By Jackie Turcios
Running... tree limbs slapping at my face and body, tugging at my billowing white robe and nightgown, almost unnoticed as I ran through the forest. At least I think it was supposed to be a forest… It was full of trees and overgrown foliage, but the colors… were all wrong. It was summertime and the leaves should have been green. The ground...? Nothing was green here!
Looking up the moon...I don’t remember ever seeing the moon so bright. It looked a lot closer then usual. “That’s strange.” I whispered as my bare feet nimbly ran over the parched ground. Thanks to the moon's light I was able to see in places that should have been left to the shadows. Huge white tree trunks stood in formation their limb's white and resembling human arms stretched beyond limits as they reached toward the gray sky, as if to offer up a sacrifice to the gods, their limbs drenched in blood red leaves.
Caught off guard by their morbid beauty I stumbled in their wake. Catching my foot on an exposed root, I fell; throwing my arms out, my hands absorbed the brunt of the fall. I hissed in pain as I lifted my left hand from the ground. Turning my hand over, I evaluated the damage. “Damn it!" I broke two of my nails, not to mention the abrasions on my-
The ground trembled under me. Looking around me I could suddenly hear voices, and the telltale sign of footsteps crunching over dead leaves. Hastily I scrambled up from the ground to cower behind a large white tree trunk. Peering around the side my eyes caught sight of two men...Uh... dressed in costumes? Ok, that’s just strange… They were dressed in what looked like battle gear, long black leather leggings covered strong muscled thighs. Maroon and black shirts peeked out from black leather armor that covered well muscled torsos. They were tall; I would say at least seven foot. They walked along talking...but I couldn't make any sense of what they were saying. The only thing that separated their clone looks were the difference in the long locks of hair that trailed down their backs, one shone as bright as silver, the other had hair as black as a raven's, thick and straight it flowed down his back as he and his companion walked past the tree where I was hidden.
Reaching farther around the tree so I could see the departing soldiers, my bare feet slipped as I was trying to gain traction. Slinging both arms out to hug the tree for support, I grimaced in pain as my hands scraped the trunk. Leaning my forehead against the tree as I bit my lip to keep from crying out, then sighing as I felt something warm trickle down my wrist.
Lifting my head around the tree so I could see the men departing, I was quite surprised to see them both crouched down with their hands at their sides in a claw like pose. Their menacing looking faces seemed to excrete danger out of every pore in their porcelain white bodies. They just seemed to stare at me as if they were ready to pounce at any given moment.
I staggered backwards as Sharp canine teeth extended out of mouths that looked so human…They were hissing and growling at me like rabid wolves fighting for their next meal. With each step I took backwards they took a crouching step forwards, slowly they stalked their prey, they were the wolves and I was the helpless deer…"Oh my god… I’m going to die!” I swallowed a scream that seemed to have lodged itsself in my throat.
Throwing up my hands in a gesture of peace, I begged for my life…”Please don’t hurt me, please…” Shaking my head, I fell to my knees, still I pleaded with them. “Please… you don’t want to do this… I’m too young to die… please no!” Shaking my head fiercely back and forth…pleading… ”Oh GOD.” leaning my head down to my knees as nausea threatened to overtake me. I grabbed the top of my head, pushing back the hoodie on my robe that covered my hair as I rubbed my torn, bloody hands through my red curls in frustration. “This can’t be right, this is a dream!” Rearing my head up I screamed to the moon “This is a dream, Angela! wake up, wake up now!”
“Damn it!” I yelled at them…” I don’t want to die.” I whispered as tears flowed freely down my cheeks. Looking through blurry tear soaked lashes, I was quite surprised that I … well that … I was still alive?
They were just standing there looking at me… well… like they were looking at a ghost. Slowly I stood up, glancing around; looking for a possible escape route… There was only forest, and more forest and fog and forest, me sighing in despair. "I… Oh… I wish I would just wake up from this nightmare."
A strange yet melodious language reached my ears. Looking up, I noticed the raven haired man was speaking to the silver haired one. They were talking and smelling the air as if confused, were they questioning their sense of smell? The silver haired man was grabbing his hair and shaking it at the other while he pointed at me. Looking from one to the other, I started to worry that… well …I think they were going to scalp me. “Oh damn, I got to get out of here!” I whined as I looked around again in hopes that I missed something, somewhere, anything, “oh damn… I need…I need…” scanning around frantically, my heart… beating so fast it hurt. I needed to…to hide somewhere…anywhere, I needed something to hide in…searching frantically, tree, dirt, leaves, fog, weeds, bushes... Fog…”yes!” The fog, I could hide in the fog.
Looking at the men, they seemed so distracted…Slowly… one foot after the other, never taking my eye off of them, as I slowly crept into the fog. If I could just hide myself or run…The fog was denser the deeper into the woods you went.
Soon the fog was hiding me from the waist down. Soon…soon…run! I thought as I took a running leap into the thick fog covered forest. I’m far enough away that… I just might…No, No I’m going to make it…I just need to run for awhile… till I wake up or till I can safely hide… wait this nightmare out… till I wake up.
I was running as fast as my bare footed adrenaline induced body would go, jumping over rocks and tree limbs as if I had done this before and knew the area like the back of my hand. I didn’t question the strangeness of it all- - I just ran.
I was mentally checking off all the things I would do differently and all the people I was going to apologize to and how I was never going to cut class again when I got back home, when out of nowhere I slammed into the raven haired monster's brick wall of a chest.
“Oomph…" the air exploded out of my lungs as we collided, staggering as silver strips of light sparkled before my eyes. My hands gripped each side of his leather breast plate to keep my body from crumbling to the ground. My face rested against his hard chest as I tried to catch my breath, with every breath I took in I inhaled his clean musky sent. I don’t know if it was his smell or my lack of oxygen that kept my head in a hazy stupor.
He put his hands through my hair, touching it, rubbing the strands through his fingers, bringing some of it up to his face so he could smell it. He let go of my hair so the strands fell around my face and down my back. Slowly he put his hand in my hair again…Grabbing a handful, he yanked it back painfully till my face was looking up into his. For a monster… he had a beautiful face. His skin was pale porcelain white, his jaw strong and stubborn. Wide full lips the color of mauve, a strong roman nose and high cheek bones. Ears thin and small, that ended in two points… kind of like an elf’s ear, but double pointed. Looking away from his ears my eyes wandered back towards his lips and he seemed amused by this as one side of his mouth lifted in a sarcastic smile, showing clean white teeth with double the eye teeth of a normal human and they weren’t just eye teeth, they were fangs. Vary sharp fangs.
Gasping, I swallowed as I looked into his eyes… his strange yet beautiful eyes. Long sooty lashes shadowed rich red irises that seemed to be swirling around the pupils, faster and faster they flowed as if they were a liquid whirlpool… there was a black border surrounding the red flowing irises holding in the flood of red from overflowing it’s banks as it swirled around and around until the pupil became larger and larger…the red all but vanishing as the black pupil and the black border merged into one. The last thought I had before I slipped into a swirling black nothing was…If I was going to die, let me die in these arms, for never did I feel so much alive.
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My name is Jackie and I'm a full time Mother of three girls. I'm a full time student learning psychology and on my spare time I enjoy writing short fantasy stories. I would love to write a whole book some day.
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