Danger on the Cliff

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Cold tentacles reached up through the gloom and tried to ensnare my legs once again. I screamed but nobody seemed to hear.

Fear crushed my lungs forcing my breath to come in ragged gasps. I could feel them getting closer.

Was there no means of escape?

My body temperature had dropped as I hung on the edge of the cliff. My fingers and arms were burning from the exertion required to keep from falling.

It was not that I was afraid of the fall. My abject horror came because of what reached up to me from the black depths. It was a place where little light could be found.

Just below my line of sight, I felt another tentacle flick across my ankle. It was only a matter of time.

I screamed again, but the cliff tops overlooking the sea remained devoid of human life for as far as the eye could see.

A brief break in the clouds and I thought the sun would make a rare appearance. I wished desperately that it would, for the creatures would then slink back to where they came from. I was sure they lived in lairs and caves that remained hidden from human eyes.

I had always hated the cliffs, but through the blinding pain, I was not able to remember how I had even fallen. I tried to maintain the right path to avoid the danger, but invariably, the cliffs beckoned like the wailing shriek of an ocean siren.

My mind berated me for falling — again! This was not the first time that the cliffs extended a death wish toward me. My fingers had felt the pain of slipping before, but today seemed so different.

Flashed through my mind, the horror of each previous slip danced in slow rhythm to the beat of the deadly rocks below me, while others writhed like a devilish, whirling sand dervish upon the sands of the Sahara. Both were equally dangerous and cared not one whit for me.

No footholds could be found for my feet as I kicked savagely trying to find even a single place to support my weight. All of a sudden, a series of tentacles wrapped themselves around my ankles and worked their way up my legs.

I could feel their cold embrace sucking the life out of me, and with no further warning, a jerk from the creatures below dislodged my left arm. I flailed with my free hand as I tried to force the creatures from pulling me into the gloom.

All around me, the darkness rose from the depths of the cliffs and turned the remaining light of day to darkness. Wet, bone-chilling fog settled across the cliffs and down over my body.

Succumbing to the horror that had befallen me, the fingers on my right hand gave way. I screamed again as I began the free fall to what I did not want to face.

Out of nowhere, a voice above me called my name. Hands reached down and wrapped firmly around my body. Calling my name again, light appeared to surround my rescuer as I felt myself lifted back to the safety of the path.

“Anthony, wake up, wake up!”

The gentle voice soothed my fears as it spoke again.

“You were having a nightmare again. But, you are safe in bed and there is nothing to fear.”

Written in response to Warrior Writers Prompt #28

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