The Lord of Kelley's

As the month of May waned, we began to hear the familiar call of the red winged blackbird, beckoning us to return to Kelley’s Island. But this trip would not be the respite of leisure we longed for. The first sign of trouble appeared even before reaching the island. Poor weather rolled in immediately upon reaching Marblehead. We were forced to take shelter in a primitive chow house serving cheese pies. The food was surprisingly sterile, but the service could not have been worse. The waitress constantly threw whole pitchers of soda on the floor without provocation. The cooks smoked cigars while making the cheese pies (a health hazard previously reserved for Bill’s Doughnuts). When our food was up, the waitress laid it on the neighboring table, then proceeded to take a 20 minute break, forcing us to serve ourselves. But all this was a pittance to the trouble that was to come.

After floating our overweight wagons across cedar straight, we reached our destination. The island seemed relatively calm, beguiling us into thinking that perhaps our vacation would be a restful one indeed. The short trip to the North shore soon proved otherwise. Category 3 winds whipped tent poles out of our hands and embedded them into nearby maples. Our tents were secured using crude, improvised material. The results were primitive but effective. The tents provided a much-needed windbreak during the terrible storm, but it soon became clear we were not even safe within our own domiciles. As if springing from the very seams of the tent itself, a bewitching specter entered. Though the creature did not identify itself, we somehow knew we were now in the presence of a great being, the king of Kelley’s dark underbelly, Lord Arach.

Lord Arach informed us that we were free to leave Kelley’s Island at any time, but demanded complete indenture while we remained. Daniel and I ostensibly agreed to the Lord’s terms, but knew that we must fight our cursed contract with all our might. We began our journey by climbing the treacherous Alvar Cliffs. Beyond the cliffs lay the sacred House of Natal Brood. We have long known of the house in rumor, but never had the motive to seek it out. According to the rumor, the house was the sole nesting spot of Lord Arach. Similar to many other rulers of the underworld, the Lord produced countless offspring, but abandons the progeny immediately after birth to continue ruling the island. The brood is believed to consume vegetation and tiny vertebrates at an amazing rate, providing all the Lord’s nutrition by proxy. Thus, eliminating the brood would render the Lord powerless.

Holding legend in good faith, we approached the House. We were naturally unprepared for any sort of mythic battle, so we had to improvise a weapon: a small push broom. Praying for providence and against all odds, Daniel crashed through the House’s decaying doors. He was outnumbered 5 million to one, but disregarding all logic, he began to attack the brood in unparalleled bloodlust.

One by one, the tiny Arachs were vanquished, 5 million times over. At times, Daniel’s entire body would be covered with tiny mygalomorphs furiously biting any bit of flesh that still remained. Yet he persisted. The power of righteousness and virtue gave him the strength to triumph over the teeming floor of evil.

Returning to our camp, we heard a weak groan emit from the tent’s confines. Peeking inside revealed a wane and shriveled Lord Arach. He was powerless without his brood. I could have destroyed the Lord with the lightest flick on my wrist. But I could not. It was clear that the Lord would no longer preside over the island he once terrorized. Instead, we placed him in an insane asylum by the dock. At any rate, a life of imprisonment would be worse punishment than death itself.

Though the epic battle was not without casualty, the tyranny of Lord Arach would live on only in folklore. Future stays on Kelley’s Island would finally be the respite of leisure we so desired. And though perhaps some names will be lost in time, the eternal conquest of good over evil will remain.

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