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They said her name was funny, but when I learned it, I thought it was majestically beautiful.
They said she looked weird, but when I saw her, I thought she looked divinely elegant.
They said she talked funny, but when I heard her, I thought she enunciated every word and emitted a certain quality that people should adulate.
They said she wasn’t strange, but when I saw her alone, all my good opinions of her capsized in a wave of truth.
I saw her hair disappear in a flourish of green, brown, and black as she walked into the forest; alone, after school. Since I needed to go through the forest to get to my house, I decided to catch up with her. I sprinted into the forest after her. I saw her raven hair vanish into a clearing. I followed. I stopped at the edge of the clearing to find her sitting on the ground with her homework out. Curious as to why she was doing it now, I sat down out of sight and sent a text to my mom saying I would be late.
I watched for an hour, according to my phone, before she did anything more than do homework. When she was done, I saw her replace her school utensils back into her bag. Then, she stood up and… kind of just appeared at the other end of the clearing with only taking one visible step. She stuffed her back pack into a hollow of a tree not too far away from me. I then observed her hand shoot up wards and catch a bird from its nest without a sound. She started stroking the bird, and then leaned her head forward as if to kiss the bird. I heard her utter a strange language to the bird, and then she bit it. After a minute of her holding the bird in her mouth, she lifted up to reveal her face. Blood dripped from the corners of her mouth. I tried not to give away my position.
A second later, her figure was clouded by a deep black smoke. After another minute, the smoke vanished to reveal a much older looking girl. She looked at herself then swore in the same strange language. She started looking around the clearing and for a second, her eyes rested methodically on me. She stood in front of me before I could even blink.
“Hello, you look divinely young today, young lady,” she whispered in a voice cracked with age. My heart beat too fast to even tell when one beat ended and another one began.
The lady with the grey hair and wrinkles started to say a chant in the eerie language. I suddenly felt calm and my heart rate slowed. Without thinking, I cocked my head to one side, exposing my neck. Because that what she told me to do. She leaned forward when suddenly, we weren’t alone.
A middle-aged man stood at the far edge of the clearing. The woman turned to look at him when he started to speak in that same language. They conversed while I was still under my trance. Finally, the man nodded and held out a clear container of red liquid. The woman ran forward and took it from him. She pulled the lid off and drank the blood. The black smoke returned and when it disappeared, the woman was aging rapidly until she exploded in a typhoon of dust. My trance departed with her.
The man turned towards me and said: “You will forget this,” then said the same words in the magic language.
Forget I did, until a boy showed up at school.
Everyone said he talked funny, looked weird, had a strange name, but wasn’t weird.
I agreed with them on all but one thing.