Horror and Thriller Fiction posted February 21, 2019 Chapters:  ...6 7 -8- 9... 


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Our survivor is attacked by a dark cloud.

A chapter in the book Breach

Swarmed!

by Candace Nola


The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
The author has placed a warning on this post for language.



Background
The lone survivor of a brutal attack unknowingly flees into a breach between world and must fight her way back.
As I walked towards the gray horizon, small forest creatures darted between trees and bushes, winged animals flew overhead in the yellow haze, all made a variety of sounds as they passed, chattering,whistling and loud cawing. A little chipmunk size creature ran past on two legs, it had no hair or fur and the face resembled a possum. Fur covered creatures with elongated bodies like snakes scurried up tree trunks with centipede legs and rat looking faces. I saw several large moths of a hideously mutated sort, spiky horns on their heads, talons for legs, ghastly skeletal bodies and red eyes. Worms with legs slid upright over bushes and impossibly bright flowers followed their path with open mouths in their centers, and unblinking eyes.

Each thing struck new fear deep in my soul. I felt like I was living inside a nightmare, what I was seeing could not be found anywhere in the world that I knew. This place was torn from horror novels and nightmares of children or the insane. Mentally, I was drained from trying to place the creatures into categories that were familiar to me. I kept walking while keeping the bizarre creatures in sight and listening for the warning sounds of my faithful flies. They did not seem bothered so I continued walking ahead. The distant sky had turned a dark gray and seemed to be swirling with movement, I could not tell if it was raindrops or dust.

Drawing closer to swirling gray, I began to feel the air blowing around me; the Jack and Jill's started "Tsk, Tsk'ing" and flitted towards the tree line. Watching them go, I did not understand why the wind would upset them. I stood for a moment trying to decide if I should follow but it was a moment too late. Suddenly I was engulfed in the blackness, which was swarming with thousands of winged ants. Hitting my body like a tornado, they swirled around me, into my clothes, my hair, my mouth. Screaming, I dropped to the ground, rolling in agony as thousands of them bit and stung wherever they found flesh.

The swarm swirled around me for several minutes as I tried to shield my face with my hands. And then just as suddenly, they were gone, like a desert sandstorm. I was curled up in the fetal position on the ground, sobbing in agony. My skin was on fire, small bites leaked streams of blood; hundreds of them covered my body. My skin crawled with the sensation of a thousand bugs on me and I sat up, violently ripping my clothes off and rubbing at my skin.

Rubbing furiously at my body with my shirt, I knocked the giant ants off my skin. I flung my bra off and checked the tender flesh there and the undersides of my breasts for any remaining ants. Patted down my crotch and rear to be sure none had found a way there. Bite marks covered my stomach, the tops of my breasts and my neck. My legs from the knees down were red with blood and swollen skin. Both arms were covered, down to my hands and fingers and my face felt like acid had been dumped on it. Trembling from fear and pain, I gathered my clothes and headed towards the tree line and the stream beyond. Several Jill's had returned to me, bits of moss in their outstretched hands. They sprinkled it on my body as I hobbled towards the woods, sobbing as I went.

Within minutes, I could barely see, my eyes almost swollen shut. Stumbling through the haze of the forest, I found the stream. I dropped my clothes and laid down in the water, inhaling sharply as it hit the angry bites. Turning gingerly from side to side, I covered my body and both sides of my face in the mud from the shallow stream. My body felt like lava was running through my veins, my face felt raw and blistered. I could hear the flies buzzing around me right before I blacked out.

I woke up screaming, gasping for air. Terror clung to me like a damp blanket. I had been dreaming of monsters and fleeing into the night. Pieces of the dream still clouded my mind. My friends had been slaughtered and I was alone. My brain recalled the blood splattered scene and I recoiled deep within. Grief overwhelmed me and sobs burst from my throat as gore filled images shot through my soul. Howls of pain, anger, grief and loss ripped my heart opened and were borne forth into the gloom. I cried out my pain from the depths of my soul. I could hear the worrying "Tsk Tsk " of the Jack flies but I could not find my way out of my own despair to acknowledge them. Darkness claimed me and I succumbed.

