The sound of dried leaves crunching underfoot was soothing for Sandra. There was no better season than autumn for a walk, she thought. She had decided to go back to Cove Spring City Park. She had not been there in several years. She thought a change in scenery would be refreshing.
Sandra had taken the longest trail on the map. She remembered walking it when the park first opened a few years ago. It was not overly strenuous, just invigorating.
The trees were growing bare. A breeze brought down another swirling swarm of colorful leaves. A stray fawn darted up the hillside. Sandra was in a state of bliss. Nature was her drug.
About a quarter of a mile into the trail, she noticed a new pathway - at least new to her. It looked crude and narrow. It was probably a deer path, she thought. She had just passed it when she heard a faint sound. It was a sound that one does not expect to hear in the wilderness. It was the sound of a crying baby.
Sandra quickly took the narrow path. She followed the sound as best she could over the crunching leaves. The vegetation grew thicker and the pathway virtually disappeared behind her. She was wading through hip-deep grass and weeds.
The trees seemed to envelope her. She could not see the trail any longer, but the sound of the baby’s cries drew her further into the woods. As the cry grew louder, her search grew more frantic. Finally, in the deep underbrush, she found a small blue bundle.
She picked it up and tried to console it by rocking it in her arms as she gently pulled the blanket from its face. As soon as she uncovered its face, she stood breathlessly horrified at the sight of it.
Instead of pink chubby cheeks, she found leathery, yellow skin. Its red, bulging eyes burned into hers. Its nose was similar to a bat’s - it was upturned and had two slits for nostrils. Upon seeing her, the creature screeched and then smiled, revealing several rows of jagged teeth.
The tree limbs came alive with movement. The grass rustled and swayed all around her. Suddenly a swarm of creatures, similar to the abomination in her arms, latched onto her. Her muffled screams filled the autumn breeze. Their trap had worked flawlessly, as always.
"The Good Samaritan"
Copyright: © 2009 Brian Barnett
Brian Barnett lives with his wife, Stephanie, and son, Michael, in Frankfort, Kentucky. To date, he has published over thirty-five stories since he began publishing in November 2008. He has been published by MicroHorror.com, Static Movement, The Monsters Next Door, Sonar4 Ezine, Blood Moon Rising, Flashshot, Flashes in the Dark, Dark Fire Fiction, Burst Fiction, The Daily Tourniquet, Yellow Mama, The Lesser Flamingo, and The Short Humour Site.