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The Hours #5

May 27, 2016 Leave a comment

I don’t know what to say exactly. I must admit that I was overcome with fear. The look on Carl’s face as whatever it was dragged him off the boat had been so filled with terror that it had left me frozen in place.  I could no more have jumped into the water to attempt rescue than I could have flown into the clouds by flapping my arms.

Mark came up, gasping for air, and then went right back under the murky surface of the river. He repeated this many times, and each time he rose I expected to see another yellowish band wrapped around him.

When he finally crawled back into the boat, he began to cry. Samantha sat in the middle, hugging herself and shaking, but she did these things in an eerie silence that made our situation all the more frightening.

“We have to  get off the river.”

I received no response. Mary looked at me, though I have no words to describe the roil of emotions that moved over her delicate features. So I maneuvered the boat to a low spot on the bank and managed to drag us ashore.

I managed this without getting wet.

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Categories: Horror, serial, Uncategorized Tags:

The Hours #4

May 19, 2016 Leave a comment

It did not take long for our little crew to move from a peaceful sleep to tear filled panic. The ladies both looked ready to faint and I worried that Mark would be ill. Carl was pale, but the grim line of his jaw reassured me that at least one other of us was trying to find a solution.

“We must have floated down a smaller branch and ended up in someone’s private garden,” he said. “That might explain the odd trees. Someone who had brought them in to attempt to cultivate them here.”

I nodded though I did not believe for a moment that Carl actually thought that.

“We just need to keep floating down river,” Carl said. “Sooner or later we will see someone or we will exit this garden and be back in a more familiar setting.”

So he and I took up the oars and pushed the craft free. After a few minutes, Mark began to help and we three drove the boat so that we cut a wake with out passing. My arms began to tire, followed by my shoulders beginning to burn from exertion, yet we were still surrounded by a strange countryside.

“How bloody big is this garden?” Mark asked. His words snapped through the air and I heard two people behind me sigh. I assumed it was Carl and Samantha. Carl would try to calm his friend, Samantha would reply with a wasp-like sting that might turn into another shouting match.

I looked back over my shoulder, preparing to stop them before an argument could set fire to the tinder of our brittle nerves, and gasped.

Mark hadn’t turned around yet. His head was down so that he stared at his lap. Samantha’s face was drawn and pale, but her eyes and nostrils both flared with anger. Her mouth was pursed in disapproval and she was about to tear into Mark.

But Carl’s eyes were wide and frightened. It looked like a large, dirty, yellow ribbon had been wrapped around his shoulders and neck. He made a slight waving motion with his hand before the strip snapped tight. I saw his face flush red before he was pulled backward out of the boat and into the water. The other three turned to look when they heard the splash. Mark jumped up and before I could utter a word, he was over the back of the boat to rescue his friend.

I wanted to help. I wanted to scream. But all I could do was stare.

Categories: Horror, serial, Uncategorized Tags:

The Hours #3

May 11, 2016 Leave a comment

I opened my eyes to a sheet of gray and green. Trees limbs hovered above me, but did not move beyond a gentle swaying from the breeze.

I looked down, to see my ladies golden locks resting upon my chest, and sighed. We had all drifted into slumber and the boat had drifted to the bank. Waking to see Mary sleeping was enough reward to make this trip worth the effort. I looked around, checking the presence of the other three and then began shifting in an attempt to sit up without waking Mary.

The sky above us had grown gray, thick clouds hiding the sun from my view. I prayed that the rain would pass us by, fearing that a shower would ruin the ladies moods.

As I squirmed and wiggled I took stock of the trees we had settled under. They were thick trunked with dark, smooth bark that I did not recognize. I admit that I was no forester or sportsman, but I still felt that I should have some passing familiarity with the countryside I had grown up in.

My eyes traced the line of a thick vine around another near by tree. I followed it up to a sprouting of leaves and flowers and gasped. The flowers were bright green. Not like new leaves, but every bit as shiny as a christmas presents foil wrapping. The leaves were so dark green as to be almost blue and they were shaped like ferns rather than traditional ivy.

At this point, I abandoned my attempts to keep from waking Mary and instead sat up straight. She protested with a mumbled word before stretching and smiling at me. After a moment, the shock on my face made itself known through the fog of her nap and she stopped smiling while following my eyes to the Ivy.

“Carl,” I said. “Carl, wake up.” The biggest of our troupe was also an avid sports man. His home was decorated with the stuffed animals that he and his father and brothers had slain over countless hunts. “Wake up man. I need you to tell me where we are.”

“In a boat on the river,” he mumbled as he pulled Samantha tighter against his chest. “Where else might you think we are?”

His eyes opened, blinked to clear away the sleep and focused on the bank. A moment later, he was sitting up and leaning forward. His confusion was obvious and I felt my heart fill with chilling dread.

 

Categories: Fantasy, serial, Uncategorized Tags:

The Hours #2

We sat upon the river, intent on a relaxing trip, with the sky clear and the sun bright. The day was still fresh and we had a short time until lunch. My intention had been for us to stop at some clearing along the bank for lunch and then to push back out and continue our float. The river was slow and lazy, offering us just enough current to keep us moving along.

Mark sat in the back, making a cushion of himself for Samantha to recline against. She had removed her sweater, allowing the sun’s warmth to soak into her midnight skin. Mark’s fair arms rested on his knees and she traced her finger tips in lazy lines from elbow to wrist. I marveled at their contrasts, constantly amazed that neither’s parent took issue with the differences. Oh to live in such enlightened times.

Carl sat in the middle, fiddling with a tiny guitar. The poor sod had no voice, so instead of singing he just strummed tunes as best he could. I felt for him, alone in our group as he was, but  there was nothing to be done for it. He was an effeminate man who had attached himself to Mark and I as children. I would not exclude him for he had proven to be a fast friend over the years.

I had my own back to the prow of our tiny ship and Mary sat back in my lap as Samantha sat in Mark’s. I kept my face close to the back of her head, enjoying the smell of her hair as it mingled with the smell of honeysuckle the grew along the river’s bank.

We let the river lead us on and chatted as the sun crawled towards mid-day. Carl sat his instrument down and sprawled out, beginning to snore after finding a comfortable position. Mark and Samantha exchanged a few chaste kisses, but soon slipped into slumber as the warm spring day worked its magic on them.

Once they were asleep, Mary had turned and kissed me with such passion as to leave me light headed. She settled against me, murmured something about how lovely this idea had been, and promptly dozed off like the rest of my crew.

I could hear the heavy breathing of the four of them. I listened to the buzzing of bees as they raided the honeysuckle. I looked into the sky and watched a hawk soaring high above us. The great bird let the warm breeze carry it as we let the river carry us and I wondered if it could fall asleep as it glided along.

As I began to slid into the warmth and darkness that my friends had already fell to, I thought I could hear distant bells. “I wonder if there is a wedding,” I mumbled, before I found my way into a lazy dream where Mary and I walked hand in hand down a wide country lane.

Categories: Fantasy, serial, Uncategorized Tags: