Days of Regression - Art Prompt Writing Contest #9

in fiction •  2 years ago  (edited)

Days of Regression

We were young and in love, scraping enough money together to buy a travel trailer and several acres of land to park it on. Had my wife and I known how unlucky this property was, we would have never bought it; hell, never stepped foot anywhere near it! Damn that dirt cheap price!

Picture by @bex-dk

We went to work right away, hacking away the brush, picking up leaves, moving dirt around and clearing a nice area for us to permanently park our new tiny home. We couldn't wait to be so close with each other, learning from one another in such an intimate way – holed up in a less than 200 square foot home, in the middle of a private forest, with the least of human interaction and creature comforts. It would be a while to get utilities installed out here.

The first night we were there, there was not ONE, but TWO lightning strikes, not more than 20 feet away from where we slept. I personally don't believe that lightning strikes are random; that should have been our first sign that we weren't welcome. We didn't know any better.
After the first week, the neighbor down the street came over to introduce himself. Interesting looking fellow, tall, skinny, unkempt hair. Must have been in his late 60’s.

“Those horrible logging accidents didn't scare ya away, huh?” He called out in a bewildered, half drunk tone.

“Good morning! What was that? Logging accidents?” I replied, scrunching my eye brows low.

“Ah, them wasn’t ‘accidents.’ That was the act of the Devil. Killed em all. Accidents!” He shouted, getting right in my face.

I looked at him with utter confusion and disbelief.

“Previous owners went missing. GONE!” He stammered, “Then the bank took ownership!”

“Yeah, we strictly dealt with the ban-” I was saying as he cut in.

“...THERE’S NEGATIVE ENERGY IN THIS LAND! I don't trust it, neither should you!” He turned and started walking towards his house.

“Thanks for the information. I’ll be careful,” I tossed those words at his back.

He turned slightly, “Yeah, you will. HAHAHAHAH!!” laughing to himself as he continued down the path and out of sight.

I thought that that was the oddest interaction I’ve ever had. So much for a nice welcome.

Hearing Voices / Strange Sounds

“I know who I am when I’m alone
something else when I see you.”

The next week passed without incidence.

At the local farmers market, my wife and I bought a “Plants and Fauna Edibles” book. We found some, shall we say, “magic” berries on our property line, which we wanted some more information on. We double and triple checked to make sure they were safe to eat.

That night, we got comfortable outside in our camp chairs, in front of a small fire.

“Here goes!” we cheered at each other, “see you on the other side.”

Picture by @anikekirsten

She fell asleep within minutes, as I was seeing the world like I’d never seen it before.

I’d be lying to you, if after eating those berries, I didn’t see an ancient flying gray whale swimming through the luscious vibrant green forest and jumping into the air, splashing through white puffy clouds, shining a translucent green and yellowy-orange as it dipped across the setting sun.

It felt peaceful and loving, everything was smiling at me. It was breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking.

Literally, as in the next moment, I felt my wife’s hands grab my neck and squeeze as tight as she possibly could.

With a gargled sound, I struggled to push her off.

“Pfffhhh, aaaarrgghhh,” I pulled her hair down so hard that she falls to the side.

Entirely out of breath, I came to, as she stood up and she screamed.

“It’s the burnt stumps! They're coming out of the ground! And the bones! I’ve found bones! In the sink- holes, the EARTH, THE EARTH – RIPPED APART!”

“And the constant noises! I CAN’T THINK!” She told me with a bitter and hopeless shriek. She fell down and back asleep. I had no sense of what was what, actually, but carried her inside and we both fell into a deep slumber.

Following Day

“You tried to kill me!” I told her sternly. We were sitting at the dining table, both still feeling off balance.

“I was unconscious! I didn't mean to!” She said in self defense. “I only remember one thing about last night.”

“You were mumbling something. Your eyes were pure white.” I was shaking my head in disbelief.

