The Foresaken Escapade

The Foresaken Escapade

A Story by Derek Cummings
"

A man went to explore an island, and his life was changed forever.

"
 I traipsed between thick sand dunes onto a narrow trail shaded by palm trees. I pushed through a ways, branches slapping me in the face. In front of me, a swamp, carpeted with green algae"and I imagined home to alligators"flooded my path. To the right, a forest of tall, yellowish-green grass extended beyond my view through a bog. More swampland blocked my way in the opposite direction. The scent of a dozen dead animals and rotten eggs filled the humid air. The muddy marsh sucked my legs knee deep like it was alive as my gaze met two big alligators loafing just to the left. My heart hammering and breaths exploding in and out, I hurried for higher ground to get my bearing. I was imprisoned by the jungle.

  Stepping onto a grassy mound, I used my hand as a sun-visor, squinting through the sun’s rays. The coast was east. However, there was a thicket of lofty thorn bushes overcrowding my way, and nowhere else to go. I fought through"barbs cutting into my arm and bugs flitting into my face. The jungle slowly swallowed me, biting with its shrill teeth which were its spiky vines. Sharp branches stabbed into my spine. But I didn’t care, as I imagined an alligator clamping its jaw around my leg and tearing it off. Just when I thought I’d found a clearing, it was a lair evidently used by some wild animal. A few more strides I came upon two yellowed skulls on the ground, belonging to some bizarre creature. Despite the horrible circumstance, I took out my camera and snapped a photo.

 As the sky dimmed, the thought of sleeping in a bayou tormented me.

 Ahead, a shaft of light shone through the green and gray underbrush. It was a wide opening. I trudged out of the marshland, only to stumble on a pile of horse manure. Rows of scat lay in hills"it was just moments before I would come face to face with a feral horse. Would it attack me or run away? Sweat running down my face; I pushed on, fearing what may be through the next crowding of brushwood.

 The smell of sea salt suddenly invaded my nostrils. The sound of waves crashed upon my ears. I plodded out of the brush into a valley guarded by lily-white sand mountains, my arms and face stinging with incisions and shoes rubbing the flesh from my feet.

I stopped and slipped off my backpack. The tent! Where is it? It was gone! My hand rested on my chest as my heart hammered. The thorn bushes must've ripped it off, and I was too worried about walking upon an alligator to notice. There was no way I’d find it in the tangle of shrubbery, at least not before the sun disappeared. And wandering the wetlands at night would be beyond foolish. Where in the hell would I sleep?

 My pants stiffened with mud, I slogged for what felt like twice the distance it was across a hard beach, the arid wind watering my eyes blind and blowing snot across my face. Cussing, I swiped it away and pushed my throbbing legs as fast as they could move, scared of being stranded in the pitch black of night on a foreign terrain. My throat was as dry as sandpaper. So, I pulled the canteen from the side of my pack, tilted it to my mouth and swallowed the last of the water.

A lonely fishing vessel drifted with a dim light out in a mass of black water. A bitter cold air accompanied the flaming orange sun as it set over the choppy sea, night not far away. I still had a jungle to hike through if I wanted to reach my camp. The tide rolled in closer.

  Sea gulls swooped down by the frothy surge, sticking their beaks in the water. Dead ghost crabs lay scattered on the ground along with bronze and ivory shells. The corpse of a jelly fish lay with neon-green dots glowing inside of it. Another odd creature lay dead and blackened with its mouth full of shrill teeth, howling. I would’ve thought I was stranded on an alien planet if I didn’t know any better. Something large and oval set on the sand ahead. Regardless of the moon looking for me, I rushed toward it with my camera in hand and my skin tingling. It was an ancient ship anchor worn to rust. I took a few pictures.

 To the right, a wide route caked with ashy dust burrowed into the forest. This, I assumed would put me in proximity of my original encampment, where I would’ve slept before losing my damn tent. I’ll build a shelter? Sleep with someone else?

As night fell, a viridian moon watched as I slogged into the black woods. A set of yellow eyes stared high on a limb. I flicked the switch on the flashlight and fluttered it up in the tree. Its branches were brawny, twisting every which way and an owl spread its wings"at least 25 feet across"before it flew down from it across the passage in front of me. I steadied my breath and followed the white light along the stony route, a bitter wind nipping at my face.

 I yanked the bear spray from the side of my soiled trousers when I heard a loud ruffle in the foliage. It was big. I darted my eyes every direction, my heart thrashing at my ears and hands clammy. There was nothing but the thick shadows of branches. I strained my eyes looking, but nothing showed and the raucous faded away and I hurried ahead.

  In front, off the passage, a small campfire blazed. It stunk of burnt beef stewed with feces. There was no gossiping, just the firewood cracking in the dead silent of the night. In the corner of the camp, three black silhouettes of figures sat in a large tent. One rose to his feet, soaring an easy seven foot. Another one sat, drooped over carving something with a long blade. None of them made a sound. I thought maybe these guys could point me in the correct direction.

As I shambled in front of the enclosed gazebo, my mouth flew open and my legs buckled from under me. In the back, heads posted in a circle, scalped and bloodied and their mouths bellowing.

