Peacock Swamp

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of two alligator hunters that find more in the swamp than they bargained for.

Submitted: September 29, 2016

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Submitted: September 29, 2016

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Peacock Swamp was a shadowy place in the daytime and dangerous as all get out at night. When anyone entered that place they never knew if they would come out in one piece, or if they would come out at all.

That swamp was an insect infested animal trap and a haven for mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds.

Word is that the alligators are so quick that they can pull a man out of his boots with not so much as a splash sound coming from the water; at least, that is what the locals say.

The name, Peacock Swamp, is deceiving to anyone except those that lived in this area. There are wild Peacocks around there and they roam into the swamp marshes all the time.

No one knows if anything in that swamp hunts the Peacocks because no one hangs around in the swamp long enough to find out.

Even Gunner Redhawk, the local Gator-hunter, has said that he has never seen the remains of a Peacock in the swamp, no clump of feathers, no uneatable parts scattered around, nothing like that. So his thinking is that they have been scavenging in that swamp for so many generations that they know what and what not to do while in there; but he could be wrong. Who Knows?

 

***

 

Standing near a small dock, two men are seen discussing a possible business venture. 

"It is as easy as pie, Basil," Gunner said to Basil Mortise, "all you got to do is keep the boat steady and lend a hand when I need it. We row in at daybreak and we should be out of there with two or three gators before dark. One gator will fetch a month’s wages, even more if he's a big one."

"What about Milford Biggs and his partner Barry Tillman?" Basil asked while looking around as if someone was watching him.

"Ah, the waitress down at Verna’s Dinner, Bessie-May, she told me that those Rangers was work'n at the east end of the swamp this month, some environmental project or some-thin. So what do you say, are you in?"

"Gee, I don't know," Basil replied, "the last time I let you talk me into Gator hunt-in, I 'bout lost a hand."

Gunner laughed and countered, "Yah, but you didn't, and you went home with a pocket full of mullah. Ain’t that right?"

"Yes, I guess," Basil said.

The next morning, just about sun-up, Gunner and Basil were sitting in Gunner's pick-up truck; they were parked just down the road from the Ranger station.

After a short time they saw the Rangers, Biggs and Tillman, get into a state vehicle and head east, down the old gravel-mine road.

"Shit-howdy, I told you Bessie-May's info was good," Gunner bellowed, "now let's get ourselves to the dock and ketch us some gators!"

Ten minutes later both men were boarding a flat-bottomed skiff and heading into the swamp marshes. Once inside it grew darker and a lot more mysterious looking.

"I don't know why we gotta hunt in here, this swamp gives me the willies," Basil said, his eyes looking as big as dollars.

Be-cause the Gators are bigger here, and they fetch a lot more money, “Gunner replied.

Well it wasn't long before Gunner thought he spied a gator just below the water and reached for his rope.

"Bring me right over the top of it," Gunner demanded. Then Gunner jumped onto what he thought was the gators back and tried to slip the noose over its mouth; that is when Gunner disappeared under the water.

Basil pulled his Biretta from its holster and was looking for something to shoot at when a huge figure rose out of the water right behind him. The creature grabbed Basil by the neck and lifted him off the skiff, then it turned him around so that they were eye to eye; Basil didn't make much of a sound as he looked into the creatures eyes, he just gowned and passed out.

 

***

Gunner and Basil woke up some time later and found themselves bound, hands and feet, with vines from nearby plants. They were both propped up against a tree trunk and were looking at the back of a huge, at least 12 feet tall, creature that was dressed in a hooded robe, much like Monks wear.

The creature was talking to someone, however, whoever the creature was talking to were hidden by another tree, so Gunner and Basil couldn't get a look at them. But the conversation went something like this.

The creature said, "Your exploration of this region is complete. The ship has been loaded and resupplied, it is ready for launch as soon as we reach a conclusion as to what to do with these humans."

Another voice stated, "Set their bindings for release as soon as we have vacated the area. Any verbal communication that they may do, involving us, will not be received as credible by their own kind. None of them are trustworthy, least of all to one another.

 

Suddenly a submarine sized craft rose from the murky waters and a doorway opened; then a staircase extended to the ground.

The creature, its iridescent blue eyes glowing in the dim light, pointed something in the direction of the two men, an odd sound was heard.

Then the creature walked up the staircase and as it ascended it began shrinking. It grew smaller until it reached the height of the two Peacocks that were following behind it; they all entered the craft.

As the staircase retracted the craft silently lifted into the air, disappearing into the afternoon sunlight.

It was then that the vines, that bound both men, retracted into the cover of other vines; the two men were free.

***

"I think that they was right," Basil said.

"Right about what?" Gunner asked, as they boarded the skiff.

Basil replied, "About anyone believing that we saw two peacocks and a 12 foot shrinking creature go aboard a spacecraft and fly out of this here swamp."

Gunner replied, "I don't know what you're talk'n about! WE didn't see anything in the swamp today 'cause we wasn't in the swamp today. --- Remember?" 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF  ---  09-28-2016


© Copyright 2017 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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