Summer was almost over, Wayne noticed as drove his olive-green jeep down the winding ribbon of road toward Moriah Gorge.
Towering crags on either side gave Wayne a claustrophobic feeling, like a beetle inching carefully between two spider webs.
At the park, Wayne banged his jeep to a halt, hopped out, and breezed along the foliage checking for errant hikers or vagrants. His hiking boots crunched gravel as he poked about the rustic grounds. Normally teaming with birds and wildlife, this spot had apparently been abandoned for today. A chill wind kicked up. Wayne rubbed the shoulders of his green ranger's uniform. The sudden cold gust flipped up his collar and riffled his hair. It carried a vile odor, like decayed road kills.
Wayne's stomach gurgled as another rush of foul wind swept him.
Across the parking lot his jeep crouched comfortingly.
Feeling a vague apprehension, Wayne wished he were closer to the vehicle. It seemed so far away. The next blast of wind loomed slightly warmer but smelled twice as rotten.
The muscles of Wayne's neck tightened. His jeep rested too far away. Harsh grinding sounds issued from Wayne's mouth as pebbles of goose flesh cropped up on his bare arms.
Instinct told him that he needed to get to that jeep.
He sensed danger, although he couldn't see or hear anything close by.
The voice in his brain sounded much like his dead wife's although he was sure the thought had been his.
Wayne's rooted feet took on life and he began carefully
(Nonchalantly?) moving toward the jeep.
A squall of darkness advanced over the gorge. Involuntarily, Wayne took a step back from the shadowy veil of blackness cascading toward him. He looked up expecting that a dark cloud had blotted out the light momentarily.
He glimpsed something dark and huge floating lazily across the top of the gorge.
(A big bird? An eagle, perhaps?)
The black shadow of the thing enveloped him. His fear swelled into a balloon of terror. The shadow folded Wayne into heavy darkness -- it tugged at him with clutching fingers.
"Blood, bone, tears, and fears." A mere whisper floated on vile smelling wind.
Teeth grinding and flesh crawling, Wayne bolted toward his jeep. As suddenly as it had appeared the shadow dissipated.
All that was left was a frightened little man in a green jeep -- all alone on a desolate road.
Continued . . .
Link to Wrenge I
Link to Wrenge II
In the Tennessee Mountains
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