This is Chapter 3 of ‘In The Woods’. 🙂
Chapter 3: The Strangely Beautiful Silence
With a single glance at my feet and a whirl of her hand, the strangely beautiful lady made the sap surrounding me up to my ankles disperse and made me follow her through the woods. She lead with confidence as I struggled to weave through the thick vines, the thorny bushes, and the unyielding low hanging branches. The trip was slow, but after what felt like an eternity I caught a glimpse of a faint light in the distance. I heard a faint crackle and saw sparks fly into the air which made me realize that the light had come from a large bonfire in the middle of a field.
As we drew closer the air around me stiffened and it became harder to breathe. I looked down and saw that all of the grass ahead of me was dead as far as my eyes could see. The woman followed my gaze and immediately stopped. “The Border.” She whispered. “We have arrived.” The Border. The tiniest bell in the very back of my head rung. I had heard that before, but where?
“When we get there, do exactly as I do! Or else…!” Threatened the woman as we crossed The Border.
“Or else what?” I joked. I guess to her it wasn’t so funny.
The woman’s eyes narrowed, making her look even more beautifully fierce than before. “You look even more pretty when you’re angry.” Those words had slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them. Before I knew it, a ring of blue fire appeared around me closing in more swiftly than I had ever seen anything move, the dry grass was fueling it faster and faster. Quickly the tongue of the flames was close enough to barely lick my arm, leaving many painful blisters behind. With a flip of her hair and a twirl of her hand the fire disappeared -actually I don’t think the hair flip had anything to do with the fire’s disappearance but it sure was gorgeous-.
“Next time I won’t be so merciful.” She warned.
“Ok Miss Serious I’ll do what you do. Now, can I ask you something?” I asked.
“No.” She snapped at me.
“Are you a witch?”
“Are you a witch?” She mocked. “Of course I’m a witch you ignorant human! How else could I have made fire with just my hands or made the Good Witch’s goo around your feet go away? That goodie two-shoes witch thinks she can stop me. Well she can’t!”
“There’s a Good Witch, too?”
“Uh DUH! Yeah there’s a Good Witch! Not everyone can be bad or else the world would be boring. The only rule us bad people have is that we can’t fight other bad people, only the truly evil would break that rule but no one’s that bad. But, I wouldn’t expect you to understand any of this because you are a “good person” UHG! I hate good people. They make me sick. Technically my boss it THE bad witch, but I am still a bad witch. ”
“Why did the Good Witch put goo around my feet?” I asked.
“My guess is that she wanted to keep me away from you, but it didn’t work. I’ve almost got what I want, and she can’t stop me!” She cackled, maniacally.
“What do you mean ‘almost’? You already have me!” I remarked.
“It’s not you I want it’s-” she paused for a moment, her eyes filled with disgust “-you tricky little human! You almost made me tell you my plans! The rest of this trip will be silent.” She growled.
I could’ve tried to run, yes, I should’ve. I could be free and out of her presence that made my legs feel like noodles and feel so tiny compared to her, but at the same time I felt strong by her side, so I didn’t run, is that bad?
The silence gave me a while to think. Who did she want if it wasn’t me? What is she gonna do with me? How is she gonna get who she wants? What do I have to do with all of this? Who is this mysterious person in the hut that wants to help me? I couldn’t think of answers for any of these many questions. Would it bother me to know who the person was? Would their fate matter to me? Would it all be worth it? After all, I only went into these woods because I had heard that someone here could help me. Could this person trapped in a hut be who they were talking about? It seems like if she could help me, (being the crazy, messed up person I am,) she would be able to get out of a simple hut.
As soon as we arrived I could see why she couldn’t escape. Suddenly, it seemed as if helping me was a simple task that anyone could perform. This was no “simple” hut, this was a literal fortress. No one would be escaping easily any time soon, or ever.
If I went in was there a way back out? Would I be trapped in there forever? Is there a reason she is trapped in here? Is she dangerous? Will she really help me? There were too many questions and not enough answers. I opened my mouth to speak, and without even looking at me, the witch replied, “Shhhh…”