Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What the #$%@& is up with this #$%@& Bunny?!

Clear your calendars for the first two weeks of August. Seriously. Do it now as you're going to need the whole time from August 1-15 to complete the Bleeping Bunny 2 hunt.

Known for being an awesome hunt - MadPea wouldn't be a part of it otherwise! - the Bleeping Bunny 2 hunt will surely make you want to let out a stream of expletives. It's a grid-wide hunt that is full of riddles, decoys, and amazing prizes from some #$%@& amazing vendors.

MadPea's hunt prize is a shoulder bunny that has quite the bad attitude, no sense of self-censorship, and is more than a touch of a sarcastic prankster. Just a warning: be prepared to defend yourself when you decide to let this #$%@& bunny keep you company.

MadPea is sponsoring this bedeviled event. This means there will be a mini-hunt to confound you even more! If you can decipher the notoriously tricky MadPea teasers, then you will get a Fucking Mad Bunny t-shirt and a pair of Pea green bunny slippers!

The hunt starts on August 1 at Grumble 2. You can see a list of all of the hunt participants and sponsors (and get some hints if you're unable to do the hunt without somebody holding your hand) at the Evil Bunny Hunts blog. The MadPea mini-hunt will be at The Green Mire. Think you have what it takes to master the  #$%@& bunny? Prove it.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

New Additions to PeaWear

The PeaWear design staff has been hard at work to bring us a new creation. These shirts are awesome! There are female and male versions with six variations of each. Best part? They are fully mesh, come in five sizes, and are only 50L each.

The female version comes as a super comfortable off-the-shoulder relaxed tee with an asymmetrical hem. Each has the latest MadPea design of a sprinkling of multi-colored Peas and most have a left breast pocket in a complimentary color.

Three of the male shirts are a simple t-shirt with the new scattered Peas design; three have raglan-style sleeves and the wicked cool P34 brand on them. 

You can purchase these unique shirts at the MadPea store, which is located at The Green Mire, and online at PeaWear by MadPea on SL Marketplace.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


IS Zee Yalin who gets the 
big $10 000L prize! 

Congratulations! This story kept us in suspense till the very end. Very well written, very smooth flow, excitement and great usage of the poem found on the swamp.

A BIG thank you to everyone who submitted their stories, we truly had a pleasure reading them all!

The Green Mire

I hadn't been to the Green Mire in years, but I never forgot the smell.

It was pungent and choking, I had to keep the window rolled up just to avoid breathing it in. The thought of treading through the water made me wonder If this was really worth it. The money was good, Mrs Lamil would do just about anything to get her son back. Skip's parents seemed concerned too, but they couldn't pay me... I told them I'd look, but I wasn't promising anything. What were they expecting, really?

“Hey, Dick Tracy. You awake back there?”

My reverie was broken by the broken english coming from the front seat. Pushing myself off the window so I was sitting up straight, I narrowed my eyes at the driver, “It's Nick.”

“Nick Tracy?” he asked. His thick accent masked his intentions, I couldn't tell if he was joking. The question seemed sincere enough though.

“Nick Winter.” I replied, looking out the window once more. The car trundled through the swamp, each roll of the tires left me bouncing in my seat and just made me feel more naseaus, “How much further can you take me?”

“Why, you excited to get there?” he laughed, “Take plenty of pictures, it's a beautiful swamp! And look for the crater too, and the statues-”

“Sure, I'll do all that and check the gift shop once I'm done.” I called back with a sneer, “I don't want to trek through swamp water for miles, I haven't got time for that. You need to take me as deep in as you can, alright?”

“I'm not taking you much further in, my friend. I just had her washed.” the driver replied, patting the dashboard of his car to encourage it onwards and quieten the engine, “You really think you'll find the boys?”

“It's been ten years, I'm not sure what I'm looking for.” I sighed. I wouldn't lie to myself, the chances of me finding them alive seemed slim. The Green Mire had it's share of whackos and alligators, hardly the place for two boys like Tony Lamil and Skip Dares.

“Mrs Lamil really wants to see her boy again, huh?” The driver said, trying to keep the conversation going, “Hey, you could get her any boy and call him Tony. She's desparate, my friend. She hasn't seen him in ten years, maybe she even forgot what he looks like.”

“I'm not going to hire someone to pretend to be Tony. I don't want her money that badly.” I shrugged the idea off. As I turned to look out the window once more I noticed something. It looked like a cabin, set up in the middle of the swamp it seemed remarkably out of place, “Hey pull over here.”

“You want to get out here?” The driver asked, though he continued to drive onwards as though he hadn't understood me, “It's not safe, my friend. The locals here are riled up over the crater... you could have some trouble if you start barging into shacks.”

“Stop the car...” I repeated quietly. The car rolled to a squelching halt and I opened the door, the scent of the swamp hitting me hard. I covered my nose and gagged before slowly allowing more of the smell into my body, trying to get used to it since I'd be around it for some time.

“Good luck, my friend.” The driver said, leaning out of the window to face me, “You call when you want to get picked up. Okay? You have my number.”

“Just wait here, I'll be back in a bit.” I told him quickly, the last thing I needed was my ride disappearing on me and leaving me stranded in the middle of the mire. I didn't have to check my phone to know there was no service out here.

