Tried

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I was too tried to do anything. It had been a long week and the only thing I wanted to do was curl up in bed and go to sleep. However, I couldn’t. There were too many things still left to do. I  had to pack for my holiday in Greece, I had to find my passport, print all the tickets and information etc. I stared at the computer screen willing myself to stay awake, but it didn’t happen and I fell sleep.

Hot

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It had been warm for awhile now but today the sun had decided to blaze in the sky, so everywhere was hot.

People gathered outside, hurrying to the shops to by water and BBQ food. Others took to their gardens and basked in the glory.

I went into my cellar and sat there in the dark coldness, praying for winter to arrive early.

Witchy

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When the witch left her house she only had one thing on her mind. Taking her broom up as high as she could, she flew by the full moon and the dark stormy clouds. Below her, everything looked tiny and unreal as if the trees and village were only models. However, she knew the people asleep in those houses and she hurried to land in the middle of the village square.

There beside the well, she cast the village under a curse for all time. Hating them for their cruelness against her and their unwelcome nature. She wove the spell into the water of the well, so that it would spread farther. Then taking to her broom once more, she dragged the spell through the midnight sky so that everything would be covered.

September

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Standing before the window, it looked more like a summer’s day then an autumn one. I rubbed the satin curtain against my fingers, enjoying the feel of it whilst my mind became fully awake. Even though the window was open, I could hear birds singing and the gentle lapping of the lake. I could see the wooden rowing from here too and it stirred memories inside me of all those summers spent on bodies of water with my father, brothers, uncles, grandfather and friends.

I strange deja vu came over me and I saw a tall man with three boys gathering around the boat and preparing her to sail. One of the boys turned back and waved at me. Only it wasn’t me, because I had become my mother and I was actually that little boy. I waved then realized there was no one out there, it had just been a memory.

Dropping the curtain, I walked to my study and stood at the door. My life was piled into that room. My old computer, the first and only typewriter I’d owned, all of my books, though those that I had written had a special bookcase to themselves. My wooden toy sailing boat in a glass case was on the window sill.

My fingers curled around the door frame.

‘Not today,’ I muttered and turned away from my work.

I went to the front door and out into the morning. The sun was bright and warm, making the trees dapple shadows on the ground. I went to the edge of the lake and looked at the boat gently rocking there. Memories swelled within me and I thought about my parents like I hadn’t do for years.

I got into the boat and rowed into the middle of the lake. There I become a child again, living summers that felt like they could go on forever.

Here We Stand (Part 8)

Religious Statue in Greyscale Photo

We finished eating and drinking. I settled back in the chair, feeling fuller then I had in ages. Jasmine started to tidy up. She poured the rest of the water from the black kettle into the sink and placed the dishes and cups in. As she washed, dried and put away, an idea came to me.

‘Thanks that was great,’ I said.

She nodded her head at me then carried on.

‘I just remembered some traps I left in the woods. I should go and get them before we leave. Why don’t you pack you things and meet me back at the church?’

‘So you are going to let me come with you?’ she cried, turning from the cupboard and pressing her hands to the top of a chair.

‘Sure…’

I dropped my eyes to her breasts, which were now sadly covered by that t-shirt, but I made sure she noticed the look though. She looked down too, her brain taking a few moments to wonder what I was staring at. She glanced up at me, a small frown on her face. Nothing else needed to be said though.

I got up, picked my hiking bag up from the floor and left the kitchen.

‘My cat is coming too!’ she shouted.

‘Whatever,’ I called back, rolling my eyes.

At the front door, I risked a look back but I couldn’t see her, though there was a lot of rattling and movement happening in the kitchen. Opening the door, I stepped out and closed it again. I heard voices and sounds of laughter coming from the trees, perhaps the rumble of an engine. Then I was gone.

I hadn’t lied to her about the traps. Though I hadn’t caught anything. All six were empty. I secured all the wire nooses and put them back in hiking bag. My jeans were wet from the dew and the damp soil. Wiping my hands, I got my bearings and realized the fastest direction out of here would take me passed the church.

