002 An Unacceptable Death: The Protostory
002 An Unacceptable Death: The Protostory(F: 11-Years Old, Quicksand, Strong Melodrama, Controversially Fatal, 41 Pages)By Dark Angel [Seven]Original: 12/29/2019Passed through Grammarly : 03/14/2022 A stream lead away from the remote cottage. 11-year-old April Anderson had only a few hours to explore it. She wanted to see how it cut through the woods and away from the lake. An occasional gust of wind blew through the highest branches of the old forest. Several birds flew among the treetops as squirrels chattered in the thick old-growth forest canopy. But, she paid no attention. There was no time to waste listening to the wildlife. Besides, she could do that back at the cottage. The late morning air was warm but not hot. April briskly walked along the banks of the forest stream. She stepped over longs and small gullies without breaking a sweat. Clouds rolled across the sky and briefly covered the sun. They would pass and leave the full sun to shine. A full day’s worth of sunlight brightly lit the forest. Once the light broke through the thick foliage high at the top of the trees, it flooded the woodland in bright light. After swiftly walking a long way up the stream, the child found a small creek that trickled into the stream forming a small sandy delta. She paused for a moment. She lifted an arm and nervously ran her fingers through her thick, rich, and long light brown hair that covered each side of her face and flowed over her shoulders. She then slid her hand under the thick bangs of hair that covered her forehead. Her precious deep brown eyes glowed with the deep thoughts that were rolling in her head. Some thoughts brought a worried look to her face. Some of her decisions had already involved some real risks. She was wondering whether something was worth another gamble or not. She had to make a decision. She was barefoot and wearing just her brand-new, simple, very brightly yellow-colored, and modest one-piece swimsuit. She had second thoughts about pushing through the brush of a remote wilderness to satisfy an urge for adventure. There were four things she did not want to explain to her parents. She did not want to invent an excuse for her cuts in skin, snags in her brand new swimsuit, and twigs, leaves, and dirt in her thick messed-up hair. She had no cuts or snags – yet. Her beautiful, thick, and long hair was still clean. She had a full shower last night and her hair was thoroughly brushed this morning. Lastly, she had strict rules against walking up the stream. Above all, April knew she was a lousy liar. Mom and dad were living lie detectors. They had 11 years to learn even the slightest of many hints of a lie. However, she would likely not have another chance to explore this deep into the wilderness. Throwing caution aside, she shrugged her shoulders and charged up the creek and through the bushes that hid the source of its water flow. She carefully negotiated her way through the streamside brush. She cautiously avoided snagging her swimsuit, injuring her bare feet, and scratching her soft, tender, and pale white skin. She avoided at all costs getting webs, sticks, and dirt stuck into her long, light brown, thick, straight, hip length, and silky hair. After pushing through the greenery, she stopped and looked back at the brush. “Whatever you do, do NOT enter these woods alone.” April stood there as if her father’s words echoed in her head. She had the habit of talking to herself when her mind was active. She would often repeat what was said to her to remember what was said. “If you get into trouble, we are going to have a hard time finding you!” It would be the last moment to think about what she was doing. It would be her last moment to wonder if she had wandered too far away from the cottage. It would be her last moment to wonder if someone would be able to find her if she needed help. But, she smiled and shook her head as she pondered other thoughts. Her father also said many things way too many times for any enthusiastic and curious 11-year old to hear. “You only live once. You may not have another chance.” April recited all of them to herself. “Sometimes you just have to say, why not?” Her sweet face lit up. She smiled and giggled. She had made her decision and was eager to follow it through. Little April turned upstream and boldly charged up the creek to find its source. Making good time, she put a distance up the creek away from the well-known and walked stream. Her thick and long hair bounced with each determined step as she pushed forward. She put her hand on a tree if she needed help balancing over logs, rocks, or loose dry ground by the edge of the creek. She walked deeper into the isolated old forest. She was crossing ground that had not seen a human in months and sometimes even a year or more. The very high and thick ceiling of branches, bows, and leaves thickened. Not much direct light made it to the forest floor for most plants to grow. The walk up the stream along its banks was easy enough for a girl in bare feet. The surrounding forest around the creek was noticeably darker. April’s deep brown eyes showed a growing uneasiness. But, there was a creek to follow. The water came from somewhere. She was going to find it. The stream ended in a very distinct depression in the woods. The ground in the depression looked a light, dull, and sandy-brown color. It was very flat. It had a slight mound in the middle. It looked wet but solid. Small streams ventured out of the ground taking an occasional grain of sand. They ran into the side of the depression where the water collected and the head of the creek formed. The surrounding forest ranged from an almost black color to a dark brown. It depended on the ground, tree bark, or roots that snaked through the earth. Green, brush, grasses, and bushes surrounded the depression. It was thick. But if she had to walk around the depression, there was enough hard and bare ground to do so. A ledge of a few inches dropped into the depression. The ledge, the dark brown earth, and the soggy light brown color of the depression created a very start contrast between the pit and the forest floor. April paused for a moment. She looked over the depression. Her precious brown eyes flashed a sharp concern as if she was wondering what was waiting for her if she ran across the surface of the wet depression. She took her hands and gathered what long hair had fallen off her shoulders. She lightly tossed whatever hair she had over her head to her back. She then abruptly stepped into the depression. She began a stern and determined to walk across the pit. Her thick and long hair pulsed against her back. It pulsed down to her hips with each step across the wet ground. The wet earth began to stick to her feet. Her footprints vanished behind her as soon as she lifted her feet. The ground under her feet became unstable. She pushed her arms and hands off to her sides to help her balance. Her breath deepened. Her deep brown eyes flashed a moment of concern as they scanned the depression in front of her. She nimbly reached the top of the low mound at the center of the pit. The wet sand and silt ground collapsed from under little April’s barefoot. An instant flash of pure terror exploded from her deep brown eyes as she looked downward. April gave out a sharp, loud, and quickly muted scream as the flowing ground swallowed the young child’s foot. Her arms and hands instantly and desperately swept through empty air. A healthy head full of thick, hip-length, silky, shiny, straight, and light brown hair began to flow around her. It violently twisted and jerked. The usually shy, quiet, and soft-spoken child became very vocal. Frustrated gasps and grunts became muted screams and sobs of terror as the thrashing continued. Her struggling became stronger, abrupt, and defined. April stopped. She took both of her hands and grabbed a massive amount of hair in front of her. Hair flipped over her head and to her back with a toss from her hands. With both hands off to her sides, she looked downward at her legs just in time to see both knees vanish into the same soupy earth that swallowed her feet. She instantly and violently struggled. There was another flurry of thrashing arms and hands. There was a storm of wildly twisting and flowing hair. Her gasps and screams sounded very desperate and horrified. “No! No! Please, no!” April’s frantic and sob-filled screams echoed through the remote forest. “Oh, God! Please, no!”* In the mid-morning, the pattering of a young girl’s bare feet echoed up and down the lone peer of a remote fishing cottage. A young husband and wife looked upward from the inside of a fully stocked fishing boat. Their son ignored the young girl as she stood on the pier and looked down at her parents. A smile spread across April’s sweet face. Both of her precious brown eyes glowed with anticipation. “Now April.” The father spoke in an authoritative voice. “Remember what I told you.” “Yes, daddy.” The child rocked from side to side with both arms in front of her with her hands together. “I remember.” “The woods are full of wild animals.” The fatherly lecture continued. “The ground up and down that stream behind the cottage is very soggy and dangerous.” “Kevin! Look at her!” The mother chimed in. “Does she look like she is ready to go hiking in the woods?” April wore nothing but a very bright, shiny, very modest, and brand new one-piece swimsuit. The mother pointed out that it was hardly the attire for a hike in the woods. The smooth, nylon and spandex fabric hugged the slender figure of the child very well. Her swimsuit was a precious color of bright yellow from her shoulders and a high neckline to her hips and low hip lines. The sharp yellow brought out the contrast between her swimsuit and a glorious head of thick, light-brown, and long hair. The slick and shiny mass of hair flowed down from the top of her head. It flowed down past her shoulders. It covered her glorious body down to a straight line cut at her hips. Thick hair covered her forehead cut in a sharp straight line just above her eyebrows. April had a wonderful glow as the morning sun shined upon her. The still-new wax of her swimsuit sparkled as she patiently rocked from side to side. The bright shiny yellow had powerful radiance as it reflected the sun. It very appropriately matched the sweet and shy nature of the beautiful child. Even her thick and rich hair had a sweet luster in the sunlight. But nothing glowed brighter than her precious and deep brown eyes and the smile on her tender face. She happily watched her family prepare the boat for fishing. April’s radiance would make any set of parents proud and even jealous of their daughter. Her gorgeous splendor was perfect to attract any fine young boy. But no, she was very ill-prepared for a hike through the remote wilderness. “Jane, she is 11-years old. 11-year olds get into trouble.” Kevin said in a rather rough tone. “I just want to make sure that she stays safe.” The two parents got into a brief and civil argument while both children ignored the whole thing. The older brother chimed in and joked about April’s dislike for live bate, slimy worms, gooey fish, and inability to sit for a long time to wait for a catch. The argument turned heated then abruptly stopped. “Remember what I told you about the quicksand out here and in the woods.” Kevin turned to sweet and young April in a firm voice. “Once it has you and there is nobody around to pull you out, it sucks you under.” “KEVIN!” “It swallows you alive. It leaves no trace. It will be impossible to find you.” “There is no need to scare the poor child!” “She needs to know what could happen to her if she decides to wander off!” The argument continued. April patiently waited for her parents to stop arguing, start the boat, and head out to some out-of-the-way fishing spot. “Make sure that you have bug spray on” “Yes I do, daddy”. “If you are going to get into the water, please stay by the peer.” “Yes, I will.” “We will be back before supper time. So you have a lot of time to draw and do other things.” “Ok, daddy.” “Ok, is everybody ready? Do we have everything?” April continued to patiently wait as her family once again checked if they had everything they needed for fishing. Finally, her father started the motor and the boat pulled away from the docking. April smiled and eagerly waved to her family. Everyone waved back. April then