The drone of bullfrogs, and crickets stilled as a heavy darkness spilled across the green mire of swamp water, and slithered across the boat’s hull like cold oil. A fission of awareness erupted into tiny bumps across his skin. Heart thudding, he shivered against the momentary unseasonable cold whisperings and peered into the night. He waited, but no lights flared, there was no sound of water being disturbed by an oar, or the thud of feet upon the bank, still he remained uneasy . Focusing on the task at hand he quickly tighten the rope and secured it in an old sailor’s knot.
‘That should do it,’ he rasped before reaching between his legs, and lifting the well secured cargo by one end. Struggling with the heavy load, his muscle’s screamed as the boat rocked slightly with the harsh movement. He froze, muscles tense, and let the boat’s rocking ease before expelling a breath he didn’t know he was holding. Grunting, his stance steady, he tightened his hold and lifted the object to the boat’s lip.
Sweat glistened then fell from beneath the hair at his temples, He swiped at it with the hem of his shirt and studied the rope crowned tarp. He was getting to old for this kind of work, he grumbled as he bent and pushed slightly at the load resting on the boat edge before moving down its side to the head. Cold hunger filled eyes surrounded him as he studied the tarp’s outline long enough to catch his breath.
It really was too bad, he lifted the head and maneuvered it to the side of the boat and let it rest for moment. She had been such a bright girl, a pretty face, with a sweet disposition. He shook his head against the flash of regret then pushed the human filled tarp into the murky depths with a dull splash. He watched the tarp sink as the added weight of the cinder blocks did their work.
A knowing silence filled the swamp as the gurgling of the sinking tarp slowly ended with it’s disappearance below the murky surface. The latest in a long line of secrets he figured as he raised a well used whiskey bottle and took a deep drink. Running his arm across his mouth he sat and followed the slow burn through his chest as the swamp recovered. It was eerily quiet with only the whine of a mosquito swarm, before the gentle splash of a fish, then cricket song, followed quickly with a big cat’s anger filled howl in the far distance as reflective eyes peered intently at him from the water’s edge.
Lifting the whiskey bottle again he drew deeply only to choke, then erupt into ragged coughs, spewing flecks of blood into his fist, his chest on fire. His breath labored he wiped his lips, and moved to the oars. The Boss – he shivered hands tightening on the oars – would be waiting.
Drabble – 493 words.
- Archaia Announces An Aurora Grimeon Story: Will o’ the Wisp HC (graphicpolicy.com)