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Page Turner Challenge: Picks

Hanging in the Shadows by Susan Cross

As the shutter snapped picture after picture of the interplay of light and shadow in the old oak forest on the night of the full moon, Shawna suddenly dropped her camera on the forest floor and tried to suppress a scream of terror.  The image of a person hanging in a noose, swinging back and forth was engraved in her retinal afterimage.  She had been snapping pictures so quickly to efficiently use the bright light of the full moon that the realization of the hanging body did not surface into her consciousness until a few snapshots later.  Was this a figment of her imagination, a trick of the light on this bright night, a practical joke of the forest?

Shawna dropped to her knees and felt around in the underbrush for her camera.  She was too frightened to turn on her flashlight and felt herself being scratched and bruised as she used her arms like windshield wipers trying to find the camera.

Locating the camera, she turned it on and carefully examined each of her art shots.  As she enlarged the image, she was almost certain the moon revealed a body hanging high in the trees.  Her breathing quickened and she started to quietly whimper as she realized that there were two more bodies clearly patterned in two other shots.

So entranced was she in her morbid discovery, Shawna did not even hear the approaching footsteps.

Susan Cross is from Kingston, ON

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