Shrieks From The Shadows: What Lurks In Ebony Swamp- Chapter 2

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Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
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Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/24/2017

 

Welcome back for chapter two!

 

This has been an odd week for writing.  Some days I was hit with motivation and dished out multiple pages with no problem, other days I struggled to get a paragraph done.  Sufficed to say, I think you'll enjoy this week's chapter (and apologies that it is technically the 9th.  I tried, but life...).

 

As always, please do not directly reply to my chapter.  If you see a mistake, let me know.  Lastly, please enjoy.

 

-Lack Lunason

__________________

 

AFTER ALMOST A YEAR OF PROCRASTINATION, LINKS TO MY THIRD HALLOWEEN STORY ARE NOW UP IN MY SIGNATURE!

 

 

LACK LUNASON

(I figure you've probably already figured that out, but I thought I'd play it safe.)

 

    Hi, I'm Lack Lunason. I'm called that because I lack many things, and I'm a lunatic. I just put son on the end to make it sound more like a viking name. I'm also a Christ follower.

 

      Here are just a few more things about me:

  1. I am a procrastinator.
  2. I'm pretty nice (mostly).
  3. I am most definitely kind (don't listen to those that say otherwise).
  4. Adventurous.
  5. Lazy.
  6. A dreamer.
  7. And I'm slightly crazy.

     I've been around SoD for a long time. I think I was one of the first thousand to leave Berk and sail to the school. I'm happily part of the bold clan known as POTATO BROTHERS. I have over four-thousand trouphies, although, I don't like racing much. On the other hand, I'm a Master Farmer.  (Don't you dare ask me how fishing is going!  We don't speak of that!)

 

      On the ranking on the forum, I've completed/on the following: Jarl, Forager, Wilderness Explore, Viking Warrior, Dragon Trainer, Drott, Dragon Master, Chief, Berk's Power Player, and......

 

SUPREME VIKING CHAMPION

(Respect my Authority!)

[because no one else will]

 

(Sorta) Current Trophy Count:

4725

 

Now onto some random stuff. This part will grow over time.

 

WARNING:  THE REST OF THIS THREAD IS GUARDED BY....

 

BAT-MAN THE VAST (Also known as Bat-Stoick)

(By The Dragoness)

 

Fan-Fiction And Short Stories:

 

Shrieks From The Shadows Series:

 

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5

 

The Terrifier

Chapter 1  Chapter 2  Chapter 3  Chapter 4  Chapter 5

 

What Lurks in Ebony Swamp

Chapter 1     Chapter 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4   Chapter 5

 

Things I am a Fan of

 

How To Train Your Dragon

 

 

GODZILLA

 

TEETITANS

 

Quotes I love

 

"Once I set the sea alight with a single fiery breath....

Once I was so mighty that I thought my name was death....

Sing out loud until you're eaten, song of melancholy bliss....

For the mighty and the middling all shall come to THIS...."

The Green Death, How To Train Your Dragon: book 1. Cressida Cowell.

 

"WE WILL FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES! WE WILL FIGHT THEM IN THE BRACKEN! WE WILL FIGHT THEM IN THOSE BOGGY MARSHY BITS THAT ARE SO DIFFICULT TO WALK THROUGH WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SHOES! WE WILL NEVER SURRENDER!"

Stoick The Vast. How To Train Your Dragon: Book 5. Creessida Cowell.

 

"I sailed so far to be a King, but the time was never right.....

I lost my way on a stormy past, got wrecked in starless night....

But let my heart be wrecked by hurricanes and my ship by stormy weather....

I know I am a Hero...and a Hero is....FOREVER!

In another time, another place, I could have been a King....

But in my castle's ruined towers the lonely seabirds sing.....

I burned up my Tomorrows, I cannot go back ever....

But I am still a Hero....and a Hero is.......FOREVER!

Up with your sword and strike at the gale......

Ride the rough seas for those waves are your home......

Winters may freeze but our hearts do not fail.....

