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A Sharp Breath in the Night



A Sharp Breath in the Night.


    I found myself falling and falling until I landed with a loud thud and hit the unyielding ground. Even though it felt as if I broke a million bones and darkness flooded my eyes I was indeed still alive and still breathing. With a great amount of pain I stood to my feet and brushed away all of the dirt from my eyes, and then opened them. I was all alone in a dark swamp.

    As I began to piece together in my mind what happened I massaged my sore head. I hesitantly looked up and saw only the sky and nothing that would have indicated that I had fallen from anything other than a plane. However I heard no sound, except the hum of insects and the gentle whispering of the night breeze. I remembered nothing but the terror I felt as I plummeted towards the ground and then hitting it and the momentous amount of pain that I felt afterwards.

    Who was I and where did I come from?  These were the questions I began to ask myself as I picked my way through the murky swamp. The trees were crooked and bent in all kinds of different angles with pale moss hanging down from them. Every now and then I would hear the shriek of an owl and it made shivers dance up and down my spine

    Each step I made crunched and echoed throughout the dismal swamp leaving an eerie silence to follow each step that I took. The water in some spots covered my boots and at times I began to sink but I quickly moved and avoided large concentrations of water. I was passing this one tree when out of the corner of my eye I saw something move. I swiftly turned around to confront whatever it was, but nothing was there.

    All I remembered seeing were yellow eyes and the edge of a white tattered robe. I stood frozen looking all around me but I could see nothing and I only heard the ambience of a typical swamp, but then that’s when I realized the entire swamp was silent. I thought it would be better to keep moving then to stand completely exposed in the middle of a swamp where I was possibly being stalked by a murdering ghost.

I put my foot forward and let my weight fall down on it which was followed by my entire body falling downwards as the moist earth gave way and I landed in a pool of cold water. I swam to the top of the pool long enough to see the body of a huge snake as it brushed past my face. A snarling sound caught my attentions and I turned to m left and saw that a pair of crocodiles were swimming towards me. I immediately began to swim away from the monstrous creatures but they backed me up into a corner.

    Both of the crocodiles slowly approached me with their sharp and jagged teeth showing. By this time my heart had reached a bombastic crescendo and I was about ready to scream when I heard a hissing sound behind me. Wincing I turned to face the sound and then my face looked straight into the bright yellow eyes of a large snake which had wrapped its entire body around me.

    The snake squeezed tighter and tighter until I almost couldn’t breathe, and then the two crocodiles went under the water and I let out a horrifying scream. The snake then bit my throat and I could feel the crocodiles attacking my legs and then with a strong seizing bolt I jerked awake from under a tree in a swamp.

    It was all just a dream. 

    I remembered that I had fallen asleep while collecting samples for my biology class on the content of swamp water. My name is Kent Rogers, a college student, and I live in Florida and am going to college to get my degree in marine biology. I stood up and stretched my arms and collected my samples, books and other things and began marching back to my vehicle

    The swamp was buzzing with life as I followed the path that led out of this particular swamp and back to the main path. When I got to what I thought was the main path I was surprised to see that nothing was there.  My Jeep was gone.

I reached into my pocket for my cell phone but it wasn’t there. I frantically looked everywhere on my person for it but I couldn’t find it anywhere.

    I was positive that I packed it with me, but perhaps I had lost it back on the trail somewhere. I turned around and began to retrace my steps. I looked for a couple of hours but I couldn’t find a single thing. It was hopeless, and I would now have to hike all the way back to the main road and hitch a ride in the dark. Maybe someone would notice my absence and call the police and they would come and rescue me, but that seemed as unlikely as me discovering my cell phone at the moment.

    I began the lonely journey back to the main road, trudging through the mud and batting away buzzing gnats and kamikaze flies. Why did I have to lose my cell phone, and why did my jeep have to go missing? It was all so frustrating…My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the crunching of leaves from behind me.

    I quickly whirled around but nothing was there. Silenced ensued for what seemed like an eternity and then I continued on my journey keeping my eyes opened and my senses attuned for any kind of trouble. I looked up into the night sky and noticed that it had a purple hue. Odd I thought, but then again nature was one thing that was never for certain all the time as mutations did occur and even in some cases evolution.

    My eyes were still staring at the sky when out of the corner of my left eye I saw a pale figure with yellow eyes carefully studying me. And in that fleeting moment when I realized that I saw it then it vanished. I shook my head and did a double take to make certain that I wasn’t seeing things, and of course the pale figure wasn’t there nor anywhere else that I could see. I was so sure that I saw it though. How could I forget those bright, viperous, still yellow eyes that reminded me of a snake silently observing its prey before striking it down.

    I pressed on again but I hadn’t walked but two steps and I heard hoarse breathing behind me, and then I felt it on my neck. I went pale and my heart rate and breathing picked up. I closed my eyes afraid to turn around and see what was behind me and after a few seconds the breathing stopped as did the noise and then I opened my eyes.

