Monday, February 23, 2015

2-23-15 Writing Warm-up
10:21 AM

2-23-15 Writing Warm-up

2-23-15 Writing Warm-up
Artwork © Sasha Lefebvre, All Rights Reserved -
Story and Characters © Corey Blankenship, All Rights Reserved 
Brought to you by Four Fools Press: “Crazy Good Stories”

The truck drove heedlessly through bushes and ruts. Screams from the city came as a faint moaning on the wind. The driver, his face marred by grease, stared into the mirror. He almost expected hungry, blood-stained eyes to glare back. His throat tried to gulp, instead he gasped. The African heat drank greedily from his body, stealing precious water.

"Shouldn't we turn the lights on?" The shrill whisper came from the passenger seat.

The soiled driver jerked his head sideways and blinked. He had almost forgotten about his travel companion. Fear feasted on his thoughts. The shock of her voice blew the fog to the corners of his mind.

"Mara, we need to get further away. The light will attract them. You saw how they followed our flashlight!"

The woman drew her fragile-looking legs closer, as if cold in the 34 degree weather. Sweat dripped from her brow. She replied through her knees, "But, Kodzo, if we hit a tree or a wildebeest, we'll be stuck...and they will get us..."

"It's a chance we have to take," He shot back. He needed to keep his thoughts on prodding the vehicle forward. His mind threatened to scatter like flamingos from a crocodile.

The shocks squealed as they surged over a bank and smashed into a dry river bed. The cracked lips of the dead waterway collapsed and coughed silt into the air. The dust swirled about the vehicle, blinding them. He slammed the accelerator, and then the dash. The engine had whined in protest. The brown darkness stained the windows and blinded the mirrors. The truck would not move.

"Kodzo..." Her voice wavered on the edge of tears.

"Damn, it's stuck." He couldn't stop shaking.

Silence circled the whimpering engine of the truck.

Mara eventually offered, "Maybe you can push it out."

He glared at her as though she had suggested he walk on lava. "I'll turn on the lights. Maybe we can see better. They shouldn't see us down here."

Before she could protest, he turned the headlamps to high. White light flooded the riverbed, bounced off the swirling dust, and blinded the occupants. Both blinked and then blinked again. A shadow stood between the headlamps. A broad leaf hung from the right side, while a slender, spiky branch stuck from its left. The strange tree had smooth, dark bark, accented with dully gleaming vines. It was no tree.

It was a man.

Mara started shrieking. Kodzo put a hand on her shoulder and shook her. "It's ok! He is Masaai. We are saved!"

Kodzo leaped from the car and into the chalky riverbed. The dust had thinned and stars stabbed through the haze. Then he saw them. Shadows weaved on the edge of the lamplight. The Maasai warrior turned his head toward Kodzo's bloodless face. The driver's eyes bulged.

The warrior's mouth foamed.


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