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Challenge 01: The Retreat

Challenge 1 entry: 799 words. Took about two hours. Tagged horror.

And when I say horror, it's very mild.


The Retreat


The cottage was up the hill somewhere. They'd directed me here, there was supposed to be a path. Perhaps there had been, before it was overgrown by weeds and bushes. The wheels of my suitcase were soon so stuck with all the leaves and stems it had eaten, I gave up trying to pull it behind me and resorted to carrying it.

I carried a big sack over my shoulder and my other hand carried two plastic bags containing all my food supplies. I hoped it was enough for three days at least. The three litres of mineral water weighed so much that the bag had already torn once.

The loose stones, roots and twigs were traps in the tall undergrowth. I stumbled many times, but didn't fall. ”Not yet at least,” I muttered to myself and adjusted my glasses up my nose.



There was just one room. The windows were small and it was dim inside, even if the sun shone from a clear sky outside. The bed was hard, with a flimsy thing of a foam mattress. There was a stove and a fireplace, a cupboard, an oil lamp, a table and two chairs.



I wish you were here too. In the evening I crouched on my side on the narrow bed and when I closed my eyes, I could hold you and smell you. When you were asleep, I could run my fingers gently through your hair.

In the morning I was cold, I woke up and wondered if you were outside already and waiting for me to come out. I didn't remember, not wanting to remember.



I sat on a rock this morning, staring at the car keys. It was foolish to be here. But it was all paid for alread. The sun shone, the butterflies and bees flew between the few dandelions growing between all this rock.

In the afternoon, I had a swim in the lake down the hill. The water was warm. The sun had warmed it throughout these pale summer days and nights.

After the swim, I got back to the cottage and planned to try making dinner with the stove-contraption. Going through my bags, I noticed I couldn't find the car-keys. I left the food on the table and went outside to the lake. Maybe the keys had been in my jeans pockets. Maybe they had fallen out there.

But I couldn't find them, where ever I looked.

I cursed, sure the keys had fallen into the lake.



The night came late this north. I walked in a small perimetre around the hill. I went to check the car and came back. I ate. When it was dark at last, I was again sitting on my rock, smoking. I only smoked when I was nervous. I'd have thought I'd finished a pack already by now.

The moon rose from the horizon. The clouds were a haze surrounding it, making it look like a red bruise against the sky. A night-time bird wailed across the lake below me. It was a miserable, lonely cry repeated twice, then it was gone. The spark of orange light at the end of my cigarette was the only fire I saw in all the world around me. There was a faint purple glow in the horizon where the sun had set, and stars. And the ominous moon.



I tried to sleep, but I knew and remembered: that you weren't here. I tosses and turned and pushed the blanket away from me. Hours passed. The world beyond the little window above me grew darker.

I heard noise outside. A hacking sound, like wooden sticks beaten together. It got closer. I didn't understand. But I realized: It must be you. I found my glasses in the dark and put on jeans and a t-shirt. You were lost in the dark, trying to find the trail, I knew, my senses told me.

My heart thumping in my chest, I went outside. The moon had risen high now, and it was more golden orange than red. Its light drew contrasts against the trees and the rocks. I waded into the reed and grass undergrowth bare-footed. It was all slippery with dew, and there was a loose stone. I fell.

Where-ever did my glasses fall? I looked up at the moon, but someone stepped in front of it, hid the moon from me. First I thought it was you, but I realized it was not, even with my glasses. This was a stranger, a strange naked man, like some night-time predator, a lynx or a wolf. He exuded a palpable aura of danger and power. He was primal masculinity.

The night goes on, and I keep forgetting, where I was, where were you, what is happening to me.

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Comments

malike
Aug. 27th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
You are right! It was a werewolf! :D

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