I Dare You ( part 4 )

Tonight’s post is the final part of I Dare You. You can avoid any spoilers by starting with I Dare You part 1. If already have part 1 in your Trick-or-treat bag but missed the middle here is Part 2 and Part 3.

We stand there staring at the old mansion in the foggy moonlight. We’re sitting ducks out here in the open I whisper. You look at a run down abandoned building with its sagging beams, broken windows and holes in the roofing. I can tell by the look on your face that you’re not happy about trying to hide in a place that looks like it’s straight out of a horror movie. You don’t want to get stomped into a little puddle of goo by a tree monster do you? I continue as I nudge you forward. Reluctantly, we move up onto the porch and try to peak inside. There are broken floorboards, fallen plaster and debris everywhere inside. Cautiously we jiggle the doorknob. The old lock fails due to the extreme rust and the door freaks open. When I try to step inside the floor just inside the threshold gives away and you jerk me back just in time to prevent me from falling through. What’s plan B you whisper as we gaze down at the fresh hole. As we look around we spot a detached root cellar with the door ajar. Simultaneously we look at each other and say “Plan B!” We head for the cellar door. As we get close we can smell the musty air coming out of the darkness. There’s a sound coming from the inside. Someone or something inside begins to groan loudly. The door bursts open so hard that it knocks us both down and we look up at the tall moss covered figure towering over us. We began crawling backwards to get away as the creeper groans and stomps the ground. We think that we’re gonners for sure. Then the thing starts laughing hysterically. But it’s a human laugh. The creeper reaches up with its gnarly hand and pulls back the hood of a ghillie suit. It’s Derrick. The captain of the football team. Happy Halloween he yells as he continues to cackle. Derrick is a jerk but we both had to admit that he got us pretty good. That was you the whole time! You exclaim. Derrick confesses that he overhead the dare and since he lives close by he ran and put on the ghillie suit. It was his cat that met us on the trail. After a few more laughs and some reconciliation the three of us decide to have one more peek inside the old mansion. As we stroll comfortably back across the lawn there’s a terrible commotion out on the edge of the foggy forest. We can’t believe our eyes as one of trees pulls it’s roots from the ground and begins walking towards us. As we turn to run we see that Derrick is far ahead of us with no plans of looking back. You and I run for lives vowing never to set foot on an abandoned property again.

Addendum..

Old Man Redburn chuckles as he watches the young teenagers run away. As he walks to the pickup truck parked at edge of driveway he thinks about how every year kids come looking for the creeper. He sits on the tailgate of his truck and removes the stilts and the coveralls that he glued tree bark and Spanish moss on all those years ago when he started the rumors of something in the woods.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Echoes In The Mists 2” and is available for purchase by contacting me on Facebook or by using the Contact Form on my website.

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Just use Facebook messenger or the contact form for details.

The Magic In The Mountains

As the morning sun breaks over the distant ridge I can hear the voices coming from the rushing water in the valley below. The mists slowly rise up the mountain reminding me of something that might be seen in Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth. One by one the large rubber rafts come bouncing over the rapids . They’ve traveled from all over the world to experience the thrill of the Gauley River. The Corps Of Engineers and draining the lake for the oncoming winter. I believe that there’s magic in our mountains. All of the fun and joy of summer on Summerville Lake is stored up in the lake itself and released in the fall as whitewater. The fun then moves up paddles and is absorbed into the hands. Eventually this magical essence of fun travels through the heart and comes out as excitement and laughter. The magic is amplified by the canyon walls until it spills over high cliffs and I smile as it touches me. Switching to my long lens I capture a few frames of the rafts passing by and enjoy the last of my coffee. The big blue truck is waiting to take me to the next leg of my journey so I pack my gear and slip behind the wheel. Just before pulling out I roll the window down and allow the magic to fill the cab. Call it “one for the road”.

Of All The Roads Traveled…

I don’t pretend to know how many miles of roads there are in the world. I’m pretty sure that it’s a lot. Highways and byways, dirt roads are jeep trails stretch out like an intricate web across the globe. Some roads are major interstate highways and others can only be traveled by foot. And oh the places where they can take you! There are large metropolitan cities with amazing architecture. Glass and steel and concrete comes together in an artful pentacle that pierces the heavens! I’ve been on roads that go under the mountains and even under the very sea itself! I pass by roads every day and wonder where they end or, even if they do end at all. But no matter how far you travel or what wonders your eyes drink in there’s one road that’s the most welcomed of all of them. This one road will take you to a place where you are the most content. It’s a special road that ends in a different place for each of us. In case you haven’t guessed, it’s the road that brings you home. No matter how rocky or how many twists and turns and no matter how high the hills that you have to climb are the road home will be the one most eagerly traveled. An old Irish blessing goes…

May the road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the rains fall softly on your fields.

And, until we meet again may God hold you gently in the palm of his hand.

Tonight’s blog post is dedicated to my fellow West Virginians who are living out of state and being evacuated from the path of Hurricane Florence .

Shift Change

I stood there by the water’s edge as the morning sun smiled down on the Kanawha River. The fog rose sleepily from its bed just below the falls and continued upwards to become clouds. The cool mists are something to be enjoyed before the heat of the day becomes unbearable.

As I sip my morning coffee and watch the awakening of nature the last echo of a night bird calling from it’s roost falls on my ears. I don’t really know if it was bidding me good morning or if it was finally saying good night after being on the third shift. I listened for a few minutes. There was no second call. My friend was bedded down for the day. I took another drink of coffee and whispered “sleep well my friend. Day shift has you covered”.

By now the fog was cleared from the river and from my head. It was time to make good on my promise to the night bird and climb back up into the big blue truck and head to my day job.

Early Morning Peacefulness

Drifting silently among the willow sprouts she comes. The heavy fog keeps her hidden from the outside world. Her only goal is to enjoy some quiet time and listen for the voice of God as He speaks peace to her soul. It’s in the early morning hours that she gathers her strength and prepares for the day ahead. She is thankful for the new day and her moment of being at rest.

Morning Glory On The Kanawha River

Standing on the banks of the beautiful Kanawha River at Glen Ferris, West Virginia. The cool mountain breeze washes over me as the sun brings a golden dawn. The fog rises up from the water as if sleeping clouds are waking up to go to work. A faint buzzing noise catches my attention as the morning air brings the fresh scent of water mint to my nose. I look along the water’s edge to see the honey bees collecting their morning meal. There’s a soft splash off in the distance and I look out across the river to see the ripples where the fish had jumped out to catch a mayfly. As the last cloud makes it’s way skyward to greet the sunrise I climb back into my big blue truck and continue on to my destination.

An Echo On The River

Tonight’s image is the remnant of the old bridge at Gauley Bridge. If memory serves me it was burned down during the American Civil War. To me it not only represents history but also a lost future. The fog that surrounds the old pylon gives me the feeling of something ethereal like a visitor from the past has come to the future to check up on things. Is it a manifestation of a memory or am I a vision of the future? It’s in these moments when the past and the future seem to collide that fascinate me. Maybe it was the fog on the river and maybe it was the contrast between the old stones and the seedling trees that are growing out from it that seemed to suspend and warp time for me. I can imagine that I can hear a lament echoing out from the fog. It’s a voice from the past warning not to burn bridges and be quick to reconcile with those on the other side of river.