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Lo, Here’s a Place of Rest?

swamp

This post is part of a series. To read the first installment, click here: http://andrawatkins.com/2013/10/28/reflect-how-soon-youll-quit-this-stage/ To read the second, click here:http://andrawatkins.com/2013/10/29/youll-find-but-few-obtain-such-an-age/ To read the third, click here: http://andrawatkins.com/2013/10/30/lifes-full-of-pain/ Thank you, as always, for tolerating my attempts to get to know a character.

Wind whooshes through my lungs as my weak legs carry me. Through a snarl that was once a field. Down an embankment. My boots sink into mud along the rim of the Mississippi. The sucking sound doesn’t diminish her shrieks.

Twelve times you’ve failed me! Don’t fail me again, or your soul will rot in the realm of the Forgotten!

I feel her breathe on the back of my neck, and I quicken my pace. Around the next bend, I used to keep a launch. Hidden, for when I wanted to carouse with my men. I tear through vines by the light of morning-pink sky, her specter a hex. A curse.

She is a harridan, my wife.

Would that I could undo the voodoo she worked on my spirit in life.

Instead, I crash into dead logs and water. I swim toward my secret inlet, my salvation.

“Hey, Cuz. You look like you seen a ghost or something.”

Two men, if one could call them that. Scraggly. Unkempt. The essence of The Unwashed. They eye me from a rattletrap boat. I spit a bit of the Mississippi and tread water.

“I’m looking for a small craft. I left it around here……………somewhere.”

The other man hacks in my direction. “We been coming here to fish for a couple decades. Ain’t seen no high-faluting craft, or no plain old boat, neither.”

“What’s your name, Son?” The first man leans his hand over the side and makes to pull me in.

My breath stops up between nose and chest. “I…………” I grasp his hand. “Can you tell me today’s date?”

He squints into the rising sun. “Why, I think it’s April 21, year’s 1981.”

The river sucks me under, and in the shimmering light of the rising sun, I see her. One last time. A vision of the woman she was on our wedding day.

It’s your last chance, Jimmy. 

Water penetrates my lungs. Either I sink, or I fly. Ghosts only remember what they are put here to do. Find me she said. You’d better hope you don’t have her, when I find you.

24 Comments Post a comment
  1. I should have realised that you’d working on chilling my spine at this point of the year. Truly, I’m cold enough:)

    October 31, 2013
  2. Keep going, keep going!

    And thank you for my word of the day. “Harridan.”

    October 31, 2013
  3. Good progress, Andra. Glad Michael mentioned the word “harridan.” I don’t know what it means. Gotta look that one up! Happy Halloween!

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    October 31, 2013
  4. “The other man hacks in my direction,” priceless.

    October 31, 2013
  5. Your writing haunts me-in a good way. I usually read it twice to really feel it. It’s lovely-in a spooky way.

    October 31, 2013
  6. “Ain’t seen no high-faluting craft, or no plain old boat, neither.”

    Hilarious!

    I’m loving this story line so far!

    October 31, 2013
  7. Wow! It sounds like this guy is going to be a bartender to me. Scary and beautiful.

    October 31, 2013
  8. Kir Piccini #

    thanks for harridan, I like it.
    this story is staying with me, (and I am quite a lightweight when it comes to spooky stories) but I can’t stop reading.

    October 31, 2013
  9. Man, this is awesome! And Happy Halloween! Spine appropriately chilled.

    October 31, 2013
  10. tarakianwarrior #

    *shiver* loving every minute….

    October 31, 2013
  11. shudder

    I like the word harridan, great drop.

    I really enjoyed this installment.

    Happy Ween o’ Hallow

    October 31, 2013
  12. I like how you are hinting at the macabre in these without going full tilt into gore.

    October 31, 2013
  13. High-falutin’ is always a fun phrase to say. :)

    October 31, 2013
  14. Well done, keep going, and there is nothing to tolerate, Andra. It is interesting to follow where these voices lead.

    October 31, 2013
  15. I am so freaked out by Ms. “Harridan”. She really is evil. How will he ever escape her torment?

    October 31, 2013
  16. Andra this is so good – I want more! I’m loving the character you’ve found so far. Plus, the word harridan is great.

    October 31, 2013
  17. Perfect for a Halloween read tonight. I love following along, feeling a little lost but at the same time looking afraid to run ahead. I like where you’re taking us…like may not be the best word! :-)

    November 1, 2013
  18. Yes…what happened next!!! I know…I didn’t breathe while reading this segment…and not when I read the last….I’m so bummed I couldn’t get that book you did :(

    November 2, 2013
    • You will be able to get the novel. I will see to it.

      November 2, 2013
      • Ooo…that would be awesome! :D

        November 2, 2013
  19. Compelling, Andra: I’m hooked.

    November 2, 2013
  20. I love when I can come over after a too long absence and dive into a nice fiction mini-series. I love when you let us see these character explorations. And I have missed your words, Andra.

    November 23, 2013

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