“Your money, my friend. You pay me by the minute, not the mile.” he told me, tapping his watch before resting back in his seat. He reached into the glove compartment of his cab and took out a magazine, flipping it open and starting to read through it while he waited. I shook my head and pressed onwards, 'At least one of us would be making some money today' I thought as I walked.

I passed a hammock on my way to the cabin, though as I put my hands on it to test it I found them getting damp. Maybe it had rained before, maybe it was just the air, either way it wasn't like I needed the rest anyway. I turned to make sure that the cab hadn't gone anywhere, he gave me a wide grin and a wave, followed by a thumbs up. I humoured him with an impression of himself, contorting my face into a twisted smile and awkwardly thrusting my thumb upwards before pushing onwards in the direction of the cabin.

As I drew closer to the shack I discovered there was a swamp water lake between the bank where I stood and the small island it was on. I stepped closer to the water, narrowing my eyes as I tried to determine how deep it was. The water was a murky green, I couldn't see the bottom... or anything beyond the surface, really. Deciding not to chance it I turned my attention to the alternate path, an old bridge over it that lead straight to the cabin.

I began to walk across the bridge, each plank I stepped on creaked under my weight. I could feel my heart slowing in my chest as I focused on avoiding the gaps between the planks, but finally I had made it to the other side.

Despite the cabin looking as unsturdy as the bridge, I found myself stepping more easily once I was inside of it. There were two teacups laid out, filled up with what could be either tea or coffee, I wasn't about to find out. To the left of them was a lit candle, the only source of light in the otherwise dark room. On it's right were three roses in a vase... they looked fresh, like someone had been there recently.

Turning my attention to the rest of the room I found a couch, sans couch cushions which I thought I might have seen outside of the shack. Above the couch was a banner, a poem embroidered over it:

"Illusions of reality, dimensions of humanity,
Tiny drops of energy in the wings of a firefly.

The soul will keep its mysteries,
I know my solemn destiny,
with you I flew so high.

Moon exposes my naked truth,
the sacred spirits creep up my wounds,
when I float in a pond nearby.

As I raise my hand to feel your face and
speak of another lie,
the tempting darkness pulls me down,
and I've forgotten why.

My deepest sweetest fantasies are left
without your sympathies,
yet the peace has firmly found its home in
my mind's eye.

I hear you calling far away,
but the last thing I see,
are fireflies in the sky."

The poem spoke to me, and I guess I didn't think about it at the time, but I'm not really one for poetry. It seemed mystical, like something worth remembering. It rang over and over in my head, pretty soon I couldn't get it out... but after one more look around I couldn't see any real signs that the boys had been here. Maybe the shack belonged to one of the locals, but it didn't belong to Tony or Skip. As I stepped out I found something that seemed out of place. A book titled 'A beginner's guide to swimming'.

“Drop something, Tony?” I muttered to myself, tucking the book into my coat as I made my way back to the path. Crossing the bridge seemed easier the second time, though I managed to give my heart another jolt as I made my way past the hammock...

The cab was gone. Worse still, I didn't see any tracks that would reveal which direction it went.  The swamp could have swallowed it whole for all I knew, though I wasn't here to look for a missing car. “Guess I'll find my way back by myself,” I reassured myself, “That guy's not getting a tip though.”

I walked further down the path and saw another cabin in the distance, given my luck so far it seemed worth checking, though once again there was an expanse of water blocking me from reaching it without getting covered in whatever made the mire smell the way it did. Luckily enough for me, two trees had fallen in a very particular way, creating a bridge across the waters.

I climbed up onto the fallen tree and began to make my way across it to the other side, though as I walked I saw the fireflies that hung in the air over the swamp, darting between reeds or just hovering aimlessly about. The water didn't reflect them, maybe it was just too murky to do so. The poem echoed in my mind; 'Tiny drops of energy in the wings of a firefly.'

“Poets.” I muttered as I took another step, though this one went straight through the fallen tree with a loud crunch. I gritted my teeth, grabbing my leg and kicking it about trying to get free. The once quiet swamp was now filled with the sound of a thousand angry wasps, buzzing about inside the log as they jabbed at my leg. I yelled out in pain and grabbed onto the trunk I had been walking across, dragging myself away from the hole as I felt the constant assault on my leg sending shots of pain through me, it was like I was on fire, and for all my struggling I wasn't getting any closer to putting it out.

I finally managed to get my leg free, but that only uncorked the hole and left the swarm of wasps buzzing out into the air, searching for whoever dared to intrude on their lair. I pulled my coat over my head to protect myself as I ran, staggering with the wounded leg as I made it to the other side and landed among the jagged, thorn-like fallen branches that jutted from the swamp.

The wasps left me there, having done enough to wound me for whatever else lurked in the mire, and returned into their nest in the fallen tree. I rolled onto my back and stared up at the green skies above, tears emerging from eyes as I grabbed my leg and tried to numb the pain with pressure. I cursed quietly to myself and wiped my eyes on my sleeve, leaving my face covered with swamp water.

