F.F. Chapter 2

May 2, 2010
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I’m painfully aware of his closeness. The electricity is intense and I suddenly wonder if he can feel it too. I allow myself to glance at his face. His expression is smooth, unreadable. I try to settle in to the pillows a little more, inadvertently snuggling nearer to Jake. I breathe a heavy sigh in an attempt to slow my heart rate.

Jake misreads my fidgets, thinking I’m nervous for other reasons.

“Don’t worry,” he murmurs, throwing an arm across my shoulders and pulling me closer, “everything’s going to be fine.”

I laugh inwardly at the irony of his false impression. Great, now I’m concentrating on the pressure of his arm on my back, not to mention his soft fingertips that draw slow circles on my left shoulder.

“I know,” I say, trying to ease his worries. I clear my head, erasing all the errant thoughts that race through it. This is Jake, I remind myself. The same old Jake you’ve known for years. Nothing has changed between us.

My body finally becomes receptive to my persuasive thoughts, calming down. I relax significantly and the once severe electricity that pulsed between Jake and I’s bodies settles to a merely soft buzz. I pay attention to the plot of the movie now, rejoicing the fact that it doesn’t seem too scary- at least, not yet.

Onscreen, the day turns to night, and the main character, a girl, is walking alone around her house. Instinctively, I cower down, sinking in to the couch, closer to Jake’s warm body.

He whispers into my hair, “See, look how stupid. Who walks around in the middle of the night anyway? And that creaky floor? Ooo, scary.” He chuckles.

I ignore his joking and focus on the screen. Like a deer stuck in the headlights, I can’t tear my eyes away from the foreboding images. Before I know it, I’m emitting a blood-curdling scream as a hideous creature pounces from the black blanket of shadow. Jake flinches at my scream and immediately pulls me closer to him.

Incidences like this happen for the rest of the movie. It’s about ten minutes from being over, and Jake and I are a tangled mess of arms, legs, and blankets. We’re practically on top of each other as the movie’s plot hits its climax, and the forces of Hell drag the leading character into a fiery chasm, effectively dooming her to agony for eternity.

The sky clears, and all is back to normal in the small town. Jake and I recognize the change and scoot up, relaxing against the back of the couch. We’re still holding hands, I realize. At some point I must have clutched for him reflexively. I lean into my shoulder and he surprises me by leaning down to kiss the top of my head. He smells so good, I think to myself. As the ending credits come on, he turns off the TV and says, “Now, that wasn’t too bad.” I assume he’s talking about the movie, but something in his tone suggests a double meaning to his words.

“Not too bad? Are you crazy?”
“Well, you’ve got to admit; the special effects were pretty cheesy.”
“Cheesy or not, that was terrifying! And don’t pretend like you weren’t scared, too,” I tease.
“Not at all.”
“Oh, really?” I challenge, poking his side.

He reacts by pinning me down and tickling my sides. I scream giddily and kick my legs to try and throw him off. He’s too strong, of course. After a few minutes of laughter, he stops, leaving his arm draped over my stomach. He props himself on his forearm and takes in my red face, flushed from laughing.

“See, I distracted you.”
He’s right. I’d completely forgotten about the movie after all that tickling.
“Yeah, I guess you did.”
He smiles down at me, and I think I notice something change in his eyes. They’re smoldering, dark. I stare into them, losing all other thought. He leans closer to my face. His lips are parted, I notice, like he’s breathing in something wonderful. His eyes move across my face, focusing on my lips, then back to my eyes. The electricity is back, and the room is so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. He leans even closer… then he freezes for an unbearable moment.

Jake jumps up abruptly, widening the space between us so much so quickly that it feels like I lost a part of myself, and the air whooshes between us.

“Wha..?” I begin to ask, then I stop myself. Jake is standing with the door open, facing the backyard. He shushes me and leans forward, listening. I don’t say anything, but I’m completely confused. After thirty seconds go by, I ask, “Jake, what are you doing? What’s wrong?”

“I heard something. It sounded like a baby crying. Didn’t you?”

“No,” I say, “I was a little… um, distracted.” I blush, mad at myself for saying something like that out loud. He doesn’t notice my faux pas.

“Lex. Come here.” The urgency in his tone sends me jogging over to his side.

“What?” I ask again. He turns to me, locking eyes.

“Listen. Listen hard.” I obey, and at first, I hear nothing. Then, loud and clear, a shrieking of sorts hits my ears. Like he said, it sounds like a baby crying. What is that horrible noise?

“Okay. I have to go check it out.” I’m so curious; it’s like my body is being pulled towards the noise.

“Correction: We have to go check it out. C’mon.”

I follow closely behind him into the dark forest. As we continue walking, it gets darker, and the screaming seems closer. Jake reaches out for me and we hold hands, our fingers intertwining. The trees pass by us like ghosts in the night and I am abruptly reminded of the movie we’d just watched. My senses heighten and the hairs on my arms and neck are standing straight up. I glance at Jake. He’s in a similar position, half-standing, half-crouched, as I am. He’s listening intently and his feet creep along, quiet as a mouse.

All of a sudden, the noise stops.

My breathing accelerates and I begin to stumble. My fast breathing suddenly turns to the harsh rasping of a panic attack- for as I walk, the scene before me turns into an exact replica of the nightmares I've been having for the past few weeks. There's the eerie silver mist, the parting of the trees, the end of the forest leading to an open area, canopied by giant branches and brush. I clutch Jake's arm even tighter, willing my feet to stop moving forward, to stop advancing toward the horrible end we must be destined to meet together- the end of my nightmares; when I sit bolt upright in bed, gasping for air, tears stinging my hot cheeks.

My limbs are unresponsive. There's nothing I can do, nothing I can say. My lips refuse to emit the warning that I'm screaming inside of my head. This cannot be real. It's not possible. My thoughts are moving at a million miles a minute, and only a few seconds have gone by since my horrible realization. We are but a few steps from the clearing.

The silver mist grows around us, enveloping us in its fog. It's getting harder and harder to see. I don't know what Jake could possibly be thinking right now. Does he see this? Is he aware of what's going on?

I've come to the conclusion that no, I'm not dreaming, and yes- unless we are saved by a miracle- Jake and I are going to die.

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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

imagination_is_my_facination said...
Nov. 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm
Nice! i actually got scared for minute lol
vulture said...
Jul. 17, 2010 at 1:33 am
ooh. nice ending. well written. well done.
nicole573 replied...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 10:42 am
Thank you!!
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