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Dense Part of the Forest - the fate of Jenny Camacho

Updated on January 10, 2016
Phyllis Doyle profile image

Short stories are at the heart of why Phyllis loves to write. Her father left her a legacy of the art of storytelling.

Deeper into the forest ~

Biogradska forest in Montenegro
Biogradska forest in Montenegro | Source

Writing challenge from Frank Atanacio ~

On his hub 'Monsters in the Trees', Frank Atanacio issued a challenge to other hubbers to write an alternate ending to the story of Jenny Camacho who was being hunted relentlessly by a psychotic man. Where can she go now and what will become of her?This is my alternate ending that I hope Frank will like - and I hope you, dear reader, enjoy it.

Further into the dense forest ~

Jenny Camacho ran like she had never run before. From she knew not where a different kind of strength filled her and she felt as if she was flying. Further into the dense forest she ran blindly, leaping over fallen trees and brush, unaware of the cuts and scratches on her face and arms from branches that reached out to capture her.

There was no stopping Jenny now. Something unknown was pulling her forward and she had no control over the momentum that was taking her to she knew not where. In her mind, or was it in the wind, something was calling her, giving her direction.

She was following an ancient path, barely visible to the naked eye and somehow she knew it was there -- she was familiar with it. Her eyes were clearing, no longer blurred and teary. She saw the path from another time, she saw the tiny new sprouts of fresh moss that would take over more of the rocks and fallen trees. With vision so strong, she even saw the minuscule bugs and mites crawling in and out of the thicker parts of lush dark green moss. Something strange was happening to her, stranger than anything the psychotic man had done so far.

The raven wanted her to follow ~

North American Common Raven
North American Common Raven | Source

The raven ~

Jenny was startled by a large raven that flew into the path ahead of her. It landed on a moss covered rock. The raven sat there and stared at her, but, Jenny could not stop. As she approached the raven, it took flight down the path and looked back at her, as if motioning her to follow, and she did. She suddenly felt safe and followed the raven, knowing that somehow it would lead her to safety.

When the raven disappeared as the path took a turn around some large trees, Jenny felt panic, but kept on the path. As she ran around the trees, she saw an old woman in a long black cloak that was tattered, looking like great black feathers dangling from her arms. The woman seemed ancient and was all hunched over, her back curved so much that her head was in front of her shoulders. It looked like she would fall forward if not for the long twisted tree branch she used as a cane. Long straggly hair escaped the hood on her head and her large nose protruded from the hood. When she turned and looked at her, Jenny saw eyes as black as the raven.

She motioned for Jenny to follow then disappeared into some vines and brush. Jenny slowed down to a walk and carefully entered where the woman had gone, pulling the vines aside as she walked through.

Cave full of crystals ~

Crystal cave
Crystal cave | Source

Witch's cauldron deep in the cave ~

Witch's cauldron always brewing
Witch's cauldron always brewing | Source

The cave and the witch ~

In a small clearing was an entrance to a cave. The old woman easily walked in, but Jenny had to bend forward to go through the opening and a small tunnel. Once through the tunnel, Jenny forgot about the maniac who was hunting her, for suddenly the tunnel opened up into an enormous room. The room that she followed the woman to was studded with crystals of all sizes and colors, growing up from the floor, off the walls and down from the ceiling. Jenny was awestruck as she stood up straight and looked around for several minutes.

She saw a lighted room on the other side and crossed over to the doorway. She was amazed that it was a room much like in a cottage.

Finally, her eyes rested on the old woman, huddling over a large cauldron that had glowing embers under it. Steam from what was inside the cauldron rose up to the crystal lined ceiling in a myriad of colors. She must be a witch, Jenny thought. "Yes, I am", said the woman. When Jenny stuttered and tried to say something, the witch held up her hand.

"We do not have much time. He will find you soon and it will be over, unless ..." Jenny stared at her. "Unless what?" she asked, afraid of the answer. The witch sat down on a stool next to her cauldron, leaning on her cane and holding onto it with both hands that were as gnarled as the cane. She turned her head and squinted at Jenny. "There is only one way to escape and be rid of him. Or, you can give up and let him have you."

"No, I want to escape!" The witch got up and took a cup off a small table. She filled it with a broth from the cauldron and handed it to Jenny. "Then drink this, it will save you." As Jenny reached for the cup, the witch held it back as she said, "but, you must know that once this spell is cast, you cannot ever change it." Jenny looked into the eyes of the witch and took the cup. Anything would be better than a tortuous death by him, she thought and drank the broth.


Monster in the tree ~

Gloomy trees
Gloomy trees | Source

Escape and revenge ~

When Jenny woke up, the witch and cave were gone. She found herself at the top of one of the monster type trees. "What the ..." She had no idea how she got up there, but she suddenly felt safe, knowing she was far above the maniac should he come this way. She also realized she had not eaten in a very long time and was starving.

The man slowly followed the path, he could sense her, knew she came this way, for he detected her scent which was driving him wild and deeper into his insanity. His warped mind was twisting and turning, exciting him with the thought of the blood that would seep out with each bit of torture he inflicted on her. He heard a sound above him and stopped.

Looking up, he saw an abnormally large eagle, sharp talons extended and reaching for him as it swooped down from the top of one of his monster trees. The hunter's screams echoed throughout the forest.

~ ~ ~ ~

Largest eagle he ever saw ~

Eagle
Eagle | Source

Note from author ~

Thank you for reading my article. Your opinions are important to me and let me know your interests. This helps me to offer more of your favorite subjects to read about. Your time and interest are very much appreciated. I hope to hear from you in the comments section below.

