It was raining violently outside; piercing through leaves and even making some smaller trees go bare faster than usual in the fall. The small backwoods town of South Creek was known for its rain, but this storm was peculiar. It had never rained so hard on the small town in recent memory, but little known to the residents, this storm was not a normal storm. Something was about to happen in South Creek that hadn’t happened in nearly 2 centuries. A medium sized old man, by the name of Harold Barton, known for taking his nighttime strolls on a nearby trail in the woods just behind the town; was on his daily ritual.
Harold was an odd man, he loved long walks only when it was raining outside, but not light rain; it had to be heavy rain. While on his walks, he’d go for about 3 miles and reach a small clearing, sit on a stump in the center of it, and stay there anywhere from minutes to hours. Abruptly he would get up, turn around, and head back. Many of the town’s inhabitants throughout the years have noticed this bizarre behavior, but never thought much of it.
It was mid-June 1990. This particular night, Harold was extra enthralled about this storm; he had never seen it rain so hard in his life. He savored the distinctive feeling of water rushing down his clothed body as he walked. About half an hour passed and he reached the clearing. He sat down upon the lone stump, still enjoying the rain. The clearing had never seemed to emit so much energy. Not like this night, and Harold had never heard the voices so clearly.
Above is an excerpt from my short story I’ve been working on/off since 2013. It’s completed and around 22 typed pages, but it has a really complex plot for how short it is. I’m currently in the editing process with it still. The story is entitled ‘The Clearing’. This portion is part of the prologue, and it’s the first time I’ve publicly published any part of it.Let me know what you think in the comments below!
~J. A. Ross