[Short Story - #39] - The Purple Road
"The purple road", "A goat, a slug and a cat" and "a terrible word"
Provided by @bhop42moro
Initially I wanted to write three separate stories, one for each prompt, but I just liked the first two ideas too much together to not fuse them into one story.
Image courtesy of @rocking-dave
“Are you guys as excited as I am?” Greta the goat asked her two friends.
“I guess. I’m more scared than excited. I liked the idea way better when we were still back home,” said Timmy, sitting in the back.
“Yeah. I can’t believe I agreed to going on this,” Abby backed Timmy up. “But hey, look on the bright side. If we die here, at least no one needs to pay for the funeral.”
“Oh, you’re both such wimps, you two! It’s going to be fun! You’ll see!”
The three were definitely one of the oddest groups of friends out there. Greta was a goat, and the only one capable of driving; Timmy a slug who could read and write; and Abby a cat with no special talent other than being able to eat a lot.
They had been wanting to check if the local legend was true for a couple weeks now, and that day they had finally decided to go and see The purple road for themselves. It had been said that whoever steps foot on The purple road may never step foot anywhere else again.
“Alright. We have to walk from here,” Greta pulled over by the side of the road.
Abby and Greta were both able to leave the car on their own, but Timmy – as always – needed a helping hand. Greta opened the doors for him and lowered herself to allow for Timmy to slime his way onto her head. If she didn’t serve as his taxi, they’d need days – not about an hour – to get to The purple road.
Timmy, being the only one who could read was in charge of reading the map and he lead the group toward North and into the woods.
It was around noon and the sun was high, but the thick treetops didn’t let much light pass down to the floor and hence produced a very dark and mysterious atmosphere.
They were all becoming more and more nervous the deeper they got into the forest, and completely quiet, until Abby pierced the silence.
“I think we need a battle plan of some sort. Just in case things go sour. I vote we dump Timmy and make a run for it.”
“Abby… Come on. I know you’re trying to cope with the fear yourself, but I’m afraid enough as is.”
Again, the trio wrapped themselves in silence and kept on going deeper and deeper.
At some point, the trees were becoming scarcer, but instead of there being more light, there was less and less the more they advanced, until finally it became pitch black.
“I… I… Should we turn back?” Timmy asked, shivering with fear.
“Nonsense! We’ve come this far alre- Look!” Greta lifted her front leg toward a faint purple glow in the distance. “We made it! Let’s go!” She said mid-run despite not seeing a darn thing in the darkness.
Abby followed suit and just seconds later they were facing it, glowing in the most beautiful purple hue any one of them had ever seen, with glowing purple butterflies flying in hand’s reach. What had been wrapped in darkness just moments ago, was now lit up in bright warm violet.
Greta and Abby both stopped with their feet just an inch from the paved road and they all gazed at it in silence for no less than 5 minutes.
It was nothing like they had imagined it to be. No skeletons, no creepy crawlers, nothing scary or creepy of any sorts.
Abby caught Greta’s eyes, then Timmy’s, and since they both nodded back at her, she jumped onto the purple platform and started running.
“Whoever catches a butterfly last is a loser!” She shouted over her shoulder back at Greta and Timmy, still standing in wet dirt.
“Go Greta! What’re you waiting for? Let’s go!”
Greta shook her head as if trying to pull herself back together from all the pretty lights around her, then she too darted toward the nearest low flying butterfly on The purple road.
She came real close to one and jumped as high as she could, hoping Timmy would get ahold of it by its wings.
Instead, both Greta and Timmy found themselves suspended in mid-air with no inclination to fall. They didn’t feel any gravity. They were free to swim through the air as they pleased.
Soon after, Abby jumped at one of the butterflies and joined the two about 50 feet above ground level.
They were all enjoying themselves very much when Greta looked down at some point.
“What is it Greta?” Timmy asked.
“N-nothing. Just promise me something, okay? Never, ever look down. It’s really, really scary.”
“You bet. We’re waaay up in the air. Just don’t use that terrible word anymore, please. You know I hate it when you do,” Timmy swam further upward toward one of the butterflies.
She had tried to protect them from what she had seen for as long as she could and let them enjoy themselves.
But below them were thousands upon thousands of bones, with their own fresh corpses at the very top.
Their souls had left their bodies.
And they, too, would never place foot anywhere else again.
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