Heroes.......Hearts......FOREVER!

You are never alone if the sea is your friend......

Riding the waves of impossible quests.....

If it doesn't end well, then it isn't the end.....

A Hero.....Fights.....FOREVER!

The hero cares not for a wild winter's storm.....

For it carries him swift on the back of the wave.....

All may be lost and our hearts may be worn.....

BUT A HERO.....FIGHTS.....FOREVER!"

Grimbeard the Ghastly's Last Song. How To Train Your Dragon: Book 11 and 12. Cressida Cowell.

 

      That's about it. I give full credit for...well, everything, to GOD. Have a good day.

 

Bye for now!

 

 

FURTHER CONTENT IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION 

 

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Wait, you're still here?

Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/24/2017
Chapter 2

CHAPTER TWO

The Lurker

 

     The next morning brought a new and improved outlook for Katie.  As the sun slowly rose higher and higher into the sky, Katie nearly skipped down the stairs, a gleam in her brown eyes and a wide smile on her face.  She must have been in a really good mood as she barely noticed her surroundings as she prepared breakfast not only for herself but for her mom and brother as well.  When Gabe woke up a half hour later, he seemed completely taken aback by how his sister was acting.  “Are you okay?  You seem…off.”

 

     “I’m doing great,” she grinned up at him from where she sat.  Gabe eyed her suspiciously but decided not to push the matter further.  If she insisted on being happy and making him breakfast, why should he argue?  He sat down and began eating the meal, not engaging with his older sibling in the slightest as he did so.

 

     Their mom woke up a full two hours after Gabe.  She had gotten home late the previous evening.  Neither of the siblings knew exactly what time that was as they had both been asleep.  She walked into the room, still rubbing sleep out of her eyes, and gave a yawn.  “Good morning, you two.”

 

     “Good morning!” Katie beamed over.

 

     “Yo,” Gabe muttered, waving a hand lazily through the air and not bothering to look up.

 

     Katie hurried over to her mother’s side as she sat down to eat breakfast.  “So,” Katie began, “how was the first night?”

 

     “Really good actually,” her mom said quickly, not taking any time to consider the matter.  “Everything seems like it’s going to run smoothly.  I don’t think I will be having any major problems.  Also, something you might find interesting,” she said, pointing at Katie.  “One of the locals stopped by to see what was going on.  She was a girl about your age and, judging by how she acted, I think you two might get along well.  Could be a potential new friend.”

 

     “What was her name?” Katie asked, the thought of having someone to hang with redoubling her positive attitude. 

 

     Her mom frowned as she tried to remember.  “You know, it isn’t coming back to me.  I think it started with an ‘I’, but I’m not sure.  I’ll point her out when we come across her.”

 

     “Huzzah,” Gabe groaned, rolling his eyes to an impressive degree.

 

     “Come now,” their mom said, giving him a shove on the arm.  “We’ll find you a buddy before long.”  Her expression changed again and she said to no one in particular, “Speaking of finding things, there are a few things I need to pick up.  Mainly groceries, but a few other items for my studies.  If either of you need anything, I’m going to run down to that country store before long.”

 

     “I’ll go!” Katie said, her already peculiarly wide smile growing larger.

 

     Both her mom and her brother eyed Katie suspiciously.  Finally their mom nodded and said, “If you want, I guess you can.  I’ll write you a list.”

 

     “Great!” Katie said sincerely.  

 

     Her mom was quick toot down the necessities and handed it to Katie.  Normally, she would never send her daughter to a random store a mile down the road all by herself, but she had researched the place before they moved.  There had been no major crime in Ebony for the past twenty-five years and the worst thing to have happened in the recent past was graffiti.  “Are you sure?”

 

     “Why not?  I’ve got to go there eventually.  Best to go now and get the first impression out of the way.”

 

     “Very well,” her mom muttered, shaking her head.