After some time of just laying there and waiting for the pain to go down, I pushed myself to my feet, wincing as I stood on the wounded leg. I snapped off one of the broken branches and used it as a walking stick, continuing through the mire. It was much harder to balance now, and after being stung to the point of numbing I didn't care so much about the water. I walked through the marsh, using the stick to find any deep spots and avoiding them until I reached the bridge that lead to the hut.

I stopped to catch my breath as I reached the other end of the bridge, collapsing on a yellow deck chair that had been left out and grabbing my leg, breathing through my teeth. The pain had gone down somewhat, but I didn't think to bring anything with me to deal with it. Looking over my shoulder I noticed a box that had been left in the shack and stumbled over to it, spilling out it's contents onto the desk it sat on. I prayed for medicine, bandages, painkillers-

Fishing tackle... I cursed under my breath and threw the box aside, it was worthless and I was angry. Angry at the driver, angry at the swamp, angry at Tony and Skip... but mostly at myself. I sat down on the wooden deck chair and kicked the desk infront of me, though that was when I got my first clue.

Looking down I noticed something red among all the brown, a Speak and Spell. I snatched it up and looked it over, “Oh my god.”

It had to belong to one of them, what else would it be doing out here? I was beside myself with glee, I was finally making some progress. I looked around the room, there were photos everywhere. Some were of the boys, others were of the swamp, one seemed to be of a frog captured in a bucket (I heard it croak just as I looked at it, maybe it knew I was looking). I looked down at the Speak and Spell once again, the screen lit up with a message in red pixels...


I stared at the screen for some time, hearing the toy beeping at me. The lamp that once lit the shack flickered out as the beeping got louder. I smashed the back and pulled the batteries out, but It was too late. I heard footsteps, creaking over the boards behind the cabin.

I began to glance around the room, seeing the machetes laid out and ready, the binoculars laid out and ready to spy from afar, the camera that laid on the side... it was such a rush of information, there was too much to take in and the steps grew closer and closer.

I snatched up a black book from the table and turned to run, dropping the beginner's swimming guide as I ran across the boards and towards the other bridge. I reached out for it, but I saw it disappear between the cracks and instantly get snapped up by the jaws of a crocodile. It lashed at the underside of the shack as I limped towards the bridge. I couldn't find Tony, or Skips... and I wasn't about to stick around to meet whoever left that message.

The soul will keep its mysteries,
I know my solemn destiny,
with you I flew so high.

My makeshift walking stick got stuck between the two boards of the bridge, and I was quick to discard it in an attempt to aid my escape. Even as I reached the shore I didn't stop running, the crashed police car half-sunk into the swamp hadn't helped my nerves either as I passed it by, not stopping to investigate out of fear that my pursuer would catch up.

Moon exposes my naked truth,
the sacred spirits creep up my wounds,
when I float in a pond nearby.

The further I ran the more my chest hurt, but I couldn't stop... not while it was there... chasing me. I had no idea why I was running, why hadn't I come with a weapon? All I had in my pockets were cigarettes, and a book by some kid... what was his name?

As I raise my hand to feel your face and
speak of another lie,
the tempting darkness pulls me down,
and I've forgotten why.

What was his name... or... their names? Were there one or two. Why was a police car this deep into the swamp, why aren't there posters for the missing officers? Aren't they more important than two kids... or, are they adults? How long has it been?

I can see something up ahead... a light... a light! It must be the driver!, no, it wasn't... the swamp was glowing, just in that one spot, it was glowing. A luminscient purple. It was a crater, white lights danced in the air about it. The light was intimidating but soothing, I couldn't look away. I dropped down, landing with a squelch on the muddy swamp floor as I caught my breath and watched the lights.

My heart slowly began to return to it's normal pace. Why was I running? ...what was I running from? I could feel the weight of a book in my coat, and as I pulled it out I found a name across the front... 'Tony Lamil'... who was that? is it my name? I Tony Lamil?

My deepest sweetest fantasies are left
without your sympathies,
yet the peace has firmly found its home in
my mind's eye.

The light was so peaceful... I couldn't stop myself, the more I stared the more I yearned to step into it. I took off the heavy leather coat, letting it drop from my hands with a heavy thud as I stepped into the crater. The mud slipped into my wasp wounds, but the stinging didn't deter me... I had to be within the light...

My legs gave up and I fell face first into the center of it, the smell of swamp mud warmed me up. I could finally breathe again, and as I rolled over and stared up into the sky I could see the stars beyond the smog. The fireflies danced above me as the green clouds went by. The constant clicking attacked my ears, I wanted to cover them and shut it out but I couldn't bring myself to move. I could only lay within the light and watch the stars, the clouds and the fireflies.

I hear you calling far away,
but the last thing I see,
are fireflies in the sky.

I heard foosteps coming closer, making their way over the tall grass and towards me. My coat shuffled, a hand dug inside it and took the journal... the figure turned and walked away with the only proof I'd have that Tony Lamil was still alive.

I no longer cared... not while the fireflies shone in the sky, and the purple light of the crater numbed my pain, dragging me down into it. I felt the warmth fading as I disappeared into the crater, the last of the fireflies disappearing from my view as I sunk into the abyss.

Maybe Tony and Skip didn't want to be found, maybe they were happier out here. No one telling them what to do or what not to do. No overbearing parents 'protecting them from the world', they could do anything they wanted.

