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Estimated reading time — 6 minutes

I never saw the ocean till I was nineteen, and if I ever see it again it will be too goddamn soon. I was a child, coming out of the train, fresh from Amarillo, into San Diego and all her glory. The sight of it, all that water and the blind crushing power of the surf, filled me with dread. I’d seen water before, lakes, plenty big, but that was nothing like this. I don’t think I can describe what it was like that first time, and further more, I’m not sure I care too.

You can imagine the state I was in when a few weeks later they gave me a rifle and put me on a boat. When I stopped vomiting up everything that I ate, I decided that I might not kill myself after all. Not being able to see the land, and that ceaseless chaotic, rocking of the waves; I remember thinking that the war had to be a step up from this. Kids can be so fucking stupid.

I had such a giddy sense of glee when I saw the island, and it’s solid banks. They transferred us to a smaller boat in the middle of the night, just our undersized company with our rucksacks and rifles and not a word. We just took a ride right into it, just because they asked us to. The lieutenants herded us into our platoons on the decks and briefed us: the island had been lost. That was exactly how he put it. Somehow in the grand plan for the Pacific, this one tiny speck of earth, only recently discovered and unmapped, had gotten lost in the shuffle; a singularly perfect clerical error was all it took. It was extremely unlikely, he stressed, that the Japanese had gotten a hold of it, being so far east and south of their current borders, but a recent fly over reported what looked like an airfield in the central plateau.


We hit the beach in the middle of the night. I’d heard talk of landings before, and I’m not ashamed to tell, I was scared shitless. I don’t know quite what I expected, but it wasn’t we got, that thick, heavy silence. Behind the lapping of the waves and the wind in the trees, there was… nothing, no birds, no insects. Just deathly stillness.

Another hundred yards deeper into the eerie tranquility of the jungle, we stopped in a small clearing for the officers to reconvene, and it was obvious even they were spooked. I wasn’t a bright kid, but I knew enough to know that something was very wrong. It was like the whole island was dead. I remember I could only smell the sea, despite the red blossoms dangling from the trees.

It wasn’t an airfield, on top of the plateau. I can’t tell you what it was, because I’ve never seen anything like it, and I don’t think anyone ever will. If I tell you it was like the Aztec pyramids, but turned upside down, so that it sank like giant steps into the earth, you’d get the basic idea of it, but that somehow fails to capture the profound unearthliness of the structure.

There was no sign of individual pieces in the masonry, it appeared to have been carved out of a single immense block of black rock into a sharp and geometric shape. It was slick and perfectly smooth like obsidian, but it had no shine to it. It swallowed up even the moonlight, so that it was impossible to see how deep it went, or even focus your eyes on any one part of it, like it was one giant blind spot.

Our platoon drew the honor of investigating the lower levels, so we descended the stairs as the rest of the company surrounded the plateau. We took the stairs slowly and carefully after the first man to touch one of the right angle edges slit his hands down the bone.


At odd intervals down the steps, there were several small stone rooms; simple, empty, hollow cubes of stone with one opening, facing the pit in the center. There was no door that we could see, and with the opening being four feet of the ground, you’d have to put your hands on that black razor sharp edge to climb in into it.

We circled the descending floors, shining our lights into each of the small structures; They contained the same featureless black walls and nothing else. No dust, no leaves and other detritus from the jungle, the whole monument was immaculate, as if the place was just built; but that couldn’t be right. The whole structure felt incalculably old to me somehow, despite having no way to articulate the particular reasons.

Down near the bottom you could see that it simply sloped away into a darkness that swallowed the flashlights. We tossed first a button and then a shell casing down into the pit, and waited in the unearthly silence, but no sounds returned. No one spoke, we simply turned away from the yawning abyss and continued our sweep of the bottom rung and the last of the small structures.

The body in the back corner was almost invisible at first in the thick shadows, but the long spill of drying blood reflected the light of our flashlights, and it led right too him. He was coiled tight, arms around his thighs, and his face tucked into his knees. You could see badly he was cut, his clothes opened in ragged bloody tatters to reveal the pale skin and bone beneath it. He may have been dressed in a Japanese uniform, but it had been reduced to ribbons; I only had few seconds to look at him before we heard the first shots.