 

     In only a few minutes, Katie found herself sitting astride her bike and riding down the road.  In truth, there was something else behind her sudden burst of happiness and glee.  She had woken up with a new realization.  She had come to the town expecting it to be horrible, but, so far, it had not been too bad.  Maybe the neighbors had been a little weird.  Maybe the town looked a tad odd.  Maybe the swamp was disgusting and held way too many dangerous creatures.  Whatever the fact, she was going to be stuck in Ebony for a while, so she had decided to just embrace her new circumstances and try to enjoy it as much as she could.  

 

     It was this attitude she had in her heart when she saw the big sign that marked the country store.  She turned and parked her bike in the dirt patch that constituted a parking lot, looking around at her surroundings as she did so.  Striding across the open ground, she reached the door and pulled it open, stepping inside the store for the first time.  Nothing could have prepared her for what she found inside.  

 

     The first thing she noticed was the pungent smell.  Everything had the distinct scent of rotting fish to such a degree that it actually knocked Katie back a full step.  She shook her head, trying to clear it, and involuntarily coughed.  When she had regained herself, she looked about and took in the disheveled appearance of the country store.  The shelves, which were all leaning one way or another, were packed with objects of all shapes and sizes, and with no particular order to them.  The paint on the walls was peeling off, obviously having seen many a year since being first put on.  Then there was the man behind the counter.

 

     The dude was preoccupied with the conversation he was having over the phone, not even bothering to look up when the door had opened.  To Katie’s surprise, the guy was talking over a phone attached to the wall, just like she had seen on those old black and white tv shows her grandparents had watched.  It seemed fitting, as the guy appeared to be quite old.  His long, white beard was tangled all about and he had a long, bushy unibrow.  His clothes, which hung loosely on him, had seen better days.  To put it bluntly, this was exactly the type of person that Katie had expected to find in Ebony.

 

     “Okay then,” Katie muttered to herself, pulling the list from the back pocket of her jeans and going over it.  “Let’s make this quick.”  As she explored the store her entire positive attitude declined back to its regular, mildly negative self.  She found herself growing more and more frustrated with how the entire store was arranged.  It was blindingly obvious that there was absolutely and completely no order to anything in the slightest.  Five minutes came and went and she was not even half way through the list.  The search was frustrating enough as it was, but the stench of the shop was starting to give her a headache.  She needed to wrap this up quickly.  “C’mon,” she growled to herself as she peeked back down the same isle for the third time, trying to figure out where she needed to go next.

 

     “Can I help you?”  Katie spun about, eyes wide with shock.  Besides for the man at the counter, who was still busy talking on the phone, she had thought that she was alone in the store.  But there, standing just a few feet behind her, was a young dude, probably no older than twenty.  He was dressed mostly in dark clothing and had long, pure black hair.   But his smile was nice enough.  “Sorry.  Did I startle you?”

 

     “Um…n-no,” Katie mumbled, looking behind the man.  There was an open door with a small sign on it right behind the newcomer.  As Katie looked at it, she realized that it read ‘Employees Only’.  This guy must also work at the store, though she did not see a name tag on him.  “You work here, right?”

 

     “Yes, ma’am,” he said politely enough.  Katie noticed that there was an odd, almost dramatic way in which he spoke, but she was not sure how to best describe it.  “Is there any way that I can help you?”

 

     “Actually, yes,” Katie admitted.  She hated asking for help, but she needed to get out of the rotten smelling air as fast as she could.  “Would you please help me find these items?”  She held the list out and the young man took it and glanced it over.  

 

     “Certainly.  I’ll take you to them right now.”  He began walking towards the first item on the list that Katie had not already crossed out.  As they reached the next item, the employee looked over, biting his lip.  “Pardon my asking, but you’re new to Ebony, aren’t you?”

 

     “Yeah.  Just moved in yesterday.”

 

     “Oh, cool,” the employee grinned.  “My family moved to the area about three or four months back.  Got a job working here not long ago.  It’s not too bad…once you get used to Guntharp over there.”  He gestured to the man on the phone as he began to lead Katie to the second to last item on her list.  “He’s an oddball, but so are most of the people in this town.”

