The Serpent of Stony Brook

December 20, 2010
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Our story begins in the bleak midnight hour in the village of Stony Brook, to which we see a small ailing cottage which sits upon the rolling bramble. The rickety shelter is cut into the grassy slope, of which is thickly blanketed with pecks of midnight dew, brought upon the country path. The gloomy air seems to shroud the cottage, and shows no signs of retreat.

The slope is dotted with brilliant oak, of which tower over the country like a magnificent gable. At night, the flora is abashed wish shadow, and the gloomy outcrops of the edging bramble roll over and over, as if to give off a drowsy aura. Nocturnal shadows play over the zenith of hunting night owls which nestle themselves in the jarred bark of the oaks. There is a cemetery, not far from the lake, which hosts the graves of those recently deceased.

This land is damned, from which the local gossip tells those who tarry in the village. The land is haunted, by ghosts and beings of the superstitious kind. The most prominent freak of this ghoulish bunch is the serpent which dwells in the lake. When twilight strikes the country, the freak rises out of the stagnant waters and wanders the bramble.
There happens to be a brook side beggar whom travels abroad the three villages. “Avast!” says he, “May you never return, for this accursed country brings forth terrible misfortune for those who cross it.”

The ragged man claims he himself has encountered the rage of the serpent and escaped its wrath. According to the story, he was fishing by the bramble lakeside, and then suddenly a huge snake-like head snapped out of the water and nearly grazed the ragged man by no less than a foot. He was suddenly even more bewildered to see the serpent come out of the water and sprout long, spiky legs. To his relief, however, the serpent neglected to follow the man, but settled for the generous catch that he had inadvertently left by the lakeside.

It so happens that inside the cottage that we had described earlier, lived two boys and their mother and father. They lived a reclusive and mysterious life in the bramble, and often went hungry from days that yielded no catch from the lakeside fishing grounds. Because they were so poor, they were unable to purchase food from the village. Fish and game were growing scarce in the area, and the family was unsure whether they could maintain their survival for much longer. The land was also too harsh to plant crops upon.

Every day, the father and his two sons, Gregory and Matthew, would go to the fishing ground with their paddle boat and poles. Occasionally, the beggar would peer at them from the shore with his own pole, keenly watching and complaining that they were stealing his catch. Ignoring the beggar’s whining, they would throw lines out until they caught a fish or two. If it was a good day, the family would have a half a bass for each meal. Often times however, because of the growing scarcity of fish, the family would only have a lame sucker or chub.

One evening, however, a full moon arose, and before the family, a great serpent emerged from the waters. Poor Gregory and Matthew witnessed their parents’ death before their very eyes, as the rage of the serpent tore through the water and gobbled up their father and mother. They ran back through the bramble and into the cottage.

They spent night after night alone and painfully reclusive. They dared not stray from the protection of the cottage, for they were afraid of the terrible wrath of the serpent waiting outside. For many days they ate their catch, until they had ran out.

Now the two orphan boys come out of the cottage in the froth of this gloomy night, looking for food. They spy the lake in the distance, with no sign of the creature. They decide that they would go fishing the following day, after a good night’s sleep.

The sun rises and a new day has begun. The boys come out with their wooden poles and begin to walk to the lakeside fishing ground. They through the cemetery on their way there, and notice something rather peculiar about the whole setup. There are two new gravestones placed closer to the winding path, each with a peculiar engraving on them. The two boys are flabbergasted to find that the names on the grave stones are none other than their deceased mother and father!
After a few minutes of mourning by the graves, the two boys realize that their mother and father could not have been buried at this spot. They were indeed swallowed by the serpent. Its monstrous belly and powerful jaws must have disembodied the corpse and laid it to waste! Their bodies must have been mixed and twined and churned round about so much that they could no longer exist! Neither could have been found and placed in the grave.
In terror, the two fled back into the cottage. They lock the doors and hide themselves in the corner. Hours pass, until noon-time sun crosses over the bramble, and its daylight charm beckons the boys outside. With fishing poles in hand, they take a long path around the cemetery, so neither of the boys would have to lay his eyes upon the gravestones.
Not having ever passed this route before, they marvel at how beautiful the scenery is. Trees tower over them here and there, and they create a gloomy canopy which only the slightest bit of sunlight can pass through. When they near the lakeside however, they notice something odd by the bank. It is the serpent, and it is sleeping!
Its hideous head is marshy, with green algae splattered all over its scalp. Tattered green fins protrude this way and that out of its inhuman body. The serpents’ scaly skin resembles that of mashed garlic, with all kinds of scales pointing every which way. The most hideous feature of them all, however, is that its head was disconnected from its body. From what the boys can faintly notice from their vantage point behind a bush, the serpent’s head is all hollow inside!
Alas, a new traveler comes around the bend! It is a wandering native, possibly a Patchoag Indian, whom comes walking down the beach, not noticing the two boys, and begins to poke the serpent in curiosity.
The boys, terrified of what accursed, sinister plotting the native was having with the serpent, fled back through the long winding path into their cottage with their poles and plan to lock themselves in for the night.
Upon opening the door to the cottage, the boys notice something strange. All of the cabinets are swung open, as if a breeze had torn through the place. The damp wooden draws of the cottage are pulled out to their very extent. The place reeks of fish, and soon enough, the boys find that the fish pantry is open. They soon realize that someone has stolen all of their catch! Suspecting the local Patchoag Indians of the rogue act, the boys race down to the lake side with their poles in hand.
They near the lakeside, and to their bewilderment, can no longer find the serpent’s body. They scamper behind bushes and outcrops, but the serpent’s body is nowhere to be found. They notice footsteps leading from fishing grounds, and at the sound of remote activity, instinctively hide behind a nearby boulder. Cautiously, Matthew sneaks a peek behind the rock to see a peculiar sight --- the beggar is squeezing his scrawny skull into the serpent’s hollow head! A jolt of realization hits the two boys, as they now realize that the serpent is the beggar in disguise!
For many moons, fish had been scarce in the area, and many fishermen who came to the bramble were deprived from their deserved catch. The beggar was one of these travelers whom fished the bramble lake. For the immoral sake of his voraciously ravenous paranoia, the beggar devised a sinister plan to eliminate the local fishermen. It all started when he began to spread rumors about superstitious hauntings in the bramble. Then, he disguised himself as a serpent with a cleverly designed costume made out of leaves and cropped vegetation that he had found in the countryside. One by one, he eliminated each and every fish trader and catcher that regularly tarried in the bramble!
Despite his gluttonous appetite for bloodshed, the unstable beggar was a religious man. For the reason of his beliefs, for every victim he would smite with his mock serpentine claws, he would bury in a respectful manner in the bramble cemetery.
Later on, when all of his competition was successfully eliminated and all impending travelers spooked, the beggar assumed a total domination over the local fish trade.
The beggar was later turned in by two orphan boys by the name of Gregory and Matthew, of which had both survived the homicidal spree. However, when the Stony Brook village council addressed the problem and sent marksmen to capture the beggar, he had already disappeared.
To this day, nobody knows the real name of the beggar, let alone his whereabouts after the massacre. Though, if you ask every decent villager of Stony Brook, they will undoubtedly admit that they themselves vow to never return to the bramble lake, for the terrible misfortune and superstitious horror that has forever scarred their minds.

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xomcstrbxo said...
Dec. 26, 2010 at 9:08 am
I like it! It's a good story, good ideas. The only thing I would suggest, is to be careful with the grammar, and perhaps employ fewer adjectives. But on the whole, it's a good story, I like the conclusion.
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