Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Story-A-Day #271: Forest Lights


It was a dark, but not stormy night. A mid-August chill had settled in with the sinking of the sun and he was glad he had thought to put on a sweater and jeans. It had been a wise move.

He had just pulled into the narrow dirt track that ended at his family's cottage, and the stretch after the long, dark drive felt better than it should have.

He was looking forward to a nice glass of Shiraz by the fire, but first he had to haul his luggage down the narrow dirt trail.

He piled everything neatly by the trunk of his car and slammed it closed with a hollow thud. He should be able to make it in one trip, which was a bonus.

He piled on his luggage and set off down the lane, the gravel crunching softly underfoot. It felt good to get away from the dull roar of the city.

A chittering whistle sound erupted from the trees to his right, and he paused while his eyes adjusted to the darkness. A flicker of light drew his eyes deeper into the woods, then another.

Fireflies, he thought immediately, but they weren't. Fireflies were green, sometimes white, but these lights were different: blue, green, orange and white.

They flickered and wove through the trees as he slowly continued to the cottage. He wasn't scared, but he did feel a little uneasy.

He had probably just imagined it, but he thought he could hear a hushed whispering off in the night. It wasn't English, it was more musical, almost like the rolling consonants and tidal flow on the Welsh language.

He hurried along and was relieved to finally arrive at the dark mass of the cottage. He fumbled briefly with the key before bursting inside where he quickly flicked on the lights and slammed the door shut behind him.

He was safe, and he felt a little ridiculous. He had surely imagined it all. The lights had just been resonant spots from the river of headlights he had driven into for the past four hours.

Surely that made the most sense? Whatever the case, he was glad to be here, in the well lit interior of the cottage.

He peered out the window on the door, but all he saw was darkness, deep and impenetrable.

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