Seeping Through the Lavender - Chapter I
By J. A. Stapleton
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Slowly, Jake attempted to open his eyes, yet the skin on his lids felt burdensome and unwelcoming to oblige. He was starting to pick up an awareness of a pain, an intense pain that squeezed at his nerves sharply at brief intervals. It begun at the right side of his neck and ran down his spinal cord in a distant trail. It seemed to ripple every time he inhaled and exhaled oxygen. It was a missed headshot. He also detected another source of pain coming from his upper thigh: a sting. For a slug had entered and exited the flesh. His eyes sprang open to investigate; a furious sun beamed and blinded him. Quickly he closed them and then, now ready for the shock - allowed his eyelids to open.
The sun was strong and the air humid. Not a single cloud in the sky to shield his rugged skin from the penetrating cancerous rays. He evidently realised he was lying on his back then warily, he tilted his head forwards to examine his unfamiliar self. He wore a paper thin white shirt that was torn, stained russet and wretched of body odour. Furthermore, he wore a hazelnut brown textured waistcoat; adorned with cheap buttons and a fairly faint smell of cologne. Yet his pants were grey and tailored to perfection. Jake wondered how he had come across these fine garments.
Then it struck him, like a blade to the ribs, who am I? Where the hell am I? What the fuck has happened to me? He attempted to curse, and then stopped, chocking on the sentence and closed his mouth. His throat was dry and he craved water. The jabbing in his neck worsened whereas the pain in his thigh numbed. His elbows slid back through the gravel and he seated himself on them. For miles around all he could see was sand and dust. The desert stretched as far as the eye could see bare into the distance. He was in the middle of nowhere.
Uncomfortably he rolled onto his right side, his face dug into the dirt. In this spot the earth was dark and moist. Jake licked at the soil in attempt to ingest some of its intriguing juices. It smelt and tasted metallic to him, he coughed and spluttered as he realised the liquid was a part of his internal fluids. The dark trail led from his scalp. His blood. Slowly a sense of dread overwhelmed him; he would die out here alone and nobody would batter an eyelid. He was just another drifter out here…
Steadily Jake rose to his feet and surprisingly remained upright, his body swayed in a thin breeze. His face was dark and aged, he was in his mid-thirties, and he had jet black hair adorned with bland features. He was exceptionally attractive but to a complete stranger it was obvious he was not the guy you would want to get into a bar fight with. He had broad, toned shoulders and a muscular back that resembled that of an ex-convict. Jake surveyed the perimeter and noted a shadow located ten metres up ahead. He staggered, like a drunk, across the plain to the shadow. He inquired into the matter deeply, when he reached the unknown figure did he realise. The figure was human, but its body was bent into a shape impossible by the basic of bone structures. The man wore braces and dark overalls, buckled boots and a flimsy hat. He had the attire of a typical peasant, most likely a hardworking farmer. Jake examined the body. The top part of his hat was ripped through; a large bullet had embedded itself into his skull. Fragments of collapsed bone were visible amongst clear brain matter. Flies whizzed around the already decomposing corpse. It was a filthy sight. Jake came to the assumption that he had been shot through the head with a pistol, most likely a revolver at long range distance. The bullet had slammed into his crown and ricocheted back out above his right eyebrow. His eyes had rolled up to the heavens in a state of shock, Jake examined the face. It had a familiar twinge to it but his head ached when he attempted to recollect. Jake rounded to meet an overturned stage coach, its wheels had been blown off and the doors smashed. Reigns ran alongside the wreck. Hoof prints trailed into the far distance. He decided to approach with caution.
Jake scratched his head in confusion. A body was laying trampled underneath the wreckage, presumably its driver. His legs were clothed and protruding from underneath the front of the carriage. Its boots were plastered with dry mud… Mud, Jake thought equates to a water source. He glanced around once more, only to see nothing yet again. He anticipated there must be some nearby; a town or something of sorts. With his newfound hope Josh set out on a journey to find this source of water no matter what: where there’s water, there’s folk.
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had me thinking of a vampire
had me thinking of a vampire story (for some reason). Good descriptive prose, but needs a bit more care. 'It had a familiar twinge...' for example, relates to the look of a corpse. Corpses don't have twinges. Keep at it.
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