Was the experience...real?

When she threw the door of her truck open, the smells and sounds of the swamp came in like thunder. Although the atmosphere was deathly silent, any small noise made came as a surprise. She reached up and grabbed the kick plate of her overturned Toyota and pulled herself up and out of the cab. Her feet sank into the mud, causing her to lose her balance. As she struggled to stand back up, she only then noticed the silhouettes that were illuminated by her headlights. Forgetting completely about her own comfort, she began to claw her way through the swamp towards the silhouettes. Coming up to a rotting log, she paused. She heard what sounded like labored breathing. As she pulled himself up over the log, a scream sprang from the foggy tangle of trees, in which the silhouettes stood. The scream came like a pressure blast, throwing her from the log into the grille of her truck, smashing out the headlights. Birds of large size rose into the sky and flew away. She stood up, flinching with pain and pulling glass from her shoulder and squinted hard. Out from the darkness ahead of her came about thirty shriveled creatures with broken gaits. Their skin lay over their structures like insulated blankets on fruit trees. Their eyes were hollow and empty like the stillness of the swamp. Their breath came as if they were cable ties attached to their windpipes and chemicals in their lungs. They stared at her with what little life they had left with every breath of life they had left. Then, they fell. Like puppets. They fell into the swamp and sunk like a boat with a crack in its hull. Soon, nothing was left to hear but this woman’s breathing. With a pulse like a tazer and sweat like streams running down her cold skin, she kept her eyes transfixed on the forest ahead of her. What she saw terrified her more than what had just happened. A ghostly figure the size of a bear was hurtling through the woods straight towards her and following it was fire the size of an ocean. Frozen with fear, she watched as trees were ripped from their standing state and thrown to the ground to be consumed by the flames. Just as the ghostly creature came to the edge of the forest, it swept up into the sky and became one with the fog. The fire hit the edge of the swamp and disappeared like it had never been there. Her heart beating almost to the point where his ribs could be shattered, her legs gave way. She sank to the ground. She raised her head and looked straight in front of her. A path, practically a giant coating of mulch, lay before her. Then she saw him. It was him. He was here. He was close, she felt the warmth. Suddenly, she started to shake. “Ashley”, he said. “Ashley, wake up!” Suddenly, he was gone. But so was the forest and horror that she saw only moments before. She opened her eyes and saw before her a highway. Her husband was shaking her awake, calling her name. They were in her Toyota which was on its side, headlights shattered. As the noise of the sirens from the ambulance and fire trucks got louder and nearer, she grasped her husband’s hand and stared into the sideways forest before her. As the emergency personnel surrounded the truck, she closed her eyes. Despite the hot tears, she could have sworn she saw a ghostly figure flicker amongst the trees.

The End

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