 The giant fellow turned and looked at me before bursting from the tent, his bald head as pale as the moon.

“I’m lost"” My breaths caught in my throat as the man trudged at me with an axe clutched in his right hand.

  When I looked at the tent again, the other man came out, his features hidden beneath the black night.

 I bolted back toward the path until I stumbled over the rooted surface, the giant rushing at me. I grabbed the bear repellent from my waist and sprayed it into his eyes and he covered his eyes hollering like some monster whose den had been raided by an outsider. As the other fellow ran at me, I hurled dirt at his grimacing face and he cussed out loud, swiping at his eyes.

 My intestines rolling, I scampered onto the trail only to be met by a humped nose man with long, stringy hair, creeping toward me with his arms dangling at his sides like some imbecile. His coarse face was yellow as if he had jaundice and his bottom lip jutted out with drool running down his narrow chin. His dark eyes sparked with rage as blades protruded from under his shirt sleeves and lunged at me, hissing. The woods spun and the bear spray fell from my trembling hand. He knocked me to the bumpy ground, his teeth shining in the stark night as his bladed right hand came down on me, piercing me in the chest. A throbbing pain ran across my torso as my blood sprayed all over. I gasped"the coppery taste of blood surging from my mouth" as he brought the blade down a second time. Everything went black as I lost all senses.

***

  I woke hyperventilating with the feeling of a heavy stone on my chest. A shaft of light shone on me. I’m alive…I’m alive! It was all just a nightmare, one hell of a nightmare. I gazed at the waves breaking on the sunburned shore. A flock of pearly-colored birds landed to feed off dead fish. As I reached for a shell on the ground, I saw my pants stained with mud, and my shirt sprinkled with dried blood.

Off to the right were burnt logs. A giant fellow"with a pale bald head and garbed in baggy khakis and a navy and white flannel shirt"sat on a log. Across from him, an average sized man with a blond filthy mohawk lounged smoking a cigarette. A guy with long, shaggy hair the color of tar and a humped nose sat slumped next to the giant, smiling at nothing, his crooked teeth overlapping the other. He loped across the camp like a sloth, arms dangling and drool running from his mouth. 

 “What happened?" I asked.

 I marched over, shouting as loud as I could. "Hey, what in the f**k did you all do to me?" They ignored me and kept eating.

"Hey! Listen to me!

They were silent. I stepped next to them in front of the entrance to their tent. Heads were pierced through the top of spikes inside with my head in the middle, skinned and pale. I collapsed to the Earth, my mouth hung open.

"How can this be possible? How?" I looked at the dirty men and then turned. An axe leaned next to a tree. Its steel end smudged the color of red wine. My hands go through the wooded handle as I tried to pick it up. I focused all of my attention on the tool and attempted again, to no avail. In a rage, I charged one of the guys, only to run through him as if he was a hologram.

 I gaped at my invisible body.

 I wouldn’t ever enjoy the smell of the sea again. The ability to touch, to feel someone elses touch, and the taste of a juicy steak, all gone. I imagined my family and friends at my funeral, suffering of my departure from the world. How selfish of me to put myself in such a predicament. Never again, would I be able to talk, laugh and argue. Never again would I have the chance to hug my girlfriend"feeling her stomach rise and fall as she breathed against me, and her heart beat against mine. Never again.

 


© 2013 Derek Cummings



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Reviews

Great story telling. This did justice in the realm of getting the message across. Great message. There's lot of times where a story can have a great message to aim for, and have a lot of under lining things but then no one gets it, and if no one gets it, then the point has failed. But in my opinion this did well to get the message across. You made it clear, which is why I think it's good. Keep up the good work. What was also great was that I could imagine the story as I read it, and that is also a strong point of stories. The ability to have the reader imagine it because after all we're reading not watching it, but it was as if I was there as I read this, and that is great. Great visuals and great story telling. It had plot and substance. When you add substance to writing it gets that much better. It gets the reader hooked on it and make them feel as if they are part of it. As long as their is that emotional connection between the reader and the story then it's good. The connection you were able to established in the writing gives the reader a sense of comfortably that they are in tune with the writing. So that way when the writing is over, the reader wants more, and wishes it didn't end. I feel the same way when I watched a movie or tv series that I get so attached to, I never want it to end. And for this writing, I didn't want it to end. You had me hooked, and I am sure everyone else who read it was hooked as well. That is good, that is what you want for people to keep wanting more. The way you put the story together makes me feel like my life is different for that moment in which I read your story. I love it, and it was beautiful. Just keep posting stories like this, and you'll have a good following.

Posted 1 Year Ago


I liked the story. It was a simple story of overcoming a struggle, the most basic struggle of survival. Keep up the good work!

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Derek Cummings

5 Years Ago

Thanks for reading and reviewing. I find sharing such experiences good practice and fun.

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677 Views
2 Reviews
Added on November 11, 2012
Last Updated on April 13, 2013
Tags: story, nature, wildlife, horror, drama, adventure, suspense

Author

Derek Cummings
Derek Cummings

Valdosta, GA



About
I've had a passion for writing for years, both fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Writing novels allows me to unravel my imagination and put my creativity to use. I enjoyed my writing instructor in colle.. more..

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