They could get away with murder.

Green Mire Writing Contest - Number 2

The SECOND PRIZE of the writing contest and $3000L goes to:

Brown Bay 

by Gothica Dragovar

you get to a point in life where you begin to believe you've seen all there is too see. a point where nothing feels new to you, just as mundane and unoriginal as ever before, and you dont think youll ever feel something again. its as if your mortality meets your reality, and they have one wild night together, and you realize “this is it.” some would call this a mid life crisis, but i don't understand that because i had that feeling 4 times before i turned 25. and then, it happened again. the world where i lived is too small, the environment i was in was too weak to sustain me. i needed to get out, and since i had no job and no real close friends, no ties to my life, i floated free and floated high, and landed as far away from that city as i could get. i was terrified, but not so much about leaving as much as i was terrified to uproot my life and just move. and then i realized i was terrified, and new that i had to do this. i wasn't even out and i started to feel again. i had to feel again.
to my surprise, i landed in the most backwards town. Brown Bay, Louisiana. i honestly can hardly remember how i got there in the first place. fresh out of college, i was entirely unable to find a job in the field of my studies, (microbiology), so i ended up taking on 3 minimum wage jobs just to keep myself alive. i lost touch with many of my friends from college, most had either found work in town or out of town, and i was possibly the only one who couldn't, so shame drove me to reclusion. then, out of the blue, i saw on add on a site for research assistants in a home driven experiment to supply the body with all the nutrients in need, but they needed a dietary specialist to help in the additions of healthy cultures. it was a little beneath my standards,
but suddenly the smog filled air was suffocating me, and the three jobs left me with little time to even stay home, let alone have any means of a social life. the whole damnable set up was driving me insane, and i decided it was best to get out.

the flight was decent, but it was the bus trip out into the middle of nowhere that got me. i slowly saw mankind recede back into the stone age with every passing mile, until i reached brown bay. the lead developer of this green start up was there to meet me. “hi, hank! yes, harold, we talked on the phone! and emails, all that jazz. but nevermind that, welcome to Brown Bay!” he says, wrapping me up in a half hug and walking me to the
station with the most energy i've ever seen in a man his age. harold was on the older side, maybe early fifties, and was slightly balding. but his appearance clashed with the stamina of a spritely young man, and he swept me up in such a great whirlwind of charisma i completely forgot my bags. we had just reached the door to the station when i began to mutter something about my bags when he turned as well. “oh, your bags, how silly of me!” and with, he took up a sprint. but not only did he take up the sprint, when he got my bags, each individually carrying roughly fifty pounds, he maintained the same speed sprinting back, and the same light and effortless spring, with maybe a bit of a heavier landing. this duper food must be something. if not magic, then some form of miracle. i'm a scientist, and these are my first thoughts. something was off about this man. but i didn't have time to ask any questions before i was swept up in the charisma again, and before i could have a minute to myself, we were on a shuttle to their ‘base of operations’. “base of operations? i thought this was just some green vegan start up? what do you need with a base of operations?” “lets just say that our kickstarter reached the right kind of eyes, and ever since we’ve had the ability to expand. how do you think a ‘green startup’ could afford the consultation of a microbiologist?”
“well, i...” i began, just as we turned the corner onto a dirt road that led through a swampy pass. the spanish moss was so thick, it almost covered the leaves. the reeds that sprang from the water were tall and brown, like the rest of the landscape here. everything was in a constant state of decay, and you could smell it in the little tin box of a car we were in. the air smelled fresh, if a little TOO fresh, and my blood started to buzz as a smile crept onto the corner of my face. the corner not facing harold. the i smeared it off and left it with the landscape as i turned to him.
“...i couldn't really care less, actually. when are we arriving?”
“lucky you, mister eager beaver, were pulling up now.”
i glanced into the sparsely wooded area and saw a claering up ahead. in the center was a sizable steel building, enough to house a small production site. as we pulled up, the metal door raised, and i had just started to smile again when i saw armed guards by the entrance. its been a few weeks since i moved down, and research is going slow. my work was not fully explained to me until i was escorted to a room by harold, the guards staying in place, though menacing enough to scare em straight.
“we want to synthesize the live cultures in side the dietary organs of humans,”

i remember, so clearly, that i scoffed in his face. “thats adventurous. how do you suppose i go that?”
“oh, dont worry Hank! you wont be alone! we’ve got a team of experts!”
i groaned internally, but simply smiled on the outside.
“lovely, people!”
and with, i was whisked into a life of work and study and synthesis that began to consume my life. but i did enjoy living out here in the country. at the end of the day, i would go out and fish in the swamp. the locals went hillbilly hand fishing often, but also had a high number of missing digits and limbs as the water was also home to gators, so i took a more traditional approach and bought myself a rod. while at the shop, and in town in general, i got quite strange looks from the locals. not much hatred, but also not very welcoming looks, almost i was some creature not native to that land, so they were cautious, but at the same time couldn't care less. one lad in particular decided to break the silence in exchange for conversation.
“didn't know city boys like you could throw a line, though the only water you had up there
came from taps?”
“i traveled a lot when i was younger, and took up fishing down in florida.”
“oh, that open water fishing? you could do much better up here, get yah somethin to eat
without travelin’ out for miles to get it.”
“well, its just for fun, to pass the time, not much about eating,”
and to that he gave me a right foul look,as if he just stepped on the fattest cockroach in a sewer.continuing to gather some tackle and bait. i idly looked around the shop, and then looked out the window. the sun was high in the sky, and it was muggy living right next to a great body of water. i just began to turn my head when i saw some missing posters on a lamp post outside.
“missing kids? in such a small place like this?”