    Great big yellow eyes gazed right into mine and the figure’s face was even paler than mine. I screamed and began running for my life. I looked over my shoulder and the figure was trailing after me on all fours as if it was some sort of animal. The ravaging look in its face was unlike anything I had ever seen in before in man or beast. 

    With all of my heart I ran as hard as I could and did not once look behind me. I had no idea where I even was but I had to run away, far away from that menacing creature or whatever it was. I didn’t typically believe in spiritual things, but that thing looked like a demon and even behaved like one.

    My face was suddenly slapped hard by a tree branch and I went flying to the ground. I had barely landed when another tree branch hit me on the head, and another on my back and then my legs. I picked myself up and ran speedily while all of the trees were beating me with their branches. The trees were alive, or worse possessed. Amidst all of the tree branches I made out the same pale figure just standing behind me observing; just standing there with a cold smile on its face. That alone was enough to send chills running up and down my spine.

    Then from above me black ravens began to attack me and I began to flail my arms and hands to defend myself from the ferocious beasts. I then turned to my left and into the forest in a vain effort to escape the monstrous animals and almost immediately I ran into a thick, sticky giant spider web. My entire body was glued to this natural apparatus, and eventually I peeled my face away and began tugging at my arms, and that’s when I noticed all of the tiny spiders beginning to crawl all over me.

    This wouldn’t have necessarily bothered me but the small fangs that surrounded their mandibles gave me pause for thought. They then started biting me all across my body, and every time one of the little fangs bit into my skin I let out a soft cry of pain, but that only increased my effort to escape the webbing. I struggled and struggled and then my left arm was free, then my right leg followed by the left, and then finally I pulled my body free and I fell.

    At first when I landed I thought I had crashed into another pit of water but when I opened my eyes I saw that every inch of my body was covered with insects.

    Centipedes, fire ants, roaches, slugs, leeches, and as many other types of insects one could imagine enveloped my entire body. As I swam through the pit of insects it was as if I was swimming in water, but when I had an earwig crawl up my neck and then into my ear I deferred the idea. I waded through the innumerable amount of insects and struggled to get to what I thought would be safety, but it seemed that with each step more insects flooded to me and were appealed with the idea of sampling my blood.

    I reached the edge of the pit and threw my weak body over it and I fell into a rushing stream of water. I felt immediately relieved as all of the insects were forced to release themselves from my body, but then fear started build up within me as I began to wonder where this stream would empty out at. I suddenly got my answer when the water and I went shooting out into mid air over a large chasm. I began to plummet towards the ground. There was nothing I could do but scream and yell. I watched quickly as the ground came into view and then I hit it and everything went black, and then the next thing I knew there was bright light all around me.


         March 18th 2016     22:51 hours

        Research Laboratory; Sinkiang, China

    The doctors in their white lab coats looked at their subject through the two way mirrors that surrounded the white padded room which the subject was in. The human subject that they had been experimenting with and observing had reacted very well in the first proceedings of the test and the doctors were well pleased.

    “You did a marvelous job Dr. Chang. This new hallucinogenic drug will revolutionize interrogation and very soon create a new kind of chemical warfare.”  Dr. Yun said proudly.

    “All we need to do is find a way to inoculate our troops from it and it will be the perfect weapon. How close are you to creating such a thing?”  Dr. Chang asked curiously as he eyeballed the human subject.

    Dr. Yun looked over his notes.  “Well I am not entirely certain when, but we will need new test subjects. The current ones we have might damage the upcoming experiments due to their familiarity with the drug that could possibly interfere with its efficacy.”

    “What will you have me to do with the old experimenting subjects Dr. Yun?” General Tao asked with a stern look on his face.

       Dr. Yun looked at Dr. Chang for an answer, and the older doctor just shrugged his shoulders. “You may send the worthless Americans back to their country in caskets for all I care, but make certain the next subjects are at peak condition for the next round of experiments General Tao. I don’t want the cause for failure to be because of poor test subjects.

    “I will talk to my provider in Los Angeles. I am quite certain that we should be able to get what we need.” General Tao said in his usual cold and stoic voice that never had an etch of emotion in it whatsoever.

    “Very well gentlemen I view this as a one-hundred percent success, and now let us retire and toast to the future of a new Chinese empire.” Dr. Chang sang proudly and then he left with Dr. Yun and General Tao behind him.

    Inside the cell the human subject languished in psychological torture unlike anything he had ever experienced. He was dressed in a white set of lab pajamas, and his skin was almost as white as the color of the walls and the clothes he was wearing. A question from his nightmarish reality came back to haunt him, “who am I?” Who was he indeed, and then when the doors to his white prison opened and two military soldiers stepped in he remembered.

    “I am a man.  My name is Joshua Ewing.  I am a soldier in the United States Army.  I am a husband, a father, a son, an uncle.  And now I am dead.”