Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
page0rz would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Trip

By page0rz All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Scifi

The Trip

The sky was the colour of dried blood when the family of three settled down for their final night. An afternoon of steady hiking had exhausted them enough that, once the tent was up, they sat in silence to watch the sun setting behind the distant, jagged mountains lining the horizon like teeth. The quiet persisted while the father, a bulky man, face hard and calloused by years spent outdoors, started a fire. His thick, leathery hands worked with a deft rhythm while his wife and young daughter patrolled the edge of the clearing collecting sticks.

Soon, his wife was cooking, picking apart the twine bows she’d tied around the special packages kept at the bottom of her pack. The little girl’s eyes widened when she saw the meal her mother was making. “Mint stew,” she said, and clapped her hands.

“And carrot cake for desert,” said her mother as she emptied a fragile jar of stock into the pot.

“Carrot cake,” the little girl told her father as she tottered toward him, propping herself up with one of the sticks she’d collected.

He gathered her into his lap, feeling the delicate bones of her spine against his palm. So small, he thought, letting his fingers spread apart. Only after this last season was she big enough that he couldn’t span the width of her back with his hand. “As much as you can eat,” he promised.

---

What was meant to be the final day’s travel was first slowed by thick fog rolling in from the north. The ground began to slope, gently at first, and the thick pine forest thinned out into scrappy saplings and wiry bushes fighting for purchase amongst the rocks. Limited visibility exacerbated the precarious footing over the loose stones and hard earth. The father carried his daughter on his back, where she slumped against his shoulder. She murmured to herself whenever a small mammal darted out of the mist long enough to see the three humans, only to disappear again a moment later.

“Are they scared of us?” she asked after a brown bunny darted out from the cover of a boulder as they passed. Her voice had a hollow echo, the sound muffled by the fog.

“In a way,” said her father.

“Why?”

“Because we might catch them and eat them, or make clothes out of their fur.”

“Oh,” she said.

In the afternoon, the sun made its presence felt, hanging heavy in the sky until the fog had evaporated before slipping behind a strip of dark cloud. They ate on the movie, trying to make up for lost time. The sun continued to fall as they climbed, with only the lingering reflection of its light left to paint the clouds when they sighted their destination.

“What is it?” asked the little girl, pointing over her father’s shoulder.

“You’ll see soon enough,” he said.

They rested for a while. The little girl wanted to know everything, but her father noncommittal answers. So she turned to her mother waving her arms and pointing up the hill at the lights. Her legs failed her as she slipped on a flat, dew-slick rock, and her mother sprang forward, arms out. The little girl laughed.

She stopped when she saw the tears on her mother’s face. “I’m sorry,” she muttered.

“Don’t be,” said her mother. “It’s not your fault.”

When they started walking again, the father shouldered both packs so the mother could carry her daughter. More than once, he almost said something, but found he’d run out of words.

---

The lights were a crown of jewels in the blue mountain darkness as they approached, obscuring the long silhouette behind them. The trees and animals disappeared as the ground levelled off in the final kilometre. The only sound was the flat slap of their footsteps in the void.

A new jewel appeared, closer to the ground, and focused, circling them in a pool of bright light. The father stepped forward, an arm raised to shield his family. When nothing happened, they began walking again. The spotlight moved with them.

All at once, as suddenly as it appeared, the light was gone. They froze again, blind in the new darkness. A voice came from the silence like a crack of thunder. “State your business,” it said.

The father stepped aside, revealing the little girl held tight in her mother’s arms. “My daughter . . . ” he said, trailing off when the spotlight reappeared.

“Send her here,” said the voice.

The man looked back at his wife, at the mother, who was shaking her head while the tears flowed freely. “We have to do this,” he said, and gently pried her arms away.

The little girl looked back at them as she walked toward the lights. She used the stick her father had saved as a crutch. Her mouth opened, but the words were lost to the booming voice as it ordered them to leave. The husband pulled his wife away with him, and only cried out once, when the light went out and the darkness swallowed his little girl.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, page0rz
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

Cat32: I enjoyed the good versus evil aspect of this novel, especially as the protagonist has to discover how to access that good to save his family. I sat down to begin reading this story, and only put it down long enough to eat with the family! the book does an excellent job of building the suspense, ...

usubitha1: There are many things in this book that I liked but most of all the way the author wrote this story. This is a clear inspiration for humans and inspired me much. I liked the author way of presenting the characters of the story, the plot of the story and most of all the inspiration. There are som...

Dru83: This is perhaps my favorite part of the Olafson story just because it is here that were are introduced to his "gang". The characters are so diverse and complicated that each of them could just about spawn their own story. Eric's buddies are just so captivating and the plot just rolls along. Again...

jigglypuff314: Feeling sad that you can't watch your harem hentai in class? This is the book for you! No one will suspect a thing (other than your boner) as you scroll through pages of some of the best porn you'll ever be able to imagine!Spectacular details and a wonderful tug of emotions, you won't know whethe...

borkarprasad: Nicely laid story. Needed a little more ghost and Raven conversations. Initially, Had everyone on suspect list but satisfied by the precision to capture the killer. Waiting for more Raven and Cade adventures.

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

More Recommendations

Marimar Amieva: Although I found the vampire thing a bit too much, I couldn't stop reading it. The story had a bit of everything: mystery, romance, a huge plot twist and relatable characters. I congratulate the author for this story and hope to read more of whatever he writes.

ericaporamoralcine: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...