“yup. but to tell ya the truth, those darned kids were always runnign off into that swamp alone. we checked their hideout, and the were there, but a while ago. the place was untouched by human hands for days. were gonna give it a week, and if nothing comes up, we’ll start guttin’ gators.”
“seems a bit drastic, don't you think?”
again, the same foul look, but this time he slammed a bucket of putrid worms onto the countertop, shaking the other merchandise on it.
“not when you've known those boys since they were a thought on a drunk night.”
with that i let it drop. i took my fishing supplies and drove to the motel i was being put up at, complimentary of the start up. then slid on my boots and went out for a spell. i parked at the edge start of a 5 mile trail, and began hiking in the woods. the same fresh decay smell intensified, and the cicadas were clicking away wildly in alternating patterns of chirps and tweets. the sensations the air felt was so much more than i ever got in the city. everything was alive, awake, and right in your face, sending its tendrils up your nose. i was on edge for some reason, maybe i was excited, maybe i was nervous, i had no idea what i was feeling. and then, i
get into a jog, going on into a run. it was so unlike anything i've felt before that i couldn't help but smile. my pack was as light as air, it was as if i was toting nothing at all. and before i knew it i made it to the end of the trail. wasnt much water around, though, which was strange for the swamp. i disobeyed many a sign and continued on foot through the brush, moving one branch over at a time and being extra vigilant, until i came upon a large watering hole type pond. it looked like a fine place to fish. i laid my chair out and my gear, and sat down after the run. i admit, i was a little winded, but for almost 3 miles of pur running, my body was remarkably at rest. and the sun had barely gone down any. but that was to be expected of those long summer days.

the cicadas sang sweetly, and the plop of the lure into the water plucked a string in the great symphony of nature around me. the tune was so melodias it had only been a few minutes that id been there that my eyes were drooping. the constant research had kept me up later than usual, and i could barely keep my body up as i nodded off into oblivion
“mister, please, you’ve gotta get up, they're coming!”
a young boys voice woke me. the night was pitch black, and my position was almost exactly as it was when i nodded off, save that my fishing pole was nowhere to be found. the terror in the boys voice alerted me, but in my slightly delirious state, i thought i was jsut dreaming him and waved the vision off.
“mister, wake up!”

a slap broke the night sounds and i was awake, wide awake, and clutching my face.
“WOW! JESUS! your sure slap good, for a twer...”
as i looked at his face in the lamp light, for just a split second, a line of recognition crossed my face.
“no time for introductions, or your stuff. get up, we need to run!”
i didn't know what he was talking about, but i got up anyways, and started following him, running through the brush. i could just barely see his slim, short frame ahead of me, like a nimble sprite flying through the woods. what did i think i was doing falling asleep in a swamp?
thank god i only lost my gear,and not my life. more so, what was i doing running through a swamp with a ten year old? i had no answers, so i just followed with the express intent to find out more. we ran for a good half mile, until i stopped.
“what in the world is going on right now?”
“what in the world are you doing? we need to g...”
“you're a child, you don't tell me what i need to do. answer my questio-”
“fine! we’ll take a shortcut, but after that stop talking!”
and came upon a shanty shack on a little island of its own, connected to the other land via a small jetty. inside, there was an old tv, a couch, and some end tables with assorted amenities on them. it was one of the oddest encounters yet, but i didn't question it. the boy grabbed a small candle a crawled behind the couch back, waving me over.
“what do you want to know?”
i had so many questions on my mind, they were all stumbling to get out first, and i just simply drew a blank.
“hurry, we don't have much time! this is putting us behind enough!”
“alright, alright! first of all, who are you?!”
“Skip Dares.”
and then a cog clicked into place in my head.

“the missing Skip Dares? people are going crazy out there! where have you been?!”
“sometimes you have to hurt those you love temporarily so you can keep them safe,”
and then i could see it. something in his eyes was broken. he had seen so much in his short life. the recognition i felt was not just with the missing kid poster, but with the pain he felt, though this kid knew so much more pain than i did. i felt no want to badger him any more than i had, but i needed to know what was happening.
“why are we running through the woods in the middle of the night?”
“why were you sleeping in the woods in the middle of the night?”
he’d gotten me there, but i gave him a stern look.
“this is my last question. is your life in danger?”
in the candlelight, i could see tears well up into his eyes as i remembered he was only a child. the single tear that fell from his face dropped right onto the candle, and without pause, he scurried out from the couch, and without question, i followed. this kid brought me along because he needed me. for what, i wasn't sure, but he needed something from me, and i wasn't about to turn down a kid in the middle of the swamp in the witching hour. we needed to get out of these woods. 

we ran for another solid 45 minutes before i needed a break, and we only stayed about 30 seconds before the jog started up again. i was so thirsty since i woke up, and the foam lacquer that layered my mouth was a bad sign. my breathing was becoming deep and my breathing heavy. Skip noticed, and urged me on, prodding me in the side and then violently hushing me when i protested. all the trodden foot steps, heavy breathing, and blood rushing to my ears had deafened me to a sound spreading through the forest. a humming, melodic and soft, but deep and moving at the same time. in my weakened state, i was susceptible to its lul, and my eyes began to droop. Skip was pushing me and prodding me, then hitting me as he cried out.