Sighing, I headed that way but kept to the trees. Hopefully, she was still packing or chasing her cat, but even if she was there I could easily move further into the trees. An image of Jasmine’s breasts straining against the frill of that blue dress popped into my head. My feet stopped and my hand reached across the middle of my jeans.

Shaking the thought away and telling myself later, I carried on walking. There were too many cons for her coming with, including my uncontrollable urges to get between her legs. Where witches good in bed? I growled and set everything aside as I navigated the woods. The sounds of motorbikes filled my ears. I was coming close to the back of the church and the graveyard now.

A startled cry came from that direction, making me stop and turn my head. I heard the sound of laughter and voices. Frowning and unable to stop myself, I went to the tree line. I couldn’t see anything other then the side of the church and the beginning of the graveyard. I’d have to get closer…

Sticking to the church wall, I crept over and peered around the corner. My heart sank and all thoughts of leaving Jasmine behind slipped away. She was standing in the middle of the biker gang. The four heavy set guys and two thin girls were grouped around her. They motorbikes formed an out wall, making it seem that they too were ganging up on her.

They all worn black leather jackets with a fading biker gang name on that I couldn’t make out. The girls were both wearing denim bare thread short shorts and tank tops. The men had either leather pants or torn jeans with scruffy t-shirts or vest tops.

As I watched, one the girls, who had long wild brown hair, ripped something out of Jasmine’s hands. It was a plastic animal carrier cage, out of which came a loud meow. The girl looked inside and passed it to one of the guys.

‘Can your cat fly, witch?’ the girl taunted.

‘No,’ Jasmine cried, ‘leave him alone!’

The group laughed then the man holding the cat carrier swept his arm around and flung it away like a Frisbee. The cat let out a long howl whilst at the same time Jasmine screamed and tried to dash after the carrier. Another guy, who seemed to be the leader, wrapped an arm around her throat. She chocked and clawed at him, but he didn’t let go as the group roared with laughter.

The cage landed with a loud thunk, just avoiding a headstone. I looked over and saw that it was close by. Listening and watching, I waited for a sign of life and when the cat mewed softly, an idea came into my head. I licked my dry lips and slipped my fingers down to my right boot. I eased out my sheathed hunting knife and began thinking of a plan of attack.

‘You know for a witch you’ve got a fine body,’ the man holding Jasmine spoke out.

My eyes shot back up and watched as the leader brought his other hand up and began massaging Jasmine’s right breast. She turned her head up and away to look at the tree tops. Her face twisted into an unpleasant, pained look. The leader dropped his head to her exposed neck and licked it with a long, wet tongue.

The other men chuckled, but the two girls didn’t look happy. Jasmine had her head turned too far away now, but my guess was that she wasn’t enjoying the attention at all.

The leader whispered something in her ear then turned back to the rest of his gang, ‘the witch is up for a little fun, I think!’

Laughter rose and they made to move off.

Unsheathing my knife, I held the handle in my right arm and rested the blade against my bare lower arm. Slipping the leather holder back in my boot, I darted out and snatched up the cat carrier. A small yowl rose out of it. Hiding the knife as best I could, I walked towards the group.

‘Hey! I think you forgot something!’ I yelled and jiggled the cat carrier lightly.

Another yowl came from the box as they all looked at me. Frowns and puzzlement appeared on their faces. I approached the circle and went to stand in the middle of it. A large hiking bag with lots of things tied to it lay on the grass close to Jasmine’s and the leader’s feet. I lowered the cat carrier to my side and kept the knife tugged away in my other hand.

‘Who the fuck are you?’ the leader snarled.

I shrugged, ‘just a traveler.’

‘This is non of your business, leave.’

‘It’s cool. I only wanted a piece of the action,’ I drawled and grinned in Jasmine’s direction.

She mumbled something that sounded like my name but I couldn’t have been sure.

‘You know this loser?’ the leader asked, he moved his arm so Jasmine’s head would move towards me.

‘No,’ she sighed.

The leader looked me up and down then said, ‘whatever, but you’ll have to wait your turn.’

‘I did see her first though,’ I challenged and slowly moved close to him and her.

‘Fuck off,’ the leader growled, ‘this is my turf and the witch belongs to me.’

‘I don’t belong to anyone!’ Jasmine shouted.