 

     “So I’ve noticed,” Katie chuckled to herself.  Before long, she had collected everything on her list and she followed the employee towards the counter.  She was just about to set her items down when she noticed something and stopped dead in her tracks.

 

     The man noticed and, with a frown on his face, asked, “Everything alright?”

 

     Katie was silent for a moment before picking up one of the object from a small rack.  It was a booklet, but that was not what had caught her attention.  It was what was drawn on the front of it.  There, in dark ink, was a drawing of a creature.  It was covered in moss and vines, its mouth hanging open, its eyes two small lines.  It seemed to be lumbering off the page and at her.  But that was not the worst part.  There was something else.  The drawing of the creature rang a vague memory.  It reminded her of what had happened in the swamp the previous night and what she thought she had seen in the shadows.

 

     Pulling her eyes off of the drawing, she read the title.  Secrets of Ebony Swamp.  She gazed at it a second, lost in thought.  At last she recovered and, turning the cover so that it faced outwards, she asked of the employee, “What is this?”

 

     “Oh, that,” the employee mumbled, rubbing his neck awkwardly.  “That’s a little project that Guntharp worked on a year or two back.  It compiles all the lore and mythology of the area into one small, portable informative book.  He says that it is all true and what not, but I don’t really buy it myself.”  He corrected himself as a second thought hit him.  “Well, I believe in the supernatural, just not all that’s in that booklet.”

 

     Holding the mythology guide up before her, Katie took a second look over the artwork.  “So what’s the thing on the front of it?  Some kind of swamp monster?”

 

     “Yeah.  Locals call it the Lurker.  There’s been a few sightings of it over the years, but nothing too reliable.”  The man gave a small shrug and gestured to the book.  “If you want, it’s only twenty-five cents.  It’s totally worth it.”

 

     She considered it a moment, but thought better of the decision.  There was no point in buying into superstitions and folktales.  She placed it back on the shelf.  “Thanks, but this will be all.”

 

     “Your choice,” the employee grinned, giving a dramatic wave of the hand.  “It’s always here if you need it.”

 

    “I doubt that I’ll ever need it,” she said just loud enough for the employee to hear as she reached for the money that her mom had given her.

 

    Katie had rarely been as wrong as she was in that moment.

 

* * * * * *

 

     The stairs creaked as Katie made her way upstairs, a heavy cardboard box clutched in her hands.  Even though most of their stuff had been moved over on their mom’s previous trips to Ebony, there were still a good number of boxes that needed to be cracked open and sorted.  The one that Katie now held was one such box, and she was taking it to her room to unpack and organize her things.  Using her body to press the box against the wall next to her, she freed up her left hand long enough to open her door and hurried inside.  

 

     It took her the better part of a half hour to go through the entire box and, in that time, she heard her mother leave for the night.  She barely took notice of it though, as she was so absorbed in trying to make everything as perfect as it could be in her room.  Everything had its place…as long as she took the time to find it.  Though the process took longer than she would have liked, she soon had placed everything in what she considered to be an ideal spot for it.  Taking a step back, she surveyed her room and gave an approving nod of the head.  She picked up the empty box and headed back out the door, ready to start the process over again with the next one.

 

     She had just stepped into the dining room when something caught her attention from the corner of her eye.  Turning to look, she peered out the window into the backyard.  She waited a moment, her eyes scanning the entire area, trying to decipher what she had seen, but there came nothing of interest.  She was just about to go on her way when she noticed it again.  Squinting her eyes, she peered into the edge of the swamp.  Sure enough, she caught it again.  There was something moving at the edge in the swamp.  Something rather big.

 

     Frozen to the spot, Katie watched and waited for a minute more, trying to discern what could possibly have been out there.  It was certainly no swamp animal that she was familiar with.  Katie’s frown, which had formed as she was lost in thought, faded in an instant when she realized what it probably was.  Gabe was no animal, but he acted like one.  Her attention transferred from the swamp and back to the house as she concentrated on the ambient sounds, though she did not listen more than ten seconds before coming to her conclusion.  Sure enough, the house was almost completely silent.  “Not again,” she muttered to herself as she threw open the back door and ran after her brother.

