Legs dangling from the tiny wooden foot bridge, the drift of the brook carries my feet afloat. The air is damp and heavy this evening with a cloying fog left behind by the rains.
On warm summer nights like this, I often sleep on the screened porch so that I can hear the rain drum on the tin roof, feel its spray through the mesh covering the windows. When the rain stops, I wander without shoe or sock in the damp meadow bordering our small parcel. Beyond the meadow lies the thinning perimeter of a forest; tall, young birch trees skirting the edge. A dirt path leads to the foot bridge, the feel of damp earth on my feet a texture I enjoy as much as the wet grass. Sitting on the bridge in my pajama shorts and tank top, damp hair clinging to my face, I let the current stroke my feet clean.
Hearing a faint noise, I turn but can barely see the handrail of the bridge itself, let alone any farther. I dismiss it as a curious animal emerging from its den after the downpour. I hear nothing further, but the small hairs on the back of my neck begin to rise. I turn again, expecting to find something or someone upon me. Again, nothing is there. I refuse to be spooked by my own imagination. After several minutes, I neither hear nor feel anything further.
Legs still dangling, I lay back and rest on the wooded planks of the bridge. The late hour, calming fog, and soothing water conspire to lull me to sleep. I wake – after how long, I don’t know, but I notice the forest is eerily quiet, unnaturally so.
Pushing to my elbows, I wipe a hand across my face to clear my own inner fog. I catch movement out of the corner of my eye. Whispering a tentative hello, I pull my legs up, but they don’t seem to want to work. Still focused in the direction of the movement, I reach down with my left hand to rub the feeling back into my limbs. I feel slick wood, slicker than it should be, but nothing else. Shocking paralysis grasps me by the throat; I go dead still, unable to move. Finally, my head obeys and pivots to look downward. Blood gushes from my severed knees, I stare in shock and disbelief, but still I feel no pain. Then I hear it, a growling that begins not from behind me, but from below me. I watch as it rises from the water and continues to grow in size. My voice once again finds me, and as I begin to scream; the low growl morphs to an enraged shriek.
© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.Welcome to my April AtoZ Blog Challenge post! I hope you enjoyed my ramble, and come back for more! Don’t forget to visit the other bloggers participating by clicking on the badge to the right, or simply using this link. :}
April 16th, 2014 at 12:24 pm
Oh how you engage all the senses with your writing…another strong write IMHO.
May 20th, 2014 at 2:22 pm
Thank you, Charles! I’m greatly appreciative of your support (and truly sorry my replies are coming so late! Life, as it often does, got in my way). Very humbly, thank you! 🙂
April 16th, 2014 at 12:32 pm
It snowed here this morning. You have no idea how much I appreciate the first few paragraphs of this piece today.
May 20th, 2014 at 2:23 pm
LOL – I’m glad the suffocating heat warmed you up! Thanks, as always, for stopping by, Renae! 🙂
April 16th, 2014 at 2:12 pm
Yeaaaah!! *paw high-five* That’s what I’m talkin’ about! 🙂 Loved this…such a serene little post…you manage to get your readers’ mind humming along as your character’s feet dangle in the water…and BAM! lol There’s nothing quite like the ‘horror unseen,’ and you pull it off in NOISE to my sheer delight (as you can tell). Bravo!! 🙂
May 20th, 2014 at 2:25 pm
How did I know you’d appreciate the suck-em-in and punch-em-in-the-throat approach of this little goodie! lol Thank you very much, Joe! :}
April 16th, 2014 at 4:12 pm
I agree with Joseph and loved without shoe or sock – most would say shoes and socks but this is more poetic. I very textured piece literally and figuratively You do write poetry – in prose
May 20th, 2014 at 2:27 pm
Thank you, Sue! Most of my prose is fairly poetic. Seldom do I strive for the flat out gruesome or clinical, even if a piece I’m writing is gruesome or clinical in its base nature. I love to weave a environment for the reader to snuggle into with my words. ;}