Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter's Nightmare

This month's prompt for the January Blog Chain at Absolute Write:
Winter Nightmare

Another broad one: go wherever the prompt takes you. It can be fiction or non-fiction, the nightmare can be Cthulhu or just a struggle with a troublesome New Year's resolution (or anything in between).

I go where my mind takes me and this post turned out to be fiction and I'm hoping the beginning of a short story. It's also creepy, for me anyway.
This story started from two post on my humor blog. I know, I have a weird brain. Sorry if I creep you out.
Here and here are the posts if you are interested.
Be sure to check out my fellow blog chain buddies and what they did with the Winter Nightmare prompt below.

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The trees were the first to feel the impact of the raging winter storm. Their branches that were covered in the morning rain began to freeze as the temperature dropped. Ice crystallized and weighed them down. The weaker branches snapped from the weight and those that struggled to support the cumbersome burden gave way to the wind that whipped in frenzy. As the rain turned to snow, visibility became difficult for the neighborhood. The radio stations alerted the community to stay indoors and wait out the blizzard.

While most took heed to the warnings, one of the few drivers out on the roads was only blocks from his house. Delayed by a meeting at work he slowly drove on the unplowed roads seeking the safety of his home. Barely able to see five feet in front of the hood of his car, he gripped the steering wheel tightly. With only 500 feet or so left to his driveway he almost let himself relax, until he felt a thump. First at the front of his car and then he knew his back tires drove over something.

Looking out the review mirror he could barely make out an object on the road. He cursed and stopped his car. The wind and snow made it almost impossible to see as he made his way around the back of his vehicle. The creature lay there in the road unmoving. The man surveyed his surroundings. No one was in sight, everyone was safe in his or her warm home. He dragged the creature into a wooded area and haphazardly covered it with snow. The man then continued his short journey home to wait out the storm.

The man, in his haste, didn’t see the shallow breathing of the creature. It lay to wounded to move in the freezing snow as night fell. Small insects from the earth seeking warmth burrowed in to the skin of the dying animal. They fed on its flesh and burrowed in deeper, feasting on its organs.

Power lines were the next to succumb to the ice and blowing snow. Isolating the community during the night. As the clocks told them it was morning the people emerged from their homes to access the damage. Although it was still snowing the wind had subsided. The sound of chainsaws and snow blowers hummed as the clean up began.

The creature remained buried in a blanket of snow as the insects ravaged its body. They had made their way to its brain, driving it mad. Foam formed in its mouth and its eyes rolled back in its head. It lay in a heap where it had been dragged waiting for death.

As the days went by the power had been restored, temperatures rose enough for the children to play in the snow. A boy and his dog went to explore the woods, forbidden to do so by his parent, he went anyway. He and his dog ran through the woods, he threw sticks for his dog to fetch and threw rocks at the frozen creek trying to crack the ice. When his dog didn’t return with the stick the boy went to look for him. He could hear the dog barking in the distance and he followed the sound. He found the dog wildly barking at a lump in the snow. Curious, the boy got closer. He saw movement. The dog wouldn’t stop. As if he was warning the boy. The boy ignored the dog. He moved closer. Close enough to reach out. He began to brush away the snow. His hand came back red with blood. Wide eyed, the boy began to move away. But before he could, the creature with all the strength he had left lashed out at the boy and bit his hand. The creature’s misery ended there and the boys had just begun.

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Participants and posts:
orion_mk3 - http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to this month's post)
MamaStrong - http://writingofme.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
pyrosama - http://matrix-hole.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
Turndog-Millionaire - http://turndog-millionaire.com/ (link to this month's post)
Alpha Echo - http://aprilplummer81.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
LilGreenBookworm - http://themayhemofwritingsahm-style.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
Domoviye - http://lets-get-happy.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
writingismypassion - http://charityfaye.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
kimberlycreates - http://www.kimberlycreates.com/ (link to this month's post)
Suzanne Seese - Right here!
Diana Rajchel - http://blog.dianarajchel.com/ (link to this month's post)
Ralph Pines - http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
Alynza - http://www.alynzasmith.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
Literateparakeet - http://lesliesillusions.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
in_one - http://quirkythomas.blogspot.com/ (link to this month's post)
Tomspy77 - http://thomaswillamspychalski.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
Inkstrokes - http://drlong67.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
areteus - http://lurkingmusings.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)
Abielle Rose - http://stainedglassinthenight.wordpress.com/ (link to this month's post)

12 comments:

Turndog Millionaire said...

Wow, a rather interesting end to the story

You feel sorry for the animal throughout, but at the end you wonder 'what is it'?

Nicely done...

Matt (Turndog Millionaire)

Diane Carlisle said...

Well, I don't expect it was a deer. Least I hope deer don't bite like that! I'm guess a dog maybe or a fox.

Surprise ending though. I figured it was dead already.

Leslie said...

Yikes, I felt like that thing grabbed ME at the end. Creepy (in a wonderful way!)

MSBjaneB said...

Wow that was great. I loved the suspense and the way you wrote the ending.

Sue said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I plan to continue this story as a horror/sci-fi. The creature will remain just a mysterious creature. So don't beat yourselves up trying to figure out what it is.
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I like how you never tell us what the creature is.
I love the last line "The creature’s misery ended there and the boys had just begun."
Look out Dean Koontz.

Sorry, I have to post as anonymous. Wordpress and Blogger don't mix.
drlong67.wordpress.com (inkstrokes)

Diana Rajchel said...

Meep! That's scary stuff. It's definitely an against reality thing - insects hibernate in winter, so what is this creature really? What happens? How long does it stay?

It's an intriguing start.

Sue said...

Inkstrokes - Thank you. I really want to go the Zombie route with this, but it's so over done. I heart Zombies though.

Diana - I never, ever said I was grounded in reality and never will be. Meep! I like that word.

Dan Clarke said...

Not bad. My only nitpick is about the insects. If the ground is frozen so are the bugs.
Change it to the first snowstorm of the year, or he dumped the animal in a steaming pile of compost, or a bog that is still warm from rotting plants, and it would fit better.
The rest is good.
Cheers
Dan

Bill said...

Ooooo, an ominous story and a great beginning to a longer work. Well done with your "winter nightmare" story!

kimberlycreates said...

Oh yikes! Strains of Cujo. I kept waiting for the snap to come, and loved how you prolonged it right up until the end.

Sue said...

Dan - Good idea, first snow storm, thanks.

Bill - Ominous is fun to write, thanks.

Kimberly - Thank you!