 

     The second she hit the long shadows of the swamp, which were stretched even farther by the setting sun, she opened her mouth and yelled.  “Gabe!  Gabe!  Get back here now!”  There was no reply.  Of course there was no reply!  Gabe was a monumental brat that never listened.  Shoving a vine out of her way, Katie stumbled deeper and deeper into the swamp, her feet seemingly sinking farther into the mud with each step.  “Great,” she grumbled to herself as she pulled her foot free just long enough to take another step forwards.  “Now Mom’s gonna bust us for sure.”  But that was the least of her concerns at the moment.  She needed to find her brother before he hurt himself or got lost.

 

     But Katie was growing ever the more disoriented as she trudged onwards, the house far out of sight by now.

 

     “Gabe!  Gabe!”  Katie shouted, growing more and more furious by the minute.  A large bush rose up before her, but, in her outrage, she took little notice and pushed through it, ignoring the pain as it scratched her arms.  “Where are you, Gabe?!” she demanded, as she finally broke free and stumbled onto the other side of the bush.  She fell silent as her eyes landed on what was before her.  She had just stepped into a small, circular clearing.  Even through the gathering darkness, she could make out that this small area consisted almost entirely of solid ground.  It was a major improvement over the foul smelling bacterial stew that was the water of the swamp.  The clearing was actually rather pleasant and, if it had not been for the seriousness of the situation, Katie may have considered staying a moment to enjoy the calm location.  But, of course, there was her missing brother to consider.

 

     “Gabe!” she shouted once more, glancing all about in the hopes of somehow spotting him.  She whipped around with a start when she heard something behind her.  It was a soft dripping noise, like rainfall on a lake.  “Gabe?!” Katie shouted in the direction of the noise.  There came no reply, but the sound of water quickly disappeared.  Katie did not move, she barely breathed.  The hair on the back of her neck stood up as she listened intently for any more noise, but none came.  Perhaps it was just one of the swamp critters.  She had just convinced herself of that when two trees directly across the clearing began to rustle.  Mouth open wide in astonishment, Katie could only watch as the two twenty foot trees shook and were pulled away from each other.  Something was coming towards her.  Something big.

 

     Then, with what could only be described as a growl, the creature stepped forwards into the clearing.  A scream got caught in Katie’s throat as she saw what had appeared.  It was as tall as a man, but it seemed deformed in every possible way.  It was slouched over, one arm longer than the other, its head, which was too small for its body, was held at an awkward angle.  The creature seemed to be covered from head to toe in vines, roots, and swamp grass, that appeared to be growing from it at random.  All Katie could see of its eyes were two infinitely dark holes, but they seemed to be transfixed on her.  And all at once Katie knew what this thing was.

 

     It was the Lurker, just as she had seen it on the cover of the booklet that morning.

 

     Her mind almost completely frozen by what she was seeing, Katie stumbled backwards, trying to put as much distance between herself and the Lurker as she could.  It began lumbering towards her, slow at first, but gaining speed.  Even though it moved with a limp, it was coming at her with considerable speed.  Katie was running before she realized it.  She burst through the bush she had struggled through, unconcerned by how it scraped her skin, and threw herself across the pits of mud.  Still the Lurker was right behind her.  It swatted the bush aside as if it were made of foam or feathers and sank into the mud with no hesitation, moving through it almost with as much ease as it had out in the open.  Grabbing a root, Katie yanked herself forwards, clawing for another handhold.  

 

     Something wrapped around her leg, but she did not dare look back.  She struck out with her free foot and kicked at what had her.  It did not let her go.  Fighting with her entire being, she pulled herself forward, knowing full well that the creature was right behind her.  She did not have a moment to lose.  Striking out again, this time she hit her mark and broke free, bursting forwards with all of her strength.  The Lurker unleashed a howl, the horrid sound echoing off the nearby trees.

