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The Putrid Smell Still Unforgotten

A Featured Short Story from Blogging Grandmothers.


One flashlight flash meant danger, two flashes meant safe, but
then she saw three flashes that night from beyond the swamp.

They had never talked about what three flashes meant and now she was worried and not sure what to do.  

She remembered one flash, two flash but Not Three!  Her husband and father  had told her to stay there incase her little brother showed up which she was hoping for and  trying not to think  of the worst while they were in the swamp area searching for her lost brother.  Thoughts keep running through her mind, what if he’s hurt, or an alligator got him or whatever, She could only think negitive thoughts and an occasional happy memory of fun times with her little brother.

dock surrounded by body of water
Photo by Dariusz Grosa on Pexels.com

As she sat there on a damp stump she could hear all kinds of noises some familiar some not so!  Owls hooting, occasional cracks of wood, growls of alligators in the distance and splashes in the swamp and scratches on what she thought was bark on a tree and the weird sounds almost similar to a human voice but not quite.  Goosebumps rose on her arms and chills ran down her spine with the cold night wind and so many unfamiliar sounds!  She could feel tears weel up and kept fighting it off trying to stay strong, but she felt so helpless just sitting and waiting while wondering and praying.

As she sat there in the cold dark night with only a flash light she could feel the anxiety building up within her and feeling damp, cold, and helpless not knowing what was going on deep in the swamp area with her family much less what was lurking about her.  Her nerves got the best of her and she stood up quickly beginning to pace back and forth as fearful thoughts kept swimming in her head,  Then suddenly she heard a loud noise in the distance like the scattering of large birds screeching all at once and scouring out of the trees and just as fast, a loud growl and banging thuds on the trees.  Within seconds later she heard several gun shots and two flash lights not far apart of one another go on and off one time;  She remembered what her husband  had told her about the warning signs.

At this point Sally was so scared she turned to run and tripped over a broken stump, crying, wet with mud and moss all over her she gathered up all her courage and stood facing the swamp area when she noticed more flashes!  But this time it was each three times!  Sally panicked not knowing what they meant and terrified of what it could mean.

She held her head in her hands and began to weep uncontrollably then suddenly she heard a growling sound and crashing of trees in the distance,  She thought for a second; It couldn’t be an alligator, But what was it?  She began walking stepping backwards away from the frightening sounds then quickly out of the damp darkness she noticed large yellow eyes glowing from the swamp and a pungent, putrid smell and SUDDENLY with a large strange sound and thud in front of her was this unimaginable creature like nothing she had ever seen standing within two feet of her with long dark hair all over its body and huge hands and feet.  As she stood there unable to move from unfathomable fright she could smell that scent she noticed earlier but much stronger now burning her nostrils.  She glanced up toward the beast and noticed it was holding a limp ragged object in its arms and as the beast moved forward towards her a few steps she recognized a plaid material half covered in mud.  She thought quickly could this be? No it can’t be my BROTHER!  Sally had recognized the red and white flannel shirt her brother had on that morning.  Suddenly the creature dropped the body on the ground in front of her and she heard a faint noise from it;  She knew then it was her brother and knelt down to check and comfort him all the while her brother lay their unconscious .

australia black and white cold dark
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

She was so involved with her brother for a few seconds she had almost forgotten about the hairy creature; Then suddenly the hairy unknown creature let out a loud growl or scream she wasn’t sure and turned and ran back into the swamp as loudly as it had appeared!  At this point Sally fell to her knees besides her brother and cried while gently wiping the mud and blood from his face when she noticed his cell phone in his T-shirt pocket under the flannel shirt.  She reached for it and luckily it still had power and she called 911 for help.  While waiting her thoughts returned to her husband and father while fear and anxiousness overcame her again as tears flowed down her face thinking out loud “what more or how much more could she take”. Were they alive?  Did that stinking creature kill them?  Sally began pacing back and forth on the swamp’s edge and checking now and then on her brother, While it seemed like hours when in the distance she could hear the sounds and sights of emergency vehicles in the distance and a sigh of relief eased her mind for a few minutes all the while still wondering and praying for her husband  and father.

Two months had past now and her brother recovered physically and the search team never found her husband and father.  To this day as Sally’s life goes on but no where the same as before that day, she hears whispers and pointed fingers every time she goes to town to remind her over and over again of the terror and untold truth that only she and her brother will carry with them the rest of their lives.  The day the Flash lights blinked three times.





9 thoughts on “The Putrid Smell Still Unforgotten”

  1. Loved this story!! So, the beast saved Sally’s brother! It was Sasquatch, right? I’ve heard they don’t harm humans. Thanks Pamela for linking up at the #ShortStoryPromptLinkParty 3! Shared ♥


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