G. Callahan House

United States

I just want to get ahead in writing, and the best way for me to do this is write all the time!

Message to Readers

Hey guys! I would love some help with my writing since I'm very new here. I was going for a off-putting vibe, but I feel like I missed the mark a bit. Anything is appreciated! :)

A Resting Place For Fallen Dreams

May 4, 2019

FREE WRITING

2
    There's something in the water around here, you'd say. Not so much in the water as the water is in other things, really. Water flows up streets, water pools in doorways, water consumes whole houses. Dark water, too. It's an earthly thing, something rooted deep within our whole lives, water.
    You can't escape it here. From the local high school, about two hundred feet away is a creek that swells brackish and blue in the summer storms. The opening to the whole neighborhood is twelve blocks from the big lake that dried up about six years ago but now seems to be perpetually on the brink of overflowing. The floods that come every five years now don't seem to be helping, either.
    And up on Stoner Hill, way in the back of the forest, away from where tourists or young families try to geocache, there runs the Maine River. Not that this was Maine, not at all. This was the Deep south, the heart of Dixieland. No, it was named so for a man who wandered back there from Bangor, Maine and simply never came back out. Of course, he probably came out the other end of the forest, but in the mind of a child, yarns spun like that had a chance of finding themselves the school gossip and old campfire tales.
    When the hurricane hit last summer, it took away people's lives and thrust them into the swirling waters of our Maine River. Whole streets were annihilated beneath the forces of our atmosphere. Nowadays, any old soul who goes looking can find stuff of no importance. Just ten steps beyond what you can see into the woods from the roads is a collection of old washed up junk, but the stories they tell are always interesting.
    Pink shirt from a child's summer camp. Single off-brand shoe. A machine-sewn quilt, probably from a child's first birthday. Second off-brand shoe. All things chosen carefully, strewn here among dead leaves for anyone bold enough to chance their way into the forest.
    Now for the real good stuff. Here come a soccer ball, worn from kicking and age, remembering the FIFA World Cup of 2011 and the Brazilian team. A baseball, waterlogged and heavy beyond salvable measures. Some little child's play-set from Barbie's fantasy world and then came the kicker, the real McCoy, the golden needle in all this disgusting haystack.
    Something lay rotting, tightly wrapped in a blanket, washed up from the river. The stench of deep dirt and the flies it attracted made certain that whatever it was, was most certainly dead. It did not help that this all looked to be some serial killer's trophy collection, some private memento of people's lives, all cut short and captured in a brief flash of rushing water.
    Now, if you happened to wander a bit closer, happened to be a child of nine, happened to kick the blanket out of sheer stupidity and curiosity that would've killed any feline...
    The blanket rolled down the banks of the river and slogged into the mud. Whatever it was holding, wrapped deep in death's embrace, did not stir. Birds chirped, mosquitoes buzzed and leaves whispered. And something gurgled.
    
Oh, I ran. Everybody ran when they came up upon that embankment, everyone with a brain cell left behind in their skull after the primal scream of adrenaline left their hearts pumping and hands shaking. All that junk was just another reminder of the rules of the woods. That place was not to be mentioned to adults, to outsiders or new people. It was a rule all knew, but few understood until they were dared back into Stoner Hill and the backwoods.
    Not many people remember those floods and backwoods.
    We're grown now, thinking of leaving, thinking of getting on with our lives. We don't talk about those woods anymore, just like people don't talk about their playthings. It's a thing of the past, a thing of momentous terror that can only be grown in a child's mind.
    I still walk back there from time to time.
    That wind still blows, the birds still sing and the hill still rises above everything else.
    That water still gurgles through the woods, I hope.
the places mentioned in this fiction are real places, but the names are only known to the children of my area and much forgotten. 
:)

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  • May 4, 2019 - 10:52am (Now Viewing)

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