I admit it, I’ve been slacking. I met the awesome folks over at Studio 30+ a few months ago and never seemed to find the time to start writing with them. That ends today. If you haven’t been by their site, do so. They have a cool forum/social community site going on over there that I find pretty impressive. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Now, on to this week’s prompt. The Studio 30+ staff chose the prompt “The Grass Is Growing Tall Again”. Here’s my take – as with all of my writing, constructive criticism is more than welcome!
“The grass is getting tall again.” Ben spoke casually, almost blandly, but his eyes gave away his true emotion. He was terrified.
“Let’s just hope they don’t come back this time.” Ed’s reply could have caused frostbite.
Three summers prior, an out of town logging company leased 14,000 acres from the county and immediately began operations that proceeded to wreak havoc on the sleepy little village of Westhaven. Makeshift roads were torn through the long undisturbed forests surrounding the town. Massive sections of the dense, overgrown acreage were logged, burned, or carelessly destroyed.
The local population was up in arms over the deal, but the city government, desperate to bring in some sort of revenue, shrugged them off. Even the city attorney was told to pass the paperwork through with minimal hold-up. It was evident after the first six months that the damages caused by this haphazard risk mitigation would be repaid for generations to come.
Compounding the environmental damage in this once quiet community was a huge increase in livestock death and crop damage caused by displaced wildlife. The constant fires and deforestation pushed the native mountain lions, numerous species of insects, and other nuisances closer to the surrounding farmlands. Pets were no longer safe to carry on as they had grown accustomed. Even local children were put into harm’s way and warned to stay clear of woodlands on the outskirts of the leased plot for fear of random attacks.
Despite the mounting damage the company was causing the fragile ecosystem, it wasn’t until they reached a tract of land aptly named “Hell’s Mill” that the real problems began.
Workers had been warned not to go into that area by several of the city’s occupants. Local legends told stories of the gruesome ends that became of trespassers. Even the rebellious teens in the area knew not to make foolish dares or play in that part of Mitchell’s Valley. Greed’s warhorse continued to ravage forward, however, intent on pillaging every last acre of the lease.
Their second day into attempting to tear down every tree in the 180 acre span of forest, several of the workers became violently ill. One marker vomited to the point of tearing his esophagus and had to be air-evacuated to Deerbourne, nearly 200 miles away. Several others contracted violent forms of pneumonia. Jeff Harden was not so lucky. A supervisor found him the following morning; face down in a pile of underbrush. He did not appear to have been attacked, although he had scratched his stomach and chest hard enough to draw blood. Upon further investigation, the local coroner discovered all of his organs missing.
“You can’t see the goddamn things when the grass gets this tall.” Ben stammered. The corner of his mouth quivered slightly.
“Yeah, I know.” Ed whispered.
This was my first attempt at ‘horror-ish’ writing. I’d love your opinions!
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