“no, no, no! you cant leave me here alone! first they got tony, and now theyll get me!
please don't do this mister! you've gotta help me!”
his cries were for not, as my body felt like it was a thousand pounds, and my eyelids felt like half the weight. i could not help myself, and i was lulling to sleep. as my eyes closed, i had just enough willpower to keep them open for the last seconds that i ever saw skip. the wind kicked up out of nowhere, and something bright shown in the sky, bright and purple and full of sound. full of vibrations. full of promises of something new. i was scared, but i don't think i could ever be as terrified as Skip was. right before this thing touched down, were the last second i was conscious.

when i awoke, it was still dark, but the sun was rising lightly, turning the sky a brown green hue. i was covered in bug bites, and scratching like mad, until i noticed my surroundings. i was on the outskirts of a clearing. a clearing that wasn't here the night before. the earth behind me was lush, green brown, and decaying like all the rest of the swamp. but the earth before me was flat and dead. bout out of that death cam rebirth, as the air was alive with... little flecks of glowing purple. they didn't quite follow the rules of gravity, lazily suspending in the air and slowly making their way around the center.i couldn't quite make out what they were, but i didn't look closely. in the center of this clearing was the source of the purple flecks, and was it a sight to behold. the hum from earlier was permeating the air, but its sleeping effect had worn off, and all it was now was a musical memento of what had past. the light it emitted was blinding, but comforting. it was like looking into the sun while looking at your mother, and all i wanted to do was hold it. i approached the center, and immediately was met with an opposing force pushing my up and back, landing flat on my face. some kind of force field was surrounding it. and rather than be a rational person, i dove head first, wanting so bad to claim my prize. boy, was i wrong in that.

i was thrown across the clearing and into the water of the swamp, and it was deep. i couldn't find hold, and my swimming lessons at the Y were failing me in this time of panic and confusion. i had just managed to find purchase, when the teeth snapped onto my leg and i realized i didn't step onto a log. the alligator jerked me down into the water, and i thought in my last moments about how unfortunate i was to go this way. and about how lucky i was to have lived my life in the last few weeks. lived it to the fullest.

Green Mire Writing Contest - Number 3

The THIRD PRIZE of the writing contest and $2000L goes to: 

 Seeking Mama Lamil: Lost in The Green Mire

by Aaliyah Munro

Mama Lamil pads through her weather-beaten, shack of a home on Elm, careful not to disrupt the disheveled box of dominoes on the floor by the television set. Hearing the obtrusive knocks on the front door, she shuffles her pink, slipper-adorned feet slowly toward it, adjusting her tinfoil hat so that the antenna is pointed straight up, positioned to ward off alien frequencies. She grabs her AK-47 hastily, peering through the peephole as she sees the detective’s face through the rounded glass. She sighs heavily, opening the door in one swift motion.

“What do you want, Detective Paine? Come to beg me to leave the house again? Have some news about my son or are you just here to bother me?” Mama Lamil said through the tattered screen door.

“Mama Lamil, it’s good news this time, I promise. Can I come in?” Detective Paine responded, peering into the house fashioned to precisely 10 years prior, with evidence of a small child abound.

Mama Lamil sighs and waves for the detective to enter. “Come on- there’s no one else with you, right? Did anyone follow you here?”

“Not today, Mama Lamil. Nice hat. How have you been?” Detective Paine walks swiftly into the house, sitting down on the familiar beige couch with plastic lining, holding his nose discreetly as dust flies about.

Mama Lamil slowly closes the door, peering out into the yard to affirm that there were no other beings about. She replaces the AK-47 by the door, closing it and locking 5 sets of locks before heading to her pink recliner. She plops down in a huff, pulling the footrest arm to relax her swollen feet.

“Oh, well you know I won’t rest until my Tony is in my arms. You know those damned aliens took my baby. He’s probably being used for experiments, but he’ll get them. He’ll outsmart them all, I just know it in my heart, Detective Paine,” Mama Lamil said defiantly.

Detective Paine looks about the house, rubbing his balding head and smiling faintly at Mama Lamil’s dedication to the memory of her son. In prior conversations and on news interviews she revealed that she’d leave the home in the the same state that Tony left it the morning of his last day of school in 2004. Ten years later, although times have evolved the house serves as a museum, thick with the memories of a precocious ten-year-old boy. He leans back into the old comfortable couch and studies the weariness in Mama Lamil’s eyes before speaking.

“Well Mama Lamil, that’s what I’ve come to talk about. You see, Tony and Skip’s story went cold years back, you know that. I believe in you, I always have, but I didn’t really think the best of this situation until the other night,” Detective Paine starts, sighing as he recalls countless days spent consoling Mama Lamil, the town’s former mayor, during her son’s disappearance.