She brought her elbow up and hit him in the chin. The leader cried out and Jasmine turned enough away from him to give me a clear shot.

I jumped forward and stuck the hunting knife deep into his stomach. I yanked it out and pressed the cat carrier into Jasmine’s hands as he buckled over. I sprinted for the first motorbike I saw, tucking the knife away into the back of my jeans and scrambling on, hoping that Jasmine was behind me. I heard the cries and shouts from the rest of the biker gang and knew any moment one for them would be grabbing me off.

I started the engine and felt a lot of power flowing through me. Then Jasmine was hitting me on the shoulder with the car carrier and I was tearing away. One of the men got in the way, but I pulled the bike to the right. We almost skidded out of control, but then I directed it forward again.

‘They’re coming!’ Jasmine yelled into my ear.

We bounced over a headstone and the massive monster machine threaten to throw us off. I wrestled to get it back under control whilst the sound of other motorbikes filled the air. I drove into the tree line, feeling branches whipping me. I thought I heard Jasmine cry out then shout something.  I ducked my head then deciding keeping it down was the best idea.

Somehow I guided us through the trees and we came out on a road. I gunned it. The motorbike roared beneath me and as everything started to flash by I had a hard time seeing. Tears fuzzed my vision and I was aware of two things jabbing into me on either side. I wanted to risk I glance over my shoulder to see if they were catching up, but it was too dangerous to take my eyes off the worn out road.

A cross way appeared before us and with a quick thought, I steered the bike to the right. The road here was worse and we bumped along for a few moments. I risked a look across then and saw three motorbikes zooming after us. I yanked the bike to the right, angling my body with it and off roading into a clump of trees.

I popped back on the road again and shot down it. I nudged Jasmine who was hanging on to my hiking bag for dear life.

‘What are they doing?’ I yelled.

‘Turning around!’ she screamed, ‘why are we going back?’

Ignoring her, I spotted a turn off coming up and took it. The motorbike, still acting like a wild bull under me tried to launch us off again, but I kept a tight grip and drove it on. My mind raced with all kinds of thoughts and I couldn’t stop it enough to think clearly. The road ahead split to the left and the right. Guessing the right led to the village, I took the left and we passed a burnt out car I recalled seeing on my way in.

I knew how to try and lose this guys.

A few more minutes down the road, which flashed by on the motorbike, I spotted the remains of a bridge. I aimed towards it, remembering that though it was full of holes it still had seemed strong enough. I ploughed on, then at the last moment veered off to the side and down to the river. Above me, I heard the roar of engines and the rattling of the bridge.

I glanced up and saw that they had been unable to turn off in time. I wrestled the motorbike around and we almost ended up sideways. Fighting for control, I got the beast directed backwards up the sloping river embankment and drove back onto the road. I half wanted to stop and see what had happened, but it would have wasted time, especially if they or one of them hadn’t fallen for it.

I drove us on for awhile then spotted another church bell tower poking out of the trees. I looked behind us and saw the road was empty. Maybe it had worked after all? I looked back and saw the line of a road coming up on the right. I turned on to it and drove towards the church.

Avoiding the twisted iron that had once formed a gate and fence, I brought the motorbike to the back of the church and cut the engine. We were sheltered by a lot of tall trees and nature.

‘You still alive back there?’ I spoke softly.

‘Just,’ came a small reply.

I felt Jasmine getting off the motorbike and falling to the ground. I hopped off and knelt beside her. Her face was wet and she was shaking, but she didn’t look hurt. She shrugged off the hiking bag, she had somehow manged to grip. Jasmine turned to the carrier, opened it and took the black cat out. Surprisingly, he had survived. She hugged him to her chest and buried her face into his fur. He mewed and looked at me.

‘Did you see what happened?’ I asked her breathlessly.

‘One of them fell off the bridge, the other two stopped in time. They went to help him,’ Jasmine’s muffled voice came.

‘We need to keep moving. They’re going to come after us.’

I pulled out my knife, which had been badly digging in my back and sheathed it again. Tucking it into my boot, I went back to the motorbike and climbed on. Jasmine said something to the cat and gently placed him back in the carrier. He went in without any fuss then she picked up her bag and the box up before scrambling up behind me.

I started the engine once more and guided the machine around, I was getting use to it now. We followed our tracks back and jumped onto the road again. I looked left and right but couldn’t see anything. The sound of the motorbike made it hard for me to hear, but I took Jasmine’s word of it and drove us off down the road.

*****

Side Note.

Hi there, thanks for reading this story. If you have any feedback of any kind please feel free to send it to me, I like reading and replying to comments. Plus, it helps improve my writing.

At this moment, I’ve no further plans for ‘Here We Stand’ though I’m kind of tempted to turn it into a novel for NaNoWriMo this year, because I think there’s a lot more to tell! I’m not sure yet though, but it would be interesting to here your thoughts.

As with all my stories, I just let them unfold, so it’s hard to predicted how long they’ll end up sometimes. I do feel sad to finish this one though. Elk seemed to be developing into an interesting character and yeah, I know the science fiction-dystopia setting didn’t really come across how I wanted it to, but sometimes I just find it hard to cram everything in to these short stories.

Anyway, thanks for all your support and I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this story. Here’s to a new month of writing!

Hayley.

Here We Stand (Part 7)

Religious Statue in Greyscale Photo

I stared at her, puzzlement filling my face as her words echoed inside my head. The urges between my legs faded and I forgot about everything else for a moment. Then reality hit.

‘You don’t know me…Why do you want to?’ I asked.

She shrugged and said, ‘there’s nothing here for me now. My gran…’ she touched the cross at her throat and began rubbing it between her fingers, ‘she died a few months back. She was all I had.’

‘Well, I’m sorry about that…but-‘

‘There’s nothing left here! Everyone will move out soon and I…I don’t think they’ll let me go with them…’

I looked at her again, trying to figure out why she believed that. I looked at how pale her skin was and went for a guess, ‘because you’re sick?’

She turned her head way and rested her chin on her shoulder, ‘yes,’ she breathed, ‘but that’s not the only thing.’

I pulled a face, wondering if she had lied to me, ‘so you’re supernatural then?’ it was the only other explanation.

She nodded, ‘I’m a witch.’

Maybe I should have been more surprised, but I was too busy thinking about how much of a risk her coming along would be.

‘I can’t let you,’ I spoke after a few moments of pause.

She put her hands on her hips. Her breasts sticking out even more and gaining my full attention.

‘Why not?’ she snapped, ‘I know how to fight and I got things to trade for food. My gran and I use to travel all the time. And I know how to forge and I can make healing potions to sell and I can tell real fortunes.’

She folded her arms over her chest. Blocking my view and making me look up at her. Her face was set in determination. There was no way she was going to be talked out of this.

‘That’s all well and good. But why me? Why do you need someone to travel with? Don’t you know it’s easier to be alone?’ I asked.

‘Of course it’s easier, but there’s safety in numbers too. Plus, I have more chance of being left alone if I’m with you,’ she added.

A thought slowly formed in my mind, ‘you want a bodyguard?’

She shook her head, ‘a companion.’

‘I don’t know….’

‘The cards said you’d be difficult,’ she sighed.

‘What?’

‘Look, we need to leave. Come back to granny’s – mine and I’ll make us some hot food. We can talk about it more there.’

I frowned and turned my head to look at the line of trees behind me. My feet wanted to go towards them, I needed to carry on walking. She was right when she said there was nothing here for anyone and yet I couldn’t do it. I turned back and saw that she was already walking away, clutching the edges of her dress in both hands. She was wearing knee length leather boots, so I couldn’t actually see anything of her legs. Still though…

I followed her, casting all my thoughts aside. We walked into the clump of trees that the biker gang had come from and I saw a small house just to the left of us. It was sheltered by the trees and other nature, so if you didn’t know it was there you might miss it. We followed a path of flattened grass and arrived at a gate and fence. It was white, picketed and intact. A  plastic red sign on the gate read Healer’s House. Potions and fortune telling.

She opened the gate and walked in. There was a little path running through the front garden and to the front door. On either side plants had taken over and there were little labels sticking up from the ground. I looked around, fascinated at everything that was growing. I heard her unlock the door and go in.

A soft meowing and her muttering voice drew me away. Looking over I saw her holding a small black cat. She was hugging it and rubbing her chin on it’s head. I went over and saw that many things were hanging off the front of the house. There were wind chimes, sun catches dream catches, fluttering bits of paper, ribbon and feathers.

‘Why would you want to leave here?’ I asked.

She shrugged, ‘because it’s time to move on.’

‘The cards tell you that?’ I sneered.

She shot me a warning look then walked into the house. I looked out across the garden then further along the treeline and towards the church tower. My thoughts whirled. Being mean to her wasn’t going to help. My stomach rumbled and I realized how hungry I was. I had become so use to it now though that I just forgot most of the time.

I walked into the house, closing the door which caused a tinkling charm to sound. A hallway ran ahead of me, three doors leading off to rooms. There was a fourth and a staircase to my left. There was so much dark brown wood everywhere it was unbelievable. This place had been untouched by everyone but those living here.

I went into the first room and found a nice, tidy living room. There were handmade cushions and blankets on non-broken armchairs and sofas. An old TV stood in one corner as if just waiting for the kids to come home and switch it on for cartoons. Just like I had seen pictures of and heard stories about. In the far corner was a bookcase, stuffed full of things.

Going over, I felt rugs under my feet and the gentle squeak of floorboard. It had been awhile seen I had seen books. Slowly, I reached out and touched the spine of one.

‘You read?’ she asked.

I half turned, my hand falling away, ‘Barely.’

‘I’ll teach you if you want.’

I glanced back then turned fully to her, ‘this must have taken ages,’ I said indicating the room with my hands, ‘anyone would kill for a place like this. How can you want to leave?’

She looked at the floor and I noticed she had taken the dress off and was now wearing jeans and a loose t-shirt.

‘I must,’ she finally whispered, ‘come into the kitchen.’

She walked away, her footsteps muffled by the hallway carpet. I followed, my fingers unable to stop touching things. The kitchen was warm and bright. She had a fire going in the old stove. I guessed she had light it before going to the church. The cat was curled up on the floor next to it. There was a small table and chairs in the middle of the kitchen and I took a seat.

The curtains were drawn over the windows, but some light still seeped in. Herbs and plants hung above us, drying. There was a collection of small bottles and jars to one side, with recipe book beside them. The air smelled sweet, sugar like, but I had no idea what the cause was.

She made tea and brought it over with a plate of biscuits. Then she went back to the stove and returned with two steaming bowls of stew. She give me a bowl then picked up the teapot.

‘What’s your name?’ she asked as she poured the tea.

‘Elk. What’s your’s?’ I answered then realized I had never asked her.

‘Jasmine. Do you take milk and sugar?’

‘You have them?’

She nodded and held up a small bowl and a jug.

‘How? And yes.’

‘We use to have a goat,’ she said as she handed me a tea cup.

‘Oh?’

‘I sold it and the sugar gran got ages ago.’

I hummed and picked up a spoon. The stew looked good. I had a small sip and it tasted so rich and meaty.

Jasmine sat down and picked up a biscuit. She dunked it into the tea then began nipping on it. I watched her feeling full of mixed emotions and thoughts. How could I leave this girl behind?

But I knew I just had too.

To Be Continued…

Here We Stand (Part 6)

Religious Statue in Greyscale Photo

I walked back through the graveyard, avoiding the nearly hidden headstones. Once the grass would have been cut short and and the names would have been readable. I had never seen an old graveyard like that. People didn’t have time to care anymore and the way of dealing with bodies now had to be fast. The mass burning and burying in cemeteries and parks was easier and better to stop the spread of disease.

My boots hit what had been the pathway to the church. I could smell the motorbikes’oil and petrol  as well as something else. The biker gang had been smoking something powerful and disgusting. I wrinkled my nose at the possible homemade drug and looked into the church doorway. I couldn’t see anything.

Stepping in, I wondered where she had hidden. The church looked the same as when I had fled from it. Rumble was still on the floor, light was peeking through the window and silence had returned. I started walking to the altar and halfway there give up trying to be quiet. There was just too much shifting rumble.

