Romance Fiction posted September 3, 2017

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The Darkness Within, No Way Out


by country ranch writer

It was a beautiful day to go riding. Meg saddled up her horse, Shorty, and headed out through the trails to the mountains. She has ridden these trails ever since she was a kid. She did not foresee any trouble heading her way. Then suddenly the clouds turned ugly, the thunder rolled and lightning started striking quite near Shorty. Shorty reared, threw Meg never looking back as he ran away frightened out of his wits into the night.

Meg was thrown clear off her horse, tumbling down the cliff, hitting things on the way down, ending up in a dark ravine, covered in shrubs, downed trees. Poor Meg was at the mercy of the storm. Her head ached, she was wet, and cold. Wherever, she was she had gotten herself into quite a fix.

As darkness over took Meg, she had no idea anyone was going to be looking for her. All she could figure out was she was in some place dark like a ravine. Her head hurt, she must have hit it when she fell off her horse.

Sleep was what she needed right now but she knew she shouldn't sleep because she might have a concussion. She struggled to try to move but couldn't budge, only moan and fall back. She could hear the wind overhead, rain was pouring to the ravine. She hoped she wouldn't drown during the night.

She drifted in and out of unconsciousness. Once again trying to move in the darkness, but her limbs felt so heavy, she was so cold, nothing was happening, the storm had quit. No matter how hard she tried, she could not manage to stay awake. Her eyes would flicker open just for a second only to return turn once again into darkness.

Upon waking, she discovered she was in the hospital in intensive care. Thinking to herself she wondered, "How did I manage to get here?" Her next thought was,"Gosh, I didn't know anybody was looking for me."

Meg didn't know if she should laugh or cry she was so happy just to be alive!
Meg looked around trying t figure out the damages she sustained. She discovered her leg was in a cast and she had severed ribs broken. She must have cracked them when she fell into the ravine and broke her leg.

When the nurse entered the room and seen she was awake, she buzzed for the doctor who came rushing in. Meg asked the doctor, " What happened to me? How did I get injured?"

The doctor said, " During the freak storm, evidently the horse you were riding spooked, threw you, then bolted running back to the ranch. When the rain subsided your brother and his friend Charlie set out to look for you. It was a miracle they even found you at all. If your red flannel shirt hadn't torn and hung in the tree they may not have found you. "You are lucky to be alive young lady," he told her. "And you can thank your lucky stars, Charlie was once a paramedic and knew what to do to get you out and here to the hospital."

Megs' brother came in to visit later that evening. She and her brother were very close and the rush of tenderness she felt for him warmed her heart. He told her sternly," don't do this ever again!" Trying to smile he held up his hand and said."It's okay sis, I know it wasn't your fault!"

She tried to sleep later, but sleep wouldn't come, every part of her body seemed to have other ideas, she was throbbing with pain. It kept running through her mind she could have died out there. Tears burned in her eyes and trickled down both sides of her face, it was a long time before she finally cried herself to sleep.

Charlie being Seth's friend, was older than Seth and Meg. Charlie was kind of a big brother to Seth ever since they met. They have known each other ever since they served together in the Marines. When they mustered out they took all the money they had, starting a lucrative business of building ranch houses for a living.

Meg was co-owner of their ranch, along with her brother, she was home here enjoying her vacation. Meg was between assignments, this was a good time to regroup, get some much needed down time. It had been three years since she had any kind of vacation.

With Meg home for awhile, Seth started noticing that Charlie was hanging around more and more when Meg was around. Seth loved to tease Meg about him saying. He thought old Charlie had a thing for her."

Meg was returning to the big city of Houston since the doctor had released her. She was itching to get back to work after being off longer than she should have been. She thanked Charlie for saving her bacon out there at the ravine.

"Leaving kind of early aren't you?" Charlie asked her.

She flushed under his steady gaze. "Perhaps." She stuck out her hand."Well, goodbye."
He took her hand in his over sized one and just held it there for the moment, then turning it loose he said,"Goodbye Meg."

Back in Texas, it seemed everything had been left behind unfinished so it seemed. She tried not to think of Charlie, but she really did miss him. She was determined to stay focused, concentrating on the path of her daily routine, seldom bothering to stop and look around. She knew Charlie would not be around and it made her sad.

Thanksgiving was soon upon her and she had promised her brother, Seth, she would be there. She cleared her calendar till after the holiday. Meg packed up her stuff and headed home. It had turned off cold and she hoped she would get there before it started to snow.

After settling back in at home Meg finds her self-sitting by the fire talking to her brother when he suddenly said,"You know you seem so right for Charlie."

You are all he has talked about day and night since he rescued you, that cold, rainy, dark night. His face lights up every time he talks about you.

Meg said, "Soon as I was told he was the one who rescued me I've felt a bond between us some how."
"It's like we have a connection or something," she said.

Seth said. "Get off your backside and call him and tell him you made it here okay."

"You are persistent, you know that?" Meg scolded him.

"Look forget I mentioned it! It is none of my business anyway." Seth said.

Getting up out of the chair she walked to the window to look out. Hugging herself she hoped Charlie was doing okay wherever he was tonight.

Charlie was excited about Meg coming home for Thanksgiving. He couldn't wait to see her in the morning. He tried sleeping, but all he could think of all night was being with her.

The next day he drove over to Seth's and got out of the truck running up to the door. It seemed like forever before anyone came to open the door. There she stood with the door opened looking at him. He was so handsome, she forgot her manners and just stood there staring at him.

She stood there with a cup of hot chocolate for him. For a moment neither of them spoke they just stared at each other till the hot chocolate reminded her of why she had answered the door, to begin with. Shoving the hot chocolate in his hands she said, "for you, I almost forgot."
She began making small talking telling him she was glad he got there safely because it had started to snow.
Finally letting his gaze look her over he said,"You look good."

"Oh, hell!" He said, gathering her into his arms kissing her every so gently. I have been wanting to do this since the day I rescued you from that dark ravine. He murmured softly into the softness of her neck. "I don't know where this is going, but all I know is, I love you and I am going crazy without you."
"Oh, Charlie I love you too!" Meg blurted out. Kissing him back with meaning.

As if on cue Seth entered the room welcoming Charlie and scolding the love birds for leaving the door open as they said their hellos. "What's a guy have to do around here to get you two to close the damn door?" He said he was freezing his but off because of them.

Seth was thinking to himself as he left the two of them entwined in each other's arms. As he walked back out of the room he said, "Yes, sir, this was going to be one Thanksgiving they wouldn't ever forget."

The Dark writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a story where your character is stuck in complete darkness.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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