Author's note: This is just a little something I have began writing. Feedback would be great! I will add chapters as I write.
Chapter 4I felt something grab me on the shoulder, and I immediately grabbed the wrist on my shoulder, spun around, and twisted the person around, pulled their arm up behind their back, just enough for them to feel a pain up their arm.
“Hey Alexa, what’s your problem!” MaryAnn grumbled, grunting in pain trying to get her arm free. I dropped her arm and backed away a few steps.
“I’m sorry! There was just....” I trailed off, peering into the woods again, looking around. There was absolutely nothing to be seen; no animal, no breeze, no nothing. I ran my fingers through my hair and sighed. What is wrong with me?
“Was just what?”
“Nothing, that was just reflex, you scared me,” I threw out as an excuse.
“Well you got all tense and looked a little freaked out, I was worried,” she replied, rubbing her wrist.
“Thanks for being concerned, but it was nothing. I’m sorry I hurt you.”
“It’s alright. Where’d you learn to fight or whatever? I’ve never really seen you do anything like that before.”
“You know, that’s a good question. It just came to me I guess. I felt different, not exactly like myself, it was weird. Must've just been a whole reflex thing.” Maybe we shouldn't have come out here, considering the fact that I was still freaked out about the idea of someone following me. Now I'm just taking the chance of dragging MaryAnn into it as well.
“Huh,” was all she had to say.
“Come on, let’s get started, we have quite a ways to go.”
We pulled our backpacks and duffel bags over our shoulders, and stuffed the blankets into the tent bag. “How are we going to carry the tent?” MaryAnn asked as both of our arms were already full.
“Set your stuff down, and put the tent on my bag. Rest it on the duffel bags.”
“Are you sure? That’s quite a load to carry.”
“I’m actually feeling really good right now, kind of like I can do anything. I can handle it, don’t worry.” Whatever happened earlier seemed to have brought something to life in my body; I felt strong, prepared for anything, aware of everything; probably still just all of the adrenaline pumping through my veins.
MaryAnn set the tent on my back, grabbed her things, and began to follow me through the woods. It was kind of hysterical watching MaryAnn tread her way through the woods. Every tree root coming up out of the ground she managed to trip over, wet, hanging leaves and damp tall grasses would hit against her cheek, leaving a smear of rainwater. I had forgotten how dense it could be back in this part of the woods. At one point in time, I turned back to look at MaryAnn and couldn’t help but laugh. She had a funny grumpy look on her face, she had various hair sticking out all over the place while some stuck to her forehead, and she was drenched in sweat.
“Aren’t you glad I made you change?” I asked through a chuckle.
“Shut up, and just keep going. Are we almost there?” She asked pleadingly.
“Don’t worry, we are almost there.”
“How are you not even breaking a sweat?”
“What do you mean? Of course I’m sweating, it’s hot out here,” I replied, reaching up to wipe off my forehead. I pulled my hand away and realized only a trickled or two of sweat.
“No, you’re really not sweating.”
“I am too, just not much.”
“Well I’m used to this kind of stuff whereas you are not. The humidity is just making me sweat.”
She rolled her eyes at me and motioned for me to go onwards. I laughed one more time and we continued on our little journey. It was only about fifteen minutes later, pushing through the last bundle of dripping bushes that we arrived to our destination. The grass was quite a bit taller than it was the last time me and my dad had been here considering it has been quite a while. But the grass was as green as can be, billowing slightly in the little breeze that presented itself just recently. It was also blowing the little hairs around on my forehead, and the bright green leaves on the tree. I could here the soft trickling of the creek that I knew was just to the left of our little camping area. The birds chirped excitedly, happy to see someone finally arrive. I dropped my bags onto the surprisingly dry ground for the area and took a deep breath in, closing my eyes. It smelled of dewy leaves and fresh wood; it smelled like my second home. I smiled and spread my arms out wide.
"We're here!" I called out for MaryAnn's expense.
I turned around and saw her spread out on the dry grass. She kind of looked like she was dead. Her arms and legs were sprawled out in various ways and half of her hair had come out of its pony-tail and was in her face, and she was breathing laboriously.
"You going to make it?" I asked jokingly.
"I'm never... coming out here... again," she retorted through breaths.
I kicked at her gently. "You look like a dying deer."
She swatted at my leg. "Shut up."
I laughed and began setting up the tent as Mae just sat there and watched me with a grumpy look on her face.
"You know, if you're just going to sit there, you can get up and go get some wood for the fire."
"Ughhhhhh," I heard her grumbled as she rolled over and got up before trotting into the woods.
"Don't kill yourself," I called after her.
I heard her grumble out a bunch of incoherent words and I went back to finishing up the tent. I was just pushing the final stake into the ground when I heard a pile of sticks clatter against each other as they dropped to the ground. I got up and turned to see Mae. She looked very frustrated. I walked up to her and pulled a few sticks from out of her hair. I looked back down at her and I put a grumpy look on my face like she had previously. We stayed like that for about a minute and then we busted out laughing. My cheeks began to ache from how hard I was laughing. We both collapsed to the ground and clutched our stomachs, laughing. When we were done laughing hyserically, I noticed the sky beginning to darken indicating that the night was almost here.