It echoed like the buzzing of faraway insects in the still jungle, swallowed almost instantly by the blanket of quiet. By the time we reached the top, the rest of the company had vanished. There were shell casings on the ground, and the hot smell of gunpowder in the air, but they were gone. The trees were deathly quiet around, there was not a trace of the nearly fifty other men that had come ashore with us. I could taste bile rising in my throat as panic threatened to cripple me; I felt crushed between the yawning pit and razor edges on one side and the dead jungle and the pounding ocean on the other. The silence rang in my ears and I struggled to still myself.


They were just inside the jungle, waiting for us. They came out from between the trees with all sound of a moth, simply sliding into our view.

I can try to tell you what I saw, the same as I did to the army doc on the hospital ship when I first woke up, and again half dozen other various officers over the following months, and you’ll have the same reaction they did; that I was a dumb country rube suffering from heatstroke and exposure and trauma. That I was crazy.

You know me. You know I’m not crazy. And I remember every second of that night with crystal clarity.

The thing, the first one that caught my eye, was wearing the skin of a Jap soldier, all mottled with the belly distended from rot. The head drooped, useless and obscene on the shoulders, tongue swollen and eyes cloudy. I could see where it was coming apart at the ill-defined joints, with ragged holes in the drying flesh. At the bottom of each of these raw pits was blackness, deeper than the stones of the buildings; a darkness that seemed to churn and froth like an angry cloud.

The thing moved suddenly, the head snapping and rolling backwards as it dashed towards us. I had my rifle clasped tightly in my hands, but it simply didn’t occur to me to fire. All I could do was gape silently at the macabre sight bearing down on us, and think absurdly of my mother’s marionettes.

A gun went off beside me, and I turned to see a dozen more of the horrors darting silently in on us. Among them were a few more rotting and swollen forms, but the majority wore the same uniforms as us, and were pale, fresh, and soaked in blood. More bullets zipped through the air, and I saw the grisly things hit again and again, but they never slowed. I caught a glimpse of the First Sergeant’s vacant glassy eyes as his head dangled limp from his shoulders; I saw the great ragged wound in his back and the shuddering darkness that inhabited his corpse when he leapt just past me without a sound, landing like a graceful predator onto the soldier beside me. The others around me began to drop in a silent dance of kinetic energy and blurred motion

I was on the track team in high school, and it could have got me to college. I didn’t need an invitation. I just ran. I ran blind through jungle, caroming of tree trunks; I ran until I saw the ocean, and it struck a new ringing note of terror in me. I don’t remember actually deciding to swim, but when I turned back to the tree line, I saw one of the white and bloody things emerge, running on all fours, the hands splayed wide and the back contorted and cracked in an impossible angle.


To this day, the mere thought of the ocean still brings on a cold sweat, but that night I let it embrace me, let the tide drag me out to sea, if only to bring momentary relief from the impossible monolith and terrors on the island. The days I spent drifting off shore and blistering in the sun were a welcome release from the silent island.

I never saw the war. They sent me home as soon as I recovered.

It was comforting in a way, when I thought no one believed me. It allowed me to believe that it never happened, that it was a product of my mind. But as I got older, I’ve found that it is pointless to lie to anyone, especially yourself. I know what I saw.

Someone else believed me too. I’ve seen maps of where they tested the hydrogen bombs in the South Pacific.

CREDIT: Josef K. / Cameron Suey

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166 thoughts on “Quiet”

  1. This is one of the few selected pastas that I can truly see happening in some way shape or form. I’ve been reading these slowly collecting information and some extra vocabulary that increasingly helps me in my writing. I hope to make a piece that’s a fraction as good a read as this.

  2. Nicola Marie Jackson

    I loved this. The image of the thing chasing him on all fours really made me shiver. Thanks for writing this, although I may curse you when I need a wee at 4am and really don’t want to leave my warm safe bed….xxx

  3. Snowden:
    I swear to God, if you tell me that this is another case of fucking multiple personality disorder, I’m going to kill myself.

    shouldnt that have been “kill myselves”??

  4. I believe that there needs to be a prequel for the Japanese soldier that did not turn.The one stuck in the….Ruin?

  5. DivinitySwordEoLs

    Probably the scariest pasta I’ve ever consumed. The fact that the beings are so quiet makes me fear trips to the bathroom at night. Thinking that maybe they might have survived. 9.5/10!

  6. This is exactly like the Flood from Halo. Keyes unlocks the installation and releases the Flood and 343 Guilty Spark,the flood take over dead bodies,Master chief blows up the Halo to stop them from spreading.Has the author played Halo,or is this a coincidence?