Climbing on to the altar, I stopped and looked left and right. I could hear the dripping water from the sink and settling stones. If she was still here and alive, she would have heard me by now. There was no way she would come out of hiding unless I called out as she probably thought I was one of the biker gang.

What was I even doing here anyway? Why was I making this matter? I hitched up my rucksack and turned to look down the church. I still felt torn for some reason, but finally I convinced myself to start leaving. Maybe the girl was armed and unfriendly? What if this was some kinda trap?

‘Hello?’

The voice was soft and wispy, yet it me like a bullet. I spun, my hand reaching down my leg to the hunting knife in my boot. I never made it, because one look at her made me freeze again.

She was pretty, yet her skin was very pale and sick looking. She had bright blue eyes that looked tried and puzzled. Her lips were making a little frown. The blue dress hung loosely off her, that was why it was more floaty then it seemed. It reached down to the floor and pooled around her feet.

I could see the bones in her neck and shoulders starkly. She was wearing a necklace; a small gold cross. Her really light yellow, almost white hair was swept back, away from her face and trailing down her back. Then there were the tops of large breasts, framed by blue lace which did nothing to hide them.

‘I’m not going to hurt you,’ I forced out as I slowly straightened, ‘unless you’re going to hurt me…’

She shook her head and showed me her empty hands. Then dropped them to her side again. I looked her up and down, my eyes lingering on her moving cleavage. She could have concealed something in the dress, even if it was a baby kitchen knife or a needle.

‘Were they after you?’I asked and nodded to the doorway as if the biker gang was still there.

‘In a way,’ she uttered, ‘They like to bully, but they are all talk really.’

‘What are you doing here?’ Now I had opened my mouth I couldn’t stop.

‘Praying.’

She looked up at the large glass stained window and the hollows. I looked too, but couldn’t see anything there. The window was dark as the sun hadn’t moved around yet. I could make the pictures though; an angel, a man on a cross, people crying.

I looked at her, the next question pressing against my tongue and yet I was worried to ask it. I couldn’t see anything strange about her though, so maybe she was just a normal girl. Still though…

‘Are you an angel or a ghost?’ I asked.

She looked at me sharply, ‘are you?’

I shook my head.

‘Me neither.’

We both stared up again.

‘Why are you here?’ she asked suddenly, ‘I saw you before running from the staircase when the roof give a little.’

‘Oh…I thought there was a cave in…’ I trailed into a shrug.

She looked at me, trying to see the truth in my words and waiting for me to go on.

‘It seemed a safe place to spend the night,’ I added.

She hummed, her eyes going back to the window and though I thought she had further questions to ask me, she kept them to herself.

‘I should go,’ I spoke out.

I made to move, but my eyes met her’s and I stopped.

‘Why did you come back in?’ she asked, her voice still a quiet.

‘I…thought I’d forgotten something, but I hadn’t,’ I answered.

She turned her head and nodded.

I waited a few moments then walked down the altar. I did half want her to call me back, but then I knew the urge to rip the dress off her would be too hard to resisted. I shook my head and tried to clear the images of her away, but they were locked in my memory now. She had stirred me awake.

I reached the door, stepped out and went into the graveyard. Not heading in an actual direction, I walked back through and towards the line of trees.

‘Wait!’

I spun so fast the weight of my hiking bag almost threw me to the ground.

She was standing at the edge of the headstones, her shoulders moving with the fast breaths she was taking. Her dress and hair settled around her, but seemed to move with a life force of their own. Her hands were balled into fist and there was this indecisive look on her face.

I walked back over. Feeling like I didn’t have much of a choice, but at the same time knowing I could easily carry on walking away. Coming to a stop, my eyes dropped to her breasts. They were heaving against the dress and looking like they were eager to escape. I licked my lips and pulled my attention away and back to her face.

‘What?’ I asked gruffly, sounding meaner then I had intended.

‘I want to go with you,’ she cried out.

