Creature of The Swamp – Chapter One: The Secrets

I guess you could say this isn’t really my story. See I’m just your average teenager. I spend time with my friends, I play with my dog, and I go to school. Though, the only abnormal part of my life is how often I move. See I’m 14 years old and have moved 18 times in my life. My dad he’s an army worker. He goes from state to state training soldiers, and my mom passed away when I was born so I have no option but to move with my dad.

He was an only child and his parents had long since passed away, so it was only us. So here we were, moving into yet another house, in yet another city. But this time it was different. My dad swears this will be my last move and I’ll get to finish my entire high school education here. So the last week of summer vacation before first semester we had moved into my grandparents old house.

No one had been here for years, but the property was still in my family. It had been since it was built . No one throughout my ancestry had ever considered selling it, and those who had never went through with it.

Sighing softly I moved inside carrying only my backpack. The rest of our things had already been brought inside by the movers a day before we arrived. I looked around the main area for a moment before heading to the stairs. I’d been here once or twice before my grandparents had died and still rmember where my old room was at. Seeing as my father wasn’t here I assumed that would be where he’d had all my things put.

I climbed the old steps slowly and heard nothing but my own breathing and the creaking of the worn boards beneath my feet. My sneakers squeaking occasionally as the rubber slid on the wood.

Upon reaching the door I pushed it open slowly and smiled faintly. All my things were there, still in boxes, but all there. I was happy to see the house had at least been cleaned and there wasn’t dust covering everything. It had only been a few years since my grandfather had passed away and no one had been here since.

Walking over to my dresser I set my backpack on it before finding the first box of clothes to unpack. I nearly dropped it as I heard something hit my window. Stiffening slightly I dropped the box of clothes with a dull thud on the floor.

Walking to the window, I paused when I saw the crack in the center of it with a trace of red liquid seeping into it. I recognized it as blood before I even moved closer to it. Looking down at the ground I grimaced at seeing a dead bird lying in my yard bleeding on the vibrant green grass.

Sighing softly I turned away and decided I’d tell my father later, no sense in calling him while he was working. Moving back to my dresser I knelt down and tore open the first box to move my clothes into the drawers. This process went rather quickly and soon I had half my boxes empty and unpacked. My clothes in the dresser, a few of my pictures on top of it, and some of my book on the shelf above my bed.

The room was still incredibly barren, but my father had promised after a few months we could repaint if I wanted. He said we’d bring this old house back to life. Sighing I decided to explore the house and I walked out, leaving my door open.

I found the steps to the attic first and figured I’d go look through some of my grandparents old treasures. I’m not sure what it wsa, but when I opened the door and first walked into the damp, dimly lit space I felt  chill go over me. I thought it was nothing more than an effect of a hole somewhere in the wall.

Moving in I began to go through boxes and found many old pictures of my first years, and my fathers’ childhood photo albums. There were smaller boxes with old jewelery. A few with old newspaper clippings. Yet what cauhgt my eyes was a leather bound book engraved. “The Journal of Osirus Orian Barrett” I recognized my grandfather’s name almost instantly and tucked the book under my arm before standing from the boxes.

First I wondered if my father had ever seen the book, but decided I wanted to read it for myself before showing him. He was always defensive about how my grandfather passed away, he still refused to tell me what happened.

I hurried back to my room, wanting to read the journal and learn as much as I could about my grandfather before my father returned home. Locking my door, I practically threw myself onto the bed and opened the journal.

My parents had died during the last attack on our town. People came to raid for food, and materials and many died. I have no other family here, so now I’m headed off to the orphanage. I’m only 9, but I’ve kept a journal since I was 7. My mum always told me it would help me to remember things. Or I could give it to my children someday and let them learn of my past. Well, it’s time to go now, we just reached the orphanage and I have to go settle in.

Well, the other children here are nice. Some tried scaring me with stories of a creature in the swamp though. It didn’t really frighten me, but I don’t want to go into the courtyard now. They said if I go out when the adults are sleeping, the creature would take me.

I met a few kids closer to my age, and we played all day. One girl named Natalie let me play with one of her stuffed bears since I couldn’t bring my own with me.

Late that first night I heard an odd, soft woman’s voice from outside. Too scared to go near the window as I recalled the creature the older kids had told me about. So I lay in bed and shivered under my blankets as the haunting melody continued.

The next morning, I found that Natalie was gone. When I asked about her, everyone simply said she’d been adopted. But all her things were still here, I found her doll tucked away beneath her bed.
This continued, each night another kid would leave. Finally I wanted to know what really happened, so I hid in the closet in the girls room. Peeking through the door, I nearly fell asleep, but just before midnight I saw a girl getting up from bed. She walked to the window and opened it, and I could hear the same haunting melody from my first night here.

I watched as she climbed out the window and quietly I followed her. That was the first time I saw it. A creature crouched upon the top of the wall and singing. She walked to it, and took it’s outstretched claw like hand. With that, I never saw her again.

However, I saw the creature several more times, a few, I feared it saw me watching. I tried telling people, but no one believed me. One night when I was 13 I decided to follow it the next time I saw it.

By L.A

(To be continued . . .)

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