“Those berries revealed a nightmare to me. I walked into the ocean, imagining drowning myself; I was taking my last breath, death felt so close, as this huge being took me on its back and lifted me to the surface. I couldn't make it out what it was, but it saved my life.” She says to me.

“A whale? An old gray whale?” I asked her.
“How did you...” she replied.
“I saw it too,” looking at her with deep concern.

My wife revealed to me that she started hearing voices as soon as we moved onto the property. I would notice her cock her head to the side to listen better. She was trying to be subtle, for me not to notice. She didn't want me to think she was crazy; losing her mind. Once I approached her about it.

“I’M NOT CRAZY!“ she said, “but I don't only hear them. I started seeing shadows and figures in the mist. On certain parts of the property, especially between the trees in the back corner, my hair stands up on the back of my neck and I get the chills. I walked around and mapped out the area where it felt the strongest.”

“What are you telling me?” My eyes were wide open, with disbelief.

“I stopped taking my meds, and I feel like I’m losing my mind.” She stared off into whatever world she was living in, her stare was blank and long sighted. Looking out into the nothing-ness through the windows. Was it truly nothing-ness?

“Maybe I AM crazy,” she told herself.

I noticed her listening intently as she looked around outside. Watching, waiting.

“Are you hearing it now?” I wondered what exactly was going on in her head.

“Mmmh. It’s like a one sided phone conversation in another room. Can only hear one side.” She said, disengaged from the moment.

Day after day, she became more anxious and sad, as I felt an anger build up inside of me. Neither of us felt in control. What was happening to us?

Neither of us felt hungry, we had to force ourselves to eat. We constantly felt watched, judged; on edge. We kept the curtains closed as much as possible, isolating ourselves in our little home.

Trying to Leave

Whenever we left the property, we could feel ourselves instantly becoming less tense, and yet, every time we came back, closer and closer to the property, we felt that presence. That tight grip holding us. This was our only home; we had nowhere else to go. We tried to suppress what we were experiencing.

We would cautiously walk around the property, looking at the moss, mushrooms and other fungus, watching the trees sway and listening to the birds.

One day I walked around the area where my wife felt the most energy.

That’s when I heard a snap, as a huge branch broke off above me. I was able to jump aside before it fell to the ground. My heart was beating out of my chest, and I took off running through the woods, to get back home.

“LET’S GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!” I yelled at my wife in the trailer. “This place is trying to kill us!”

“What the..!?” I couldn't believe what I saw.

As I ran closer, I noticed the front door was wide open. Looking into the trailer, I saw the interior was completely trashed.

“Honey? Babe? We need to leave. Are you in here?” I cautiously said into the shell of our home.

I walked around to the side of the trailer, looking for the truck.

When I walked that way, I noticed that the windshield was smashed, and all tires were flat. I was in a state of shock and disbelief.

I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, followed by sounds of hysterical sobbing.

“Babe? Is that you? Are you OK?” I said quietly, walking towards the back of the truck.

There she was, hunched over on the ground, bleeding, with a knife in her hand.

She was the one who cut the tires.

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! WHAT DID YOU DO?!” I yelled at her with fistfuls of anger.

“THEY TOLD ME TO! They don’t want us to leave! They love having us here..” she mumbled as she climbed to her feet. I watched and approached her cautiously.

“...WE WON’T EVER HAVE TO LEAVE!!!” She screamed as she ran at me with the knife.


Thanks @gmuxx for putting this contest together. Had a blast coming up with this story.

Link to the contest There are several other submissions in the comments.

Make it a great day everyone!

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Wow, there's so much going on in this story. You did a nice job of building the suspense and the drama as the story progressed. I'm dying to know who "they" are!

Thank you so much, appreciate your positivity. It comes in at around 1,500 words. Lots happening, but I felt it progressed easy enough. A little more than a "short" story.

We may never know who "they" are?! ;)

Yes, that can happen. A lot of short stories hint at more, which is part of their magic. The prompt was very inspiring. My story came in right about 1500 words as well.

Nice, but don't you think short and precise, would attract the attention of steemites, just my opinion