Daily Create Nov. 4, 2016 #tdc1762 On the Road from Findochty to Iyesgarth

Visit the Fantasy Town Name generator and create a story about what happened on the way from one town to another.

Kevin Hodgson tweeted @ds106dc #tdc1762 #ds106 #dailycreate From Greenflower to Drumchapel … a dangerous road … notegraphy.com/dogtrax/note/2…

I asked him what happened next, and Kevin invited me to finish the story...
Kevin begins the tale:

"From Greenflower to Drumchapel: Where Candles Fail"

She told me not to but I went anyway. From Greenflower to Drumchapel, the route was dangerous, to say the least. Did she really expect me to ignore her note and stay home?

The journey began quietly enough. I kept her words in my hand, printed on paper but etched into my skin like a tattoo. Greenflower was now hours behind me, and already, I was missing its crisscross of streams,the way we would sit all afternoon on the decks of the pub drinking in stories with our ale.

Drumchapel was still an hour away. Yet darkness was falling, and I knew all about the thieves on this trail. My fingers clutched the note tighter. I quickened my pace. A soft rustling to my left stood the hairs on my neck on edge. I seemed to hear the murmuring of voices, or maybe it was just the wind coming through the heavy heads of the oak trees closing in overhead.

"It's on nights like this that one finally believes in ghosts," my friend, Armand, often said. How I wish I was listening to him now with a pint of laughter instead of hearing my heart thumping wildly in my chest. She told me not to, but I am going anyway.

The next morning, Sandy picks up the thread...

I had just moved under the canopy of a great oak when night fell like a hammer blow. I paused to summon a guiding glow, sure I had a flashlight on my keychain. I patted down my jacket, vest, jeans pockets front and back, but I had nothing with me but the note. It was then I realized the darkness was complete: no moonlight, no starshine. I could no longer read her note though the music of her voice still soundlessly sang me deeper into this legendary forest.

"You go in one person," Armand had told me with a wink, "and you come out another." He said many a madman staggered out of the woods into Drumhaven, babbling, sobbing, incoherent. When they could speak, it was of unimaginable things, and as soon as possible, the good people of Drumhaven pointed them down the long straight road back to Greenflower, the main road they had missed when they came to the Oakheart crossroads. As I had.

Impossible nonsense, of course.

Then the blow came from behind and dropped me to my knees. A kick to the ribs flipped me on my back, and then my assailant jumped on my chest, sat on my heart and breathed. An invisible weight on my chest hung over my face and breathed.

No scent or heat gave me any name--not human, not dog, not... my heart raced like an oak leaf in a winter wind, and my mind floundered, jerked, sought reason in this breathing darkness and failed. For this was no dream, no nightmare, no hallucination; the crunch of dry leaves under my back, the weight that made me gasp for air, the unrelenting pace of the breath breathing my breath told me that.

Light may bloom where candles fail.

It rises from below through the pads of your toes or strikes from above from your head to your heart. It cannot be summoned, but when there are no words and an enormous weight sits on your chest and forces fear into your nostrils, it may come as this night it came like a greeny glow from the heart of the oak roots below.

Strength returned to my core, and I grabbed the dark breather on my chest and squeezed back, surpised by rough fur, the vulnerabilities of flesh and bone. It fought, but now I was ready for the struggle. Blood soaked the oak leaves that night--some of it mine, more of it the stranger animal I fought and finally left gasping in the dark.

I crawled away, stumbled to my feet, and began again my desperate journey to Drumchapel.

I stopped finally to staunch my free-flowing wounds with moss. As I stood still, holding the moss to my shoulder, I realized I could see again--the oak trees made moving silhouettes against a starlit sky. I could see the glimmer of water and hear the secret conversation of a spring.

I got on my belly to drink. That cold water was like drinking starlight. My mind stilled and clarified like the pool. Out over the water, small lights danced, rose and fell with the musical motion of the emerging spring.

Face down under the trees, my eyes reflected in the wavering surface of the water, one perfect thought entered my mind like a spotlight coming up on a stage, "This is the wild center of the world."

Something to find here.

I had long since forgotten Armand, but now a fragment of one of his stories came back to me like a place name, "Oak heart."

And the note. I'd almost forgotten her note. "You don't need to look for me." And yet I had. I did.

I didn't want to return to that awful oak where in the dawn light I would see blood had turned the gold leaves brown, but by dawn I stood once again on those dark leaves. I leaned my left palm out until my weight rested on the rough trunk of the timber giant.

I expected only a moment of profundity, a silent communication with the recent past to take me to my recent future, but instead, my hand heated up, and I jerked it back.

I stared at my glowing palm as a ball of pale green light flared and grew. I thought I saw a small figure in its center like a little spread-eagle Vitruvian woman, but then it began to move. The glow ball rolled up my arm to my shoulder then simply slipped into my chest--exactly there where the dark breathing beast had crouched not so long ago.

I felt it move around gently, then settle. Then I was no longer aware of any sensation except of a gentle radiance or well-being.

I looked for the note asking me not to follow her to Drumhaven, but it was gone, lost in the terrors of the night.

But here at Oakheart I had found someone, or someone had found me, but I ask you, how can a soul go missing? And will you do anything to find it again?

"From Greenflower to Drumchape

by Sandramardene


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