Midnight Reflections: McClellanville – The Darkness

–Co-Authored with Raissa Urdiales

Chapter 1

The night was dark like strong ink spilled across a canvas.  The winds were like the furies moving the darkness across the sky.  The thunder was powerful rolling the clouds as if someone were stirring them in an iron kettle rolling them over and over like Frogmore Stew.  Lightning lit the sky like angry gods throwing the burning bolts across the heavens.  Rain fell creating a wall of water so dense that the drops were like stones thrown down from above.  The darkness that covered the land belonged to both the physical and spiritual worlds both evil and destructive.  It was a night when the four horsemen rode high in the sky coming to collect their due.

The water pushed the high tide up the creek, water cresting the banks flooding the roads and shops along Jeremy Creek.  Joshua and his brother Patrick were running down the docks toward a jeep parked on the flooding road.  Their father and his brother were securing their shrimp boat to the dock even as the water was covering most of the planks deeper with each passing moment.  They had sailed from Georgetown thinking they would be safer here in McClellanville.  Joshua’s mother had driven down in hopes of going inland once they docked the boat.  The furies would have their way as during the last few hours the track of the hurricane had shifted south to the tiny shrimping town.

Joshua and Patrick sat shivering in the jeep watching his dad and uncle fighting their way up the dock when the tide surge washed the deck away, within a moment both his dad and uncle were gone.  The boys were screaming yet the roar of the wind made them silent screams.  The jeep turned toward Highway 17 and a perilous journey loomed ahead of them.  They watched out the back window of the jeep as the shrimp boat was washed onto the creek banks and the dock smashed by the surge.

The last thing Joshua saw as the jeep sped away was an old couple walking his father and uncle down the road.  They all seemed to be bathed in light and the old man turned and with a smile waved goodbye to Joshua.  He had seen the old couple once when he was about four when he got out of the yard as a car was speeding down their dirt road.  They reached out and held his hands as the car missed him by inches.  As he walked back into the yard his mother came running toward him, he looked back at the road and they were gone.

Joshua sat up in bed shaking off the dream, feeling like a weight was on his chest.  Ever since he had the bike accident in Savanna he was troubled with dreams about the old couple.   He was always trying to reach out to them and get them to talk to him.  He wanted to thank them for saving him when the car hit him while he was on an early morning ride, but they were always just ahead of him and he could never touch them.  Tonight, they were trying to tell him something about Patrick.  Even though he was there he was young not yet five and none of the tragedy of that night seemed real.  It felt more like a dream filled with fog, mist, and not of this world.

He slid out of bed to sit on the porch and hoped the sound of the ocean would calm him and bring him some clarity.  He had this dream all his life and he knew it had something to do with Patrick. Olivia had awakened to find him gone so she got up to brew coffee for them and brought it out to him.  They both sat quietly in their rocking chairs, she got comfortable and waited for him to speak.  She knew of his dreams and as of late they were coming more often.  They held hands and waited for the morning to come.  Today they were going to McClellanville to give a bid on restoring an old house, and she knew Joshua did not like going past the shrimp boat docks but she knew he would.  He always faced his fear head-on.  Olivia had her own secrets and was familiar with the dark dreams.

Olivia knew they were only a few months away from being married.  They called the Lowcountry their home and she knew that together they would face life without fear, finding courage in the deep joy of love.

Chapter 2

Olivia remembered that day like it was just yesterday, yet it was decades ago, and she was just a child.

Her mother had answered the phone, and she could immediately tell something was terribly wrong.  She could hear her Godmother’s voice and the crying, the howl of a cry she had never heard before.  Her mother’s eyes swelled with tears, but she would not allow one to escape her eye. Olivia’s mother never cried.  Olivia, on the other hand, cried a lot.  Or maybe it was that she felt comfortable to cry and show emotion.  Either way, she knew the news was not at all good.  When her mother hung up the phone, Olivia waited to learn what had happened. Instead, her mother went to her father and told him that her Godmother’s one and only son had been in a bike accident and had not survived.

Olivia ran upstairs into her room, threw herself on the floor, staring at her image in the mirror.  David had been the same age; he would no longer be any older than a child, or would he age in the beyond?  His life was over. How could that possibly be?  How can a child’s life end when it was barely beginning?

He had been riding his bike outside on a beautiful sunny September day.  He had come to an intersection, and the car was to stop but didn’t.  The driver did not see David; he only felt him as the impact took his life away.

How, how could this be? 

It was that night that Olivia felt him the first time.  He was forever around her as a child.  He became her guardian angel, and she told no one of his presence.  Only she would see him.  It saddened her some days that her Godmother did not see him, but he watched over her as well.  He could not be visible to her because the pain of his loss would make it that much more insufferable for her to remain.  And remain she needed to.  She and her husband would adopt a young girl, and they would make a family.  That young girl would keep her company in the years after her husband’s death only to be the sole survivor after her mother passed.

That was when she joined her son, and the two of them became the angels that followed Olivia and now Joshua.  Olivia had not told Joshua of them because she was unsure if he would believe such a thing.  Perhaps with the upcoming nuptials, she would share one of her many secrets.

Path leading to present:


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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