 

     Her feet barely touching the ground, Katie ran through a large puddle, shoving past anything that got in her way.  But the splashes of her pursuer were just a second behind her.  Then she saw something that reignited hope in her heart.  Through the trees she could see the shine from the light behind her house.  She was close to home.  Would she be safe if she arrived?  She did not know, but she longed to for the security of being behind a locked door.  But could she make it?  

 

     Throwing herself forwards, Katie willed herself not to trip on the plethora of roots, logs, and stones that lined the floor of the swamp.  She could hear the Lurker behind her, almost in reach.  Fear clouded her mind, her only thought was that of reaching her yard.  Thirty more feet.  She hit a patch of slick mud, but kept going, ignoring the threat of slipping and falling.  Twenty more feet.  The Lurker was right behind her, a fearsome rumble emanating from it.  Ten more feet.  The Lurker reached out for her and, though Katie did not look back, she knew she was not going to make it.

 

     And then the Lurker came to a stop.

 

     Katie barely noticed as she sprinted across the open ground, threw open the back door, and hurled herself inside.  She violently locked the door.  Every instinct told her to keep running, to go and hide someplace that thing could never find her, but she forced herself to ignore them long enough to peek through the window.  She could just see the Lurker.  It stood in the darkness at the edge of the swamp.  Though Katie could not see its eyes, she could tell that it was staring up at her.  It stepped back and the shadows absorbed it, removing it from sight.

 

     Her heart pounding and her feet glued to the spot, Katie gazed out the window, her eyes wide open as she scanned for the beast.  She nearly screamed when something moved behind her.  “Chill,” Gabe said as he approached her.  “What’s got you so upset?”  

 

     The thoughts in her head suddenly came crashing back together and she shrieked one sentence at him.  “WHERE WERE YOU?!”

 

     Gabe staggered back, as if the pure volume of Katie’s question had been a physical blow.  ‘Whoa!  What in the world is wrong with you?!”  He glared up at her, positioning himself in a strong stance.  But something changed in him when he saw the fear in her eyes.  “I was in my room.  I was putting away my stuff.”

 

     “You were here the whole time?!” Katie demanded, finally getting control of her legs again and advancing on her younger brother.

 

     “Yeah.  Of course.  Where else would I have been?!” Gabe retorted.  But Katie was no longer listening.  A new thought hit her and she knew what she had to do.  She stalked across the room and began heading upstairs.  “Hey!  Where are you going?!”  

 

     But Katie did not bother to reply.  Instead, she threw open her door, grabbed her phone, and punched a simple number into it.  

 

     She was calling the police.

Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/24/2017
Until next time

 

So ends another chapter.  What did you guys and gals think?  Any theories on what will happen next?  What do you think of the Lurker?

 

I plan on releasing the next chapter on the 16th.  That should give me plenty of time for the third chapter.  Now, there may be a small delay due to life being busy, but I'll try my best to get it done in time,

 

Until next we meet, have a good week and don’t cause too much trouble.

 

-Lack Lunason

Slargvarg's picture
Slargvarg
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Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 07/18/2020
Never fear, for Blobby's here!

Great! Keep writing!  Hmm...  Maybe the Lurker's weakness is light, so they bring out some flashlights?

__________________

(By the amazing EmeraldGemHuntress65)

 

 

Here's my Siggy,  which consists of a lot of wonderful art done by a bunch of awesome people.

 

Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/24/2017
Hello there.

 

Hey!  Great to see you!

 

First off, thanks for the compliment.  And I started writing chapter three last night, so I'm currently on pace for getting the next section out.

 

Interesting theory.  Discovering the creature's weakness may very well be needed to help Katie survive her ordel.

 

Thanks for reading and for posting a reply.  It is always nice to hear that someone enjoys the story!

 

Well, that's all I have for now.  See you around!

 

-Lack Lunason