 

To Be Continued…

Here We Stand (Part 5)

Religious Statue in Greyscale Photo

She stood framed by the arch of the church doorway, looking at me. She was wearing a light blue, long floaty dress. The likes of which I had never seen as girls really didn’t wear dresses anymore. I guess because it made them stand out too much and was not suitable for running. Skirts were okay though, the short the better, but most stuck to shorts and pants. Her hair was long and loose, very light blonde, made even more so by the sunlight.

My exhausted mind tried to trick me into thinking she was a ghost or an angel. Either wouldn’t have surprised me. Too many people were now claiming to have seen so many different things that it was becoming normal. Even if it wasn’t real…

I should go. I need to just stop staring and leave. But I couldn’t. My feet were stuck to the ground and my body felt frozen in place. I couldn’t even feel the ache in my back, shoulders and arms. I swallowed and tried to look away, maybe that would break the spell? Perhaps, she was actually a witch and was holding me in place?

She turned her head, looking towards a clump of trees then darted back inside. Her blue dress trailed after her.

I heard the sound then, the roaring of motorbikes. With a quick glance around, I dived behind one of the largest headstones. My hiking bag scrapped nosily against the stone and for a few seconds I thought about grabbing my hunting knife. The motorbikes arrived before I could though.

I risked peering around the gravestone, keeping my head next to the top of the grass. I couldn’t see much. A number of people on four bikes were pulling up close to the church. I could hear voices shouting and laughing, but I couldn’t make out their words. Was the girl in the blue dress okay? What were these guys doing? Where they searching for her or just passing through?

So many more questions flowed in my mind and I couldn’t stop them. I tried to listen, but they were entering the church. I kept still in case they glanced across the graveyard. I lent back, pressing my head to the cold stone. A part of me wanted to flee, but I desperately wanted to make sure that girl was okay. If she was supernatural, she could take care of herself right? But what if she wasn’t?

I eased my rucksack off and unzipped a side pocket. Slowly, I drew out my sheathed hunting knife. I tugged her into the top of boot, hoping I didn’t actually need to use her. I wiped my hands on my jeans, already feeling a slight shake in my fingers. I shut my eyes and counted backwards.

My thoughts whirled with a plan, but luckily it didn’t come to anything. The sound of laughter drew me and I risked twisting my head around to look. They were coming out of the church; four huge men and two girls, who looked just as mean. One of the men threw a flicker of light into the grass and they all began climbing on their motorbike.

The sound of engines broke through the serenity of the graveyard and woods. I felt my breathe leave in one big swoosh as I watched them spin and leave. Relaxing back, I listened to the sound fading off. I felt sweat on my forehead and under my arms. I wiped it away, adding more to the edge of my t-shirt.

I counted two minutes before I moved. Checking and double checking the area I got up slowly. Collecting my hiking bag, I almost turned and left, but the thought of that girl stopped me.

Be To Continued…

Here We Stand (Part 4)

Religious Statue in Greyscale Photo

The voices were whispering so it was hard to tell where and how many there were. It was the echo that had carried the sounds to my ears. Fighting down the urge to get out of the suffocating darkness, I kept still and tried to quieten my breathing. From above came shuffled footsteps and the sound of shifting rumble.

A voice said something, but the words were too faint. I gritted my teeth and hoped they’d move on soon. What had they come for? There was nothing here that anyone would want. Unless, they were looking for things to burn or to salvage. Though they’d see pretty quickly that there wasn’t much here.

Maybe they were hiding?

My thoughts flashed back and my breathing quickened. The pitch darkness made it easier for my mind to start playing images. I crouched down, hugging myself and pressing my forehead to my knees. I was back in that moment and they were coming for me. There were six of them, wearing mostly leather clothes and carrying weapons; knifes, cricket bats and homemade glass blades.

I could hear their voices taunting me to come out, followed by laughter. I put my hands over my ears and tried to block it out, I thought about other things, anything whilst also begging that they didn’t find me. I knew if they did I was dead. My breathing was so loud and I was sure they would hear me.

A loud sound broke through the past. I dropped my hands and listened. Stone and wood seemed to be falling. Without thinking about it, I swung on my hiking bag and scrambled for the stairs. My toes hit the first step and I tumbled down. My knees and hands taking blows of pain. Ignoring that and the taste of blood in my mouth, I crawled up the stairs. At the doorway, I squeezed through and surveyed the scene.