started to walk back to the cottage. Her silky, long, and thick hair bounced with each eager step. She even hummed a sweet tune hiding deep anticipation as if she was eagerly looking forward to a moment to do something. She occasionally looked over her shoulders to make sure that they were well on their way. Sure enough, all three were off to whatever spot they chose to catch fish. April did not wait for the boat to make a turn and disappear behind a small peninsula. Her walk became a steady run. Her arms were by her sides. Her long hair flowed from side to side with each step. Her deep brown eyes sparkled. A wonderful smile spread across her precious face. She deviously and gleefully giggled. She was going to do something her father sternly warned her not to do The naive, adventurous, and sometimes disobedient child was now 11-years old. Preteen girls often develop a stubborn nature. April was no exception. She was determined to go up the stream, away from the cottage, and explore the deep and isolated woods. She eagerly ran past the cottage. She ran to the trail that led to the forbidden stream. She vanished into the remote forest when she made it to the edge of the flowing stream. Her father and an older brother already took the opportunity to walk the length of the stream. She wanted to as well. Despite all begging, the answer was the same. It was a firm no. It was April’s time now. Nobody was around to say no. Wanting to explore, wanting to see where the stream led, wanting to do something her parents strictly told her not to do, April charged upstream as fast as she could. Her family had already explored the stream. Her father and brother together were dressed for a walk in the remote woods. They were there for each other just in case something happened. Alone, April was barefoot and wearing nothing but her brand new, modest, and yellow one-piece swimsuit. Sure, she had several hours before her family would be back. But, the stream was long. There was a wilderness to explore. This was her chance. It was a chance the adventurous and curious 11-year old girl was not going to pass up.* Thrust left. Thrust right. Then again. Left, then right. April violently leaned side to side. She pulled on each leg caught deep in the thick and soggy ground. There was a high pitch and terrified grunt with each lean. Serious tension spread across her face. Two desperate eyes searched the surrounding forest as if she was looking for something or even someone that could help her. Each arm rose and dropped in front of her to the rhythm of her swaying. Her long mass of hair wildly swung behind her with each violent rock. Her struggling was worse than futile. The thick muck held on to a leg each time she tried to pull it free. It mounded just a little bit as she pulled upward. It never surrendered any inch of skin it had claimed as its own. It pulled it right back in as she leaned the other way. The muck pitted as she pushed the other leg downward. As a result, the mire around her rocked left then right It resisted every attempt to break free. But each time she pulled on one leg, the weight of her body just pushed the other slightly deeper into the iron grip of the muck. It was slow. Inch by inch. April’s legs sank deeper into the wet and shifting ground. Standing straight up, she panicked. Whining and gasping, she violently shook her head. The palm of each hand frantically swept two circles in front of her. Her long hair shook behind her as each wave passed down every strand to her hips. Abrupt waves rolled through the wet ground a short way from her as she violently pumped her legs in the deep mire. She then continued to rock from side to side. Each rock continued to force her legs just a little bit deeper. It took a while and much effort, but the heavily gripping light sandy brown and soggy earth flowed over the last bit of skin of her legs. She was now hip-deep in a sucking quagmire. April was slightly bent forward with both hands wide open in front of her. Loudly sobbing and gasping, she fought hard just to take a deep breath as rivers of tears began to flow from her wide-open eyes. She might have looked at the ground. She was distracted and lost in her thoughts. The glossy look from her eyes radiated the shock that gripped her mind. Her arms and hands swayed with the slow twisting of her hips. Long and thick hair shifted left and right over her back. It slid across the smooth swimsuit that covered her firm and slender figure. The beautiful, sweet, young, and quiet girl had a clear understanding of what had just happened. The battle for April’s legs was over. The deep, soggy, and sandy-silt ground had won. Her situation had gravely worsened. She could no longer just pull a leg out, sit on that leg, and work the other leg free. With both legs now buried, she had to somehow lift herself up and out of the wet ground to get to her legs. Only then could she free her leg. She could then work her way out of the mire. Now with her legs lost to the deep, heavy, and wet ground, the long and vicious battle for the sweet child’s body had begun. The contrast between the young girl and the murky ground could not have been starker. Besides making April look good, her swimsuit made her feel good about herself. The bright yellow seemed to have a florescence about it that glowed through all kinds of situations. It made her stand out when she felt ignored. It lifted her spirits when punished for her school grades or lack of social skills. Words seemed to have less of an impact. The tight-fitting, smooth, and bright nylon made her feel attractive even when others tried to make her feel ugly. The bright yellow seemed to bring out all that was good about her. She stood out in a dark room, outside on a moon-lit evening, or by a campfire. Whatever the darkness, April and her bright yellow modest one-piece swimsuit stood out despite it all. She was a flame on a large candle that lit up whatever darkness was around her. She was a lighthouse that stood against any storm that wanted to crush her and her spirit. She was a flame that shined through any strife or darkness. Until now! April looked graceful even in her moment of great agony. Every twist, turn, and lunge had a rhythmic flow. Her yellow swimsuit still brought out the bright luster of her thick, long, and silky light brown hair as it flowed against her with each move. Her yellow swimsuit brought out her glorious deep brown eyes even as tears rolled down her face. Her eyes still brought out the sweet and kind nature of the girl even as they radiated the fear that gripped her mind. Her yellow swimsuit brought out the splendor that April radiated even in the time of her most desperate plight. The nylon and spandex fabric brought out a perfect radiance from the young child. It started from her shoulders. It continued down the entire length of her firm and slender body. Until it very abruptly ended at her hips. The heavy, soggy, dull, and light brown sludge flowed like a thick fluid around April’s rocking and twisting hips. The gritty and sandy ground slid against the bright and smooth texture of her swimsuit. The ground just around her hips rose and sank. It shifted as both legs fought the grip of the deep muck. Every so often, a twist or turn would bring just a sliver of her swimsuit back to the surface. Specks of dirty sand and small clumps of dark silt would cling to the fabric. The dirty water that saturated the ground soaked into the smooth fabric. Once in contact with the mire, a sliver of her swimsuit lost its brilliance, shine, color, and smooth texture. It no longer radiated the pure innocence of the sweet child. The battle line was very distinct, clear, and abrupt. There was a stark difference on her hips where the bright, clean, and smooth swimsuit met the dingy, dirty, and gritty earth. The young girl slowly struggled and ever so slowly sank. Sliver by sliver and bit by bit, her precious swimsuit slipped into the choking mire. April gave out a sudden gasp, with an abrupt jolt, as she snapped out of her trance. She pushed both of her hands way off to her sides. She jerked her head as she frantically searched the forest around her. Startled, she gasped harder as she realized that she was still very alone and isolated. Gasps became fearful as she looked down at the soggy ground around her. She leaned backward with a sharp jolt. Her long and straight hair swung back from her shoulder blades. Her head was forward and down. A powerful and intense glow shined from both eyes as she looked at her hips. “No! No! No! Oh, God no!” Panic and terror exploded through her. “Please! No! God no!” Crouched forward, April’s hands clawed at the empty air in front of her. Sobbing, gasping, and choking, her brown eyes burned with the fear that gripped her. “Help me! Help me! Please!” Her desperate cries echoed through the remote and isolated forest. “Please, help me!” She jerked left, right, and side to side as she reached into each direction with her hands. “Oh, God! Oh, God!” Once again, the child realized that she was alone. “God, please help me!” Twisting, turning, and rocking failed to free her from the deep sludge. So, April began to lunge. She jerked up and down as if she desperately tried to jump out of the pit. Her arms flew up and down with each frantic leap. A sharp groan sounded with each attempt. Her thick, rich, and long hair violently bounced up and down behind her with each desperate lunge. Her eyes very fearfully and desperately looked upward at all the sky-high branches and tree limbs she wanted to grab to pull free of the deep muck. But, the thick and heavy ground around her hips pulsed up and down and resisted every jump. Both feet pushed just a little bit deeper with each lunge. Her hips ever so slightly settled deeper into the quagmire with each lunge. A little bit of her bright, smooth, and yellow swimsuit succumbed to the dingy, gritty, and light sandy brown earth with each lunge. Stopping for a moment, April ran both of her hands through her long hair. She grabbed a bunch of stray hair that had fallen off her back to her chest. It was all pushed to her back with a swipe of both hands. She cupped both hands over her face covering her nose and mouth. Each thumb tightly pressed against the jawbone under and on each side of her face. She took several deep breaths that shook her as she tried to calm her turbulent and stressed mind. She wiped her entire tear-soaked face several times with the front, back, and sides of both hands. Soaked with tears, she spent extra time under and around each eye. It took several blinks and shakes of her head to clear her vision. She covered her mouth with one hand. The other hand cupped over and tightly held that hand so that both were firmly under her nose. Both elbows and arms were tight against her chest. Both eyes firmly looked forward at the woods in front of her. Each glowed with whatever serious and intense thought that crossed her mind. She shook as she took more deep breaths. She could not shake the dreadful fear that gripped and stressed her mind. Both deep brown eyes glowed with the pain that it all caused. She balled both her hands in front of her into fists, violently shook her head, and gave out one massive and frustrated scream. April leaned forward and looked down at the soupy ground in front of her and around her. More and more of her thick, silky, and long hair fell off her back, slid against her smooth swimsuit, and hung from the sides of her face. She ever so slightly and slowly rocked from side to side with the slow twisting of her hips. She lifted her hand and nervously combed her rich and long hair with her fingers. An occasional bright and glorious yellow shined from underneath all that hair whenever a gap formed between the strands. Her long, thick, and light brown hair hid her face from view. But, there was still an occasional, quiet, and depressed whine that sounded with each breath. A thick and small pool of gritty mire slid against her nylon and bright yellow swimsuit. It shifted with the slow rocking of her hips. Her hips were just over halfway into the depths of the soft earth. “Help me! Help me, please!” A soft and tearful cry rang out. “Please, help me! I am sinking!” April began to twist. An open hand pushed outward in front of her with each turn. There was a soft, high-pitched, and desperate grunt with almost every move. Hair hung from each side of her face, flowed