Forgotten pathways twisted underfoot, undulating like snakes, seeming to shift with every step I took. I’d been told that the marshes were eerie, difficult to navigate and frequently deadly, but nobody had described the way it seemed like a living, breathing being. Clutching the thick branch I’d been smart enough to bring with me, I poked and prodded at every patch of weeds that blocked my path, terrified that some creature would jump out at me, even though I knew that most creatures wouldn’t be stupid enough to allow themselves to be detected by a slow human like myself.
I hitched my knapsack higher on my shoulders. The weight of it was digging into my shoulders; there were two red marks where the straps cut into my flesh and rubbed it raw. It was useless complaining about it, though. For one thing, there was no one to hear me, and it’s not fun to complain aloud to yourself. For another, the contents that I found so heavy were what I was relying on to keep me alive in the marshes.
I was a fool to undertake that journey, of course. I was young, a journalist major fresh out of school, and I thought that I could do anything. I wanted to prove myself. To show the world just what I could do.
Too bad for me that the world decided to show me what it could do, too.