s an island of misfits. But those misfits didn’t begin there.
Back in the Stone Monster Age, monster giants ruled the land, which we know as continental Transyl-vein-ia. Those gargantuan terrors wrecked all the shopping malls, laboratories and pumpkin patches with their size and weight, so the citizens founded the Transyl-vein-ia Board of Monsters, and that board called upon a coven of witches and a couple wizards to have them whip up a giant island.
Then the witches and wizards found all troublemakers and outcasts, and sent them out to the island and barricaded them in with an invisible force field in the water just outside the island’s shores. Don’t worry -- we’ll be able to get you off the island when you’re ready to go. By the way, you just crossed the force field, so if we can’t get you off the island, there’s nothing to do about it now.
When the boat lands, make sure you give Charon a decent tip. It’s the right thing to do. Twenty percent is appreciated. Anything less will get you killed.
Then say hello to island living. One of the first things you’ll want to do is go up to the top of Lightning Lookout and scream out to where you came from that you’re the king or queen or thing of the world. That’s right -- stick it to the monster who was trying to hold you down back home. But don’t stay up there too long because the lighting creatures come by often and they’ll light up your world -- believe me.
Go on down to Pirate Harbor next. You’ll meet plundering pirates, sinful seafarers and vengeful ghosts of mariners from the clipper ship, the Elizabeth Dane, who are brought in with the glowing fog that sweeps in over the island every now and then when they’re not terrorizing Antonio Bay and other beach towns in the human world.
Check out the colonial taverns (linked to the colonial taverns in the human world via various portals) just outside the harbor. It’s a great meeting place for food, fine spirits and drinks, too. The spirits there are always haunting, so take a room for the night and enjoy the thrills and chills they perform. Lights go down for the show at 8. It’s curtains for you by 9.
The Animatronic Hippo Pond is a hip spot to visit. From the taverns, go west to Jungle River. Hop on one of the boats there and ask to see the tigers. The driver will promptly take you to the Hippo Pond.
Steer clear of defective animatronic hippos that don’t flip boats. They’re no fun. The hippos wiggling their ears are typically the good ones.
As you work your way deeper and deeper into the jungle, be on the lookout for signs of the giants -- large footprints, oversized slippers lying around to match the footprints and huge Twinkie wrappers that could cover a circus tent. Massive gorillas like my husband, King, and giant insects, dinosaurs and enormous poop bag stations are evidence that you’re in Giants Jungle. Say hi to Godzilla for me if you see him, but stay away from his atomic breath -- it’s way worse than the garlic breath of the animatronic hippos.
You’ll definitely want to check out Skeleton Rock for a skeleton duel. Bring your best sword game, too, because these skeletons are expert fencers and its pretty tough to stab through bone.
Gorgon Gorge is a great place to go for snake women and super hot minotaurs. Notice all the stone statues throughout the ruins as you make the approach -- they’re so life-like. That’s because Medusa and her gorgon sisters have an “eye” for such fine work. One look and, with their talents, they’ll stop you dead in your tracks -- literally.
This is one in a series of TRAVEL STORIES from the 13 districts of Transyl-vein-ia. These stories run weekdays between August and September. Jack-o’-Lantern Press’s regular news and entertainment coverage will continue in October.