Monday 10 December 2018


by Elizabeth Cox

Thud! The missile hit the ground by her left foot causing Marilee to grab her flowing skirt. Crack! She jumped, as it exploded leaving a faint smell of burning in the air. Startled, a screeching parrot fluttered over her head its blue wings almost touching her hair. She ducked. A whining sound filled the air. A firecracker! It whirled around her dropping at her feet, its red eye glowing in a sinister fashion. Her instinct was to flee. Hoisting her blue silk sarong around her waist, she tucked it in tightly exposing her diamante sandals and long brown legs, as she took flight.

“Where you goin’ Marilee?” a man’s voice came from nowhere, echoing around the jungle clearing. Marilee stopped. It was a strange voice, deep yet splintered.

“Who’s there?” She sounded timid, but she couldn’t deny she was scared. ‘Who’s there? Show yourself. Only people with something to hide creep about frightening folks to death. Did you throw that thing?’ Her words strung themselves around the creepers like pearls on her grandma’s necklace.
“You scared Marilee?” Swinging around in the direction of the voice which now seemed closer, she could see nothing in the twilight under the tree canopy. In the distance she could hear the comforting elemental beat of the drum leading the carnival parade. Today was carnival in her town. Guitars and horns started up in harmony; the familiar music made her smile despite herself. She loved the carnival.

“Who is it? Stop messing about and show yourself. Is it you Petey? You’re daft enough to pull a stunt like this.” Her friend Petey was always playing tricks on her. She clutched her arms around her body, aware that she was shivering even though the evening was warm. She knew she should run, but her feet had planted themselves firmly in the soft leaf-mould of the forest floor as if they had taken root. There was a soft thwack, as something fell to earth alongside her. She screamed. A hollow laugh rang out across the silence.



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