Swamplands

Swamplands
by Sierra July

Mud clogs my nostrils as I sink deeper and deeper into the bog. Sputtering, I manage to regain my footing, planting my squeaky sneakers on a slippery log hiding beneath several layers of mud. Frogs chirp in the distance like thousands of heartbeats performing a symphony. Fireflies drift by, lazy lanterns perfectly complementing the stars.

Instead of the night noises, the words that started this venture resonate within me.

“Listen here, Patricia.” My dad slurred his words through pain. “I need you to journey across the swamp to get our winter supplies. The Council only leaves the jackets, frozen meat, and medicine out for 48 hours, and I can’t get there with this busted leg.”

My dad pointed to his leg, still harnessed in a sling. The only flesh visible was his swollen red foot, which he was lucky to still have after the gator took a chunk out of his calf.

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