Mike looked down at the large chunks of gravel as he neared the house. The gravel seemed to be never-ending, almost as if it blanked the land like the aftermath of a large snowstorm. Around him, on both sides, stood several venerable and demented oak trees, like several tall giants that towered over the path, forbidding entrance to many strangers. He was a stranger. At least, for now…

But all that was absurd now. The discomfort that Mike was feeling may have been that he had spent his entire life residing in urban areas, never straying out of the tall metal buildings that played host to many ambitious employees of several large firms. Several times on this journey, he had to reassure himself that it would be alright. He did that again. The house was owned by a company that specialised in computer manufacturing, and his grandfather had been a prominent director there. Therefore, his grandfather had been a very wealthy man who was unfortunately also rather disliked. However, during the past year, the grandfather had become less and less efficient, and so he was forced to resign, deemed too old for his job.

Secretly, Mike agreed: with the vision of the crusty, bleary-eyed man in his mind, and how, in the last months, things seemed to shrivel and decay under his control. It was just as well that the old man was now reported to be dead anyway-the company was nearing the rocks, and one last bad investment would definitely send shares plummeting, and the company would be very much finished. Then, it had given Mike his Grandfather’s job. The job would pay twice the income he previously got, as a worker in the local café, and not to mention the house…

Here he was now, nervously ascending the path that led there. No birds were chirping; indeed, there seemed to be no signs of life. However, the wind seemed to have picked up. Slowly, slowly it whistled lamely between the trees, blowing softly on a length of rope that hung threateningly from a branch, which was strangely looped at the end and lifting a single stray leaf, making it toss and turn, hopelessly disorientated. A dried-up leaf rustled behind Mike. But he was still focused on its twin, who was still spinning, twirling…

The rope was swinging…swinging…

A hand closed around Mike’s throat. He gasped and struggled to breathe. The grip tightened, until Mike could smell the decay and death on the hand. Finally, choking and wheezing, he ran out of time. Chuckling, the old, crusty and bleary-eyed man let go of his grandson, who fell to the ground.

“Think that I’d died!! No chance! I only hid myself in the bushland! I made a fire, of course, and burned up all the corpses of the dead animals I ate. And they thought it was me! Well, it looks like I get the house and the money again!

He suddenly stopped. his eyes bulging crazily in their sockets. He had also run out of time. Cursing and snarling, he kicked at the viper, managed to dislodge it from his leg… But it was too late.

The last thing he saw were the large chunks of rotted gravel.


One thought on “Gravel”

  1. I think you did the setting of the scene and mood very well and definitely the suspense and surprise factor. I’m not sure about the viper. In my opinion that wasn’t believable but others may think otherwise.


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