Fiction: Off the Beaten Path

woods 300x225 Fiction: Off the Beaten Path

“What do you mean you don’t know where we are?”

“Exactly what it sounds like…I don’t know where we are!”

“Jake you cannot be serious; we’re on a trail.  Don’t you dare tell me we’re lost!”  Carrie threatens, eyes filled with annoyance.

“Look Carrie, I wish I could tell you I’m joking, but I’m not.”  Jake gestures to the ground around them, trying to remain calm.  “If you look closely you’ll see that somehow we’re no longer on the trail.”

Eyes scanning the area, Carrie starts to realize this is not one of Jake’s twisted jokes.  “Great….just great!  What the hell are we going to do now?  We each have an already half empty bottle of water and nothing else.  It was only supposed to be a few mile hike, not an overnight stay in the woods!  What are we going to do for food and shelter?”  Her words come out fast and high-pitched as she paces back and forth.

Rolling his eyes to the heavens, Jake mumbles “Women”.

Carrie whips her head towards him, her eyes like daggers.  “What did you say?”

“I said…take it easy Chicken Little.  The sky is not falling and acting like it is will only make matters worse.”

Carrie says nothing; only crosses her arms over her chest and sticks her tongue out at him.

Jake chuckles, “Nice.  Remind me how it’s possible you’re the ‘older sister’, again?”

“I was born 21 minutes before you were, little bro and don’t you forget it!”  She haughtily replies; not wanting to admit to either one of them that their familiar banter is starting to calm her frayed nerves.  “You were a dorky Boy Scout,when we were kids, so shouldn’t you know how to get out of situations like this?”

“Frist of all being a Boy Scout is NOT dorky.  Second of all, my troop was more about derby racing than survival skills.”  With a smirk on his face he shrugs.  “Who knew knowing how to build a little wood car to race down a hill wouldn’t come in handy when I got older?”

“Okay, okay enough with the arguing and the jokes.  How the hell are we going to find our way back to the car?  We only have a few hours left before the sun starts to go down.”

Pointing, Jake says, “I think we should go back where we came from.  Eventually if we walk straight we should eventually hit the trail or the parking lot.”

Carrie looks at him skeptically, but begins to walk in the direction he pointed.


“I just hope you’re right, that’s all.  I don’t like the idea of spending the night in the woods.”  She calls to Mark over her shoulder.

For the next hour neither says a word to the other; both lost in their own thoughts.  The only sound that keeps them company is their labored breathing; until Carrie finally blurts out, “This whole hike thing was your idea, you know.”

Exasperated, Jake throws his arms in the air and stops walking.  “Are you kidding me?!?  You’re trying to blame this on me?  If I remember correctly you were extremely excited about the idea.  Plus, it was both of us who failed to realize we were no longer following the trail.”

Ahead of him now, Carrie half turns as she continues to walk. “Yeah but you… Ahhhhh, dammit!”

Everything feels like it’s in slow motion as Mark watches his sister fall and then disappear.  Breaking into a sprint he runs to where he last saw Carrie.  “Carrie?”  He screams, the fear thick in his voice.  “CARRIE?”

“I’m down here, you idiot.  Stop screaming like a girl.”

Mark walks a few steps to find himself at the top of a small hill.  Looking down he can see Carrie about 3 feet below him.  “Good to know the fall didn’t hurt your ability to insult.” He replies sarcastically.

She sighs heavily. “I’m sorry.  It’s just that…” She pulls at her ankle. “my foot…is…stuck.  Ahhhhhh!” She lets go with a yell of frustration.

“Hold on, I’m coming down.”  Mark starts to make his way gingerly down the hill.  “How bad does it hurt?”

“It hurt a lot at first, but now it’s starting to go numb.”

He can hear the tremor of fear in her voice and it causes him to move faster.  “Can you see what your foot is stuck on?”

She shakes her head no.  “From this angle it’s hard to tell.”

When he reaches her, Mark squeezes her shoulder in reassurance.  “Don’t worry, I’m going to free your foot and we’re going to get the heck out of here.”  Kneeling beside Carrie, he examines the situation.  “Oh Shit….this one is going to hurt.”

She looks at him startled; alarm bright in her eyes.

“Sorry, that slipped out”, he replies sheepishly. He pauses for a moment to gather his thoughts and then continues.  “I hate to tell you this, but your foot is twisted at a very odd angle and stuck between some tree roots and a rock.”

Carrie covers her face with her hands and moans.  “This does not bode well for my date on Saturday.”

“Are you kidding me?  That’s what you’re worried about?”

“Okay, okay!  Sorry!  Do you think you can free my foot?”

Mark shakes his head at Carrie in disbelief.  Sighing he leans over to better access the situation.  “I think with some careful angling I’ll be able to get it out.  But let me warn you; it’s going to hurt like hell.”

“I’m a big girl.  I can take it”

“Okay then.”  He reaches towards her foot, “You know if you’d have watched where you were going, this wouldn’t have happened.”

“Are you kidding me?  You’re going to lecture me……”  Suddenly immense pain washes over Carrie as her foot is freed.  “HOLY HELL! OH MY GOD THAT FREAKING HURTS!”

Mark picks Carrie up, trying to jostle her as little as possible. “It probably would have hurt a lot worse if I hadn’t partially distracted you by pissing you off.”

Eyes wide with shock she laughs a little, despite the pain.  “Thank you.”

He glances down at her and sees her fists clenched against the pain.  Picking up the pace, he kisses the side of her head.  “It was nothing.”

It couldn’t be more than 15 minutes later when Carrie realized she could make out the parking lot through the trees.  “Look!  We made it!” Her voice full of relief.

Mark maneuvered his way through the trees until he reached the lot.  Glancing around he quickly spots his car. “Carrie, I need you to reach into the right pocket of my hoodie and grab my keys.”

Retrieving the keys she unlocks the doors for them and Mark settles her in the passenger seat as gently as possible and then climbs in the driver’s side.

Carrie turns to him, a serious look on her face.  “I really mean it Mark; thank you.  I don’t know what I would’ve done if you weren’t here to help me.”

He smiles, knowing how hard it is for her to admit something like that.  It just wasn’t her style to admit she needed someone.  “Anything for you sis.  We may fight, but I love you more than anyone.  How could I not?  You are the older and wiser twin, you know.”  He winks at her.

Deciding to ignore his sarcasm, she laughs and lightly punches his shoulder.  “And don’t you forget it!”

Laughing, “Okay, older sister, let’s go get that foot looked at.”


This week’s IndieInk Challenge came from GUS, who gave me this prompt: Oh shit…this one is going to hurt. I challenged The Drama Mama with the prompt Pick a song that you love. Tell a story from the songwriter’s point of view, that inspired them to write that song.

Note to GUS: This was a really hard prompt for me, as it doesn’t lend itself  well to my normal writing style.  Thank you for that; I enjoyed the challenge!

Any type of feedback is welcomed and greatly appreciated!  I am extremely new to writing fiction and even more green at writing dialogue.  Any tips are welcome! icon smile Fiction: Off the Beaten Path

lpsignature Fiction: Off the Beaten Path


  1. It's a good story.

    Two things – midway thru, the guy's name changes from Jake to Mark. And the 3rd person present thing is a bit odd to me. Which could totally be me, mind. I prefer first person present, 3rd person past.

    • Thank you so much for your feedback! I haven’t quite figured out the whole dialogue thing and 3rd person present seems to be what I’m most comfortable with at the moment. Though I get how it can be awkward. I’ll have to try changing it up! As for the name switch… *face palm* I feel like such a tool. That’s what I get for being inexperienced and trying to write 2 stories at the same time. Mark was the guy from my other story. LOL Thank you for pointing it out. I’ve corrected it!

  2. Lisa- I thought you did a nice job with the story. I was very anxious to see how you would intrupt the prompt and thought it was perfectly translated as an internal thought that slipped out.

  3. I loved it!! It's great for being new to writing. Very creative, and the bond that twins carry, and their banter back and forth was very realistic.

    Your dialogue will get better though its actually really decent here. The key to dialogue is to read it aloud, without the interruptions of what they were doing and see if it sounds like a real conversation. It can be tricky, but you've done a fabulous job here.

    I'm so happy to have met you. I can't wait to read more and watch you grow as a writer!

  4. I think you did great with the story. I am a reader so I can't give you any pointers. Sorry about that.


    • No need to apologize! I need readers’ opinions too! My writing can be technically proficient, but what good is it if people don’t enjoy reading it? I’m glad you liked it! :)

  5. The banter between the two characters was very realistic. Good job weaving in the prompt

    • Thank you! I’m an only child so I was worried I wouldn’t get the banter right. LOL Plus, as I said, this prompt was really hard for me…it’s so good to hear you like the way it was used!


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