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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:Mar 21, 2013    Reads: 11    Comments: 2    Likes: 1   

I awoke the next morning to the whistle of a wren across the river. I jumped down from my perch and landed on my hands and knees. Last night was a chilly one. The temperature dropped considerably after the moon rose to the zenith. It was very clear and I was able to stargaze before I fell into a deep sleep. Now that I'm awake, I see that the clouds have come back and so has the heat. It was an overcast day with some rain every now and then.

I walked back to the Muskie and ripped off the canvas overhead to turn into a canopy. I tied some rope to the corners and hung it above my perch. I know it would have been useful over the fire, but my warmth and dryness anytime was essential. I moved my tackle box and firewood under the canopy and waited for the next break in the rain to attempt to start another fire.

I didn't get that break, however. The day was over and it was dark before I got a chance. I knew that I needed the fire though. In a few hours, my squirrel would either be moldy, or infested with bugs. It would likely be both. I left my tree and went back to the bow of the Muskie to get more cotton from the chair. I began to rebuild a fire with the fairly moist kindling. It took longer than last time, but the sense of accomplishment felt good. I lashed two sticks together on an angle and repeated the process t create a spit for my squirrel. I took a wet stick and jabbed it down the squirrel's mouth and shoved carefully until it came out the other end. I moved the squirrel to the middle of the stick and began to rotate it over the fire. When the fire burned the fur off, I took off one of its legs to find if the meat was cooked. When I verified that it was, I took a bite of the juicy leg. It was very gamey with an almost spicy flavor. It wasn't long before I moved on to the next leg, then into the body. The squirrel was gone just as my stomach was satisfied.

I was almost asleep when I felt the most unbearable pain on my arm I looked down at where I felt the pain. On my arm was a deep gash about an inch long. To make matters worse, it was still growing longer, but there was no knife cutting it. I looked up and stared into a face. The face was that which belonged to death. It was just a skull floating around with black ribbons trailing behind it. I recoiled and jumped out of the tree. The lantern clattered to the ground but I didn't care. I ran as fast as I could away from camp. It was difficult to see and I was getting whipped with sticks, but I kept going anyway. The thing made a wail and disappeared from behind me. I slowed down, panting heavily with my hands on my knees. I decided to slowly and carefully walk back. When I got back to camp, I grabbed the lantern and climbed back into the tree. Once I was at the top, I made a small cut in the canvas about six by one inches and wrapped it around my arm. It stung like hell, but it was essential for my survival. This time, before I fell asleep, I made sure that I was alone.


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