Thomas Burns, author and native son of Amelia City, is enjoying his life and successful career in the peace that comes with living in the quiet township of Doyel, Michigan. Yet peace lasts for none from Amelia when a creature born of that cursed metropolis comes seeking the wordsmith with an unknown agenda. A new entry in the horror short story series Roads Through Amelia.
Birdsong rang through the woods that morning in the area around the township of Doyel, Michigan. The deep, loamy aromas of spruce and pine deeply soothed those walking the various hiking paths.
Well, most of them.
Thomas Burns did not count himself among their number at the moment. That was largely due to the fact that he was at that wonderful morning moment, thumping down a steep hill after tripping on a tree root hidden under a gathering of leaves.
“Fuck,” thump, “Mother,” thump, “Nature!” Crash! Sidelong into a tree at the hill’s bottom he struck, his body sending urgent messages to his brain and back again. Helpful, blaring little tidbits of information, mostly along the lines of “ouch” and “mighty hell that hurt!”
Burns congealed loudly before rolling over and pushing up to his knees. He took a quick inventory of his jeans pockets, satisfied himself that he had his wallet and keys, and got slowly to his feet. With one hand he leaned against the tree that he’d stopped against, feeling its coarse bark under his palm. He redid two of the buttons on his jacket, which had come undone during his descent, and then gently touched the back of his head.
He pulled his hand away and held it up for inspection. A leaf and some mud nestled loosely on his skin. “Well, no blood,” he said to himself. “Thank God for small favors.” Burns checked one of his jacket pockets, found his digital voice recorder, and also thanked God that it was blessedly intact. He selected one of the storage folders on the device that he used for notes to himself. He thumbed the record button and said, “Quick reminder, Tommy. Drink lots of coffee before going out walking in the woods. Maybe be awake enough to see a tree root underfoot or stop yourself from falling.” He thumbed the Stop button and sighed. “Dumbass,” he muttered. He made his way back home.