We hiked; enjoying the October sky and the scent of clean brisk air with the leaves crunching under our feet. What a glorious day to be outdoors.
After half an hour of walking and admiring the bright autumn colours, we found a picnic table to sit and have our lunch. I am such a slow eater so Kelley and Stacey decided to check out the waterfall while I finished. The three of us shared meals regularly, though usually they patiently waited and chatted until I chewed my last bite of food.
Finally, I crushed my garbage and placed it in my back pack for disposal later. The girls still had not returned. I searched around for them and wandered toward the falls; my fingers beat a staccato rhythm in my pockets. I wondered if they were hiding and playing a joke on me. Kelley usually led these excursions and I had no idea how to get back to our starting point.
A stirring in the trees told me I wasn’t alone. “Where are you guys? Let’s get going.” Instead of my friends rushing out of the bush pleased they had pulled one over on me, an apparition appeared. The being, for I sensed its sentience, hovered above the leafy ground cover, its bluest of blue eyes startling within its shapelessness, surrounded by a red aura. It impressed me as mystical, all-knowing, god like.
I’m such a nobody. Why is this happening to me? Why would a heavenly creation be stalking me? I did not know. I did not wish to know. It frightened me.
My heart leapt into my throat and my stomach recoiled and I raced deeper into the forest away from the spirit. It was unknown and not something I wished to challenge. So I ran. The creature followed.
After a while, I don’t know how long, all I heard were my deep gasps for oxygen. The ghost, be it good or evil, I knew not which, though in either case it struck me like a discordant note, an otherworldly entity, strange and not right; something I had no desire to learn more about. I peered around the area but could not see the crimson mass.
I took a minute to rest on a rock and longed for a sip of water to ease the bile taste on my tongue, but I didn’t dare use the time to dig in my pack for the bottle, which I had stupidly not placed in the side holder; the supernatural being might return at any moment.
And then it appeared. I sprang from my seat, and headed in a new direction. I simply moved, not caring what course I chose as long as it was away.
Its beseeching eyes wanted something from me, demanded something, but I did not understand what it wished of me.
Tears of frustration, mingled with sweat, rendered me blind. I looked up, using my fist to clear the moisture, and recognized what appeared to be a clearing ahead. An exit from this place, and I prayed it would not lead me into hell before I had a last chance to escape. I bolted toward it with my back pack bouncing and the gleam of hope in my eyes. I stood still and turned my head to the left and right. I was out of the woods. Literally.
My sweat dried skin felt cold and clammy. Letting my knapsack slide off my shoulders, I dug out my light-weight red cloak which acted as wind and rain protection. I pulled it over my head. My ‘little red riding outfit’ Stacey called it. I was going to kill her for this prank. I turned around to ensure that I was alone. But the sight I beheld shook me to the core. The autumn foliage I expected to see had vanished and in its place snow blanketed the woods. The woods that only moments before had released me.
Bent over, my hands on my jean clad knees, I inhaled deep lungfuls of air through my mouth in an attempt to steady my breathing and my booming heart.
I raised my head but my mind still couldn’t comprehend the image in front of me. Not only did I not see my friends, but the chirping birds and skittering squirrels had also disappeared. I saw no evidence that the forest I know I hiked in only a short time earlier ever existed.
Tree branches did not crack, the wind did not whisper, silent snow lay, empty of any trace of life.
Blogophilia Week 51.5 topic: Last Exit Before Hell
(Hard, 2pts): Quote Vincent Van Gogh
(Easy, 1pt): Create and Include a Mystical animal in your blog