Two Boys Hug Each Other into the Night
The two boys were on a hunting trip one day when they met. They had left early that morning for the woods, Bois Pluvieux, the Rainy Woods. Named so because the wooded area was so densely populated with green vegetation and trees, it was like a rain forest. Even when it didn’t rain the hot Louisiana sun created condensation and the shade of the dense population of plants kept the woods at just the right temperature, wet and warm to grow just about any of the exotic plants that grew on the prairie.
Bois Pluvieux was a place where few people ventured. There had been reports that visitors to the woods had gone in and never came out. Of course that could just be hearsay, but there were actual instances where that was reported. Maybe, just maybe those cases were people who wanted to be lost anyway.
So back to the boys named Joseph and John. They came from conservative Roman Catholic families; and they had New Testament Biblical names. Louisiana is a very Catholic state. The boys were active in the church, the same church, but had never really met. They went to different masses on Sunday.
Joseph and John had never hunted before in Bois Pluvieux, never brave enough, or just never made the effort. They came from opposite sides of the woods to hunt. The whole area of the woods was about one acre, not a huge area but with the dense vegetation one could easily get lost and wander for hours or even days, or never be discovered again. No remains had ever been found in Bois Pluvieux for the people who had supposedly vanished there, myth or fact?
As the boys settled into their respective hunting places, Joseph on the East side and John on the West side, they waited for squirrel to appear. Squirrel hunting is a big thing in October when the summer weather has transitioned into fall, a bit cooler. The squirrels are scurrying and that causes the men and women to scurry also to the woods and fields to hunt.
It was a foggy day, not the best for hunting, could be a bit dangerous with low visibility. But the boys stayed with it and they began taking shots more or less blindly at what they might have thought were squirrels as things began to move when the sun finally came out and the fog burned off. Not a whole lot of success yet for both Joseph and John so they decided to move more toward the center of the acre of land, deep into the interior of this semi, Bermuda Triangle woods of the Deep South. At one point so disoriented these two decided to walk backwards when they eventually bumped into each other. What were the chances of that happening, well about an acres’s worth.
Startled, the boys turned and faced each other with both horror and safety. Horror because they didn’t know what they had backed into and safety because it was another human being. The boys found themselves thinking maybe a ghost, one of the people who had gone missing in this bizarre place know as Bois Plusvieux.
Nervously, Joseph the boy coming from the East of the woods introduced himself. He said, “Monsieur, ca va?” Mister how goes it?
John coming from the West of the woods answered, “C’est bon.” It’s good
The boys were really young men, Joseph being 19 and John was twenty-one. Both men spoke Cajun French and English, more comfortable with French. After making some small talk and realizing that though they lived in a small rural community they had no idea who the other was or the family of each other, another bizarre realization for both boys.
They decided that it might be nice to hunt together since they’d had this frightful experience of meeting. Now men don’t like to show their fear, especially to another man around the same age. It’s a macho thing; I guess you have to be a guy to understand this crazy logic. The boys had reason to fear, strange happenings happened here in Bois Pluvieux. And these boys sure didn’t want to be added to that list of stories meaning missing persons who were never found and no one knew what had happened to them.
The boys decided to stay together. They lost their desire for the hunt and they wanted to exit the woods as soon as possible. But they stayed cool for the other guy’s sake of course, so that if they made if out alive, the other guy could only tell brave stories, not one of where the other guy had freaked out.
The boys stayed close together and after they stumbled trying to make their way out of the woods, they decided to sit for a spell and rest. They were frustrated, weary and afraid. Now both guys had survival skills since they were prairie boys who happened upon coyotes, water moccasins, alligators and the like on the prairie, in the swamps and on the bayous. A beautiful land, but not a land you want to navigate alone unless you were a native Louisianian.
Finally, the boys settled in for the night on a bed of moss. There a was full moon and so some light was working through the massive canopy over the acre of land known as the Bois Pluvieux. They lied down on the damp moss closer than each boy had ever been with another. Joseph the youngest was having a much tougher time than John, but neither knew that. John reached out to Joseph during the night with a pat on the shoulder and said, “Joseph, nous va sortie cette place.” We will leave this place.
Joseph answered, “Peut-etre.”Maybe.
And with those few words of dialogue the boys became more frightened. Each felt the other tense up. And then they hugged, held each other tight until the morning, listening to each other breathe, and wondering if they might be the first to break the curse and leave Bois Pluvieux alive.
Barefoot Cajun lives and writes on the South Louisiana Cajun Prairie. He’s speaks Cajun French. Barefoot Cajun writes about growing up gay in the South during 1960 era. Also writes about Marginalized individuals. He’s Cajun poet, food writer and short story writer inspired by two great southern writers Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty.