Two Boots Hung Off a Post Outside Farnham, VA


Agent Donder set his feet on the broken pavement of the driveway and braced himself. The old, brown work boots that hung from the weathered post barely five feet away spun lazily and pointed at him. The creak of their frayed laces over the grey wood was a greeting and a warning. Go away, they growled in his head. Their nightmare juju pounded him. GO AWAY, PRODIGAL!

He inhaled sharply and leaned forward, the cords on his neck straining against the warding. The thick air smelled of damp mud and the tang of dried blood. Four feet now. His right foot shuffle-scraped ahead. Three.

One of the men who had come with him groaned as the boots’ juju wracked his mind. The sound was hollow, like it had come through thick fog. None of them had gotten closer than the edge of the road, twenty five feet away. None except Donder.

Two feet.

The boots strained at the ends of their laces now, like a dowsing rod close to water. Eighteen inches. The air was thick with anger and reeked of hate and the swamp and the woman who inhabited the cabin beyond.

The woman who died ten years ago.

“Mom,” he grunted. “It’s killing again. The Old Man Tree” The boots quivered. He knelt and reached toward the door of the cabin. “Ten more so far. Some kids. Call off the boots. I need your help.”

The boots dropped to the ends of their strings. The cabin door opened.

Late week was the first of a new work schedule that has me in the office early a few days a week. It left my brain awfully tired by the time story-writing time rolled around on Friday evening. But I got a bit of rest and refreshment and here I am, new story in hand! I hope you don’t mind that is it a couple of days tardy. I couldn’t leave you hanging!

It also helped that the idea of a pair of magic guardian boots wouldn’t let me go all weekend. If you like the story, be sure to let me know, would you?

You can play along with the writing prompt here, if you like.

(Photo Credit: wurliburli on Pixabay)