I awoke sometime later, sitting up stiffly and startling the flies that had been perched nearby. My eyes were still swollen and my entire body ached, but no longer burned. Gently moving my head, I looked down to see I was covered in mud and yellow moss. My faithful friends had been busy while I was out and had literally covered me with the bright yellow moss. The bleeding had stopped and I could feel small swollen lumps along my arms, face and legs. I felt hideous and was positive I looked worse, but my relief at being alive, after the ant attack and after lying here passed out for who knew how long, was enormous. An image of the grinning dog-bit curiously sniffing at my prone body popped in my head and I shuddered. I definitely did not want to think about that.

Maneuvering into a crouch, I wet my hands, gently patted my face down and drank several times from my cupped hands. My lips and throat felt swollen and tight. My skin felt feverish and itchy under the moss but I did not rub it off. Standing, I stepped onto the stream bank and grabbed my shirt. I pulled it on over my moss covered body and put my jacket on. My legs were too raw for my jeans so I slung them over my shoulder. I checked my pockets for my knife and fruit, finding that while I had lost some of the fruit, my knife was secure. I had dropped my sticks in my panic during the attack. I began to retrace my path to find my few supplies.

Moving slowly and clutching tree trunks as I went, I made my way back into the meadow and tried to determine where I had been standing when the swarm hit. Several bushes looked familiar to me, a bit to the right of me but further back. Heading that direction, looking for signs of my attack, such as flattened grass where I had rolled or the scattered fruit and berries. I reached the area and looked around, dejected to not see anything I was looking for. I circled the bushes and a nearby tree before deciding to walk in a zig zag pattern so I could scan more of the area and hopefully find more fruit bushes.

The Jill flies seemed distraught, hovering very close to me as I walked. One was perched on my arm and was wringing her little hands like she was in distress. I offered her a berry from my pocket and she nibbled at it as I held it. Several others came near and fed from it too, all peering at me with big worried eyes. "It's okay, little friends, I'm okay, thank you for saving me." I spoke softly to them, my voice, a raspy whisper due to the strain of my screams. I held out another berry and waited while they ate, looking around the meadow. Spotting a gourd bush a few yards away, I headed towards it.

Halfway there, my bare feet stepped on something round and soft, it squished under my toes and I squealed, lifting my foot to see what it was. There was a pearl berry squashed on the ground, and juice clung to my foot. Wiping my foot on the leaves, I looked around for more fruit. Turning to my left, I saw a few more scattered berries and then a deep red gourd. This must be close to where I was swarmed by the swarming ants. My skin crawled at the recent memory and I rubbed at my arms. I started to gather the fruit, following the trail to where I had lain rolling in the grass. My sticks were there, thrown near a tall gray tree. Grabbing them, I looked for more fruit and started back to the gourd bush. Filling my pockets again seemed like a good idea.

My legs were still sore from ant bites but having pants on seemed like a good idea. With full pockets, I made my way over to a log, I set my boots down and pulled my jeans on. Sitting, I bent down to put on my socks and boots, then I tucked my knife securely into my boot. Standing up again, I grabbed my homemade spears and started walking along the tree line, towards the horizon. Gray rock shown in the distance and I knew I was nearing the cliff that I had almost went over the night before.

The Jacks and Jill's flew overhead, darting in and out of the trees and bushes. Moths and snake flies buzzed by and munkpossums were scrabbling about in the underbrush. The dusty air was humid and thick, sweat streamed down my face. Using my spears as walking poles, I continued my journey, although I had no real idea of where I needed to go.

Sometime later, I was standing at the edge of the meadow which dropped off into what resembled a huge meteor crash field. Craters dotted the black terrain, like massive asteroids had crashed here and broke apart, forming hundreds of jagged peaks, cliffs and mountains. The rock face looked smooth as glass and varied from charcoal black to stormy gray. Smoke billowed out from fissures in the ground. The tall peaks looked like crystal shards waiting to impale some lost soul. This rocky terrain stretched as far as I could see and dozens of winged creatures flew over it, some landing on the crystal peaks, other settling onto the rocky ground. Large spike covered boulders sat near the bottoms of the cliffs. I thought the forest behind me was a nightmare but now I was staring directly into Hell.


Recognized


Part 8 in the book Breach.
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Artwork by simonka at FanArtReview.com

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© Copyright 2019. Candace Nola All rights reserved.
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