over her chest, and down to her hips. The long and thick mass swept around her entire body with each twist. The true and deadly nature of April’s situation began to take hold in her mind. A deeper and more extreme pain twisted her face in agony in ways that a sweet, quiet, and 11-year old girl should never experience. Her deep and brown eyes glowed with a growing number of horrible thoughts of what was happening to her. Her eyes glowed even stronger as if she pondered what could happen to her if she could not escape from the pit. “Help me! Help me, please!” A louder and somber cry rang out. “I can’t get out! I can’t get out!” The twists became stronger. The grunts became stronger. Arms, hands, and fingers randomly stabbed off to her sides. A flurry of hair frantically twisted and flowed around her. Her swimsuit and hair flashed between the two colors of light brown and a bright and shiny yellow. Her hips violently twisted, rocked, and jerked. The soupy ground against her flowed with each move. The wet earth slightly mounded and sank as her legs struggled underneath the mire. April’s long hair ended with a cut in a straight line at her hips. A bright and waxy yellow shined from her hips under the tips of her thick, sweeping, and flowing hair as she struggled. Bit by bit, the bright and radiant yellow vanished as her hips slowly slipped deeper into the soggy and shifting earth. “Help me! Help me!” Still twisting, turning, and struggling, April threw her head back and looked upward at the lush forest canopy. Arms, hands, and fingers stabbed upwards for branches. All of the branches where high and were out of reach for centuries. Gasping, grunting, and whining, her brown eyes radiated a confusing mix of hopelessness, desperation, and deep fear. Her precious face twisted in a deep and gripping terror. Her hips slowly sank until there was no more bright, waxy, smooth, nylon, and yellow swimsuit to see. Now, the very tips of her thick, long, shiny, straight, and light brown hair began to sweep the soggy, dingy, dull, and sandy brown earth around her as her hair flowed around her as she twisted and struggled. April's thick long hair covered her bright yellow swimsuit. First, it was her feet and legs. Now, her hips had succumbed to the thick and wet ground of the deep mire. The sweet, kind, and shy young girl continued to struggle. The radiant, lovely, and terrified child continued to very slowly sink deeper into the wet, dingy, and dull earth.* The sun shined in a warm and cozy blue sky filled with large, fluffy, and rolling clouds. Radiant beams made the entire lake surface sparkle and flash. An occasional gust of wind blew across the crystal clear lake and fishing cottage. Very light waves rolled across the water. They flowed under the short pier and washed against the rocks and small sandy beach of the boat landing. The brief wind gusts made the highest leaves and branches above the fishing cottage rustle and sway. The cottage and the fishing camp were quiet. The sound of birds and squirrels playing in the trees broke the silence. A young girl’s lunch sat in a humming refrigerator powered by an electric line strung by multiple tens of miles along a lengthy dirt road through the remote forest. A small generator with a large propane tank sat next to the cottage. A young girl’s art supplies sat on a table. It was on a screened-in porch attached to the cottage. A towel, a change of clothing, and a fresh red and pink swimsuit sat on top of a clean and neat bed. All of it was untouched behind the unlocked door of the remote cottage. The sound of a young girl cheerfully humming as she doodled on a sheet of paper was nowhere to be heard. A beautiful girl with a sweet smile and sparkling, deep, and brown eyes should be enjoying her favorite sandwich right now. But, she was nowhere. A slender, young, and precious girl with thick and light brown hair and a wonderful, bright yellow, and modest one-piece swimsuit was nowhere. She was not sitting at the end of the pier. She would dangle her feet and splash them around in the fresh and clean water. She was not in the cottage. She was not anywhere. She was gone, nowhere to be found, as if she had vanished into thin air.* April stopped struggling. She was still. Both arms were close against her chest. Both hands covered her sweet and wonderful face. She leaned forward a bit with her head down. Her entire body slowly rose up and down with the rhythm of her deep, slow, and gasping breaths. Her long and silky hair flowed from the top of her head and down her back. Hair flowed over her shoulders, down each side of her soft, sweet, and hidden face. Now waist-deep in the soft earth, her glorious hip-length hair covered her straight down to the ground. Just a bit of her smooth and bright yellow swimsuit glowed from between strands of her rich hair. She lifted both hands and opened them in front of her. She asked an honest question. Why? Why me? Deep breaths eventually gave way to quiet sobbing as the sweet young child began to cry. She drew her hands back to her face to wipe away the tears. The sweet and quiet sobbing eventually grew to full-blown and desperate wailing as her precious tears pitted the wet, dingy, and dull earth under her face. After a time of crying, she took several more deep breaths. She pushed her hands off to her sides. She dropped her head lower and looked at the ground around her and her slender waist. The dull, wet, and loose earth just around her began to shift and roll with the movement of her legs and hips deep under the muck. She gracefully shifted and swayed with the motions. The thick, heavy, and soupy mire began to flow around her waist. She slowly swayed with the rhythm of the ground and her occasional soft grunts. Standing straight up, April gathered all the hair in front of her. All that glorious hair went over her head and shoulders with another flip from both hands. Now waist-deep in the murky ground, her thick, rich, silky, and hip-length hair flowed down her back. It began to spread out from her and across the soggy, dingy, wet ground as she slowly settled deeper into the quagmire. She lifted her head straight up to look at the forest canopy, which now seemed as if it was a mile high above her. An occasional gust of wind blew through the branches and leaves. There was a rustle from the tall old-growth forest above her. Two or three squirrels scattered into the remote surrounding woods. Two birds or so took flight. A hawk called in the distance. She watched a small twig fall from a high branch. It landed on the soggy earth of the depression several feet away from her. April set her deep and precious brown eyes upward. It seemed that she was looking at someone unseen and standing in front of her. Both hands tenderly reached outward as a deep and desperate desire for help radiated from her sweet eyes. “Daddy?” A gentle, soft, quiet, and fearful voice quietly spoke. “Daddy?” Two desperate and sparkling brown eyes looked upward. They glowed with all the emotions of a young girl who blatantly disobeyed her father. Now she was in serious trouble. Now she desperately needed his help. “Daddy? Daddy?” A tear formed in eyes that were full of regret and sorrow. “I’ll be a good girl. I promise”. Slowly rocking side to side to the movement of the wet ground around her, a frightened little girl took a few abrupt looks at the forest around her. She looked upward and in front of her. “Daddy? I’ll do what you say from now on.” The sorrowful child continued to beg. “I will, daddy. I really will.” She stayed there rocking side to side. Silently looking and waiting as if there was going to be a reply. A momentary shock flashed from her deep brown eyes. She felt something. She realized something was still happening. It was something unpleasant. April abruptly shrieked, threw her hands upward, and looked downward at her waist. Rocking side to side, the soft mire around her surged and flowed. “Daddy, I promise! I really will!” The desperately frightened child was very abrupt. “Please, Daddy! I really will!” First, it was her legs and then her hips. The thick and flowing earth was still slowly consuming more of her smooth, nylon, and bright yellow swimsuit. The deep muck was not satisfied with just her legs and hips. It did not stop. It did not rest and wanted more. Bit by every little bit, the waist of her firm and slender figure settled deeper into the quagmire. April frantically shrieked as she threw both of her hands upward. She fearfully gasped and groaned. She struggled harder. The wet and loose earth around her shifted and flowed around her waist. “Daddy! Daddy, I am stuck!” Looking back upward and between desperate sobs, she became terrified and abrupt. “Daddy, I can’t get out.” Her precious eyes turned to where a small twig had fallen from the forest canopy. She looked back to the twig in a moment of horror. The twig was already halfway into the wet earth. Gasping in a panic, April violently struggled. Desperately lunging, twisting, and rocking, She looked at the flat and clean pit around her. Animals and objects had fallen into the depression over many years and even decades. Where were they? Why was the depression so clean? Why was there no trace of anything that had fallen or even touched the floor of the depression? She looked upward with a violent screech. A morbid terror poured from her sweet eyes. Both precious hands reached forward as if someone or something would grab them to pull her free to solid ground. “DADDY! DADDY, ITS QUICKSAND!” She screamed in desperation. “I’M CAUGHT! I’M STUCK! I’M SINKING!” Loudly sobbing, the horrified child frantically waved her hands in front of her. Her sweet, beautiful, and innocent brown eyes radiated the deep and morbid terror that gripped her. “Daddy, I’m in a quicksand! I’m sinking!” Crying and desperately pleading, the shy young girl begged for her life. “Daddy, help me please!” With her slender waist halfway into the sucking quagmire, April leaned forward, dropped her head, and looked at the wet, shifting, and rolling ground around her. She gave out several shaking, high-pitched, and terrified gasps as she rocked and twisted. For the first time, she dropped her hands to the surface of the earth. She lightly pressed her tender hands downward on several spots around her. She left a clear pare of wonderful handprints each time in the thick, wet, sand and silt ground. But, every handprint vanished as the soggy ground reclaimed its near-perfectly flat and shifting surface. Abruptly, she stood straight up and began to push hard on the soggy ground on each side of her several times. Desperately gasping, grunting, and whining, the sobbing terrified girl continued to struggle. A deep gurgling hole was left each time she pulled both arms free. She found another spot to place her hands. She once again pushed downward. “Daddy! Daddy!” Her desperate but sweet, soft, and tender voice begged. “Help me, please! Daddy!” Her slender legs and hips continued to struggle deep under the mire. The wet ground around her shifted and rolled as she rocked and twisted. Eventually, April just pushed down on random spots around her. Morbid and terrified sobs of a despondent 11-year old girl echoed through the woods around her. Her head frantically jerked from side to side. Her sweet face twisted in horrified desperation. Both of her deep, precious, brown, and tear-filled eyes had the intense glow of a young child who was hopelessly alone, stuck, and sinking into a lethal quicksand. Against all hope, she frantically searched the surrounding woodland for any hope of rescue. Her twisting, struggling, and pushing turned the wet ground around her into a thick soup. Thick, rich, and silky hair slid off both shoulders and hung from the sides of her head. She would lift both hands just to push her long hair off to her sides. She threw a glance to the spot where the twig had fallen from the forest canopy. It was just in time for her to see the last tip of the twig vanish into the wet ground. She shrieked, just shook her head in denial, and continued to struggle. Ever so slowly, more of her precious, glorious, and smooth, and bright yellow swimsuit slipped into the wet ground as her waist settled deeper into the quagmire. April stopped for a moment and frantically brushed the sand and silt off her arms. A look of great pain and stress spread across her face and shined from her eyes. She threw a glance to her