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Monday, August 08, 2005
Early but excited

Well, well, well. Seems darling Ms. Silk is taking charge of Fictional Fridays. I know I wasn't necessarily picked (read not this week), but as such, I am still volunteering this offering. As such, the rules were that I was to use one picture to inspire the story. This is the one I picked

I know. Surprise, surprise, surprise. However, by accident, I think I incorporated themes relating to all the pictures, found here.

But, without further adieu,

ACROPHOBIA - Copyright 2005 By Jeff Vickers

Deep blue moonlight covers a brief clearing in a eerily quiet forest. Wind blows sharply, swaying the trees in near unison. A sharp crack of a tree branch breaks the silence, leading a slow crescendo of footsteps, followed by quiet giggling, laboured breathing, and a pronounced collapse of two bodies to the ground.

Ayda lifts her head, gazing deep into Peter's deep blue eyes. Peter draws closer to kiss Ayda, and their lips lock. The two exchange their passion in a moment that feels like an eternity, until Ayda pulls away sharply.

"I'm not that kind of girl Peter."

"But it's your birthday Ayda. I'd just thought..."

"That we'd celebrate? This seems much more for you than for..."

"You're eighteen now. Surely you can kiss on the first date."

"I... I know. I'm just nervous that..."

"It won't go any further. I don't want to pressure you"

"You're not. Let's continue on. Take things..."

"One step..."

"At a time. Besides, I've lived in the mountains all my life, and still haven't had the courage to do one of those suspension bridge thingies."

Peter searches through four pockets in his jacket before he finally finds his flashlight. The two seemingly roam randomly through the forest, with the beam of the flashlight pointing in random directions, and any clear direction the flashlight finds, the young pair follow.

Nearly half an hour passes, until they discover a large, clear opening. "There's the parking lot!" exclaims a gasping Peter, who half keels over, huffing and puffing, out of breath. "Geez, you really shouldn't have dropped PE. We weren't even walking that fast." The two wait a moment until Peter re-composes himself. After a moment of flashlight pointing, they find the sign directing them to the bridge.

Following the signs, the unlikely young pair find their way down a pine rich path to two pillars of concrete, supporting two inch diameter braided wires. "This is it. Ayda, if you don't..." Peter's words drown out to the sound of a low flying airplane. As the rumble from the plane fades away, Peter notices that Ayda has already began to make her way across the bridge, holding both wire rails very tightly.

"I didn't know you were so eager to do this. I'll be right there." Peter begins to follow Ayda onto the bridge, but the first step he takes makes the suspension bridge sway from side to side, and Ayda lets out a shriek in utter terror. "Peter, don't go any further. This thing is going to collapse! I don't want to..."

"Ayda, stay put! You won't fall. I promise. These things are designed to move."

Ayda decided, however, not to heed Peter's advice. As Peter slowly approached Ayda, nearly halfway across the bridge, suspended 180 feet above the canyon below, the bridge continued to sway and rock, each movement of the bridge sending Ayda into deeper and deeper states of terror. Her breathing became shallower and quicker. The strength in her knees failed as she slowly sank to a kneeling, the soon lying position on the steel floor of the three foot wide floor of the bridge. Her loud shrieks faded to quiet whimpers as the fear overwhelmingly overtook every aspect of her being.

Just as all hope seemed to disappear, a familiar hand clasped Ayda's, and began to draw the shuddering young lady to her wobbly legs. Peter embraced her with one arm, and slowly Ayda's quivering stopped, and her breathing slowed to a more normal pace. Ayda finally was able to lift her head, gazing once again into Peter's deep blue eyes.

Peter, however, ignored his earlier male instinct, and turned his flashlight back on, revealing the beauty of the evergreen forest in the canyon.

"It's beautiful Peter" amazed Ayda, as she gazed around the eye-level views of the canyon. The pine and fir trees stretched on with no end in sight. Ayda followed the movement of the flashlights beam, until suddenly it dropped.

Fresh, cold mountain water cascaded over rocks, nearly 200 feet below. Ayda's shriek of horror echoed through the whole canyon, and Peter felt a clench on his wrist so strong that the feeling began to leave his whole arm. "Ayda, please..."

Another airplane, even lower, roared along, swaying the bridge. Peter, staring at the arm clenched by Ayda, could no longer feel it. A giant spotlight hit the pair, from some unknown point in the air. The sound of the airplane vanished, leaving a near total silence under heavy, warm light. As Peter's eyes adjusted to the brightness, he gazed at Ajda. She was still clenching his arm, tight as ever. But, as Peter's vision became truly adjusted to the bright light, gazing into Ayda's eyes, he saw nothing but black pools staring back at him, accompanied by primal growls.

Peter tried everything to break free, but with no avail. Ayda's clasp on his arm was too strong. Ayda spoke to him, but the words coming out of her mouth made absolutely no sense to him whatsoever. "Ayda, what's happened to you?" Peter screamed as he struggled, fruitlessly, to escape. The giant spotlight suddenly flicked out, and all Peter could see was two red eyes staring back at him.

* * *

Andre pulled his car into work early the next day. After his ritual of punching his timecard in, grabbing a coffee, and getting his radio, he began his early morning patrol of the park’s trails. It wasn't long before he reached the suspension bridge, where he noticed an odd lump sitting in the middle of the bridge.

"Not another abused animal" Andre thought, as he put his gloves on, ready to remove another carcass on the bridge. The horror in his face though worsened, as Andre realized what was really waiting for him to clean off the bridge. "Oh my God!" he screamed as he saw the severed head, with the eyes of his dead son staring back at him.
neolithic pondered at 10:47
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