The Bayou

Charlie Kuchinsky By Charlie Kuchinsky, 4th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

What happens when a dream is more than a dream? It may become the stuff of legendary nightmares.

The Dream

The thick fog over the bayou made it almost impossible for the confused young woman to see more than a foot ahead of her. Caroline reached out a hand as if to test the fog but felt nothing but fear return to her. She felt panic set in.

Caroline couldn’t remember how she got there. The last thing she could recall was falling asleep in her bed. Clearly, she was no longer in her bedroom.

The pretty brunette looked at the full moon peaking between the trees. It was the only light available but it wasn’t enough for her to gain perspective of her location.

Caroline shivered in the cold, realizing that she was dressed in her thin microfiber pajamas. There were no shoes on her feet. It was as if her bedroom had somehow morphed into this strange, frightening prison.

A whimper escaped from her plump pink lips as Caroline tried to regain control but could not. The whimper quickly turned into a flood of tears. She was afraid to move forward, backward or any way at all. She was paralyzed in ankle deep pudding like mud.

‘It’s a dream,’ she thought inside her mind. ‘It has to be a dream.’

She raised her hands to her face to test her theory. Her eyes darted wildly from side to side as skin touched skin. It was not a dream. At last, a raw scream broke from Caroline’s throat, piercing the dead calm. It echoed back to her, filling her with more fear than she’d ever known before. She kept screaming over and over. She could not stop. The noise ceased only when her throat became too raw to continue making the noise. Spent, Caroline at last gave way to darkness.

Reality

Minutes later, a new fog greeted her as she fought to open her eyes once more. This time, she recognized her surroundings. She was back in her bedroom. Without hesitation, Caroline turned to click the lamp on her bedside table. She sighed deeply as light flooded the dark room, letting her know she was safe once again.

The pale woman threw back the covers and moved her tiny feet to the floor. It was at that moment, another whimper escaped. Her legs were covered in mud. She turned to see that her sheets were also caked with it.

‘It wasn’t a dream.’ The new thought caused waves of panic to grow inside Caroline's body until the emotion filled every portion of her 5’ 2” frame. She stood and tried to moved forward but found she could not. She was rooted to her position. At last, she dropped to the floor, took her knees in her arms and drew them up to her chest. She rested her chin on her knees and began rocking back and forth. It was in that position her roommate found her the next morning.

The Discovery

Deidre knocked on Caroline’s door as she did every morning. However, she did not receive the usual cheery greeting in return. Instead, she was met with silence. After three tries at waking Caroline, Deidre threw the door open. She was shocked by what she found.

The curvy redhead moved forward and knelt to meet her friend. A single glance in Caroline’s eyes told the story. Her body was there but her mind was elsewhere. Without hesitation, Deidre reached for the phone to call 911.

As she waited for the paramedics to arrive, her blue eyes assessed the situation. Caroline was covered in mud. There was swamp grass on the floor next to her as well as in her bed. The odd realization hit Deidre hard. There wasn’t a swamp within 200 miles of their location. She had no idea how her friend could have accessed one. Panic began to fill her mind too.

When the paramedics knocked, Deidre flew down the stairs to greet them. She directed them to Caroline’s location while she turned off the buzzing security alarm. It was still set. She had not expected that. It meant that Caroline probably had not turned it off to go out. To be certain, however, the freckle-faced woman picked up the phone to call the security company. They confirmed the alarm had been set the previous night at 9:00 p.m., just as she remembered. It had never been disengaged.

“But how did she get mud all over her?” The question filled the small living space as Deidre’s mind scrambled to discover an answer to the events that had taken place. Sadly, she could not.

The paramedics rushed down the stairs with Caroline in tow. Deidre stopped them for a prognosis.

“We don’t know what is wrong with her,” they admitted. “She’s catatonic. That much we can say. What caused it though, we cannot venture a guess.”

Deidre vowed to follow the ambulance to the hospital but the paramedics told her not to bother. They explained the intake procedure would not allow her to see her friend till morning. At last, Deidre acquiesced, her heart broken along with the piece of her soul where Caroline always resided.

Reset

After the paramedics left, Deidre tried valiantly to get back to sleep. When it didn’t work, she took one of her insomnia pills. At last, she drifted off into slumber.

The thick fog over the bayou made it almost impossible to see more than a foot ahead of her. Deidre quickly assessed her situation and realized what was happening. Her scream filled the night air but it did not matter. The shock of the situation stopped the young woman’s heart almost instantly.

“Caroline,” she whispered as she followed the brunette into the great abyss.

Tags

911, Ambulance, Bayou, Catatonic, Mud, Parmedics, Swamp

Meet the author

author avatar Charlie Kuchinsky
As a freelance writer I have authored columns for newsletters, newspapers and magazines as well as online sites. Now I concentrate on writing short stories, poetry and books.

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Comments

author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
4th Feb 2015 (#)

Charlie, excellent writing as always! I sure missed you. I must say nobody can write like you! I was just thinking about you yesterday and then I saw your name today and I was very happy to read your story "Bayou"

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author avatar Carol Roach
6th Feb 2015 (#)

your stories are always so riveting

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