  7. That was awful. I was a pretty scared until the last 2 or 3 paragraphs. One of the worst pastas I’ve ever read,

  8. @Dead Rain
    yeah… sure… no, no, don’t get me wrong… i believe you… my grandfather was there too… he also went to the moon before neil armstrong did… yeah.. i believe you… NOT!!! realy, dead rain, this isn’t a “mine’s bigger” contest. and if it was, Joseph K would have won before you even got started.

  9. it reminded me of The Call of Cthulhu. i expected and thought that some giant monster was gonna come out and destroy everybody. it was a ok read.

  10. The island described is definitely Elugelab Island. Do a Google Maps search for it. It’s marked but there’s nothing there. Just water. It was where the first hydrogen bomb was tested.

  11. Josef K, in this case I say you should try to weave the back story in. It not only closes the confusing holes, but it’s awesome in its own right. Excellent story either way, though.

  12. i no this is going to sound capitain obvious but the end is like someone believed his story and so they tested the bombs on that island to get rid of the zombie things??? maybe?? anyway loved it :D god i love creepypasta

  13. This reminds me of the end of B-17 from Heavy Metal. Ergo, this kicks wicked ass.

    I wonder if it was the same island.

  14. I’ve read this elsewhere, but this was still awesome to read again. This style is really amazing, especially for the horror-genre.
    Also, to the “It’s too long!” people: why are you here, reading stories anyway?

  15. It could have ended with the boat they arrived on being lost, implying one of the things took it and they are multiplying somewhere else.

  16. This pasta was too long and boring and stupid and I HATE IT! I FUCKING HATE YOU FOR WASTING MY TIME YOU PIECE OF SHIT! AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

  17. Oh wow Josef K. you amaze me everytime. I really should read more of your delicious pasta.
    Pretty amazing one. Pretty amazing.

  18. person who is correct

    No dipshit Hydrogen bombs are definitely nuclear, you are the one who needs to get your facts straight

  19. hi, dont turn around


    other than that josef: YOU ROCK
    if your interested i can find you a publisher, You need to get known dude.
    question though: what was the point of the jap in the prison? was that a foreshadowing?

    answer me at: [email protected]

  20. Unbelievably well-written. Fantastic. My only criticism is to those whose comment was something along the lines of “They nuked the island.” or “They used the H-bomb to nuke the zombies” etc etc. The whole point of a hydrogen bomb is that it is NON-NUCLEAR! get your facts right before you have your opinion. Please.

    Fear the Darkness


  21. This one was really fantastic. Wasn’t really all that creepy, but it was believable. I really got into it.

    Gross monsters that wear people skin = Win

  22. Mike Mihalopoulos

    Damn… best pasta in FOREVER…

    And was anyone else reminded of the Flood from Halo when he described the monsters?

  23. responding to truade

    no one said the bomb killed them, bullets did absolutly nothing, they might/probably survived the bombing like everything els..assuming the story is real.

  24. The impression I got is, where-ever they came from, they were some sort of “skinwalker” thing. Not true zombies… they would kill people, then “wear” their bodies. Hence the weird things showing through where the body had decayed away or been damaged, and the fact that they didn’t move quite like a person — pouncing, running on all fours, things like that.

  25. Beautiful description on the “otherworldly” beings and what they did to the soldiers. Beautiful description of the reversed pyramid thing as well. Overall, it was beautiful. Spine-chilling and beautiful at the same time.

  26. @Dead Rain

    …You can stop pretending now. So far I’ve seen at least two stories where you’ve tried to convince readers that you’ve (or in this case, your family member) been through the events described.

    Other than that, A++ on this pasta, great story and the ending made it that much more realistic.

  27. I don’t believe they ALREADY knew. They probably just told him he was crazy to make him forget about it and believed him the whole time. I mean what else would make a whole platoon vanish?

  28. Very nice. I always think the best pastas are the ones that play off feelings of isolation and the unknown.

  29. What I don’t get is if the higher ups new what was on that island, then why would they send them there in the first place?

  30. To Josef K: Dude, I love your work, and this one is no exception.

    What I said in my earlier reply about this being true, is true.

    My grandpa was only a Private First Class back then, but he still remembers it, to this day. He described the creatures as being horribly deformed, some looking like a cross between a man and a spider, or a man and a squid, any number of hideous things. The other soldiers, once possessed by these things, couldn’t be killed by any means they had available, from bullets to grenades, even completely severing the head wouldn’t work.