left, then to her right as she rubbed the sand and silt from her hands. “Oh, no! Please no!” Looking forward, a look of shock spread across her face. “No! No! No!” Both hands and arms fell to the surface of the quicksand with a plop. She looked straight up at the forest canopy. Rays of the sun fought to find an opening in the lush foliage. By the angle of the rays and where the sun was in the sky, she could roughly tell what time it was. The day was still young. It had not yet reached high noon. Mom, dad, and her older brother were not even halfway through their fishing venture. They were not even close. April picked this time to run along the stream and into the remote forest because she KNEW that she had almost the entire day to explore by herself. “Daddy?” Tears flooded her eyes as a deep and morbid sense of doom spread across her young and innocent face. “Please, daddy!” The sweet young child was not just alone. She was the remote woods that could go months and even a year or so without seeing a human. “No! No!” Reaching forward with both hands, both slender arms violently shook. Morbid screams cut through the air. “Please! No! No!” The look that exploded from April’s precious tear-soaked face radiated the full realization that she had made her last mistake. The tortured screams continued as the young girl dropped her arms. She began to claw at the wet ground in front of her. She rocked side to side as powerful surges pulsed through the sand and silt from her shifting hips and legs. A violent pain shined from her precious eyes as she struggled. She would take both hands and push her long hair off to her sides and throw it behind her. She was almost up to her rib cage in a lethal and sucking quicksand. Her precious hip-length hair began to fan outward from behind her. Her clean, straight, thick, long, silky, radiant, and light brown hair stood out against the wet, dingy, dirty, and sandy brown earth around her. It began to slowly disappear into the shifting, soggy, and flowing ground until she flipped her hair again with her hands. Recently, April made some bad and rebellious choices. The sweet, shy, and 11-year old girl began to explore her growing independent nature. She developed a curiosity for new places and things. She went to places her parents never wanted her to explore. She did things against the rules of her parents. Inexperienced, unwise, and a poor liar, she was often caught. Daddy was always there to pull her out whenever she got into trouble. Sure, there were always punishments, grounding, and loss of privileges. Mommy was often there to mitigate between April and her father when she thought the punishment was too strict for the errant child. She could always return to a cozy pink room with a familiar bed and stuffed animals. There was always a dining room table to go back to for breakfast, lunch, and supper. There was always a home to go back to that would shelter her from storms and other bad weather. The punishments, grounding, and loss of privileges always had a limit and ended after a certain amount of time. All that was true until now. Daddy was too far away to know that his precious little girl was lost and in mortal danger. It would be hours too late before he caught his first suspicions. Daddy needed to find his sweet, kind, and shy child. But, the remote woods were dark, vast, and deep. Many parts were unknown to him. He would have little to no clue where to look. Above all, it would be late. The sun would set. The forest would become blanketed in creepy pitch-black darkness. Daddy needed to call for help to find his beautiful young daughter. But, daddy wanted a break from the “rat race” and civilization. Help was far away. Help took many hours to arrive. Alone, isolated, caught, and unable to free herself from a deep, lethal, and sucking quicksand, April knew that she did not have those hours needed for someone to save her. Morbid and potent screams split the fresh woodland air. The soggy earth flowed, mounded, and sank around her as she violently struggled. Deep trenches cut by her clawing fingers and hands quickly filled by the mire. Sobbing tears pitted the earth under her face as they fell from two precious brown eyes that filled with a powerful fear of a pending, unavoidable, and horrible death. The flowing, churning, and wet earth eagerly welcomed more of April’s bright, waxy, shiny, modest, and yellow one-piece swimsuit as the last bit of her slender and firm waist settled deeper into the wanting quicksand.* A small gathering of deer strolling through the remote forest raised their heads. Their ears twitched as they listened to sounds they had not heard in a very long time. Curiosity overcame their caution. The entire group slowly walked toward the direction of the unusual clamor. Eventually, they reach the edge of an inlet of a much larger lake. Every one of the deer looked outward and across the lake. Every ear twitched. They tried to remember the last time they heard the sounds. There were the metallic thuds of objects striking the side of a small fishing boat. There was the hooting and hollering of three people fighting with something that was in the water. “The net! I need the net!” “Oh, that’s a big one!” “Bring it closer! Bring it closer to the boat!” Every deer watched with great interest. The three pulled a large fish out of the water and into the boat. The sound of a large fish continued to thump on the bottom of the metallic boat. The three laughed and joked as they fought to bring the struggling fish under control. “Oh, yea! April would have loved this!” A teenage boy’s voice cried out in joyful sarcasm. “She does not know what she is missing.” “Nope, this is the part she hated the most.” The father’s voice responded. “She hated the slime and the smell.” “That’s the smell of victory, dad!” The three continued to shout, laugh, and scream in delight. They secured the fish on a chain of other fish and tossed the whole collection back into the water. The three continued to loudly talk and laugh among themselves after returning to their assigned seats in the small fishing boat. They quietly settled back down after a while. They went back to tossing bait and lures into the water. They would occasionally break the silence by talking about something. They spent most of the time fishing. It would remain that way until another fish grabbed one of their baits and lures. The deer continued to watch the unusual scene from the cover of the forest. Eventually, the deer would move onto other portions of the remote forest. But there was time enough time to watch this unusual event. It was something they would not see for a long time to come. The three were enjoying themselves and the company of each other. The three were having a wonderful time. Fishing in a very remote lake, with family, under the bright sun, an occasional gust of wind, small waves lapping against the hull of the boat, and a bunch of fair-weather clouds rolling across the sky, it could not possibly be any better. What could go wrong?* Another moment of violent struggling ended with a series of loud gasps and whines. The tear-filled face of the wonderful 11-year old girl glowed with the desperation that boiled within the young child. Two exhausted and terrified eyes scanned the forest as sweet little April twisted from side to side. Hands and fingers swept just above the wet murky earth as she turned each way. The pit mounded and sank in front of her with each gasping breath. Her smooth and modest one-piece swimsuit still radiated a clean and bright yellow. It glowed from her chest and shoulders. It accented her thick and light brown hair and deep brown eyes. It still brought out the sweet and kind nature of the precious child. The quicksand had sucked the beautiful, firm, and slender young girl to the depth of the lowest ribs of her rib cage. Much of her thick and long light brown hair spread out from her as she sank. More and more of it began to slip into the wet, dingy, and sandy brown earth as the ground shifted and moved around the desperate child. Powerful cries echoed through the remote forest. She lifted both of her shaking hands to each side of her head and nervously ran her fingers through her thick and silky hair. She reached with both hands for her face. She combed the thick hair that covered her sweet and precious forehead. She ran the side of a hand across her eyebrows. Two deep brown eyes overflowed with rivers of tears. The desperate and sheltered young girl fought feelings, emotions, and thoughts no child her age should ever experience. April pulled both of her arms close to her chest. She planted her elbows into the surface of the wet and silty quicksand. She held her fists against her sweet and smooth face. She buried her knuckles deep into her soft cheeks. Thick hair flowed over her shoulders and hid her face. She ever so slightly rocked back and forward to the rhythm of her deep breaths. There was an occasional sniffle, sweet soft whine, or a sigh. She seemed to be in a trance. She locked out all the twisted thoughts and feelings that came with her lethal ordeal. She quietly and gracefully rocked back and forth for a while. Suddenly, both arms swung downward as both fists hammered the thick and soggy ground in front of her. The quicksand pitted then mounded at the force of the sudden impact. A loud and hellish scream tore through the surrounding woodland. There were more screams. April lifted both arms and continued to hammer-fist the wet earth in front of her. Eventually, the hammering became less frequent. The screams became loud, hardcore, and painful sobs. The desperate young girl lifted both hands in front of her palms upward and clawed in great pain. She threw her head back and sounded off two loud and tortured screams upward to the forest canopy. Both deep and brown eyes glowed with a gripping sensation of fear, despair, and even a touch of hate. Both eyes sparkled with the shine of fresh tears as they poured like rivers down her tear-soaked face. “MOM! MOM!” The cries of a very desperate child went out through the isolated woodland. “OH GOD, MOMMY!” The wildly sobbing child looked downward and once again began to claw at the ground in front of her. She lunged left, right, and upward. The wet earth around her and against her mounded and sank with each lunge. “Mommy! Mommy! Please help me!” Her deep, sweet, and sobbing cries shook with the terror that gripped her young mind. “Please help me! Mommy, please help me!” Her glorious hair still flowed over her shoulders and hung from the sides of her head. The thick and rich mass flowed from the top of her head and over her shoulders. It all laid tightly against her back, down her chest, and rib cage. But this time, her modest, smooth, and bright yellow swimsuit AND her glorious, long, and light-brown hair abruptly ended at the thick mire that sucked on her firm stomach and her lower rib cage. Both hair and body were being pulled into the soggy muck by the heavy, shifting, and sucking quicksand. April abruptly lifted her hands above her shoulders. She gathered all the hair that flowed down from the sides of her head, down her chest, and ribcage. Wanting to throw it all back behind her, she tugged on the shiny, thick, and rich mass of hair several times. A look of dreadful shock spread across her already tortured face and flashed from her bright, deep, and tormented eyes. After a long pause and several gasps, a horrific thought flashed from her mind, tore through her, and exploded from her face and eyes. She looked downward at the heavy and soggy earth around her. She was up to her lower rib cage in quicksand. The sand and silt quicksand shifted and rolled around her. It pulsed under all the hair as it laid on the surface. Over time, the hair slowly sank into the ground. By this moment, two to three inches of heavy and wet earth covered all that hair. It was held in place by a powerful suction that would not surrender any of it without a fight. With a horrified gasp and a muted scream, April reached to the back of her head. She gathered as much hair as she could and began to pull. Cracks formed in the mire where her hair sank into the quicksand. Large and flat blocks of sandy silt earth dragged across the surface as the quicksand began to surrender all that hair. “Oh, God no! Oh, God no!” A shaking, tear-filled, and dreadful cry echoed through the remote and isolated woodlands. “No! No! No, please