I got up off the ground and gathered up the thick sticks and put them into a nice little tipi pile on the ground.
"Can you grab out the newspapers from my backpack?" I asked Mae.
She tossed the newspapers to me and I took the lighter from my back pocket and lit a corner of a piece on fire and stuck it on the bottom of the pile in the middle. I did that for a few more pieces and sat on the ground next to the starting fire. The orange flames licked up towards the darkening sky and I smiled.
"Isn't this peaceful?" I asked Mae as she joined me next to the fire.
"You know, it is kind of pretty."
"See this isn't all that bad is it?"
"Not anymore! We're not doing anything down and dirty and exhausting!"
We both began laughing again and then just sat there staring into the fire. We began to get a little chilly as the sky got darker and the woods seemed to look gloomier. I grabbed my jacket and slipped it on and tossed Mae her's.
I sat back down by the fire and realized something.
"Do you hear that?" I asked.
"Exactly, there's no more sounds from the woods." All I could hear was the crackling of the fire; no squirrels, no birds, no animals.
"Good, it's quiet now."
"No, it's not normal." I stood up, leaving Mae at the fire and walked to the edge of the woods. My stomach began to get that empty bad feeling, kind of like I was nervous. I took one step into the woods and tried to peer inside. I saw a quick movement in the woods from the corner of my eye and backed back out of the woods with my heart racing and adrenaline running. I instantly went back to the fire and grabbed Mae's shoulder.
"We should head back to our cars."
"Why? What's your deal?"
"I saw something in the woods, I just have a bad feeling."
"It was probably just a deer, you're being paranoid," she stated, pulling her shoulder from my hand.
I took a few deep breaths and looked around us, the fire casting shadows on the trees. I didn't see anything else, so I took some more deep breaths and grabbed our blankets and bags and threw them into the tent before sitting back down by the fire. We sat there for a little while longer before Mae let off a yawn.
"Ready to go to sleep?" I asked her.
"Yeah, I think so."
I started scopping up sand and throwing it onto the fire, slowly putting it out. As the fire died, Mae flipped the switch on the flashlight and lit up where I was standing. We made our way into the tent and made our beds. Once our beds were made, we crawled into the sleeping bags and got comfortable.
"Good night Mae."
We flipped the flashlight back off and began to instantly dift off to a peaceful sleep.
* * * * * * * * * * *
I was awoken by somebody shuffeling outside of our tent. My heart began to beat fast, my palms began to sweat, and I slipped out of the sleeping bag to peak out through the zipper. There was a guy out there, approximately six foot three in height and pretty muscular; no way we would have a chance getting out of the tent alive. He was pacing back and forth when he eventually turned to see me peaking from the tent. I took a quick intake of breath for two reasons; he was beyond gorgeous, around our age. He had emerald green eyes and shaggy brown hair. He looked very worried. Oh, and the second reason, I was caught. I shuffled back quickly to the other side of the tent as I saw him begin to walk towards our tent. I look over to wake Mae up... and she was gone, she was no longer in the tent. I let out a scream as the zipper began to unzip and he ducked and bent inside of the little tent.
"Where's my friend?!" I yelled out as he stepped closer.
"Please, calm down and let me explain," he began.
"Where is she? What do you want?!" I interrupted.
"Please, be quiet so I can..."
"Just tell me where she is!" I picked up my pillow and threw it at him as my only line of defense. All he did was catch it and throw it to the side.
"Stop! I don't have much time to tell you this!" He yelled.
His voice was so persuasive that I stopped throwing pillows and stopped yelling. My hands were beginning to shake from adrenaline.
"Don't go home. Go stay at your friends house until somebody comes to get you, they will explain."
"What are you talking about?!"
"Just do as I say," he said, getting a little angry from frustration.
"I'm going home to my dad!"
"Don't go home!"
"I'm going home to my dad!" I repeated.
"Your dad's been taken dammit! And they'll take you too!"
My heart dropped into my stomach and I started to feel a little woozy.
"What... what do you mean?"
"Just don't go..." his voice began to cut out.
His lips were moving, but I couldn't make anything out of it. My vision began to go dark and I closed my eyes, blacking out.
* * * * * * * * * *
"Alexa! Alexa! Wake up!"
I woke up and Mae was shaking me in my sleeping bag. I got up out of my sleeping bag grabbed her hand.
"We need to head home now," I told her firmly.
"No buts," I cut her off, "I have a really bad feeling, please, we need to go."
We raced to get everything picked up and put away and on our shoulders. I began to jog out of the woods, hoping that Mae was keeping up with me. My heart was continually beating faster and faster, my legs pumping harder and faster. When we broke through the opening of the woods towards the car, I was glad to see that Mae had kept up with me. We threw everything into the trunk and began speeding back home, going well over the speed limit. We pulled into my driveway, and I already began to have a sinking feeling. I jumped out of the car and shoved through my front door.
The book case was pushed over onto the floor and books were scattered everywhere. Glass vases and dishes were shattered all over the floor. Pictures were crooked on the walls, and some were broken on the floor. The house was a complete mess and there was even a little bit of blood splattered on the wall behind the door. Worst of all... my dad was gone.