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Through Bright Light: In The Marsh

Posted 23 January 2007, 2.55 am by shaggy

(to catch up: Boogeyman, Peebles, and Mackenna have made it to the Marsh of the Malcontents. While wading through the wetlands, they are attacked on three fronts-- the Shadows of Shadow Forest coming from behind the lake, Anima, the soul of the Malcontents, swimming in from the east, and the Malcontents themselves, a hideous bunch of clay-creatures devoted to misery and pain, coming up from underneath the travelers, spewing from the mud itself.)

Mackenna ran toward Boogeyman, who simply turned to her and looked deep into her eyes. Their foreheads connected for a moment and she realized he was crying. “Go,” he said simply, and when she shook her head, he repeated himself. “Go or you’ll never get out alive.”

One of the Malcontents lumbered toward Boogeyman. Boogeyman made a gesture with his hand that was the same parents might to inform their child that they need to go. The hand stayed in this position even after he turned around. The message was clear: the grown-ups are talking.

Mackenna was hurt for a moment. But when the clay-creature swung at Boogeyman with a fearsome tool that looked like a combination of brass knuckles and pincushion, piercing and tearing a great deal of skin from his face, Mackenna’s base instincts overtook her, and fear, crawling inside her like an animal, forced her to flee.

Boogeyman recovered from the blow, his face dripping wet with blood and clay. He looked at the Malcontent, who appeared to be smiling as it wrapped its arms around Boogeyman, hauling him into the mud of the marsh. Even though he could not see what was happening beneath him, he could feel his lower extremities, already weak from the attack by Coagula, attached to a cold metallic thing. And as he struggled, the thing bit with sharp teeth, and he felt a fresh warm liquid pouring from the barely-healed wound on his ankle.

Mackenna made it to the other end of the marsh, where Peebles waited. She heard the sharp yelp coming from Boogeyman and it made her cry. Because she knew that he had done the right thing, that she had to see her family, and that he had sworn to protect her. This was his way of finally protecting her. She did not dare look back. She knew what was going to happen. Her upper body tensed up as she tried desperately not to cry.

Peebles looked up at Mackenna and let out an urgent meow that quickly escalated into a pathetic wail.

“There’s nothing we can do, Peebles,” she said with a sigh as she wiped tears from her eyes. “We have to get out of here.” With that, she picked up the one-eyed creature, trying not to squeeze him too hard, for all the love and sorrow that she felt for the pet.

Mackenna quickly glanced back at the marsh. Her lip quivering in frustration and grief, she closed her eyes and whispered a eulogy for the guide.

“Thank you for everything. Thank you for helping me finish my story.”

And with that, she turned around and continued in the only direction she knew, unsure of how she would find her way without her guide, but knowing that she had no choice, both for her family and out of respect for the gesture Boogeyman had given her.

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Doggybag/baggy_dog is an artist living and working in Barga, Italy. Click here to read about this piece in his own words.

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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness


80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!


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