no!” April realized in a moment of deep horror that the quicksand did not discriminate. If it was just hair or her body, anything that fell onto its surface sank if it failed to find a way to escape its trap. It did not matter if it was a small stick, an animal, or an attractive 11-year old girl with a sweet and kind disposition. It very slowly and painfully swallowed everything alive. There was no escape once caught. No amount of twisting, turning, lunging, and struggling would help. Once caught, the powerful suction would slowly and steadily pull everything completely under to a horrible, wrenching, choking, and suffocating death. Once caught, everything vanished into the soggy and shifting earth. There would be no evidence of the struggle and no trace of whatever was trapped. The quicksand was there for tens or hundreds of years. It was likely even more than that. It had more than the practice is needed to become a lethal deathtrap. Sweet, slender, and petite, April knew that her situation was hopeless. She was by far no match against the power of the suction of the mindless, thoughtless, and merciless quicksand. She would be just one of the many things that fell into its grip, sank into its depths, and collected somewhere on the bottom of its depths. “Help me! Help me!” The morbid, desperate, and terrified cries of the sweet, shy, and lovely young girl tore through the remote forest. “Oh, God! Please, help me!” She shoved her elbows off to her sides in a moment of desperate panic. Both hands closed into tight fists by each shoulder. She twisted and turned. Left and right, she twisted hard. She gasped, whined, and grunted. Her face twisted in great pain. Her eyes radiated a depth of desperation and horror that could only come from a sweet 11-year-old girl that knew that she was sinking towards a horrible death. She looked into the surrounding forest. She knew that it would be a miracle if someone came out to save her. The wet ground flowed around her. It slid against her bright yellow swimsuit. Another rib on her rib cage sank into the quicksand. Her hips, both legs, and feet violently fought the overpowering suction deep under the mire. Nonetheless, she could not stop sinking into the hidden depths of the quicksand. April threw both hands above her head. She looked down at her chest and the shifting ground in front of her. Another loud, deep, morbid, and horrified scream echoed through the forest. Still twisting and struggling, the hungry earth around her continued to shift and roll. April reached behind her head with her hands and grabbed all her hair. She began to pull. Cracks appeared where her thick and silky hair sank into the wet earth. Her renewed struggling leveled out the ground that opened the first time she tried pulling her hair out of the quicksand. But now, large chunks of wet sand and silt flew in every direction as fistfuls of hair were pulled free from the earth. Eventually, all her thick and light brown hair was off her back and tossed in front of her. It all spread out from her chest and onto the sandy brown and dingy surface of the quicksand. She began to sob hard as she ran her fingers through all the thick hair. Just like her bright-yellow and modest one-piece swimsuit, her silky, thick, and flowing light brown hair also lost its glory once it had encountered the quicksand. April's arms lay on the wet earth in front of her. She cried hard as she continued to twirl some of her hair with her fingers. A smile spread across her face and a slight sparkle shined from her tear-filled eyes. She became lost in some thoughts and memories.* A lone, steady, and distant hum came from the sky. A twin-engine Cessna flew northward just underneath the rolling clouds. A team of church missionaries was on their way to an Indian reservation deep in the Canadian wilderness. Everyone inside was eagerly chatting and laughing with each other. They were talking about the tribal culture they were visiting. They discussed lesson plans and the crowd that would greet them on the lone airstrip that serviced the isolated reservation. On their way to a wilderness of stunted fur trees, they look out the windows. They look down to a vast stretch of lakes and woodlands that spread from horizon to horizon. These would be the last deciduous trees they would see until they returned from the trip. They look down upon an inlet to a much larger lake. They could barely make out a small metallic boat with three people. They were fishing for the many large catches that swam in the waters. A fishing camp was just on the other side of some islands and around the end of a small peninsula. They could see a remote dirt road that led to a cabin. A small fishing pier jutted out into the lake from a small clearing. There was no activity at the camp. The camp looked like a perfect getaway for a week-long vacation. It was far enough from civilization. But, it still had one long power line that could run a few appliances. You could even get there by a long and remote road. It was a perfect place to sit outside in the small clearing by the pier. The blackened night sky would be full of stars. You could easily see the northern lights when they came this far south. Remote, calm, and peaceful, it looked like a perfect spot for a vacation. What could go wrong?* April was crying and lost in her thoughts. She combed her fingers through the thick pile of hair in front of her chest. No doubt, she remembered every time she sat at the dining room table. Her mother carefully blow-dried all that thick and straight hair after a bath or a shower. Her mother would very gently comb her hair. She would start at the very bottom and work her way upward to avoid snagging and pulling any strands from her head. No doubt, she remembered each time that she stood in front of a mirror as her mother stood behind her brushing her hair. They did it often before they went out of the house to be among other people. No doubt, she remembered each time that she was with her mother as someone commented how wonderful she looked. It was precious when they commented on her long, rich, thick, silky, shiny, straight, and light brown hair. All those moments made her feel so good and so worthwhile. April was still playing with her hair, smiling, and softly talking to herself when the sun came out from behind a cloud. It found a hole in the thick canopy of the old-growth forest. A bright beam of light shined upon her and the surface of the quicksand. She lifted a hand to look upward and into the sun. She then dropped her hand and looked downward at the soggy ground in front of and around her. The rich, silky, and light brown hair that flowed down from the sides of her face shined with its usual radiance in the sunlight. April lifted her hand and ran her fingers through the thick strands covering her shoulders. It was precious when mom combed it and fluffed it. It was the same glorious hair that bounced and flowed around her as she walked. The sunlight brought out the usual radiant glow of her bright yellow and modest one-piece swimsuit on her chest and shoulders. The swimsuit still brought out the beauty of the 11-year-old girl. The sunlight still brought out the radiance of her hair and swimsuit. It brought out every detail of the child. Yes, it highlighted everything about the sweet, shy, kind, and soft-spoken 11-year-old girl. But when April looked down at the surface of the soggy quicksand, its radiance overpowered everything. The blinding sunlight reflected off the water that soaked the ground around her. A slight wind blew through the leaves high in the forest canopy. The wet, sand, and silt surface of the forest quicksand sparkled. The small sparkling bits of the soggy ground were so bright that April had to raise her hand in front of her to shield her sweet face and eyes. The surface of the quicksand shined and sparkled stronger than her bright and smooth swimsuit ever did. The surface of the murky earth shined and sparkled stronger than her thick, silky, and long hair ever did. Without a doubt, it shined and sparkled stronger than her two gorgeous and precious brown eyes ever did. If there was a message, it was ominous and very unwanted. The shy, wonderful, and radiant 11-year old girl with precious brown eyes had fallen into an unforgiving and powerful quicksand. There was only one possible outcome from such an encounter. The two were to become one. The sweet and beautiful girl was to be consumed by the quicksand. She would be consumed alive, by an overpowering suction, against her will. She would be aware of every step of her demise right up to and including her tortured, violent, and choking death. She could and would struggle, scream, and fight as much as she could. But, her precious life was already over. The sun was gone, behind another cloud, and hidden by the forest canopy. The forest around her took a much darker, dimmer, and morbid feel. “Mommy?” The bewildered child spoke. “Mommy?” She quietly gasped and whined as two frightened eyes scanned the remote forest around her. A look of disbelief, desperation, and confusion radiated from her sweet face. She continued to sink. The quicksand had just reached her chest. Both arms lay on top of the soggy ground. The fingers of both hands dug into the wet earth. Her hair flowed down from her head, over her shoulders, and piled on the quicksand in front of her. “Mommy, please help me.” April’s quiet and shy voice shook with fear. “Help me, mommy. Please, help me.” She lifted her hands off of the wet earth. She looked at all her hair on the surface in front of her. She quickly gathered all her hair and tossed it back over her head with her hands. It spread outward from her back, across the surface of the soggy quagmire, and outward from her shoulder blades. April turned her head from side to side and looked at the soggy ground in front of her. Both of her beautiful brown eyes glowed with a deep and mortal fear with each sweeping glance. She clawed at the empty air around her. Her gasps and whines were more fearful with each breath. “Mommy, help me! I am stuck! I am sinking!” Tears once again began to flow down her sweet face as her fear steadily grew too deep terror. “I can’t get out! I can’t get out!” April took a hand and lifted it to the side of her sweet and soft face. She slid her thumb under her thick hair. She slid her hand down her rich and silky hair, over her ear, and downward to her shoulder. She pushed both hands off to her sides and looked at the ground in front of her. Both elbows rested on the soggy ground next to her. She began to twist. The wet earth tight against her, under her chest, and shoulder blades began to flow. The gritty and slimy sand and silt mire slid against her smooth, modest, and bright yellow swimsuit. The soggy earth around her began to mound, sink, and roll as her feet, legs, and hips deep under the quicksand shifted. A blank, lost, terrified, and morbid glow radiated from her face and eyes as she looked upward and forward into the empty and remote woodland. “Help me! Help me!” It was another quiet, soft, desperate, and terrified cry. “Please, help me!” She struggled harder. The wet ground around her shifted. Quiet and soft gasps, grunts, and groans became louder. “Help me!” Her cries became louder, stronger, and more desperate. “Help me, please!” Twisting, jerking, and rocking, April broke into a panic. The ground around her shifted and rolled with each desperate move. Powerful, grunts, groans, and sobs once again echoed through the isolated woodland. Tears once again rolled from two precious brown eyes that radiated a powerful sense of morbid, deep, and overpowering fear. “Mommy! Mommy, I need you!” The powerful, desperate, and sobbing cry went out. “Mommy! Please, I need you!” Both arms slammed into the wet ground in front of her. Grunting, twisting, and jerking, April dug her fingers into the ground and began to pull. She pulled hard. Both arms pushed into the soggy earth as she frantically pulled with her arms, dug with her hands, and struggled. Tightly gritting her teeth, intense stress radiated from her face. There was a grunt and groan with each desperate pull. The ground gurgled and popped as she suddenly pulled both arms from just under the surface of the quicksand. Chunks of sand and silt flew everywhere. Again, she slammed both arms into the ground. She began to dig and pull. She tried to pull herself out of the