Short Story

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A geocacher had spent a whole day playing find the next closest cache. By evening, he wasn’t even sure where he was, at least 50 miles from home. He had parked at a forest preserve ended up on a fairly deserted trail with just a couple caches he had found without incident. At this point according to his smartphone, there was only one cache left in the whole area, but it was just across from an overpass his trail was leading to. As he approached one end, there was a sign with the warning, DO NOT CROSS. He looked around. He hadn’t seen another person or car for some time. The overpass looked fairly normal, a wooden pedestrian walkway over tall trees flanking a fairly wide stream. No other way dry way to cross that he could see. He…show more content…
It looked darker, reddish, and thick like blood. His heartbeat quickened. What the heck? He imagined standing over a long pulsing artery and felt lightheaded. He tried to refocus by reading the cache description. “Don’t use the overpass. Stream must be crossed.” Whatever, he thought, and walked on. Past halfway now, and getting fairly dark, he heard the croaking again. He figured it was the same frog, but it seemed to approaching. Or multiplying. Wetness bumped his leg. A croak right at his feet. Luckily, he had a small flashlight in his backpack. Turning it on he saw the alighted eyes of many frogs, on both wooden rails. Some were sitting still, others were jumping in different directions, off the bridge, toward him. He stood still, watching, breathless. He tried to take a picture quickly with his phone before they had all jumped away. The flash seemed to send them all jumping off the bridge. He heard some splashing into the stream, and it made him queasy. With the path once again clear, he was able to walk, briskly now, toward the end of the overpass. Nothing weird for the moment, but he wanted to get this cache and get out of here. But it wasn’t meant to be. He suddenly walked into a swarm of flies so thick he could hardly breathe. He quickly closed his mouth, but it was too late. He was breathing agitated insects, through his mouth and even nose. He fell to the ground, felt slippery squishing

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