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Chapter 1
By Carley P.
age: 14

The muddy swamp closed in around Lloyd’s neck. Toward the forest Lloyd heard movement, and his feet, freezing in the icy swamp, could not move. Once more he heard it and again. Somewhere ahead in the darkness, a dog had howled three times.

Lloyd struggled up the bank and climbed towards the nearest tree, petrified. He strained his eyes toward the forest from which the howls had come, but it was like trying to see underwater. He climbed up to a branch and squinted his eyes, to get a better view; his arm hit a branch and was cut through the skin.

Lloyd held his arm, and a short, self-conscious gasp escaped his mouth as he slipped. He had climbed too far and had snapped the branch. The crash was muffled as the thick, cold mud of the Louisiana swamp swallowed him up.

Lloyd felt his feet hit the rocky bottom. His left foot burned with pain, it was unbearable pain, he wouldn’t survive. As his lungs slowly filled with water, he pushed on the bottom with his good foot and his head broke the surface. The icy wind blew hard against his cheeks as he gasped for breath.

Lloyd paddled to the bank and climbed out, shivering with pain and cold. He rested by the tree he had recently fallen out of, but that seemed so long ago. He glanced at his foot struck by the sharp rock. It was cut, deep. He tore of his shirt and wrapped his bleeding foot in it.

Lloyd crawled towards the nearest bush. He peeked around it and saw a flashlight shining in his direction. He wheeled back around and held his breath. He heard a loud voice in the distance. Lloyd knew that voice, he knew it much to well. He crawled towards the forest as fast as his knees would go.

There was a cabin! The window was lit with a candle.

Lloyd struggled to stand and limped over to the front door of the small cabin.

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