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The Story of Dismal

Novel By: HuntedTornado

After a fisherman's boat sinks in the Dismal Swamp, he must survive there until he can rebuild his boat. But, out in the swamp, there is no warmth (even though he's in Virginia), minimal supplies, and a figure that terrorizes him in the night and day. View table of contents...


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Submitted:Feb 22, 2013    Reads: 38    Comments: 2    Likes: 2   

I cast off my line into the murky water below the Muskie. It was getting dark outside so I decided that this would be my last cast before driving the 25 mile boat ride home to my little family of five and a dog. I always feel guilty coming home with an empty fish cooler. When I do come home empty handed, the family has to look for hours for edible berries or we just eat the cotton out of cattails.

I began to reel in the hook when the bobber sank beneath the surface. I pulled on it and reeled my prize into the fish cooler. It was a small, green fish, but it would last us until morning when I would come back out here. I walked over to the wheel, pushed the throttle forward until I was going at about five knots.

I slowed the boat down once it got really dark to light the kerosene lantern attached to a pole mounted on the bow of the Muskie. I turned the wick up and lit it. I looked into the matchbox and only saw six remaining. There's another thing I'll have to buy, I thought with a scowl.

I was returning to the wheel when there was a sharp jerk of the boat upward. I looked around and waited for the wake of the shake to settle. In the black water were around twenty alligators approaching the Muskie. One took a lunge at the boat and narrowly missed my hand, which would have easily been eaten off in the process. I jumped to the wheel and turned the throttle to high.

Zigzagging at twenty knots, I thought I was clear, but they were still behind me. So I disobeyed all rules, straightened out, and left the wheel in search of my rifle. I dug around behind my seat and found it next to the worm can. I turned around just in time to see the bow of the Muskie hit a cypress tree. Not only had it left a dent but one of the roots had torn a hole in the bottom of my boat. The alligators were quickly approaching, so I grabbed my gun and a black drawstring bag and stuffed it with whatever I could.

On the way off the boat, I grabbed the lantern and extinguished it. I climbed the tree that I crashed into, not sure of its stability. From there, I watched the alligators break everything that I left on the Muskie. I was about to call it a night when I heard a snap. I whipped around and saw the alligators clearing out, but leaving my fishing pole broken on the floor. How did I forget my pole? I yelled at myself silently with a frustrated sigh.

The 25 miles was going to be a long way to walk back to. I needed a boat in order to make it out without endangering myself any more than I already had. I looked up at the sky and saw the stars twinkling in the night and heard the cricket symphony chirp away. That's all I needed to fall asleep and let all of this wait until morning.


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