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American Fantasy Fiction

Legend has it that in the swamp that borders our property there is a flower that has a bell shaped bloom and it's the purest shade of white that shimmers in the moonlight. The petals of the flower have magical powers. The legend also speaks of an Indian that lives in the swamp. He is the guardian and protector of the swamp and the magical flowers keep and protect him. It is said he has long silver hair with piercing white eyes with a jacket made of vines. He

can appear as anything he chooses during the day; but come the night he has to be in the forest.

My father bought this 40 acres over 50 years ago and my own family has lived here over 35 years. My husband, Chance, and I decided to leave most of the pine standing between our home and the swamp. Chance hunts deer all around the swamp and has never encountered anything strange regarding the legend. The swamp even burned a few years back with nothing out of the ordinary being reported. I'm surprised that nobody has been seeking to prove or disprove the legend; however, I, myself, have not thought about it much in all the time I've lived here.

I have been thinking about going to the swamp today. Chance has invited his hunting buddies over for dinner. I'm not a good cook and am nervous not wanting to embarrass my husband. Maybe I can find a magical flower and *poof* this dinner could be saved. Laughing to myself, how true could that legend be I wonder. Maybe the Indian can guide me to the flowers, I laughed. What would I do if I saw him, I wondered.

Outfitted for the swamp, I have my gun to protect me from the snakes, gloves to protect my hands, shears to cut the flowers with, "Yep, I'm ready to go," trying to be brave. After all the swamp isn't that far away. I need to be quick as the sun isn't at it's full height in the sky. How I wished I could use the ATV; too late for that now. Chance would be livid if he knew what I was attempting. He taught me how to shoot but still believes he needs to be with me in the woods. I have heard all the snake and hog horror stories, but I need to do this.

At the edge of the swamp I start scanning for an area that might lead me to the flowers. "Who am I kidding?" I ask myself. I don't know where to start. I see a tree with a vine but no flowers; a hedge with flowers but no bells. I'm getting discouraged and I plop down in despair. It's then I realize I have no water. How could I have been so stupid? Before I knew it I had screamed out loud.

I don't know how long I had sat there before I saw it. A hand, that has reached out and grabbed mine. I looked up into the blue eyes that had a silver shimmer at the edges. He had heard my scream and came to help me. As he helped me up I saw long gray hair with a silver sheen that was tied up in the back. He explained that he worked for a survey crew that was working in the area.

He asked why I was in the swamp and I explained I was looking for flowers to set my table with. He seemed to believe me. He led me back to the edge of the swamp and as he turned to leave I stumbled and he reached out to help me and to my amazement there was a stem stuck to his shirt that had a few white bell flowers on it. I snatched them while he was helping me. I didn't know if these were the right flowers, but they'd have to do. I didn't even know how many flowers I needed.

I took the flowers and make a powder out of them and decided to mix them with the sugar. I would make a pitcher of tea using the sugar. I fixed a glass of tea and started my meal preparations. To my surprise it was like I had been cooking all my life; no need to look at a recipe; no second-guessing myself. I was actually enjoying cooking. No, I thought to myself, it couldn't be the tea. I was just fooling myself to think those flowers were the magical flowers of the legend.

I finished preparing the meal when I heard Chance come in with his buddies. I only knew a couple of them but Chance wanted this to be for the guys to set hunting rules for the approaching season. As they all came in Chance introduced them. I was shocked that one of them was my earlier rescuer; however, he didn't act like he had ever met me. His nic-name was Smiley and I could understand why. When he smiled, his whole face lit up. When I went to grab the pitcher of tea, he appeared by my side and said "I know." Chance was suddenly there asking what he knew. Smiley answered, "I know the men prefer beer with their steak," and everyone laughed.

The meal was perfect and before I knew it the men were talking about hunting. As I cleared the table away Smiley got up to leave stating he was fine with anything they decided but he needed to get going. He had rode in with one of the guys but lived nearby and preferred to walk home. How strange, I thought. I looked for the tea pitcher to fill my glass but it was empty. The guys had preferred the beer and had not drank any tea. What had happened to the tea?

Was it the tea that had helped me to make the perfect meal? It had to be. Did Smiley empty the tea while I was busy so that nobody else tasted the tea? I had to find out. I had a mission now and that was to unlock the mystery of the magical flowers. I need to search out people that can tell me more about the legend and what they know about the flowers.

June 30, 2021 01:14

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4 comments

John Hanna
22:02 Jul 07, 2021

Hi Sharlene, I was given this as a round-robin commenting thing. Your story has a lot of description, maybe a little more show instead of telling. I once saw a twenty-foot-long, one foot thick, rattlesnake sunning on a mostly deserted bike path in Florida. It was sunning itself and didn't bother me when I gingerly rode past it. Now, that one I could have shot but most snakes are hard to hit with a bullet, and boars require a heavy caliber and serious backbone because they charge and you have to get them between the eyes as they come. Flori...

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Sharlene Addison
00:35 Jul 09, 2021

Thanks John. I see what you mean and I'll try to work on that :) I really just typed that up in one day. I'll try to slow down and develop a better flow. I appreciate your comments.

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Mellanie Crouell
17:29 Jul 05, 2021

Intriguing!!

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Sharlene Addison
15:24 Jul 09, 2021

Thanks for your comment Mellanie. I'm new to this and it's fun.

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