quicksand several times. Each time, she pushed her arms into the quicksand. More and more chunks of soggy earth flew after each pull. Eventually, April threw her arms up and looked downward. She objected at her futility with a sharp and whining sob. The tortured look on her precious face radiated every desperate thought and feeling that tore through her frantic mind. Half of her chest and shoulder blades were gone. Her panic and struggling forced her deeper into the quicksand. Sobbing and crying, more desperate tears flooded from her sweet and sparkling eyes and rolled down her sweet and soft face. A wretched scream of a young and terrified girl echoed through the forest. Both arms once again slammed into the surface of the pit. “Mommy! Daddy! Please, help me!” She rested her hands and arms on the surface of the wet quagmire. Her head turned from side to side as her mortally terrified eyes looked at the ground around her. She watched as the wet and soggy earth broke apart all the chunks of muck that she ripped, tore, or dug out from the ground. Each merged back into the quicksand as it reclaimed all the holes that she made with her fingers, hands, and arms. Each effort to pull free from the suction was in vain. The quicksand was so overpowering that the smooth surface of the pit showed no evidence of April’s desperate fight. A look of deep and morbid despair flashed from her precious eyes and sweet face. Sobbing cries and whaling screams occasionally broke deep sobbing breaths. “Mommy! Daddy, I need you!” Two precious eyes filled with tears looked upward as if someone stood in front of her. “Help me! I can’t get out.” She lunged left with a grunt. She lunged right with a muted scream. Both hands kept clawing and the wet ground around her. “Mommy! Daddy, I’m in a quicksand!” Her sweet and sobbing voice begged. “I’m sinking and I can’t get out!” There were more desperate lunges and grunts. The quagmire shifted and rolled with each effort. April lifted both arms upward. Eyes, face, and open hands, a desperate and terrified child was ready to beg. “Mommy, please hold me.” She spoke with a deep and horrified tone. “Mommy, please hold me! Please!” The wretched and morose look that poured from her eyes and face betrayed a horrible realization. Lost, very alone, caught, and helplessly sinking into a deep and lethal quicksand, she had already seen her mommy, daddy, and older brother for the last time. “Mommy! Mommy, please hold me!” The sobbing scream echoed throughout the remote woodland. “I need you! Please, mommy! I need you!” She screamed in a moment of frustration. She desperately lunged, clawed, and dug at the earth in front of her. “Mommy, oh God! I need you! Help me please!” April lunged forward with both of her arms. Each finger dug into the heavy, wet, and dingy earth. She grunted, twisted, rocked, and pulled hard. The surface around her shifted and rolled as her chest, hips, legs, and feet fought the suction underneath. It was her last chance. She had to pull herself free from the sucking quicksand. She grunted, jerked, and pulled on her arms and hands as her life depended upon her success. Her face strained with the stress. Her precious white teeth ground against each other as she tried to pull herself out of the quicksand. Each of her pulls forced both arms a bit deeper into the quicksand. Eventually, the soggy ground closed over both arms. April continued to struggle. She rocked her shoulders as her legs fought the suction underneath. She kept pulling on her arms. She forced them deeper into the quicksand. It became time to pull them back to the surface for another attempt. She began to rock her shoulders as her head desperately swung from side to side. The quicksand in front of her mounded each time she pulled on an arm. But both arms were under several inches of thick, soggy, and heavy earth. She no longer had the leverage to pull her arms up and out of the quicksand. She was not strong enough to move all of that earth to pull her arms and hands out. Up to her arms in a sucking death trap, April’s precious face and eyes burned with terror. She exploded into a violent and uncontrolled panic. The wreathing and grunts, muted screams, and groans of a sweet, shy, and dying girl tore through the isolated woodland. Her beautiful brown eyes squinted. Her precious, sweet, and soft face twisted in severe pain. Her head thrashed side to side with the desperate rocking of her shoulders. The wet earth mounded and sank each time she frantically pulled on each arm. The soggy ground tight against her rocked with the violent movement of her head and shoulders. The surface around her mounded and rolled. It resisted every move as her feet, legs, and entire body locked deep in the quagmire twisted, jerked, and pulled against the lethal suction. Occasionally, she looked downward. Each time deeply horrified eyes looked at the soggy earth around her. Each time she would see that her shoulders were settling deeper. Each time her grunts, sobs, and screams became louder, morbid, and horrified as she continued to struggle in vain to save herself from the quicksand. April would eventually stop. Gasping and wheezing, she desperately turned her head from side to side. She looked at the isolated woodland around her. There was no one to help her. There was no one to pull her free. There was no one to save her sweet, precious, and sheltered life. Up to her shoulders in the quicksand, she turned her head to look at the wet earth around her. April had done everything she could to save herself from the sucking quicksand. The sweet, kind, and precious girl had no chance against the mindless, thoughtless, and merciless pit. She could not save her hips, waist, and chest. She was about to lose her shoulders to the lethal death trap. She once again looked upward to the forest canopy that was so far above her head. Loudly sobbing and gasping, two deep and precious brown eyes sparkled as rivers of tears flowed down her soft and tender face. Two squirrels were still for a moment. They quickly jumped from branch to branch going deeper into the remote forest as if they did not want to be near the isolated and lethal depression. * It was not the first time the wildlife heard the wretched sounds. It came from the pit. Once again, another creature had tried to cross the wet and sandy brown depression. Once again, another creature had failed to get out. It became stuck in the thick and soggy ground. Once again, another creature became caught in the lethal quicksand. It would only disappear into the sucking deathtrap after a long period of morbid screaming, violent struggling, and deep despair. Unable or unwilling to help, the native wildlife would disappear into the remote forest. They heard enough of the wretched sounds. They knew that the whole scene would return to normal after a few hours. The distant woodland would only be short by one animal. But this time was very different. This was not the usual animal swallowed alive by the death trap. The morbid sounds came from something far from being native to the remote woodland. Sure, they frequently heard the various noises these creatures produced. But, they usually stayed close to the fishing camp. Sure, they were in the woods. But, they almost always traveled in small packs. Sure, some have even stepped into the depression. But others were always able to pull the one out once it became trapped in the soggy ground. It was unusual for just one of these creatures to walk through the isolated woodland alone. It was very unusual for any of them to be this deep into this section of the remote forest. It was very unusual for one of them to be so young and alone. Depression was never known for consuming these types of creatures. But trapped, alone, and so far away from others, the very young, unusual, and lone creature shared the same fate as any other animal that became stuck in the lethal suction. Some of the wildlife was curious. What kind of animal had fallen into the pit? They would watch unseen in the distance. The show would be the same. What animal had fallen into the lethal deathtrap was the only difference. The wretched sounds would be too much. They would slip back into the deep woodland. They would not be back until time had passed and the pit completely consumed its meal. So young, alone, and far away from any creature of its kind, it was foolish to enter the isolated woodland so unprepared. Trapped, sinking, and unable to escape, it became no different from any other woodland creature that had fallen into the pit. It removed itself from all of the things that saved others of its kind from the quicksand. Its fate would be the same as others who had fallen into the trap. It would meet a very lonely, long, torturous, horrifying, and pain-filled death.* Only April’s head, neck, and shoulders were above the surface of the soggy ground. The rest of her hair and body within the merciless, heavy, and sucking grip of the quicksand. The wet surface of the entire depression was perfectly smooth. It erased all evidence of her violent struggle to free herself from the lethal trap. The thick bangs of hair that covered her forehead could not hide the powerful, deep, mortal, and tortured fear that glowed from her precious brown eyes. Both eyes sparkled with a fresh flow of tears that ran down the sides of her soft, smooth, and tender face. Gripped by unrelenting terror, she could only whine, gasp, and give off an occasional muted scream. Each gasp came from an open mouth that filled two lungs that fed a violently pounding heart. Both eyes were bloodshot. Both cheeks were red. “Help me! Help me, please!” These were the first of her last cries. If nobody heard them and responded, sweet little April would be swallowed alive by the unforgiving quagmire. “Oh, God! Please, help me!” She dropped her head to look at the wet earth in front of her. Her arms were under several inches of very soggy and heavy earth caught in the violent suction of the quicksand. All efforts to force them free were in vain. Unable to free her hands, she would not be able to reach out to any rescuer. They would only watch in horror as they saw her sweet and tortured face vanish into the wet and flowing earth. “Mommy! Daddy, please help me! Help me, please!” The sweet, desperate, and 11-year-old girl began to sob. “Help me! Help me! I’m stuck! I’m sinking!” More desperate screams echoed through the remote woodland. “I am in a quicksand! I can’t get out!” April began to struggle. The soggy ground in front of her mounded and sank as she frantically gasped, groaned, and pulled on each arm. She rocked her shoulders. The wet earth around her shifted side to side with the movement. The surface of the quicksand rose, sank, and rolled as her legs, hips, and body fought the suction underneath. Pain, stress, and tension shined from her face and her eyes as she gasped, grunted, and groaned with each jerk, twist, and rock. April tilted her head aside to look down at a shoulder. She tossed her head to her other side and strained to look at the other shoulder. She looked forward. She lifted her eyes upward. She seemed to look upward into the faces of people she wished were there. “Help me! Help me, please!” More sobbing cries echoed through the forest. “Help me! Someone, please help me!” Slowly and steadily, shifting and rolling earth rose to her rocking shoulders. The high neckline of her very modest, tight, and bright yellow one-piece swimsuit vanished into the flowing ground. Only the smooth strips of precious nylon and spandex on her shoulders remained above and out of the quicksand. But, the franticly twisting and desperately lunging of the beautiful child was very deep into the heavy and unforgiving grip of the lethal quicksand. The quicksand was incapable of thought or feeling. It had no awareness, concern, or regard for the sweet, precious, and kind 11-year-old girl. April and her bright yellow modest one-piece swimsuit lit up whatever darkness was around her. She stood out in a dark room. She stood out outside on a moon-lit evening. She stood out by a campfire like a flame on a large candle. The bright yellow seemed to bring out all that was good about the sweet and petite child. Everything about her, around her, and with her seemed alive. But, the darkness in the depth of a powerful quicksand was absolute. Once caught and unable to escape, everything eventually died. The absolute darkness killed