C.cada is a community for Christian artists to get together and practice their art work whether it be writing, painting, pencil drawings, water-color, photography, wood carving, musical/instrumental, fabric art, etc. Pastor J of Lillie-Put is the founder of C.cada (Cornerstone Christian Artist Day Apart) and we were given a group art project back in January of this year. He gave us this writing prompt (He heard the crunch of autumn leaves behind him. He turned...) that had to be incorporated in the short story somehow and it had to be 500 words or less. All of the short stories will be displayed at the C.cada Art Show this October. Here is my short story, The Woods.
He heard the crunch of autumn leaves behind him. He turned slow but sure not to make a sound. He peered around his son’s favorite oak tree; visibility was difficult for dusk was upon him. Nothing crossed his view, shrugging it off; he continued to pack up his camera and writing supplies. There it was again, the crackling of leaves! Closer and louder this time Marcus crouched around to ascertain what was making the ruckus. Again, nothing was there no matter how hard he pried his gaze into the deep woods.
Eager to gather his camera and writing supplies now, Marcus was intent on his departure. The auscultation of the branches breaking insinuated something huge. There’s only been small wildlife in these woods from what he could remember.
Something else in the distance was moving with an increased velocity almost supersonic. Branches were snapping with an amplified sound. Eventually, the only sound he could hear was the pulsating blood rushing through his ears. Marcus crept stealthily to scan beyond his oak tree, shell-shocked at what his eyes computed. It was a mountain lion propelling straight for him just as it leaped to attack Marcus dropped and screamed, God help me! He laid there with his eyes glued shut praying fervently that God would wake him up from this nightmare. Squinting one eye ajar he caught a glimpse of something magnificently radiant and very large.
Being there was a full moon and clear skies that night the woods were not succumbed by total darkness. Whoever this was he wore a polished breast-plate and brilliant shield inscribed with large red crosses and in the battle stance his sword dripped with blood. He easily stood seven feet tall could he be some kind of religious knight? Maybe there was a King Arthur’s fair somewhere nearby?
Marcus had been visiting these woods for a good part of his life about 46 years now. There had never been any mountain lions or “King Arthur” events around here for the matter. As Marcus rose to a standing position he noticed the inscription on the breastplate, MICHAEL. The “knight” lowered his sword and the mountain lion dropped to the earth dead. Semi-paralyzed and aphonic with fright Marcus’ eyes gazed up at the massive man.
“Have no fear.” Michael said.
Marcus’ mouth lay open unable to utter a word still.
Michael whispered, “He heard your cry.”
With tear filled eyes, Marcus chokingly said, “Really?”
“He knows your pain. He too, lost His son! Satan came like a roaring lion to steal the joy of Christ from your heart. Your son Bobby would have donned his play “Armor of God” gear and overthrown him like David conquered Goliath.”
Marcus agreed, “He sure would have.”
“Your Heavenly Father wants you to know GOOD will come of this tragedy, because of Bobby many will come to know the Father. Bobby told me he can think clearly now and there is no more pain!”
Marcus fell to his knees and sobbed.