“THE LIZARD MAN OF SCAPE ORE SWAMP” by Scott Donnelly #MicroTerrors
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“Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids”™ 2023
SHOW OPEN: Welcome to Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids, where it’s always the spooky season – full of chills, thrills, and spine-tingling spooks! Micro Terrors are family-friendly frights for those ages 8 and up. And while our stories are for younger ears, we are still talking about things that go bump in the night, and some children may not be able to handle what others can. Parental consent is recommended. Now… for tonight’s MICRO TERROR!!!!
THE LIZARD MAN OF SCAPE ORE SWAMP
NEWSREEL: “The following story is based on events that occurred on the edge of Scape Ore Swamp in Lee County, South Carolina in 1988. Some of the names and details have been altered.”
It was 10pm and Chris Davies was on his way home from his job — a summer gig he picked up to help pay for the expenses of his new car. At 17 years old, he considered himself lucky to have such a newer car when all of his friends were driving around Lee County in old junkers. He loved the lining of the seats, the tight, rubbery feel of the steering wheel, and of course, the new car smell.
Up ahead, he noticed his headlights bounced off of something, reflecting two glowing, orange orbs back at him. He squinted, but couldn’t make it out. As he got closer, the placement of the orange circles seemed to separate the length of the road. He slowly teased the brakes, eventually coming to a stop. There was a roadblock, two orange reflectors on either side of a wooden post. There was an additional sign hanging from the striped, wooden obstruction in the road. It read: Road Closed Due to Flooding.
Chris remembered seeing another road back about a mile or so. He turned his car around and retraced the dark, empty country road until he spotted the turn off. He knew of the road — the detour — only from his father telling him about it. It was a narrow, nameless dirt road that cut through Scape Ore Swamp. His father used it when he and his friends would go fishing, but Chris had never actually been on it.
Until now. It was the only way around the flooded way he would normally go home.
Chris flipped his blinker on, which ticked extra loud, and turned onto the dirt road. It felt like he was immediately in another world. The open fields that lined the main road were gone, replaced by thick woods and mangroves on either side. The moonlight, which struggled to pierce the canopy, sparkled off the swamp water in random spots, only giving Chris the confirmation that he was now surrounded by water.
Growing up in South Carolina, he’d heard too many stories about local residents — some that he even knew personally — running into gators and poisonous snakes in the swamps. Those weren’t anything he was in the mood to have a run-in with, so he kept his eyes on the road and let his headlights lead the way. And hopefully within a couple of minutes, he’d be out of the swampy region and back onto a main highway.
The dirt road he violently bounced down forced him to slow his speed considerably. The amount of ditches and rocks were unbelievable and in the back of his mind, aside from images of large gators and cottonmouths, he worried about his car. The last thing we wanted was to damage the —
The car thrust violently forward and Chris slammed on the brakes; his front driver side sinking downward. Chris’ heart fluttered as the car came to rest.
“No…” Chris whispered to himself. He could hear the hiss from his tire. All the rocks and constant bouncing on the road had blown his tire out. He immediately exited the car to assess the damage. His driver’s side tire was flat, sitting in one of the many muddy divots in the road. He looked ahead to where his headlights shined, but the light eventually ended, leaving nothing but a dark void ahead of it.
That’s when Chris started feeling nervous. The sounds of the swamp were eerie. The bugs all sang a gloomy tune. Frogs croaked near and far. Small splashes in the water let Chris know that he was far from being alone out there. Trying to put the chilling sounds in the back of his mind, he retrieved the spare tire from his trunk, along with a jack, and started to change his tire.
A creeping feeling that something was wrong began to tickle his spine, so he worked faster, finally getting the tire changed and releasing his car from the jack.
Something sloshed behind him in the water. Chris stood up fast. It wasn’t the frogs or the crickets, but now, there was a low, guttural growl from somewhere close.
“Hello?” Chris called out, but his voice only disrupted other things nearby. There was a louder splash from behind him as well as something quickly scampering through the reeds at his side.
Then, something moved through the water; as if someone were wading through at an increasing pace.
“Hello!?” Chris boldly shouted, trying to frighten off whatever was closing in on him. Then, in the darkness, he saw movement. Something was in the water. It leaped out and onto the muddy banks of Scape Ore Swamp. Chris positioned himself in a defensive manner. Now he could see two red eyes reflecting off the moonlight, charging at him. Chris kicked the jack out of the way and frantically climbed back into his car, slamming the door shut just in time.
The mysterious creature that emerged from the swamp threw itself against Chris’ door, sending a crack through the glass. Chris screamed at the creature as it lowered its head to the window. Its eyes were blood red and its pupils were vertical, like those of reptiles. It was covered in wet, muddied scales from head to toe. In one, fluid motion, the reptilian creature leaped up onto the top of Chris’ car and pounded relentlessly on the roof.
Chris continued to shout at the creature, but his fear was starting to take over. No longer could he hold a threatening tone. He was trembling. He wanted to scream and cry. Never had he seen anything like this before.
The creature then hopped down onto the hood of the car and displayed three sharp claws on both of its hands. It slashed at the hood of the car, tearing three large scrapes into it. The creature roared and did the same thing again with his other claw. It then hunched down and stared at Chris inside the car. It snarled, dipping its eyes and emitted a horrible hiss.
Chris quickly started the car engine, which seemed to confuse the monster. He threw the gear shift into drive and slammed the gas pedal. The car took off like a shot, throwing the reptilian beast from the hood. As Chris floored it, his car jolting erratically up and down on the dirt road, he glanced into his rearview mirror and under the dream-like shine of the moon, watched the scaly humanoid scurry back into the inky, dark swamp.
NEWSREEL: “The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp quickly became a local legend, making Lee County a tourist attraction of sorts. Even though sightings continued over the years, the mystery still remains. Were they all just stories made up for attention? Or is it possible that there is a kernel of truth behind it? Swamps can be an eerie place, especially at night when your mind can play tricks on you. But sometimes it’s fun to imagine the secrets that these dense and murky areas may hold.”
SHOW CLOSE: Thank you for listening to Micro Terrors!!! Join us each Saturday for another scary story! For more fun, visit our website at MicroTerrors.com where we also have spooky games you can print out and play — like wicked word searches, mysterious mazes, and more! MicroTerrors.com is also where you can find us on your favorite social media and even send in your own scary story for us to tell! Plus, you’ll learn more about our author, Scott Donnelly, who has other horrors for both young and old! I hope you’ll join me again soon for Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids!