Joined: 15 Oct 2004
|Posted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:52 pm Post subject: Melinda and the Bog
|Been a while since I posted a story here. Can't recall if I ever posted this one, but it is suitable for all ages cool with a PG rating.
Melinda and the Bog Beast – by PM2K
For Melinda, it is all about making her mark on the natural world.
“I want to be the first to get proof of the mysterious Bog Beast,” she said to anyone who would listen. The more polite would smile and nod, the less so would laugh or make snorting noises.
Undaunted, she researched night and day into the folklore of the creature, which supposedly roamed the haunted marshlands, lying just west of the Snake River Valley. It was vague; tidbits of fragments of reports from local anglers, hunters and passersby who all claim to have encountered the creature, or saw its footprints.
It was enough for Melinda to come up with a plan of action…
Now, six hours into her expedition, she was beginning to wonder if wandering around aimlessly in the wetlands was such a great idea.
The sun which had baked her skin most of the afternoon is slipping slowly downwards into the western sky. Her feet are soaked from hours of sloshing through the marsh, her bare legs slashed to ribbons by grasses and thorns, and she is convinced her body is becoming anemic from the endless swarms of insects snacking on her.
Clenching her camera while she stands in front of a muddy patch of ground, Melinda sighs. This may have been one of the stupidest ideas she has ever come up with… Throughout her entire life, she has been fascinated with monsters, ghosts and the paranormal, but never once had she really encountered it… and now…
Now a twig snaps, and Melinda swivels around, startled. A strange swishing sound, accompanied by the crackling and snapping noises of something bulky moving through the underbrush. Moving towards her…
“Oh, boy…” she mutters to herself, feeling frightened for the first time. If it is a bear… but those animals rarely approached humans, or so she was taught as a Girl Guide years ago.
Moving slowly forward, Melissa flips off the lens cap with a flick of her right thumb. Mindful of the expanse of bare mud lying in front of her – no telling how deep that is, she thinks – she carefully makes her way around it, trying to put it between her and whatever was making those noises.
If it charges, it will get stuck there, or more likely, it, whatever it is, will stop at the edge to check it out. In either case, she’ll be able to get a couple of pictures before retreating. The possibility the creature might go around like she did never entered Melinda’s head. Instead, she nods in response to her own cleverness.
The noises continued to get closer to her, and she braces herself, turning on the camera. She finds herself shaking with a mix of fear and anticipation…
A loud series of snaps followed by a prolonged period of rustling makes her jump. It wasn’t the nearness of the sounds which unsettles Melinda, but the location. One thing her brilliant plan didn’t take into account is how deceptive sound can be in the marshland, how it can seem to come from all directions at once, and sometimes….
Right… behind…. YOU!
Melinda whirls, catching a glimpse of something large blotting out the setting sun. She fumbles with the camera as every fiber in her being screams at her to run… but then her feet get tangled and with a shrill cry she feels herself tumbling backwards….
….landing with a wet smack, legs and feet all akimbo, in the middle of the muddy bog. Wiggling her hips in an effort to roll over and crawl, Melinda finds to her horror she can’t find the leverage to push herself out. Instead, lying on her back in the slime, she is as helpless as a turtle.
Kicking her legs in a panic, she feels the thick wet mass beneath her jiggle, much like a large waterbed, and tries not to cringe at the feeling of the cool mud seeping through her clothing.
The beast forgotten, Melinda struggles to right herself, but finds to her horror her butt is slipping deeper into the mud, which has begun to creep up and over the edges of her torso and the back of her head.
“Oh, no…. this stuff is like quicksand…” she gasps, images of a dozen jungle and horror movies dashing through her mind. The thought of slipping under the muck terrifies her, and Melinda thrashes desperately to escape the muddy trap. All she succeeds in doing is sinking deeper.
At some point, her legs make contact with the mire and quickly slip under it. Her arms follow, forced under by the girl’s desperate efforts to find something solid to push up on, or grab onto to haul herself out.
Melinda whimpers as the cool, heavy muck oozes over her exposed stomach, sliding under her shirt, and covers up her chest. Somehow, her head and face remain above the quaking mud, but she knows this won’t be for long. Her ears stopped up, she feels the wet slop sliding up her jawline and cheeks, surrounding her pretty face.
Looking up, she sees…. something…. covering the sky. Reduced to a shadow by the brightness behind it, she cannot make out any features at all, save for a vague hint of shagginess.
It seems to lean closer, and she can smell a heavy animal muskiness to it. Melinda manages a final squeal of terror before the mud fills her eyes and mouth…
After a seemingly endless period of suffocating darkness, Melinda opens her eyes. Expecting to see her grandparents and her beloved cat waiting to greet her in the afterlife, she is rather surprised to find herself lying on the side of a dirt road.
The intrepid explorer is thickly coated in dark mud, her clothing plastered to her small frame, but very much alive.
She coughs, spitting out grains of earth.
“Bleah… I’ll be tasting that for weeks…” Melinda shudders, wiping muck from her face and eyes the best she can. Focusing as best she can in the moonlight, she determines she is now on one of the main trails leading to the edge of the marsh, and a relatively short sprint from the main highway, where her car was parked.
“But…” Melinda frowns. The last thing she remembers…
Looking down at the ground around her, she stares for a moment, then finds herself smiling.
“Oh, well…” Melinda sighs. No camera anymore, which is at the bottom of the swamp. Besides, who’d believe her now?
Slowly standing, she tries to brush off what mud she can, then turns away to follow the trail back home.
Behind her, illuminated in the moonlight near where Melinda had been lying beside the road, and heading back into the woods, is a short trail of large footprints…