    As for the men they lost that night, their souls undoubtedly burn in the eternal fires of hell, along with the demons that possessed them.

  31. Anonymous Punk

    The only way that could have been better is if it had been longer. Kind of reminded me of Sphere, but in a good way, in that it used the power of the unknown to frighten you instead of just relying on freaky looking monsters.

  32. “It was slick and perfectly smooth like obsidian, but it had no shine to it. It swallowed up even the moonlight, so that it was impossible to see how deep it went, or even focus your eyes on any one part of it, like it was one giant blind spot.”

    This part completely ruined the story for me, it’s damn near an exact copy from hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy, where they take a black spaceship, exactly as described here, and try to steal it, but it turns out it’s remote controlled to crash into the sun.

  33. Jesus H fucking Christ, my grandpa was telling the truth this whole time!

    He was one of the few men who survived this clusterfuck of an expedition, and to this day, he hasn’t forgotten the things he saw there.

    I shit you not, people, my mom’s dad can confirm that this island DID exist, and that everything described here WAS REAL. He has the scars, both mental, emotional and physical, to prove it. I’ll see if I can get him to read this and confirm, just in case anyone here doubts me.

  34. Comforting end ruined the creepy but offered a great close. If I wasnt looking to incite paranoia to flood over me right now I would have loved it to bits.

    Very well written all the way through.

  35. Great story, feel like it could have used a little more action, after the zombies or whatever you want to call them pop out it feels a little more rushed than the ser-up. Loved the last line.

  36. Really good story. Deserves more then my usual THEN WHO WAS X comment.


    They’re not zombies. They’re shadow creatures wearing dead peoples’ skins. D8

  37. Unfuckingbelievable. This is a very good author. His stories aren’t always creepy, but they sure as hell are good, high quality.

  38. Augh, what a wonderful creepypasta. More like a short story you’d find in a literary magazine. With a little more polishing and editing, this could probably be published for real.

  39. People, they aren’t zombies, how many zombies have “At the bottom of each of these raw pits was blackness, deeper than the stones of the buildings; a darkness that seemed to churn and froth like an angry cloud.”?

  40. Amazing pasta. I think it is my favorite of all. <3

    So many great details…the character’s tone, historical references, relaying the scenes and antagonists, leaving just enough mystery…

    Wonderful job.

  41. to all you people who are doing the heron thing:

    you are a heron, if i dont repost this on ten comments youll fly into my kitchen tonight and ill blow your fucking head off wwit ha twelve gauge shotgun.

  42. Josef K. is the best undiscovered horror writer out there. if you’re reading this man, you need to write a novel. you are fantastic and this is a skill. The description of the monsters somehow made me feel ill, even though I’ve seen countless gore photos.

  43. John is the demons

    Personally, my favourite part was when they found the soldier in the pit; Did he jump into the pit when he saw the monsters? Did something happen to him whilst he was in the pit?

    Just the thought of falling or scrambling over those razor sharp corners makes me wince.

  44. It was creepy and very well written.

    But the ‘you know me’ paragraph made me go 1. no i don’t and 2. why are there like 7 more paragraphs?

    i liked it though…i kind of lol’d a bit at the idea of flexible zombies.
    but yeah i really like this.

  45. i am a heron. i haev a long neck and i pick fish out of the water w/ my beak. if you dont repost this comment on 10 other pages i will fly into your kitchen tonight and make a mess of your pots and pans

  46. i am a heron. i haev a long neck and i pick fish out of the water w/ my beak. if you dont repost this comment on 10 other pages i will fly into your kitchen tonight and make a mess of your pots and pans

  47. May I have seconds?
    Oh yeah, the whole black pyramid thing reminds me of another pasta where the Spanish Conquistadors found a black obelisk… It’s on this site somewhere.

  48. Brilliant pasta. Delicious. Reminded me of BattleRoyale+ResidentEvil+StephenKing for some reason. lol. To the author, Nice job~<3


  49. Josef, if I could be so bold, have you ever considered blaming the Nazis for the monsters? Everyone knows that they tried some freaky ass human testing and horror stories about the tests they’ve done are out there. I’m just thinking that if you said that the Nazis tried to create these monsters to fight the allies, realised what monsters they created, and then stuck them there it may add to the creepyness in a way. And maybe the inverted pyramid was how the Nazis kept them there on the island…untill the Japanese came and released them. Again, I’m not trying to steal any thinder, I’m just inputting my opinion about how it could all be explained.

