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“The crimson stream led back up the hill to a mass of white, matted wool, tinged with crusted blood and faeces.”
What happens when you give four people a writing prompt? I can tell you now it’s definitely not a happily ever after. If the title hasn’t put you off and your curiosity has spiked, read on. If not, well you’re missing out…
Writing Prompt: “Light Spring breezes follow them along the footpath as they trace the stream back towards the waterfall”
Written by Charlie Starkey
The path had been worn from years of hikers, both novice and experienced, of which Taryn was the former, and Isaac the latter. The trail was all but deserted despite it being early afternoon, but that was probably because it was midweek, and the weather forecast had looked dismal. They had simply been lucky.
Taryn had only agreed to come hiking because she thought the waterfall would look good on her social media. It took Isaac all his willpower not to scoff and instead encourage this sudden change of tune about going outside. It had been difficult to get Taryn to do anything since their mum left them two months ago.
“My feet are sore,” Taryn complained. Isaac had told her to wear different shoes before the hike so they wouldn’t give her blisters. He gave an exasperated sigh, his patience wearing evermore thin after an hour of her incessant whining.
“We’re almost there.”
As they turned a corner, Taryn stopped so abruptly that Isaac walked into her.
“What’s up?” he said, peering over her shoulder to see what she was looking at.
A streak of dirty crimson trickled down the path towards them. Its source was an unruly sight.
Written by Hope Landman
Taryn wretched at the sight, shoulders hunched forward and heaving with the effort of keeping the bile down. She simply pointed in answer to Isaac’s question and watched with some satisfaction as the colour drained from his face. At least she wasn’t the only squeamish one.
The crimson stream led back up the hill to a mass of white, matted wool, tinged with crusted blood and faeces. Flies buzzed around the open carcass, landing on fleshy ribs before diving deeper into the body. A spring breeze carried the stench of rotting flesh and sheep shit towards them, and Taryn gagged again, making the mistake of looking down.
By now, the blood had reached her shoes and was seeping into the suede. She’d never be able to get it out…but then, she didn’t care all that much for the hiking boots. She stepped to the side, out of the way of the oozing liquid, and watched as blood clots collected in a crack in the ground.
“Happy now?” She asked Isaac. She knew it wasn’t his fault, but he had insisted she come on this stupid walk in the first place.
“I wonder what happened…looks like the sheep’s been dead awhile, but this blood looks fresh.”
Written by Molly Kitcheman
“Who gives a fuck? Let’s get out of here.”
“Shouldn’t we report it though? I mean look at it, won’t be long till it’s just a sack of bones.” Isaac bent down and pressed his hand against it. I mean it, he literally touched it.
“It’s still warm, we should report it. Look, there’s a farmhouse just over the hill,” he said.
Isaac was always like that, all high and mighty. Even when we were just kids. Listen, now I understand we should’ve told someone, but the thing reeked. I mean it really fucking reeked. Like when you open the door to your fridge not realising the punnet of eggs and bottle of milk are already past their expiry. Its insides were practically melting away under the sun. Blood oozed from it and onto the grass around us. So, what good would us reporting it really do? That’s why I grabbed Isaac’s hand and made a run for it, each step taking us closer to the waterfall and further from the sheep’s rotting remains.
Written by Tabitha Lambie
Some people may have seen it as selfish, not respecting animals blah blah but I’d like to see how you react to a dead sheep. Hmm, the same way. Thought so. Even though it was disgusting I do feel quite bad for the poor creature, if I had died in a pile of my own shit I’d be pretty bummed that someone found me and just left me, organs on display. Like, cover me up at least so I can rot in peace. Taryn scrunched up her nose in disgust, why is my brain like this, it was a sheep not a dead baby!
“Slow down Taryn, it’s not a zombie! It can’t get us.”
Taryn turned just in time to watch him trip over a molehill; refraining from laughing at his trip down mole-y lane, aha good one Taryn, she offered an arm and pulled him up off the floor. Maybe that’s what the sheep needed, a helping hand? What if Dolly, yes Dolly, had fallen down a rabbit hole and broken her leg? Maybe that’s why she died?
“Taryn, I can see your brain whirling, what are you thinking about? I swear to God if you’re still thinking about that sheep I’m never going on a walk with you again, jeez.”
Looking down at her blood-covered shoes, she couldn’t help but confirm to herself that going on another walk was never happening again anyway. How could she possibly walk again after what Dolly’s been through? It’s too risky.
“I’m seriously starting to question if this waterfall is even worth it. Next time I want free food included or I’m not coming.”
Isaac shook his head, entirely unsurprised that even after witnessing a dead sheep Taryn was stilling thinking of KFC.