My eyes are closed but I am half awake. There is a light just beyond my eyelids then darkness then light then darkness again. A breeze on my face. I try to open my eyes but my lids are so heavy. A sound in my ears..what is it? Using all the strength I can muster, I will my eyelids open and I’m staring at a ceiling fan positioned above me. The soft whirring sound and feel of air makes my senses come alive and I awake fully. I’m laying on the small love seat in her living room. I’ve made it back to the boathouse some how but all I remember is walking with Elizabeth to the store everything going blurry and then passing out.
The TEA, it must have been the tea. She put something in it. I knew there was something about her. The sound of water turning off and soft foot steps coming near draw my attention to the doorway and away from my thoughts. As she walks in the room, she catches her breath and I could tell she was startled to see me awake. I sit up and place my legs onto the floor.
“What did you put in the tea, Beth?” I ask in a stern voice. “You knocked me out with some kind of drug and I want to know why?”
I watched her face intently. I wanted to read her every expression but the look on her face was a mixture of surprise and hurt. I wasn’t expecting the hurt part and for a minute I almost believed her when she said. “I would never do anything like that, I drank the tea and I’m fine”
“Something isn’t right here Beth. Why did I pass out and how did I make it back here without any recollection? I should have at least remembered being put on the couch. Oh, and how in the hell did a tiny little thing like you carry me all the way back? Yeah, something smells off around here and it isn’t just the stinking damn swamp!” My voice had gotten louder as I spoke but I didn’t care I have had just about enough of this lousy ass day.
” I want answers Beth and I want them now, so you best take a seat and start talking.” The look I gave her said enough and I watched as she slowly made her way to the seat across from me.
“You really don’t remember anything Carl? Not even how you got out here to the swamp?” She asked the last question with hope in her honey golden eyes. “Try to think back to the last thing you remember.”
“I’ve already told you I don’t remember and when I try my head is all fuzzy. I can’t get rid of this damn headache and anyway you’re avoiding the question. How did I get back here and what did you put in the tea?”
I look at her waiting for answers. Her eyes looking anywhere but into mine. Just then I hear the sound of tires on gravel and squeaky brakes coming to a stop outside the house. This could be my way out , I can ask for a ride into the nearest town and away from this nightmare and this swamp.
I rise up from the loveseat and make my way to the screen door as I hear a voice call out “Beth darlin, you in there?” I step out onto the porch and I’m face to face with a fat bellied, sweating profusely, greasy haired gentleman. His outfit of frayed blue jean cut off shorts and sweat stained white T-shirt did little to put me at ease.
“I brought ya your mail girl and wanted to check up on ya. It is a shame you live all alone now since your Nana passed.” His eyes looking back and forth from the mail in his hands to the door, waiting for Elizabeth to come out. It was like he was afraid or something.
“Listen here, I say. I was wondering if you could give me a lift into town.” Looking him dead in the eye, I get no response. He is giving me a weird look like I’m not even standing here. What’s wrong with this guy. Just then Elizabeth walks out into the porch.
“Why Bobby John, it is good to see you. Thank you for being considerate and bringing me my mail when I could have gotten it myself. Mighty nice of you.”
“Beth, ask him if he can give me a ride into town. Apparently he isn’t talking to me.”
” He doesn’t give rides to strangers Carl” . Just then Bobby John starts to nod his head and says, ” I see what’s going on here. Are you okay Beth?
” Yes, I’m fine. Now you better run on home and tell your momma I said Hi and I’m looking forward to some of her homemade crawfish stew.”
I watch as he glances my way and then turns to get in his car. “Wait, I shout, I just need a ride. He ignores me once again and I watch as he pulls out of the drive. Now, I’m mad and my blood is boiling.
” Why couldn’t you talk him into giving me a ride Beth. You people are bat shit crazy. Now I’m pissed and this headache won’t go away and all I want to do is get my ass out of here.”
Beth turns to look at me, ” Just trust me Carl, Bobby John don’t take kindly to your kind.”
“What do you mean my kind? I don’t know what is going on but I feel like I’m in a backwoods horror movie and I’m not staying around for the ending. I’m leaving and nobody is stopping me this time.”
I take off down the steps, running as fast as I can. I hear Beth calling my name but I keep going. I finally stop running and slow down to a brisk pace. My feet move steadily as I make my way down the dirt road. I wish I can remember how I got here. Maybe if I think hard enough something will come to me.
The swamp is quiet, except for the buzzing of insects and the air is thick, hot and humid. Think Carl….think , headache be damned and try to remember something. Music, is that music I hear? It is a old classic rock song by the Eagles called One of these nights. Yes..I remember. I’m in my truck. The music is loud and I’m on my way to meet….. someone. A small town , I was going to a small town in the bayou. My head is pounding and all at once I’m back walking again.
I stop and look around. I’m back in the middle of the swamp again. I must have strayed from the road when I was remembering.
Wait…this looks familiar. The dead tree trunks and dead falling limbs and the water. When I woke up I walked this way. I had been here before.
I continue to walk , it seems like hours but I’m getting nowhere. I stop to get a better hold of my bearings. As I try to figure out if I’m heading north or south by the sinking sun, I see something white. Is that Clothing? As I get closer I can see that it is a man. He is sitting against a tree. Oh, thank God, maybe he can help me and give me a ride to town. “Hello”, I cry out. “I’m lost can you help me?” And as I make my up to him something seems off. He isn’t moving or making a sound. “Hey Mister, are you okay?” I ask as I come to stand over him.
I stumble back at once. The look on his face is of pure horror. A death mask. It can not match the horror that is on mine. His eyes are open staring into mine. A grimace of pain still on his face. The side of his head a bloody mess from a gun shot. Please I scream as I fall to my knees. It can’t be…it just can’t be. I hear a loud howl from somewhere far off. A scream, as if from some wild animal. It isn’t coming from a wild animal though, I know the sound I hear, it is coming from me. For I am staring at my own face and dead body.
COMING SOON PART THREE…..BETH
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