  50. the only things detracting from this pasta were little things–“too” instead of “to”, “of” instead of “off”, lack of period to end a sentence…

    but that’s just me being a total grammar nazi.

    i liked it. very much. c:

  51. Thanks again, everyone.

    @2 Heh. While a lot of my stuff has unreliable or mentally unbalanced narrators, only one has truly been multiple personality disorder. To be fair. :)

    As for the bombs, I suppose I was a little unclear on the timeline: this takes place during the beginning of World War II. Hydrogen Bombs were tested in the South Pacific years later. The implication in the end is that someone in the military believed him enough, or visited the island after him, and decided to play it safe and nuke the whole thing.

    I definitely didn’t intend the “monsters” to be related to the bombs. My personal backstory is this: The black monolith is the entrance to ancient, pre-human prison, one that has been openend by the Japanese military, who arrived slightly before the Americans. I have backstories that I don’t include to all my stories; I think it’s boring and out of place for a narrator to have all the facts, or to leave no mystery unrevealed. It helps me to keep the story consistent, and I find that if I excise the detailed explanation, inevitably, everyone who reads it gets a slightly different take, usually one more interesting than I had intended.

  52. My honest opinion is that the writing at times was worthy of publishing. Superbly written story and the descriptions of the pit and the monsters were chilling.

  53. At first, I thought it was rather boring. Still kind of do, but the last line really made the whole thing worth reading.

    but at the same time it takes the scariness out of it, because if they were bombed, I have nothing to worry about.

  54. Yeah, i’m of the opinion that the government bombed the cr*p outta the place when they realised what was there. Because, I’m not great on this kinda thing, so i could be waaaay off, but i don’t think they’d have had H bombs before the time the pasta seems to be set in, so it coudlnt have been mutations

  55. If you could see me right now, you would see that I am standing and clapping. That was a DAMN GOOD pasta. Story flowed very well, left some room for the reader to wonder about the oddities, and left with a really eerie tone at the end. Fantastic pasta, truly.

  56. To #7, he was implying that the higher-ups new what was on that island, and that is why they chose to test the H-Bomb on it.

  57. Brilliant, Josef K, brilliant. Long but interesting, the description of the inverted stone pyramid was creepy, and the monsters! Wow. Great work.

  58. I think the end meant that they believed what he saw and H bombed the island to kill the monsters. also definitely multiple personality disorder.

  59. im fairly sure that the ending explains that the government destroyed the island after they found out about the unspeakable horrors, and passed it off as a test for the hydrogen bomb

  60. Wow, amazing. I really like this story.

    But Phone, there’s no post for the 27th. I was looking forward to a good one yesterday. It was my birthday :[ lol

  61. I think the ending explains that the testing of the hydrogen bomb affected the people of that island and perhaps mutated them into what they are now.

  62. If you don’t understand that last part, about where they tested the bomb…

    Either someone else had been there, or maybe they had known what was there all along, or something… but someone decided that when it was time to test the hydrogen bomb, they should use that island. Hopefully to destroy whatever was on it.

  63. This is quality.

    btw, IMO this is not a personality disorder pasta. There’s no hint that he suffered from it.

    As an added bonus, a historical fact about the location of the hydrogen bomb test was indicated to give the story a sense of realism. Very nice indeed!

  64. Josef K., every second that you haven’t tried to publish these stories is some kind of crime against nature.

  65. …I’m never gonna go to the pacific now, ever.

    This has got to be the best pasta in quite some time posted here.
    Truly awesome.

  66. That one I really enjoyed, and I loved how it tied into history in a way.

    ‘Cos that’s an obvious hint at the Bikini Atoll.

  67. That was excellent! Extremely well written! I didnt quite understand the last part of it. But great none the the less. Id love to hear more about this place he describes.

    1. They tested weapons that can alter and manipulate DNA to the point of shutting down everything in the body except the brain, heart, and reptilian instinct (which is our animal instinct.)

        1. no we all died in the war when they.. came to our island we had no choice but to protect our items who knows what they would have done with them…

  68. I swear to God, if you tell me that this is another case of fucking multiple personality disorder, I’m going to kill myself.

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