{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
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

Chevonne Prinsloo: I loved this book.. I didn't want to stop reading it! just my kind of book... I really love how the plot of the story carries along. I hope there are more books to follow after this one! I like the way she describes how Rogue is feeling and the way she shows the emotions going through Rogu. I als...

Dina Husseini: I loved this story. It was so great that I did not expect it to be this awesome. I swear to you this deserves more than just 5 stars. Beyond amazing. Kept me wanting more and I felt exactly like Emma felt while reading. Although in the beginning I did not expect anything to happen. Then, when som...

PaulSenkel: If you like Arthur C. Clarke's Odyssey, especially The Final Odyssey, then you will probably also enjoy this book. I definitely did.It does, however, address a more adolescent public than the above-mentioned book.I enjoyed the story and finished it in a few days. The overall situation on earth an...

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...

Schaelz: I was intrigued from the second I started reading, and it kept my interest the whole way through. Chelsea has a way with words that will enchant you until the very end. She is very poetic with the way she mixes genres and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is also very relat...

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...

BFIrving: A first rate story and well crafted, the blend of horror and action worked very well indeed and had me turning page after page. When not actually reading it, I found myself thinking about it which is always a good sign.There are quite a few grammatical and spell-checker errors but nothing anothe...

spooky jedi: Love your story!I really hope more people read this story!Its amazing!! The plot is very unique and different, which is very good to have in a world full of stories. You have very complex and intellectual plot line, with your many loveable character and that hint of 'will they, won't they' is ju...

More Recommendations

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.

Ding Fernando: very nice read.so realistic you can hardly put it down,i really like the character so human despite posessing immortality and eternal youth.though i would prefer a better ending..i still love this novel and i am recommending it to all sci fi fans to give it a try .you will love it too!!

Pablo Rojas: Love the story, at the end it is a western story, simple, yet giving hints and pieces of the situation that is happening all over ravencroft´s universe. easy to read and always keeping with the main stream story I want to keep reading about, Olafson´s adventures.

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

re8622: The Last Exodus quickly grabbed my attention. Almost as soon as I started reading the story, I couldn't put it down. I found that the ideas the author put forth were very thought provoking given the turmoil we have seen gradually rise over the last several years. I felt that I could understand th...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.