I write on several different subjects, all evergreen articles. You can read more about me and see more articles I wrote by clicking on my name by the small picture of me at the top right of this page.

Blessings and may you always walk in peace and harmony, softly upon Mother Earth.

Phyllis Doyle Burns
~ ~ ~ ~

© 2014 Phyllis Doyle Burns

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    • DrBill-WmL-Smith profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      I love the monster in the tree image. What fun! ;-)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thanks, Bill. So glad you enjoyed it.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Phyllis. Brilliant I had shivers down my spine. Your photographs are spot on. A really good read.

      Graham.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      I loved the raven in your story. Well done

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Graham, thank you so much. It was my goal to give readers the shivers. Glad you liked it.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Nadine May. I love ravens. Glad you liked it. I just somehow felt a raven should be in there somewhere. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      wow what a surprise.. I am simply amazed!!!!!!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This was a really different ending Phyllis, very well written and exciting. Good to see another writer taking the fantasy route like my ending. Well done.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      Phyllis, this is a fine ending to Frank's story. I love hawks and can think of less desirable ways to spend my life than soaring over the landscape. The maniac now has a very serious problem. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 3 years ago from On planet Earth

      Hi Phyllis this was exceptionally wonderful i enjoyed the read and was fully engaged :)

      Thanks for taking up the challenge i see that Frankie is bringing out the talent of Hubbers lol.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      What a great twist Phyllis! Who would've thought...quoth the raven, Nevermore!

      Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thanks, Frank. Glad I was able to give a surprise ending. Thanks again for the challenge, it was fun.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thanks, Jodah. I will have to go read yours. I appreciate your visit and comment.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thanks, cam8510 -- I appreciate your visit and comment. Ah, yes, the hunter becomes the hunted. Thanks again.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi LadyFiddler. I am glad you enjoyed it so much. The challenge was fun and I could not pass it up. Thanks for the visit and comment, I appreciate it.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Mary, thanks so much for the visit and comment. Yes, Jenny would agree, Nevermore! Thanks for the votes, I appreciate that.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      I like this very much - the flow, the suspense, the milestone changes along a path, and the ending. It could be a movie. Rated Up, Awesome, and shared.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thanks, Patty. It would make a good movie. Since it is Frank's characters and idea, he would do well, I think, to make it into a book which could become a great movie. He certainly has a lot of options on the final chapter with so many who have taken on his challenge. Thanks again for the visit and comment, I appreciate it.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Wow! What an imaginative, beautifully written ending. I loved this, Phyllis. Voted up and shared. :-)

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi and thank you, Genna. I am so glad you like it. I appreciate your visit and words of praise. Thanks again, very much. I read your comment on Frank's hub and am anxious to see what kind of ending you come up with. I will keep a lookout for it. Have fun!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Great alternate ending to Frank's story! Enjoyed the read and the surprise ending.

      Up and more and sharing.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Faith Reaper, thank you for the visit, votes, comment and share -- I appreciate it very much.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Phyllis,

      Your ending is filled with rich visuals , both in your descriptive style and perfectly chosen photography.

      The supernatural and mythological style worked beautifully in your version...excellent writing and wonderful angle for this contest.

      Hoping 2014 is a happy and healthy one for you. Hugs, Maria

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Greetings Maria. It is good to hear from you. Thank you so much for such words of praise, I really appreciate it. All best wishes to you for 2014, have a great year. Blessings to you.

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Phyllis Doyle this is simply magnificent! So glad I got to see it in time before it disappeared from my feed, which could have happened while I was still in hospital. Thanks for a wonderful read.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Greetings to you Joan. It is good to hear from you. I hope you are okay. What brought on the hospital stay? I am sending you thoughts and prayers for healing.

      Thank you so much for your words of praise. I am glad you like the hub.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Wow! That was a superb conclusion!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I am very humbled, Will, with that praise coming from such a great writer as you and one of my favorite authors. Thank you so much. I really miss you around here. I miss those great stories you write. Thanks again. You should get your own site. I just created mine on Weebly and am looking forward to making it my way. Take care.

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Hi Phyllis, I loved your ending, anything with even the slightest hint of the supernatural is sure to get my attention. This was a thoroughly good read, excellent ending.

      I read this when you first posted and thought I'd left a comment but couldn't find it, looks like the gremlins strikes again. :) Take care and my best to you. Good luck with the new site.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi tobusiness - thanks for the read and comment. I am glad you liked my story ending. I like the supernatural, too, and always have fun with it. Thanks for the wishes for my new site. It is hard to get it going, but I am working at it. Take care all the best to you.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Phyllis, I thoroughly enjoyed your fantasy approach. Your story is so well crafted, and I like that the villain was taken by her hawk transformation - a perfect outcome for an evil predator and one who tortured animals.

      Well done!

      Cat :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This was really great Phyllis. I liked the witch . The conclusion surprised me..Fun read....

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Cat. I am glad you enjoyed my version of the ending. It was fun to participate in Frank's challenge. He gave us a good place to start and my story just seemed to write itself. Thanks again, Catherine, for the visit and comment. It is much appreciated.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Ruby, Hi -- thank you for the visit and comment. The witch just seemed to fit in well in the forest, I had a heck of a time finding her cave, though. I hope Frank writes more about Jenny and her strange adventures. I really appreciate your visit and comment, Ruby. Thanks again.

    • profile image

      Evelyn Lopez 3 years ago

      This is my sixth ending of the screams and monsters short piece, I must admit most of them are just fantastic! This one just stuck with me more just had to let you know

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thank you, Evelyn, for the visit and comment. I appreciate it.

    • profile image

      Betty Niall 3 years ago

      oh a much better ending here o:

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image
      Author

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thank you for the read, Betty.

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