Swamped Chapter 5 Page 5

You feel like you ought to at least give the hen a chance to make it through the rain, if it comes. You take the shirt off the hen’s head and fashion it into a sort of crude harness, then put the hen inside and start climbing a nearby tree. You sing a song to yourself about keeping the rain away to calm your nerves a bit.

Just as you make it to a branch and put the swamphen on it, you hear an alarm bell echoing throughout the swamp. That’s probably about the rain. You decide to head back inside, and scramble down as quickly as you can.

Of course, not being a particularly skilled climber, you wind up falling off the tree. Thankfully, you hit the walkway and not the swamp muck, though perhaps the latter would be a bit less painful.

Just as you pick yourself up, you spot the barge driving by, much faster than you’ve seen it move before. You hear someone shout at you to get inside and hurry, just as you see a few drops coming down.

You’re not far from the front doors, thankfully, but with your new injuries it feels a bit further than you’d like. And you can’t help but notice that once the rain started, it picked up very fast. You hobble over towards the gate, and just a few steps away you hear a strange noise behind you. Something like RRRRRBBBBRRRRBBBRRBBRRR.

You turn around to see something pulling itself out of the swamp muck not far away. Then you see more of them. The rain’s too thick to make out any details, but you get the distinct sense you shouldn’t wait for them to find you.

You rush to the gate and knock with all your strength, just as you feel a disturbingly strong tug on your arm from behind.

What are you going to do, other than pray to every god you can think of that they don’t leave you locked out for fear of letting the things in?

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They’ll let you in, but it’s going to cost you that arm. Sorry.

Try and twist your arm out of… whatever it is. Is that a doorknocker? Anchor yourself on that doorknocker and don’t fucking let go.

Punch it, getting yourself more stuck than before.

Author’s Note:
At last, the rain comes.
While I hadn’t planned the first rain in detail, I knew that it made the most sense to have Marshall outside. Seeing the creatures from the inside or being told about them in advance wouldn’t have the same impact.