Good morning! It’s a Monday today, it’s the beginning of a new week, and it’s a wonderful time for a new story. Is everyone ready?
This story is another one for Grammy’s Grid’s Short Story Link Party. I had a lot of fun writing the last one and I definitely wanted to participate in this one. If you want to read My Secret, which is the story that I wrote for the last link party, click here. And just like the last story, there was a writing prompt which goes as follows:
One flashlight flash meant danger, two flashes meant safe, but then she saw three flashes that night from beyond the swamp. They had never talked about what three flashes meant and now she…
So this story is in the Dark theme. I had a lot of fun writing this one, so I hope you enjoy reading it!
Station One Do You Copy?
One flashlight flash meant danger, two flashes meant safe, but then she saw three flashes that night from beyond the swamp. They had never talked about what three flashes meant and now she started to worry. What if Jeremy was in trouble and the only way he would get out was if Mollie went after him? She picked up her own flashlight and flashed it twice, hoping that Jeremy would respond. But there was nothing.
She sat on her stool and felt her heart starting to race. She knew she would have to go after Jeremy and help him, but thinking about the possible danger made her panic. Mollie knew Jeremy was self sufficient, but she was still mystified by the three flashes in the middle of the swamp. Her hand flew to the wall and picked up a set of keys for the spare airboat and raced out of the small ranger station.
Mollie jumped into the spare airboat and put the keys into the ignition. The boat roared to life, the large fan slowly starting to turn as it warmed up. Mollie untied the boat from the dock and made her way out into the swamp.
She knew where Jeremy was supposed to go, but she didn’t know exactly where the flashlight flashes came from. She slowed the boat down and flashed her flashlight twice toward the direction Jeremy was in. This time three flashes came from the middle of the swamp. Mollie raced toward the light, hoping to get there in time.
Mollie brought her airboat to a halt when she saw Jeremy’s boat. Jeremy’s body was sitting on the boat, motionless. She slowly brought her airboat up to the side of Jeremy’s boat, trying to prepare herself for anything.
But what she wasn’t prepared for was what she saw on the boat.
Jeremy had a single bullet wound in his head, execution style. It looked like it was close range, the perpetrator possibly standing in the airboat to commit the crime. The fan behind Jeremy’s body was covered in blood spatter. It didn’t look like he had suffered, which was probably a good thing.
The boats slowly drifted together and Mollie tied them together. She grabbed the radio off her hip and pressed the call button. “Station 1, this is Ranger Eckhardt. I am out and I have found the body of Ranger Ambross in his airboat. I require assistance. Over.” She waited for a response but there was nothing. She pressed the call button again. “Hello, station 1 do you copy?” She continued to wait but the only thing she heard were the crickets and a couple owls that were out this late at night. It was spooky.
Suddenly a roar came up out of the silence. Mollie turned toward the sound and saw a light flash three times. She scrambled onto Jeremy’s airboat and jumped to shore. She started to sprint. Whatever happened to Jeremy, she didn’t want it to happen to her as well.
As Mollie ran she did everything in her power to get away from whatever was following her. She turned corners, jumped over logs, and swung from branches to help her change directions. She was losing energy from running, but the adrenaline kept her going. As she kept running she jumped over a log but her foot caught on it. She face-planted and laid on the ground in pain and exhaustion.
The noise that was following her came closer and closer before coming to a stop. Mollie peeked up to see a large ATV idling near her feet. There was a crunch, like someone was sneaking up behind her. “Please…please…if you’re going to kill me, at least make it fast. I don’t want to suffer.”
Mollie felt a hand grab her legs and she was dragged a little further before being lifted by her legs. She felt the blood rushing to her head as she was hung by her legs from a tree. Her eyes barely opened and she saw her captor.
When they turned around Mollie could see it was a man. He had a long beard, so long it was almost to his knees. He wielded two knives, one in each hand, and had a grin on his face. “I hope you people learn your lesson from this. This is sacred land. No one but the native people live here. You are all bad people.”
Mollie felt tears forming in her eyes. “Please…I don’t want to die. I understand why you’re upset but I haven’t done anything wrong. I…I just work here.” She started praying, knowing that this would be her last day on earth.
The man walked up to her and dragged the knife down her body. “Well…if you didn’t want to die, you shouldn’t have accepted this job.”
She closed her eyes thinking that she would be feeling the wrath of this man. But nothing happened. She slowly opened her eyes just in time to see a the man point a gun at her face and pull the trigger.
Mollie forced her eyes open one more time as the pain filled her body. The man made his way back to the ATV and started the engine. The last thing she saw was the headlights from the ATV flash three times before she faded into the eternal darkness.