Donna A Bryant - Author » Discussions


Eversville Marsh

  • Leader
    January 26, 2018
    From this starter thread, https://www.literarysocial.com/forums/topic/24/fs-eversville-marsh

    The banshee whispers echo through the trees at the road's edge, mesmerizing and terrifying those whose ears they caress. The bent and twisted trees, hulls of their former glory days, are alive as the wind bends and sways them to its will. It carries with it the scent of sulfur, swamp gas, decay.

    The moonless night seems unending. This broken road, whose gravel crunches under foot with each step, lends to mind thoughts of tiny bones being mercilessly crushed with each footstep. It meanders, this road. Lends the traveler a brief glimmer of hope for reprieve when it seems safety may be just around the corner, only to crush those dreams as delusions of a shattered mind.

    This god-forsaken road and this utterly evil night, will the torment ever end?

    A light flickering to the left grabs her attention. It's joined by a second one, both lights seem to dance around one another. Her mind determines they must be fireflies. Mercilessly, the wind whips her hair across her face, stinging as some stray hair strikes her right eye. With greater determination, she continues walking up the road.

    Within minutes, she again sees a flickering light to the left, followed by another one. Not wanting to lose momentum, she continues forward with just a brief glance at the tiny lights. Another wind gust nearly knocks her off balance. It strikes her as odd that the gusts are so strong, considering she's got a buffer of trees on both sides of the road. Her mind is just starting to question her situation - inklings of possible danger prickling deep within.

    The whispers again reach her ears. Focusing, she tries to ascertain what, if anything, is being said. Just as she focuses on one particular sound, she’s slapped in the face with another brutal wind gust. Stunned by the ferocity of the latest assault, her progress is halted while she regains her composure.

    Ahead, on the left, the familiar lights flicker again as though the fireflies are following her up the road. As insane as that sounds, she at first takes comfort in the glowing creatures seemingly lighting her way. Fireflies have always been a favorite as she entertained fantasies of them being fairies when she was a child. These thoughts bring a smile to her face as she reminisces. As she watches, more fireflies join the two until there are few dozen swirling in the near pitch black darkness.

    She realizes that the flickering doesn’t appear random. No, it’s not random at all. Her girl scout training helps her recognize the morse code - dot dot dot - dash dash dash - dot dot dot. That’s impossible though. She stands with her mouth agape, trying to find logic in what is so obvious before her. However, as she watches the familiar pattern continually displayed, there is no other conclusion to be found. They are, indeed, making an SOS distress sign. But, what can it mean? Are they trying to tell her that she’s in danger? Could someone else be in trouble, and as crazy as it sounds, perhaps have trained the fireflies?

    A startling scream in the woods to her right causes her to whip around in a panic. Quickly scanning the darkness before her only reveals the tall shadowy trees. With her ears pounding in rhythm with her rapidly beating heart, she listens for any sound - movement, cries for help, anything. It’s to no avail though as the night sounds in this desolate stretch of road drown out anything such as twigs snapping, gravel crunching or perhaps someone sobbing.

    Letting out the breath she had been holding, she reasons with herself that the sound was either the wind or an owl or some such normal thing. Unnerved and shaking, she turns, intent on looking for the fireflies. Chills seep into her bones as no trace of them is to be seen.

    Brutally, she’s shoved forward as another gust assaults her. This time, she feels hands pushing her. The unrelenting gust is propelling her forward, increasing her progress up the road. Though she wants to get to the end of this road and nightmare, she pushes back against the unseen force, trying to slow her progress and gain control of her own destiny whatever that may be.

    Her struggle against the phantom hands causes an unforeseen reaction. A force slams into her back, shooting her forward faster than her legs can keep up. As she’s slammed to the ground, a maniacal laugh explodes from the forest to her right.

    The fall knocks the wind out of her and she struggles to fend off the darkness that’s threatening to engulf her. As she gasps for air, her lungs send excruciating pain in response. Sharp pains radiate throughout her chest as she get to her knees.

    Though it’s been less than a minute, it seems to her as though she’s been sucked into a vacuum for eons as her lungs finally expand with welcome air and she regains control. It is then that she notices the complete silence...