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The Visitors: A Short Story

With the darkest of my thoughts transferred to written words at times I can see the light.

In The Trees

In The Trees

The Visitors

She loved being in the woods after a downpour of rain; dewy drops like shiny jewels clinging to the leaves, the ground damp and doughy, the smell of moist earth, the woodiness of the trees. The silence. No rustling in the wet undergrowth, only a few creatures out and about wearily watching, like her! The stillness being both an advantage and a disadvantage, for prey and predator alike.

The visitors often came after the rain. Perhaps like her they liked the fresh smells that only a barrage of consistent heavy showers can bring. The early bird catches the worm, her mother used to say. And catching worms was the bait of her life; She liked to rise early, have the woods to herself. Pick about the ground for indulgent morsels, rummage for delicious fatness in the generous soil. Even on a bad day She would reap rewards and not go hungry.

Suddenly! a raven flew from its perch high into the pale watery sky; a solitary black shadow disappearing into the grey heavens.

She cocked her head and listened. She could hear them: visitors, not too far off. Their booted feet making a familiar sucking sound as they trod the soggy earth. Their bodies brushed against the leaves, a whisper of scent settled in the passing breeze. They were coming her way. She remained calm and quiet. She could feel their heat, they were closer, tiny vibrations growing stealthily through the muggy trees. She looked sharply about her. Noting their advanced direction. A soft low moan escaped her body. It was time! And this time it would be easier, She knew what She had to do!

The voices carried to her hiding place high up in a big old tree. The gnarled branches provided a good grip. Thick boughs and an abundance of leaves created the perfect camouflage. She didn’t move an inch. She watched. She listened. She waited.

There were two of them, a male and a female. She could tell more by the pitch of their voices than their actual stature, her view obscured by her own leafy shield. They moved purposely beneath her. She peered down. Strong strides, arms swinging, they chattered excitedly striding with force through the undergrowth. She sniffed the air. The pungent odour was strong, penetrating the ambience; both sweet and sour, almost chemical.

The female was smaller in height but looked round, plump, less of a struggle. The male was tall, but very thin despite the materials wrapping his body. She could see the bones of his shoulders clearly visible through the cloth on his back. Older but still stronger. More of a struggle. They walked eagerly through the trees the steady wet sucking noise of their boots eventually growing silent in the far off expanse of the woods. They would be back and She would be waiting. This time She knew to wait despite the turmoil of her emotions, being both zealous and fearful.

The sun crept slowly through the sky, a washed out yellow sphere already tired of the sombre day. The air damp from the rain held a slight chill. She waited calmly on her bough and listened to the stillness with the patience her mother had taught. And then just the tiniest snap; they were coming back!

The male walked ahead with determined direction: one foot in-front of the other. The female was about 200 metres behind, she was tired and dragged her feet, looking at the ground as she walked, her shoulders slumped. It had been a long walk and tiredness had set in.

From her leafy perch She watched them. The male was focused on his path through the woods back the way they had come earlier. His tiredness only evident in his lack of attention to his female comrade. The distance between them was steadily growing. She watched as the female stopped and leaned sluggishly against a tree. She called out, a high pitched shout but was ignored. The male continued onwards. She took off her boot and rubbed her foot. It was now or never. Adrenaline soared.

With whippet speed She plunged from the covering of the tree and landed in-front of the female. Before the female could cry out, She devoured her open mouth, tongue severed and eaten before the limp body had slid to the wet ground. A crimson tide gushed from the raw pulp of her ruined face forming dark red puddles in the already rain soaked soil.

She cocked her head, prodded the still body. Round! Plump! Fleshy! far more meat for a far less struggle. The early bird always catches the worm. Her mother had thought her well.

A soft wet sucking sound slowly retreated deep into the remoteness of the woods. In the opposite direction oblivious to the fate of his female companion the male strode on through the expanse of trees, overlooked by a solitary raven. Suddenly! from its’ leafy perch it flew, a dark shadow soaring through the grey bleak skies.

She liked the rain. The visitors often came after the rain. She cocked her head and listened. She could hear them...

The Beginning!

When you go for a walk in the woods today...

be sure to wear a disguise,

SHE is planning a picnic!

and watching you from the skies.

© 2020 Gabriel Wilson

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