• Jeff South

Blogtober, Day 10: Brawl


The light emanated from somewhere deep in the trees. Its allure and amber hue were so entrancing that Nathan nearly missed a sight that, once he caught it, froze his blood. Archie stood at the edge of the tree line in the same spot Susan appeared. No coat. Just staring into the light. Nathan rushed to the mud room off the kitchen where his coat hung by the backdoor. He threw it on and shoved his feet into his snow boots.


“Dad!” Nathan yelled. “Mom! Get outside!”


He didn’t wait for them. He bounded out the back door and down the stoop and across the yard toward Archie, who was silhouetted against the amber glow deep in the trees.


“Archie!” he called out. “Get away! What are you doing? Archie!”


Archie didn’t respond. He instead reached his right arm out toward the light. Nathan was only a few yards away from his brother when he noticed the snow where Archie stood was scattered and worn. Footprints were scattered in a haphazard as if a scuffle or maybe a brawl had occurred. Archie took a tentative step toward the tree line, arm still extended. Nathan looked past Archie at a figure standing in the woods.


“Archie! Stop!” Nathan lunged and tackled his brother. They tumbled into the snow. Nathan scurried to his knees and looked back to the house. Why hadn’t his parents come outside when he called? He looked back to the woods and into the light. The figure turned, walked away, and the light faded.


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