any light. The bright radiance that brought out her sweet nature and outstanding beauty died. The glorious color that singled her out was blackened. The color would match the rotting corpses hidden in the unknown depths of the quicksand. A slick and shiny mass of hair flowed down from the top of her head. It flowed over her ears and down past and behind her shoulders. Her thick, glorious, and light brown hair brought out her precious deep brown eyes even as tears rolled down her face. Her eyes still brought out the sweet and kind nature of the girl even as they radiated the deep fear that gripped her mind. April looked remarkable even in her moment of mortal pain and great agony. But her long and thick hair would meet the same fate as her glowing yellow swimsuit. Her beautiful hair would sink into the quicksand where it would never shine in the sun or flow in the wind. Grunting, twisting, and struggling, two small mounds of earth formed over each hand. The mounds rose, shifted, and sank as April fought to bring them back to the surface. But, that little gain came at a cost. April fought the deep suction of the quicksand as she forced both arms upward and back to the surface. She twisted and shifted her legs against the overwhelming force that was pulling her downward. The ground began to break above the knuckles of both hands. Small cracks began to form in both of the mounds. It began to look like the desperate young child was going to be able to free her hands from under the surface of the quicksand. The soggy earth continued to mound, shift, flow, and roll around her as she violently struggled against the powerful forces that encased her deep in the quicksand. Her desperate struggling was worse than futile. Her violent twisting, turning, and jerking and the thrashing of her slender legs slowly and steadily pushed her bare feet deeper into the pit. Her legs sank as her body slid deeper into the unforgiving grip of the quicksand. Even her desperate fight to push her hands back to the surface was detrimental. The struggling of her arms pushing upward added to the forces that were sucking her deeper into the lethal quicksand. Violent and choking gasps mixed with distinct sounds of bubbling, slurping, and popping. The heavy, soggy, shifting, rocking, and flowing earth mounded above both of her shoulders. A single surge of thick, wet, and sandy brown earth rolled over her shoulders just as a wave of water would cover the deck of a sinking ship. The sweet young child gave a sick and repulsive groan as the heavy, gritty, and slimy earth slid onto, against, and around her precious neck and throat. The flowing ground shifted around her with the violent shakes of her head. It surged with her struggling body deep underneath the surface of the quicksand. April’s tender face and precious deep brown eyes exploded with a violent, morbid, and raging shock. It was a trauma far beyond anything a shy, kind, and caring 11-year-old girl should ever experience. The beautiful, sweet, young, and quiet girl had a clear understanding of what had just happened. The battle for April’s body was over. The deep, soggy, and sandy-silt ground had won. It would only be a matter of time before the heavy and flowing earth consumed her head. It would only be a matter of time before both of her glorious eyes exploded with the look of an unwanted, unavoidable, and violent death. She would be fighting, struggling, and begging for just one more breath as the wet earth flowed over and covered her nose, mouth, and face. It would only be a matter of time before the shifting quagmire settled. Its smooth and soggy surface would remove all evidence of the tortured battle that consumed the wonderful child. It would erase all traces of her hidden tomb. It would leave no evidence that the sweet, wonderful, and beautiful girl was ever there. “I don’t want to die! Please, I don’t want to die!” More deep, sobbing, and morbid cries went out. “Mommy! Daddy, help me! I don’t want to die!” April exploded into a deep, violent, and tortured panic. Abrupt, high-pitched, and muted screams and cries echoed through the woods as she shook, rocked, and jerked her head. She fiercely struggled to bring her arms back to the surface. The soggy and sandy brown earth in front of her and above both arms mounded sank and shifted. The cracks in the small mounds of wet and heavy earth above each hand grew larger. The look of deeply tortured fear and desperation exploded from April’s sweet, precious, and sparkling eyes. Her sweet, tender, and soft face shined with the rivers of tears that poured down her face. The surface of the quicksand shifted, rolled, and flowed around her as it resisted every twist, turn, and lunge against the powerful suction that slowly, steadily, and mercilessly pulled her downward. Alone and so deep, so far, and so isolated in the remote woodland, only the sounds of the shifting, gurgling, and popping quicksand responded to her sweet whines, soft gasps, and quiet grunts. Dead silent, only an occasional gust of wind rustled through the highest branches and leaves of the old and isolated woodland. Shy whines, gasps, and grunts turned into a chorus of chokes, muted cries, and silenced screams as her neck vanished into the soggy earth. She was now up to her precious chin and still steadily sinking deeper into an overpowering, lethal, mindless, and relentless sucking quicksand. “Mommy! Daddy, I want to go home!” More morbid and sobbing cries echoed through the forest. “Please, I want to go home!” Gasping and groaning, sweet little April turned her head and looked off into the woods to her sides. She turned her head to each side several times. It would be for the last time. The abandoned, rejected, and forgotten look in her glowing eyes and tender face grew with each turn. There were no birds, no squirrels, and no deer. There was no sign of life. It seemed that the entire animal kingdom knew what was happening. They all seemed to fly, slither, and walk deeper into the woods. It was a far better choice than to stay close and witness the lonely, tortured, and painful death of a sweet, shy, and beautiful 11-year-old girl. Everything seemed better than watching any creature be helplessly and mercilessly swallowed alive by a lethal and overpowering death trap. Every place seemed better than an unforgiving pit of quicksand. It was primarily true when it was very slowly entombing another creature. Alone and so alone, a look of isolation, loneliness, and abandonment burned from April’s precious, glowing, and deep brown eyes. Tension, agony, and pain radiated from her soft and smooth face. It was agony and pain that no animal, human, or anything should ever experience. It was particularly true of a sweet, shy, and sheltered young girl. “Daddy! Daddy, I’ll do anything you say!” She continued to desperately beg. “I’ll be a good girl!” April continued to struggle to free her hands and arms and fight the suction that was pulling her downward. “Daddy, I won’t do it again! I won’t do it again!” Sobbing and crying, the desperate young girl deeply regretted her disobedience. “I’ll be a good girl! I’ll do what you say!” The deep and lethal quicksand continued to shift, pitch, and roll. It made each of her desperate moves worse than futile. “Daddy? Daddy, I am in trouble!” The sobbing, crying, and desperation rang out harder and louder. “Oh, daddy! I am in SERIOUS trouble! I’m in REALLY SERIOUS trouble!” Gulp, bubble, and surge, the sweet and little child had to tilt her head back. The sucking death trap pulled her deeper. The heavy and hungry quicksand had reached her ears. “DADDY! DADDY! DADDY, PLEASE HELP ME!” It was a morbid death cry of a precious, sheltered, and cute young girl VERY unwilling to accept her certain and unavoidable end. “OH GOD, DADDY PLEASE HELP ME! PLEASE! OH GOD, PLEASE!” With her head tilted back, April looked downward at the two mounds of wet earth over each of her precious hands. The mound over her right hand began to fall apart. The left began to break up as well. Both hands were about to break through the surface and to open air. But, she still had to work to break them free. Once again, the wet ground above her arms began to surge, mound, and roll. Desperate gasps for air punctuated sounds of abrupt and muted screams and cries Two deep brown eyes darted from side to side. She was looking for anything and anyone in the woods that could save her young life. Her sweet face and glorious eyes glowed with the deep pain, agony, and terror of a young girl who knew that she had only a few chances to stay alive. April fought the powerful and unforgiving suction that pulled her deeper into the earth. The soggy earth around her rocked, shifted, and flowed as April struggled. There were deep and morbid gasps as the bubbling, popping, and gurgling earth rolled over the sweet girl’s ears. The heavy and wet earth swallowed her chin as the lip of the all-consuming quicksand reached the bottom of her lower lip. Both small mounds of soggy ground above each hand exploded. Small bits of wet mire splattered off to the sides. Four beautiful and slender fingers from each hand had wiggled back to the surface. They were once again in the open air. Both beautiful and deep brown eyes sparkled like a precious and wide smile spread across her soft, tender, and sweet face. The wet earth that tightly framed her face shook as she even chuckled at her one moment of victory. She could now claw at the earth with her fingers as she opened and closed her hands. Sweet, shy, and kind April gleefully laughed at her one moment of good fortune. With her face forced upward, skyward, and looking up to the forest canopy so far above her, she looked down as far as she could just to see her fingers again. She pleasantly chuckled each time she dug her fingers into the wet earth, grabbed a handful of soggy soil, opened her hand, and dropped the small clump of mire back onto the ground. Anyone around her could reach for her hands. Anyone around her could pull her free. Anyone around her could save her sweet, precious, and sheltered life from the grip of the mindless and overpowering suction of the very lethal, isolated, and merciless quicksand. Unfortunately, the keyword that described her situation was “isolated”. Sweet little April looked up and in front of her. The wet and heavy ground around her momentarily vibrated. It shook with the shaking of her head. A morbid look of violent shock exploded from her sweet and glowing brown eyes. Despair and desperation erupted from her sweet, soft, and smooth face. The truth now was the same as it was when her precious bare feet and firm slender legs first plunged into the deep, sucking, and unforgiving quagmire. Nobody had walked this portion of the woods in months. There was not anyone in the area to know where she was. Nobody was nearby to pull her free from the quicksand. April violently gasped and cried as her burning and terrified eyes looked upward towards the very top of the forest canopy. The bright sun was at the highest point of the sky. It slipped out from behind a passing cloud. It shined downward. It shined through the highest part of the forest canopy, through the tallest branches, and into her precious face and eyes. It was about noon. Mom, dad, and her older brother were in a fishing boat somewhere on the lake. Schedule and punctuality were important to dad. They left the fishing camp at 9:00 AM. They would not be back until 5:00 PM. It was no sooner. It was not later. They were not even halfway through their fishing expedition. About three hours had passed since the time the sweet and wonderful girl stood on the pier of the fishing camp. It was that long since she watched her family leave and the moment she was up to her ears in a sucking quicksand. It would be about five hours before her family returned. It would be about five hours before they would realize that she was missing. It would be about five hours before they would realize that something was wrong. Sweet and shy April did not have ten minutes, let alone five hours. There was no savior, no help, and no rescue. A loud and very wretched young scream tore through the remote woodland. It was a sound that no animal native to the area had ever heard. Many would stop what they were doing, lift their ears, and wonder what made that miserable sound. Sure, mortally terrified animals have given off wretched death screams as they violently died