“You remember that big thunderstorm? The one that blew the power in a few areas of Oak Falls? Well, right after that, this… well we’re just calling it a ‘spill’ for now...this spill just happened in the middle of the Green Mire. It’s like a black and purple ooze, and you know at first we thought it might have been an oil company dumping in the swamp, but it appears that this, stuff, just came out of the ground. And the ground, Mama Lamil, it’s dented. It’s a big crater in a corner of that god forsaken swamp, and some of the locals said they saw lights flashing and heard this, music,” said Detective Paine, sitting up in the chair now as he speaks.

Mama Lamil pulls the footrest arm quickly, leaning forward as if to better consume the information. She sits her foil hat on the coffee table, careful not to knock over Tony’s grape pop and the National Geographic magazine placed haphazardly at the end of the table.

She whispers, “So you mean to tell me, you’ve found signs of those bastards and you’re just telling me weeks later? C’mon Detective Paine, I thought we were closer than that! I hired you all those years ago when you were just a young man eager to prove himself to the force! Where’s your loyalty?”

Detective Paine smiles faintly. “Mama Lamil, you know my loyalties will always lie with you, even if the rest of the town thinks you’ve went bat caca crazy. Now listen, I didn’t immediately tell you because the national guys got some of their hotshot scientists and detectives on the job first, but when they couldn’t figure out what the hell happened, they asked us to start asking the locals. Since you’re closest to the story of The Green Mire, we thought we’d come to you first.”

Mama Lamil holds her heart, her heavyset body suffering a bevy of ailments since the disappearance of her son as anxiety, depression, and loneliness filled her spirit through the years. Once a successful lawyer turned mayor, she held a lot of pride in her personal appearance, upbringing, and child rearing techniques. The envy of all the moms in the PTA,  since Tony’s disappearance her health, physical appearance, and sense of being fell in a sharp decline. Only the hope of one day finding her son kept her functioning, and as she took in this new information, she felt her heart skip two beats.

“Well Paine, you know I have to get down there. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to that blasted swamp, but I feel like they’re trying to send me a message. My Tony is with them, and maybe they tried to leave him there for me. There’s something, some clue, something that you all are missing. I’m Tony’s mother- I have mother’s intuition and well, you know I’ve been wrong a few times in the past, but I just know that this time, I’m going to get my baby from that swamp, “ Mama Lamil said hopefully.

Detective Paine rises to his feet suddenly, feeling tears begin to well into his eyes. He’s always had a soft spot for Mama Lamil, who after losing her husband in a tragic car accident seemed not to be able to bear the loss of another. While he didn’t feel that Mama Lamil would have any information to relay to his colleagues, he made a point to stop by her place anyway, to share any bit of hope he could. Feeling a bit of vindication and an ounce of sadness amid a mother’s hope to reclaim the life of her son, he rubs his eyes quickly, starting toward the door.

“Now Mama Lamil, don’t go doing anything crazy. We’ll keep you updated with what’s going on out there- I just wanted you to know that there’s more to the story than just a possible drowning. This ooze, there’s something to it, but we can’t put a finger on it. You just stay here, ok? Doc Zavier will be by in a little bit to check you out. The last time I came I noticed your feet were the size of two- you have to take those medications he gave you to bring down the swelling. I’ll be back when there’s more, I promise,” said Detective Paine as he skillfully unlocks each lock going down the length of the door, walking outside into the hazy, humid weather.

Mama Lamil stands slowly, pulling herself up from the couch as her long hawaiian muumuu skirts the ground. She holds her hip and walks toward the door, waving slightly at Detective Paine. Her last friend in town, Detective Paine’s presence has always been a quiet sense of relief during times when grief takes over. She smiles faintly, watching him start toward the newer model Crown Victoria, wondering when the force replaced their cars.

She responds, “Alright now, Detective Paine. What are my old bones going to do? I’ll wait here for more information. Thanks for stopping by- tell your wife Gerry I said hello. Oh, and the next time you come over, I’ll have one of my cherry pies for Jake- I know that’s his favorite!”

Detective Paine looks on, waving as he gets into his car and pulls away. He thinks to himself, wow, she’s really stuck in the past. Jake is almost done college, with a girlfriend and all. He wonders how Mama Lamil would have fared had Tony been found all those years ago.

Mama Lamil watches as the car pulls off, then slowly closes the door, routinely replacing all of the locks on the door. She slowly shuffles over to her recliner, pulling the footrest arm to elevate her swollen feet. She reaches behind her on the dusty, cluttered mantle for the television remote. Turning it on, she flutters her eyes as Tony’s favorite cartoon station plays. She leans back, relaxing on the recliner as the familiar sounds of Tony playing in front of the TV surrounds her. She drifts off into a dream, her thoughts focused on her missing son.


Hours later, as darkness creeps into the undisturbed suburban house, Mama Lamil’s snores echo through the empty space. She hears in her dream a faint yelling.

“Mom! Mom I’m here! Mom, find me mommy I’m in here,” exclaimed the voice from an unknown origin.