If there had been people in the church they were gone now. The small space was just like I remembered it minutes ago, beside from a new hole in the roof which was noticeable by the dust cloud. Deciding not to waste time figuring out what had happened, I hurried across the rubble and out of the door.

Morning light washed over me and I had to wait till my eyes had refocused. Breathing in clean, woodland scented air, I moved away from the church and into the graveyard. Long grass wrapped around, but a ploughed through it. Dew soaked my jeans as I become more aware of my painful knees.

Avoiding the gravestones, I made it into the trees and stopped. I half turned, making sure no one was following me. From the corner of my eyes, I saw a little flutter of blue from the church doorway. Looking over, I saw a figure emerging.

To Be Continued…

 

 

 

Here We Stand (Part 3)

Religious Statue in Greyscale Photo

I had a tent but there was nowhere safe to put it up. Plus, if I had to escape it’d get left behind. I stopped in front of the large window and looked up. The drizzle was falling against a still light evening sky. There was still time for me to go and camp in the woods.

The effort of popping up my two-men tent was too much through. I choice the dry-ish corner next to the blocked up door and began nudging around the rubble with my boots. It was a surprisingly deep pile of wood and plaster. I slipped off my hiking bag and could almost hear my back and shoulders begging me not to but it back on again.

I cleared a wide space on the floor. The work using the rest of my energy to do so. Juggling the glow stick so I could see in growing darkness, from my bag, I took out a sleeping mat, sleeping bag, my water bottle and a zip lock bag of dried fruit. I sat down and rested my head against the cold wall of the church. It was the first time in about six hours that I had sat down.

I sipped some of the nearly clear water that I’d gathered from a trickle of a steam in the woods. Then ate a handful of the dried fruit by putting each piece into my mouth and chewing as many times as I could. Lastly, I sipped some more water and put my stuff away. I settled down, keeping all my clothes on and my hiking bag close to my side.I threw the unzipped sleeping bag over my lower body and shuffled down. I put my hands behind my head and rested against the wall again.

In the background, I could hear the drip drip of the water from the sink. What sounded like an owl screeched and a dog started barking. I put the glow stick under my bag which left me in darkness but meant I couldn’t be so easily seen if someone walked in. Shutting my eyes, I tried to rest. I knew sleep wouldn’t come, my mind was still on alert even though the rest of me was crying out for a solid night’s sleep. I tried to think about other things, especially mapping out the town I was now in.

The dozing came over me in fits. I would fall into a light sleep than jerk awake. Each time, my eyes would snap open and I’d be transfixed with finding the danger that had to be near by. I listened carefully each time, but could hear nothing other the normal night sounds. Sometimes, I would watch the rain falling in through the holes in the roof or coming in through the windows. It seemed to grew heavier each time and everything but my spot became wet.

Waking for the final time, I watched light creeping into the church like a beggar. The rain had stopped for the moment to let dawn in, but drops were still falling. I stretched out, feeling just as exhausted as when I had lay down. My body creaked like an old man’s and for a few minutes I stared up at the ceiling. There was nothing special about it. Not like I had seen in some other churches were the ceiling was nicely boned and sometimes painted.

Even though I was running on little food, water and sleep, my body still demand a normal release. I gathered my things; folding my sleeping bag and sleeping mat up and into my hiking bag. Then I spent a few moments moving some of the rubble back to hide my tracks. the now useless glow stick I hid at the bottom. I picked up my bag and tried to get it on my back, but my arms were too stiff and I couldn’t left it.

I tried again, despite my protesting back and shoulders. Heaving the hiking bag on, I walked like a hunchback to the other side of the altar. The spiral staircase was dark, but I couldn’t waste another light source. I felt my way down, listening to my bag scrapping the walls. Reaching the bottom, I felt out the bathroom and did what I had to do. Strangely the toilet still flushed.

I turned the tap on and washed my hands in what I guessed to be still iron red water. I washed my mouth out then drink a few handfuls. It tasted as it had done yesterday, earthy and rotten, but still sweet. I turned the tap off and wiped my mouth. Walking sideways out I came to a sudden stop as I hear voices above me.