in the grips of a far stronger predator. But, this was no animal from this area of the remote woodland. It was one of those creatures that mostly hung around the fishing camp. Worst of all, the morbid scream came from a young one. It was a sound that they had never heard before. It was a sound that radiated a powerful fear and terror that spooked every animal that heard it. It was a sound that no animal would ever want to hear again. April’s precious brown eyes and sweet soft face erupted with a deep and morbid terror. So young, innocent, and sweet, she refused to die. She chose to fight to stay alive. She chose to fight against the suction of the quicksand. She chose to fight as long as needed. Someone had to find her and save her from the quicksand. April fought the powerful forces sucking her deeper. She fought the suction by lifting each leg. She pushed each foot downward. Left, right, then left, and right again. She struggled against the quicksand. She lunged, twisted, and jerked as hard as she could to break the airtight grip of the quicksand. There were choking grunts and miserable cries as she desperately gasped for her last breaths of air. The soggy earth around her sweet face violently shifted, mounded, and rolled around her. Left, right, then left, and right again, the wet ground above her arms pulsated with each frantic pull. The movement of the quagmire lessened. Both arms sank deeper into the depths of the heavy and sucking quicksand. But nothing seemed to work. She was still very slowly and very steadily sinking deeper into the pit. “MOMMY! DADDY, PLEASE HELP ME!” Another sobbing and wretched cry tore through the isolated woodland. “OH, GOD! PLEASE HELP ME!” April’s sweet and bright eyes violently shifted from side to side. She could do nothing but watch as wet earth mounded above each side of her soft and tender face. “NO! NO, PLEASE! NO!” The lonely, desperate, and miserable cry sounded as if it broke every level of human sanity. It was savagely powerful coming from a sweet, shy, and kind 11-year old girl. “MOM! DAD, HELP ME! PLEASE!” The surface of the quicksand violently mounded, shifted, and rolled as April’s face pushed deeper into the soggy earth. The growing walls of wet and heavy earth fell onto her face. The soggy ground flowed over her lips, up to her sweet nose, and the edges of her beautiful, deep brown, bulging, and horrified eyes. The wet mire above her lips splattered, bubbled, and boiled with each muted scream. The flowing earth around her sweet face shook with her violently shaking head. Thick, rich, silky, shiny, and light brown hair flowed down from the top of April’s head. It flowed over her forehead to her precious light brown eyebrows. It covered each side of her head framing her beautiful face with glorious hair. But all that magnificent hair could not hide the absolute, pure, and vicious terror that exploded from her glorious brown eyes. It could not hide the rivers of tears that poured out of her sweet eyes, down her precious cheeks, and onto the soggy earth. Once again, April began to struggle. She struggled harder. Each lurch was an attempt to force her precious face back into the open air. The soggy ground around her mounded up and down. It resisted every attempt. Waves rolled outward in circles through the quicksand with each surge. As it was since she first stepped into the quicksand, struggling was worse than futile. Each lunge, jerk, and twist forced her precious bare feet and legs just a little bit deeper into the unforgiving death trap. It only added to the overwhelming forces deep in the pit, which sucked her downward. It only added to the suction that pulled her sweet, soft, and precious face into the quicksand. Wearing a modest one-piece swimsuit, April was very adept at treading water. Yes, the radiantly bright yellow swimsuit emphasized the drop-dead gorgeous 11-year-old girl. She was able to stay afloat, for a long time, with little effort, no strife, and no worries. But caught in a lethal and unforgiving quicksand, the skin-tight swimsuit ensured that the deep and heavy earth had an airtight and overpowering grip on the sweet girl’s firm and slender body. When the deep and lethal mire did shift and move, the smooth nylon fabric seemed to help her ever so slowly slide into the grip of the quicksand. Sweet, kind, shy, and sheltered April was no match for the sucking quicksand. Once caught and unable to escape, the petite, slender, and firm 11-year-old could not dig herself out, let alone swim or float free from the quicksand. The precious little girl was doomed to die a slow, violent, and horrible death. Her fate sealed when her legs vanished into the heavy and soggy earth. There was no escape after the power of the quicksand began to suck at her hips and her gorgeous, bright yellow, tight, waxy smooth, and modest one-piece swimsuit. The wet earth bubbled, shifted, and mounded. A sick and low groan came from deep within the pit. A muted scream marked the moment when April slid a bit deeper into the quagmire. Her head was forced forward by the heavy and soggy earth. The wet earth rolled over her ears, mouth, and nose. She was now up to her lower eyelids in quicksand. Unwilling to surrender but unable to save herself, the sweet and young child could only violently shake her head in objection. Only the top of her head was visible above the surface of the quicksand. Thick, rich, silky, and light brown hair flowed down all sides of her head. It flowed down the back and on each side of her precious head. Nothing but her hair was visible from every side but front. Her shiny and precious hair flowed over her forehead to above her eyebrows. Underneath two light brown eyebrows, two wide-open brown eyes glossed over by a massive flow of tears. The steady river of tears flowed over both lower eyelids. They vanished into the surface of the soggy quicksand. Both precious eyes brightly glowed with absolute terror, complete abandonment, and an insane sense of an unwanted impending doom. It was particularly morbid considering that April was a beautiful, sweet, shy, kind, and sheltered 11-year-old girl. Wanting to both breathe and scream, she could only violently shake her head. The soggy ground around her vibrated with her shivering. April exploded into one last moment of uncontrolled, unrestrained, and insane terror. Arms, legs, and body, she violently thrashed and struggled. The wet earth around her violently mounded, pitched, and rolled. Her precious but horrified deep brown eyes looked left and right then slipped into the soggy ground. Only her wonderful forehead and top of her sweet head were above the surface of the quicksand. The center of the pit continued to violently mound, pitch, and roll. Struggling in vain in one last effort to save her own life, April thrashed her head from side to side. She made one last effort. She violently twisted, jerked, and lunged deep underneath the surface of the heavy, wet, and lethal quicksand. She made one last effort to fight her way back to the surface of the pit. The quicksand continued to mound, pitch, and roll as it countered every one of her desperate moves. Soon, there was nothing more than the top of her head on the surface of the churning quagmire. There was nothing more than a small island of thick, rich, silky, and shiny light brown hair in the middle of a murky pit that pitched and rolled like the ocean in a storm. It was not that long afterward when the bubbling, gurgling, and soggy earth swallowed the last patch of thick and glorious light brown hair. Nothing could be seen at the center of the pit but violently shifting, mounding, and rolling wet earth. It did not take long before the chaos began to calm down. The chaos at the center of the quicksand continued but at a much lesser intensity. It calmed even more until there was an occasional surge here and an occasional mound there. The moment came when all movement stopped. The entire pit became still. The entire surface of the quicksand was perfectly flat and smooth.* A songbird sank in the distance. But, it was late enough for the first hoot owl to sound off far in another direction. The last squirrels scampered through the highest branches of the trees. They carried either the last bit of food to stuff into storage or a stick to add to the nest. The last afternoon breezes stopped. The last gusts of wind long past. The sun was very low on the horizon. The highest branches and leaves of the old forest canopy shined with the last fading rays of the day. The daytime bugs became silent. The evening toads croaked. A small group of deer strolled through the isolated forest. They came upon a very distinct pit in the woods. A ledge of a few inches abruptly dropped into the depression. The pit was very flat. It had a slight mound in the middle. The ledge, the dark brown earth, and the light color of the depression created a very start contrast between the pit and the forest floor. The deer searched for a pool of water for a drink. The largest and lead deer walked up to the very edge of the pit. He dropped his head down as if to smell the ground of the depression. Two large eyes gazed downward at the wet and soggy ground. Both eyes radiated a sense of insecurity and a feeling of danger as he gazed upon the wet and heavy sand and silt earth. He raised his large head and massive antlers. He blocked all passage onto the surface of the pit. He then led his group away from the depression. They walked around the pit to a point where water flowed out of the wet ground to form a small creek. The creek flowed away from the depression into the direction of a much larger stream. Small streams ventured out of the ground taking an occasional grain of sand. The streams ran out of the side of the depression. Water collected where the head of a creek formed. There were small pools of water that were not far down the stream. The pools were just big enough for the deer to get a quick drink of very fresh water. They smelled something as they were drinking. There was an unusual but familiar scent that was on the ground. The sent was much more frequent by the fishing camp. It was very unusual to find such a scent in this part of the very remote forest. The smell was from a creature not native to the wooded area. It was not long before a lone voice called out in the distance. It was from one of the creatures. It was a very familiar call that sounded from all the animals from the woodland. But, it was the first time they had heard it from one of these unusual creatures. It was common for an animal to sound off a call when one of their infants had wandered away from their parents. On occasion, there was no response. The call became increasingly desperate as the animal searched the woods for its missing child. Again more often than not, they find their wandering offspring. Other times, no. In that case, the wandering sibling had likely fallen into the grips of a predator. Their sibling was gone. Their child was dead. The deer had their horrible memories of such events. Unable to help and concerned about their problems, the deer walked away from the stream and the pit. The unusual creature had to solve its dilemma on its own. The deer stopped and looked back at the depression one more time before they turned and walked away. Other than the unusual smell, there was no evidence that any creatures had been near the area. The surface of the pit and the mound in the middle looked perfectly flat, undisturbed. At least there would be footprints had anyone of them being in the area and stepped into the pit. But, there was no trace other than the smell on the ground. The deer began their long walk into the isolated woodland as the sun continued to sink closer to the distant horizon. The isolated woodland slid into a deeper color of black as time passed. In time, the area would become a very distinct pitch black except for whatever light made it to the forest floor from a partial moon. A hooting owl, a few chirping insects, an occasional call from a deer, no other sounds would cut through the darkness of the evening. The evening darkness of the isolated forest would be absolute and penetrating. It would engulf everything in the woods. It would be as it was every night for the past eons. The darkness of the evening would be eternal for those creatures that had died in the forest that day. Sorrow would fill those who had lost a member of their group to death.