Mathew, author of Blog of the Wolf Boy, and I have decided to collaborate on a fictional short story. Our introduction is the same, but the story splits off into the first-person perspective of our two main characters. I had an absolute blast working with Mathew on this story. He was such a delight to work with, and we had a lot of fun discussing the story and our characters. Make sure you check out Mathew’s story at the end, to get Mitch’s perspective on how things go down.
When It Rains, It Pours
Mitch and Serena had been out all day for a family dinner. It was late Sunday night, and they had somewhat of a long drive ahead of them through rocky hills and dense forest. There was laughter and chit-chat in the car, and the mood was light. The sun was just beginning to dip beneath the horizon and a pink-orange glow painted the landscape ahead. As the drive carried on, the conversation began to fade, the night grew darker and the stars appeared.
The drive back home was long and scenic, it was nice catching up with family, and I always enjoyed these moments in the car with Mitch. We settled into a comfortable silence after a while. I was taken by the gorgeous sunset ahead of us, dipping below the mountains and between the trees of the forest. Mitch chuckled as I tried to capture pictures from the passenger seat.
I was growing increasingly tired and Mitch seemed to be doing okay, so I settled back into my seat, kicked off my sandals and curled up into a ball, the sound of rain drops lulling me to sleep. I was jolted awake by something hitting the car, and as soon as I could make out what was happening, everything went black….
When I finally came to, I was in a state of disorientation. I couldn’t tell exactly where we were and I had the worst headache. “Oh shit, we crashed, that’s right!”
I looked over at Mitch, he was unconscious, and there was so much blood. “Oh, God! Please still be alive.” My hands were trembling, but I managed to get my seat-belt off and open the door. I searched for both my phone and sandals, but to no avail.
I ran to the driver’s side. “Mitch, Mitch!” I reached across him, cutting my forehead on a piece of glass from the broken window. I could tell that at least one of his legs was broken, legs don’t naturally bend that way. He had cuts all over his face and hands, and I was trembling. I felt him move as I fiddled with his seat-belt, trying to release him from his restraints.
I released a breath I hadn’t realized I had been holding, finally managing to unclasp the seat-belt, and he fell to the ground, grunting in agony. My eyes were stinging as I tried to hold back my tears, I didn’t want him to see how terrified I was, but I was never good at hiding my feelings, especially from Mitch.
He could move his head, so I knew his neck and back weren’t broken. I helped him out of the vehicle so I could help him bandage his wounds. The more wounds I bandaged, the harder it was to hold back my tears.
“Just go,” he said. “Head up the road and get help for us, they will find us quicker.”
I didn’t want to leave him, but I knew he was right. I took a moment to just look at him, I wanted so badly to hug him, what if this is the last time I ever saw him? I cleared my head of those thoughts. I couldn’t think like that. “Alright, I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
He managed to smile at me.
As soon as I was out of ear shot, I let out my sobs, “Come on, Serena, pull yourself together, he needs you.”
I started running back to the road, even more terrified now that I was alone in the middle of nowhere, and the rain wasn’t helping matters. The forest seemed to grow more and more dense with each step I took. Every noise caused me to jump out of my skin. Just how far did we roll off the road anyway? We were deep in the forest, and I was thankful for the moon. It wasn’t all that visible because of the clouds, but it reflected off the fog, making it appear brighter than it actually was. After what felt like forever, but in reality was about half an hour, the effects of the crash were killing me. My neck and shoulders were stiff and sore, but the road was finally in sight, I just had to climb an incredibly steep hill to get there. “Alright, Serena, you can do this.” I took a deep breath and started the treacherous climb, barefoot; nonetheless. The grass and moss were slippery from all of the rain and caused me to lose my footing. My ankle hit the edge of a sharp stone. I let out a cry before inhaling sharply as I reached down to touch it. I had cut it pretty deeply. “Great, just friggin’ great!” It was an extremely difficult task, but I managed to climb back to the road.
I still had a long journey ahead of me. Not only was I miles from any kind of business, but I couldn’t run on my ankle, so I had to limp as fast as I could. Every time the shadows of the trees moved, every rustle of leaf, or crack of twig had me on pins and needles. “God, I know I’m not much of a praying woman, but if you could send a car my way, I’d be very grateful.”
I noticed headlights coming around the curve. I started waving my arms to get the driver’s attention, and as luck would have it, it was a cop.
“Why are you all the way out here by yourself, at this time of night?” He asked.
“We were in an accident, we need help.” I was growing more hysterical with each passing minute.
“Someone called in an anonymous tip, that’s why I’m here,” he replied. “Can you show me where?”
“Yes, you’ll see the skid marks where we were rammed off the road.”
“Alright, let me help you in the car, what’s you’re name, ma’am?”
“Alright, Serena. I’m Officer Hetfield.”
As soon as he saw the tire marks he pulled over. “Where is your car?” He asked.
“Down the hill, about 2 miles or so.”
“And you walked, barefoot?”
“What choice did I have?”
As soon as I stepped out of the car, he flashed his flashlight at me. I squinted, trying to shield my eyes.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m coming with you.”
“No, I’m calling back up and you’re waiting here.”
“You don’t know where Mitch is. I can’t tell you where he is, but I can show you, and he’s dying, so the longer we stay here, the less chance we have of saving him”
He sighed in defeat and called dispatch while helping me down the hill.
I swore the forest was growing, it felt like the walk to the car was even longer than the walk to the road, but we finally made it.
Officer Hetfield shined his light all around and in the car, but there was no sign of Mitch, other than his blood and torn pieces of his clothing.
“I left him right here!” I said frantically, pointing to the side of the car. Tears starting to sting my eyes again. “Where could he be?”
Officer Hetfield pointed his flashlight further into the forest, where I noticed streaks of blood across the forest floor.
We followed the trail of blood for what seemed like hours. The forest has a funny way of distorting time, and I was growing more anxious the longer we walked. We stopped dead in our tracks when all of a sudden we heard a deep, guttural growl.
Terrified, I turned to Officer Hetfield, “What was that?”
“It sounded like a bear.” He whispered. “And it’s close.”
I started to run towards the sound, forgetting about my ankle, but he stopped me. And that’s when I heard it. “The painful, agonizing, scream, the snapping of bones, and I knew it had Mitch.
I started to scream out, but Officer Hetfield put his hand over my mouth to stop me. “It will come for us too.We have to leave, and we have to leave now.”
I could only nod my response.
“Give me your hoodie.” He demanded.
I was reluctant, but did as requested.
He threw it, far off into the woods, away from us. “I’m throwing off your scent,” he stated before kneeling down. “Hop on my back, we have to move quickly.”
I squeezed my eyes shut as he ran, listening to the bear growl in the distance. We managed to make it safely back to his car where an ambulance was waiting.
Officer Hetfield wished me well and I was taken to the hospital where I was admitted for minor injuries and observation. After getting settled, I turned on the TV to try and relax my mind, but the very first scene that popped up on the screen was Leonardo DiCaprio fighting the bear in “The Revenant.” Feeling like the universe was just fucking with me now, I turned off the TV and cried myself to sleep, knowing in the morning I would have to give my statement and relive the worst night of my life.