A Strange Place

Where am I? My eyes fluttered open. A strong smell invaded my nostrils. What was it? Dirt? Rain? It dawned on me; mud. But why would I be lying in mud? I lifted myself tenderly onto my elbows, my head pounding. I squished my eyes shut trying to push the pain back. I brought my hand to the side of my neck and gasped softly. It was ice cold. I tried to ignore it, and rubbed my aching neck. Opening my eyes again I began to look around me.

It was dark, much too dark. It took a few minutes to adjust. I felt something on my hand. Ugh! A bug, I quickly shook it off, a slight shiver of disgust creeping down my spine. The ground was covered in leave, twigs, mud. They crunched loudly as I shifted my weight. I could hear animals around me, above me. Yet I could not distinguish what they were. My eyes moved slowly upwards, thick tree trunks; slivers of moonlight cut through small gaps in the trees; leaves rustled with a light breeze. I shivered.

Wrapping my arms around myself I sat upright. Turning to either side I could not see any end to the woods. They seemed to go on forever in every direction. How on earth did I get here? I frowned a little, trying to remember how I had ended up in a place like this. It wasn’t familiar, so I could not have brought myself here. Someone else must have.

I shook my head slightly to clear it. Why would someone else leave me alone, unconscious in a forest? I heard a noise to my left and jumped, the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. What was that? I could see my breath in front of me, and became very conscious that I had very little to keep me warm.

I stood up gingerly holding a hand to my head, and the other out to the side to steady me. My fingers shook slightly as they ran over a lump at the back of my head. How had that got there? I thought hard, what’s the last thing you remember?

Supermarket. It seemed to come from nowhere. That’s where I was going. But did I get there? I strained my brain, trying to remember. I stopped for petrol. My mind suddenly seemed to absorb the missing information. I stopped for petrol. But someone grabbed me. Why didn’t I scream? Must have covered my mouth… Then what? I didn’t know. I shook my head again, staggering a little. Reaching out my hand I leaned against a nearby tree. It’s bark was soft and smooth. I could smell pine and sweat.

Another sound, behind me this time. I stood up straight, desperately scanning through the darkness for some sign of the cause. But all I could see was darkness and endless lines of trees. I sighed softly, my body aching. Someone had grabbed me. But why? They must have knocked me unconscious. But why leave me here? If they wanted something why didn’t they just take it and leave me there? Why go to all this effort? It didn’t make any sense.

A twig broke, my muscles tensed. I turned. I felt uneasy. Why? I searched through my frantic mind. Watched. I felt eyes on me. Unnatural eyes. Something that shouldn’t be here. Was it the person who brought me here? Was there more than one?! My throat felt tight as realisation hit me. I turned sharply, my foot twisting on something. A tree root? It didn’t matter. I fell heavily, and a loud crack echoed through the silent trees. Sharp rolling pains ran from my ankle. My hands curled into fists, digging up handfulls of mud as they did so.

The sounds were drawing closer, and I felt I could be sure now. There was more than one. Maybe even more than two. How many more, I couldn’t say. Were they people? Animals? Must be people. It’s not like animals brought me here. The ubsurdity of my thoughts suddenly hit me, and I almost laughed. I could hear movement just a few metres from me now. Whatever they were doing, it would happen soon.

I dragged myself to the nearest tree. I could feel my blood pumping furiously through my veins, my chest heaving. Curling my back against the thick trunk I thought I would be safe. They would be just a blind in the dark as I. Surely.

Air! I need air. In a split second I registered a sharp pain around my neck. My hand shot up. A rope. How could I not have seen anyone? Pressure. Too much pressure. My legs kicked out reflexively. Trying to get free. My fingers trying desperately to claw their way under the rope. Must relieve the pressure. Must get air. I sucked at the air desperately, praying for just a little to get through. My lungs ached sharply. Was this the end? Was I going to die? Not even knowing why this had happened to me.

It doesn’t matter much my mind told me lazily. I felt the muscles in my arms relaxing. I told them to keep fighting, but they would not listen. I couldn’t breathe. Needed air. I heard shouting and sharp loud sounds. What were they? It doesn’t matter my mind repeated. The noise seemed to drift further and further away from me. I felt a sudden relief from the pressure and everything went black.

The BridgeTown Local
Terry McCran
Local woman Joanne Prest narrowly escaped death last week, when she was snatched by a group of men at a local petrol station. The group of men, of which their number is unknown, were arrested by police on Wednesday of last week, are as such unnamed. And their information confidential. However the police have stated that they believe the men to be responsible for the disappearances and deaths of a number of people over the last few years. The young Ms Prest, suffered a broken ankle and severe bruising to her neck as a result of an attempted strangulation. However she told reporters that she is expected to make a full recovery. Thanks to the timely arrival of authorities on the scene. She is yet to release a statement on events, and is not available for any further comment at this time. The men are currently being held in police custody and, we were assured by the police chief, ‘would not receive bail.’ He was not available for any further comment.

just a short story I wrote as part of another site. I’m not sure if the italics will show up on this and the newspaper clipping part at the end is meant to be in bold. Hope you enjoy
Kalinda

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