She startles, the voice arousing her from sleep suddenly. Her eyes open wide, and she leans forward in the chair immediately, popping the footrest arm down quickly as she springs to her feet. Moving with a sense of urgency that seems years past, she hurries up the steps, reaching her bedroom adorned with pictures of her beloved John. She hastily pulls the faux crystal handle of the mahogany dresser, retrieving the first pair of jeans she could find. She slips them on slowly and then tosses her muumuu up over her head and on the floor. Closing one drawer and opening another, she pulls out the Disneyland sweater from Tony’s first trip to Disneyland, smiling a bit as she knows the sweater will be a welcomed sight. Looking up at herself in the dresser mirror, she grimaces as she doesn’t recognize the person she sees before her. Tired, worn, and depressed, the reflection shows a woman unfamiliar to the once vibrant spirit that inhabited this enlarged body. She shakes her head, kicking off her slippers and retrieving her sneakers from under the bed, pulling them on sans socks. Satisfied, she ties her hair into a ponytail high atop her head as she walks down the steps slowly.

Reaching the front room, Mama Lamil adjusts all of Tony’s belongings, making sure everything is placed just right for his return. She heads toward the door, grabbing the keys from the kitchen buffet as she quickly snatches her gun, slinging it on her back. She unlocks the door, pulling each lock open before replacing a few as she heads out. The cool night air embraces her, the outside a feeling unfamiliar since her son’s disappearance. She gives her old Honda a once over, kicking the tires as she walks around the car in the driveway. Settling in the car, she checks her mirrors and turns on the lights, turning the station to an old country program that was Tony’s favorite thing to listen to after soccer practice. She backs her car up, headed to The Green Mire to finally pull her son from the grips of those aliens.


Pulling into the swamp, the pitch blackness and thick air that seems to surround the area gave Mama Lamil a chill up her spine. She fumbles in the light of her car for her flashlight, checking to see if its operational before exiting her car. She straps her gun to her back, and reaches into the glove department to retrieve a swiss army knife. Tucking it into her side pocket, she nods, affirming that tonight she’ll find her son. She takes a deep breath and turns the car off and flashlight on, stepping out of her vehicle and locking it quickly, grounding herself as she attempts to recall the small shack where Tony and Skip camped on that fateful evening.

Spotting it in the distance, Mama Lamil shines her flashlight all about the area, feeling a persistent thickness in the air. She leans down slowly to re-tie her shoes, learning from enough horror movies that having untied shoes is one of the dumbest ways to get caught. She sighs, finding it a bit harder to take in the thick yet curiously fragrant air. Standing slowly, she starts to head toward the campsite, her steps cautious and slow as she tries to remember the deep muddy potholes. She squeals, misstepping and getting a sneaker full of mud as she steps too deeply. “Damn, “ she mutters, kicking her foot forward to attempt to remove the mud. She continues on, her flashlight adequately illuminating the path as she reaches the rickety wooden path to the shack.

Reaching the kid-sized shack, likely used by a gardener, she shines her large yellow flashlight over its contents. Some playing cards, chalk. A tattered hat placed on the side of a chair, a weather-beaten nudie magazine tucked under a makeshift chair. She smiles to herself as she guesses its Tony’s, a young connoisseur of Playboy magazines since stumbling upon his late father’s stash in the basement. She idly rubs her hand along the items, feeling her son’s essence in the old shack. She startles suddenly, waving her hand quickly as she feels spiderwebs between her fingers. She rubs her hand against her jeans, the light clumsily moving about until it settles on a black book. Tilting her head, Mama Lamil picks up the book, wiping the cobwebs off on her jeans before inspecting it, prying it open with one hand as she holds the big flashlight with the other. Curiously, the book seems in relatively good condition to have survived the elements, exposed in an old shack in the middle of the swamp. She starts with the first page, immediately recalling Tony’s handwriting. It was his journal!

Mama Lamil’s heart swelled with joy, first glancing over her son’s handwriting before consuming its contents. She read as Tony detailed the story of his adventure here at the swamp. Mama Lamil felt her surroundings leave her as she takes in Tony’s words, discovering the strange relic, the light, and the music. Her eyes moistened as she reached the end of the journal, feeling her son’s fear between words. Suddenly, a loud, melodic sound echoes through the swamp, seemingly coming from the distance. Mama Lamil nearly jumps out of her skin, turning her head wildly, the flashlight following, to place the direction of the sound. Again it plays, startling Mama Lamil but affirming the direction. She widens her eyes, quickly grabbing Tony’s journal and holding it close to her heart, her hands trembling as she follows the sound, padding through the familiar yet dangerous swamp in search of her long lost son.


The flat screen television in the bustling coffeehouse is almost incoherent as the sounds of coffee brewing and chatter fills the small space. Detective Paine takes a sip of his caramel mocha macchiato, idly glancing at the local newspaper before hearing a bit of the newscast.

“...Affectionately referred to by the locals as Mama Lamil, was said to be missing since last evening. Her Honda Accord was found parked at The Green Mire, the mysterious swamp where her son was said to have drowned ten years ago to this very day. Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Mama Lamil or her son Tony Lamil is asked to contact the authorities immediately. There is a reward…”

Hastily finishing his coffee, Detective Paine grabs his coat, pulling enough to cover two meals from his wallet and dropping it on his table before rushing out of the coffeehouse, in pursuit of his friend.