Author: Diatsu PM
This short story is dedicated to the times spent with my family in the forests of Maine; the good and the bad. Join Will and his brother as they take a camping trip deep into the outback of Maine, where everything can go wrong with a single misplaced step.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family/Suspense - Words: 1,595 - Published: 11-16-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3074942
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
November 14, 2011
"This way, stay close." My brother commanded, as we trudged up the small, steep hill. "And what makes you the boss?" I challenged, why I did, I have no idea, perhaps it was just natural brother rivalry. He stopped abruptly, looking to the sky as if he was lost in thought.
"Well, I don't know… maybe it has something to do with this map." he would say sarcastically, as he lifted up the large paper. A large variety of colors and symbols stretched across the large sheet, as well as deep indents from where the map had previously been folded.
"But hey, if you want to lead, go ahead." I pondered the thought for several moments, but decided against it, knowing I couldn't read a map to save my life. Not to mention I had no idea where we were currently located, all I knew was we were in an extremely thick forest in Maine. I didn't bother worrying about where we were, or how to get out; I left it all to Will, my elder brother.
"Just keep walking," I replied, a statement that didn't challenge my brother, nor did it admit defeat. Yet he returned my command with a large victorious grin, because he knew that he had won this spar.
For several minutes not a single word had been said. I wanted to speak out, to break the silence, yet every time I built myself up to do so, no words would come out.
Finally, after several more moments Wills feet suddenly slipped out from under him, and he descended to the ground. This completely surprised me, as the ground was completely flat at this point, with little to no sticks, leaves, or any other objects that would cause him to slip. A howl of laughter escaped from my throat as I stood above my brother. I couldn't help but feel victorious, as if somehow his clumsiness made up for the humiliation he put me through moments before.
"You're way too clumsy! This is like, the tenth time you've tripped sense we left camp!" I couldn't help but laugh at Will's clumsiness, though it was obvious that the humor wasn't mutual. He glared at me through long brown bangs, and I was sure he wanted nothing more than to get up and hit me. I thought he was about to as he stood up, bringing his face close to mine, his brown eyes still locked on to me like a hawk about to swoop down on its pray. It's odd exactly how short he is compared to me, despite him being several years older.
Before I knew it I was falling backwards, but why was I? Then I noticed his hand, extended forward as if it was trying to push its way through my chest. I managed to avoid hitting my head off the dirt as I came crashing to the ground. My body laid still for a moment, dazed as though it didn't know what was happening, though my mind knew exactly what caused me to be thrown back.
"Now who's the one on the ground?" Will laughed as he turned and started to flee. It was strange how childish we acted at times, despite us both being in our late teen years. Or was it? I shook off the light pain I felt in my back, and I start pursuing him aimlessly. Several moments after I started, I asked myself why I was even chasing my brother. I was not angry, and did not want any form of revenge. I suddenly felt the urge to stop running. I was not tired, my muscles did not ache, and I hadn't even broken a sweat. Something in the back of my mind just told me to end this little game.
I ignored the urge, and pursued him further, almost catching him several times. But every time I came close, his long muscular legs seemed to put even more distance between us.
The scenery seemed to change around us as we flew through the thick brush. Small skinny trees turned to multiple larger ones, and the hot, dry atmosphere became moist and damp.
Will started to slow down, a moment later coming to a complete stop. He turned to me, hands in the air in a sign of submission. He attempted to speak through harsh gaps, as he tried to regain his breath.
"Alright, alright, you caught me. We can't keep running forever, unless you want run off a cliff." The urge of revenge started to sink in as I began to ponder the thought of tackling him.
"We should get going, alright-"Will's sentence was cut off abruptly as he started to fall.
I was about to start laughing as I saw his body sinking into the ground, I couldn't believe he tripped up again. But my laughter seized, just as abruptly as his words had the moment before.
Something about the situation seemed off, I knew that instantly. Will was not just tripping; he was falling, through the ground.
Before I even knew what was happening I was flinging myself through the brush towards my brother, my legs carrying my faster than they ever have before. It was as though I was flying, wind whipping my long brown hair from my face, throwing it behind me. My vision was blurred, unable to adapt to the sudden flight.
"Will!" I yelled, as my body was flung down the steep slope my brother had fallen into. I'm going too fast, I thought, as I slid down the slope. I planted my feet into the ground in attempts to slow myself down, but it was impossible. The small, wet leaves that littered the ground slipped under my feet, causing me to fall onto my back, which soon became littered with dirt and scratches.
I managed to raise my back from the soil, the pain increasing as the air hit the shallow scars. Natural instincts screamed at me to lie back down, however, logically I knew that would only cause more pain and damage to my now red, raw skin.
I felt victorious as my feet finally found some traction in the wet, damp soil. It's the feeling of something finally going right, when everything else goes wrong, a light at the end of a dark tunnel. I knew I could slow myself to a stop, if I was just allowed a moment more.
But then it happened. I looked down, searching for Will, but found nothing.
Will was gone, the ground was gone, everything was gone. I saw nothing but empty space, with hills and valleys in the background.
It was a strange sight. How could something so very beautiful, be ever so deadly? How could such serenity cause so much suffering?
My hands became scratched as they searched the ground for some form of hold, anything, even a small rock. But they found nothing as I sled closer towards the emptiness, towards what appeared to be my end.
It was as if God carved the ledge with his bare hands, making sure any who fell into its deadly embrace would not be allowed to reverse their tragic mistake. There was not a single bump, not a single edge to grab on to, it was completely smooth.
I closed my eyes, and I could swear I saw my life flash before my eyes as I was flung from the steep slippery edge. Or maybe that was me simply being way too dramatic, I tended to be that way in dangerous situations. Though there was one thing I knew for sure, there was an awfully familiar sound rushing through my ears. I assumed it was the sound of blood rushing into my head as I was flung through the air.
The sound instantly got louder as I my body smacked into some extremely dense surface. Pain surged though my bones as I broke through the hard material, and my mind went blank. I felt nothing but intense cold, and pain as I floated in the space.
I opened my eyes slightly, but they were only able to find darkness, and an intense stinging sensation as I did so. I attempted to take a breath, but started to choke as my lunges rejected the substance I was attempting to inhale.
Panicking, I kicked off the floor, allowing my body to fly towards the surface, ripping through the water like a torpedo. The dark abyss became noticeably more illuminated, the closer I came to the surface.
My eyes instinctively shut as my head broke through the cold, wet barrier. I instantly noticed the change in temperature, as the warm summers air hit my skin. It was only then did I realize how incredibly cold it was in the deep, dark waters.
My heart still pounded harshly in my chest, even though the terrifying event was over. All of the horrible outcomes that could have happened raced through my mind, and I couldn't help but feel I was the luckiest man alive. The world around me seemed to become quiet as all these possibilities raced through my mind. As if it was allowing me a moment to think, after my terrifying experience.
It didn't take long before a loud; joyful screech broke through my serenity. The voice of course belonged to my brother, Will. I don't see how he could be so happy after that, sharing his enthusiasm to the entire world as he yelled out.
"Woo! That was awesome, let's do it again!