Once upon a time, down where the alligators grow, sits an old place. A land that time and human life have forgotten. Some would call it beautiful but most just call it a swamp. The first hot breath of a Summer breeze tries to stir the vibrant green reeds that sit on the marsh waters. The fog, of the night before , slowly lifts off the lands as the bright morning sun creeps over the moss hanging from the trees. The morning song of birds fill the warm air and all the small marsh creatures make their way out of their safe places, ready to find their first bite of delicacies for the day.
All is right here in this place, things are what they should be, moving along as nature intended. That is except for me. I was lying with my back against a massive tree trunk when the sun broke through and I awoke. I’m cold, wet and with no recollection of how I got here.
My head is still woozy as I stand and make my way through the tall reeds, past the dead limbs and trunks of dying trees. My feet seem to know where I’m going even though I do not. Time seems to slow down here in this place and I feel like I am going in a never-ending circle as I make my way through the dense marshy land.
The sun was high in the cloudless sky when I came upon the little boat house. The place was old but I could see that it was half on land and half floating in the water. The porch that wraps around half of the house was slowly bobbing up and down and looked as if at any moment if would fall in and sink to the bottom. I hear the slight tinkling of wind chimes as I make my way up onto the porch. The porch is stable and solid and isn’t going anywhere and I let out a sigh of relief.
I see lots of wind chimes, all shapes and sizes, hanging everywhere. Some are made from the bones of small animals and others have wooden flutes that you can tell were exquisitely carved with unique drawings and numbers. As I move forward to the door I notice dream catchers, not as many as the chimes, but enough to get my attention. They are full of bright colors and woven intricately with beads and feathers. A small chair and table sit beside the door.
From the looks of this place someone must live here and maybe they can help me. I raise my hand to knock and watch in slow motion as the door creaks open, as if to say, “Welcome.” I make my way into the boathouse and am greeted by darkness. The bright sun outside has made it difficult to see so I stop and let my eyes try to adjust.
“Do come in.” I hear a soft voice say.
As my eyes start to take in my surroundings, I see her. She is standing close to me. I’m at once taken aback. She is beautiful, the sunlight that is coming through the small windows throughout the boat is at her back; her strawberry blonde hair is alight. Her long locks cascading around her heart-shaped face ,as if a thousand fireflies are surrounding her. Her golden honey brown eyes are staring at me with concern and worry and as I stare back into them, I feel as if I’m drowning and spiraling out of control. I am speechless. How did a beauty like this end up here in this place?
“Can I help you?” she asks, her voice shaking.
“Yes,” My own voice sounded shaky as I replied. I hurriedly try to adjust it with a cough. “I seem to be lost. I awoke up out in the swamp and I’ve been walking for hours. Do you have a phone I can use? I can call someone to come pick me up.”
Her southern accent is soft, slow and sweet as she answers, ” I’m afraid there is no phone service way out here.” “Here, sit down and rest for a bit, you look quite pale.”
She motions for me to come into the room and sit down on the small love seat. My legs feel weak so I take her up on the offer. As I make my way over to sit down she says, ” Would you like some sweet tea? I just made it.”
Her smile is stunning and I knew it would be, just like the rest of her. She has on a soft green sundress and it’s short and sleeveless. The way the sun hits her body as she walks into the kitchen area, leaves little to the imagination.
“Thank you, that would be nice.” I reply but I wonder why I am not even thirsty. “Look, if you can just take me somewhere, maybe to the nearest town , store, or to your neighbors, so I can use their phone.”
” Well the nearest town is like twenty miles away and I don’t have a car. My nearest neighbors are the Davis’s and they don’t take to kindly to people just coming up unannounced. I usually just walk to the little bait store to use the phone. It is only a couple miles”
She smiles sweetly at me, her golden eyes looking into mine as she hands me the glass of tea. “We can go together if you want? I can show you the way, besides I need to get a few things myself.”
I take a big sip of tea , “That sounds great. Let’s do it.” I sit down the glass and stand up as she grabs her purse and we head out the door.
As we make our way down the long dirt road, I notice that not to many vehicles travel down this way. It is full of deep ruts and the grass on each side is overgrown and nearly overrun by kudzu. The smell of the swamp is strong and all around us. It’s musty, stagnant but sweet and it seems the crickets aren’t waiting for night to start making their music. How did I get out here? How did I end up knocked out against a tree stump in the middle of a swamp? Each time I try to remember I just draw a blank.
“Excuse me? Sir, I was wondering if maybe you can tell me your name?
My name is Elizabeth but most just call be Beth.”
“Oh shit, yes, I’m so sorry. My name is Carlton. Carlton Richmond but most people call me Carl” I stick my hand out to shake hers. I smile at her, she must think I’m a crazy. She reaches out and takes my hand. Her hand is so small in mine and at once I feel a pull, as if my inner being is wanting to hold her close. As if my soul was attaching to hers. I pull away fast.
“Is something wrong?” The look on her face says it all, she is hurt but I couldn’t help it. I’ve never felt this before. She moves me.
“I’m fine, just needing to get to the store, make that call and get out of this god forsaken place.” Her face is cast down and she looks so sad, “It’s okay, I know that feeling.”
She looks up at me , but I can barely see her. Everything is blurry. What the hell? My head is spinning, my feet are so heavy. I try to move them, try to take a step, but I can hardly pick them up. Oh God, I know what she has done!
“What did you put in that tea?” I can hear my words slurring and everything goes black as I feel myself fall to the ground.
COMING SOON MY BELOVED PART TWO -THE REALIZATION
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