***The following is an excerpt from a new story I’m working on as part of NaNoWriMo***
Shanda wanders to the cluster of boulders and places her bag on one in the shape of a slab, and plops down on another. She watches as Alicia makes her way to the front row of benches and sits down facing the stage. Then she pans her eyes around, following the natural curve of the meadows from one side to the other.
A raven flies in and perches itself on a branch of an oak tree to her right. It doesn’t make a sound, only sits and turns its head from side to side. It finally jerks its head slightly and appears to look directly at her. With a single loud caw, it lifts and flies up and overhead where she sits. She watches it disappear deep into the dark woods.
Something draws to her from within the woods. A sense of foreboding falls upon her. She shivers a bit and tries to shrugs it off. After a moment she turns her attention back to the stage where her friend sits in contemplation.
She notices something’s off. Alicia isn’t moving. She appears frozen in a gaze. The air is still, no breeze. In fact, all is silent. A light snow flurry fills the air. She sees her breath, before her, thicken. She looks at her backpack and notices a frosty dust covers it. The air is so crisp, and the scene so silent, the slightest movement would likely fill the air with a crackling sound of something breaking.
She stands in a panic and looks around. Her surroundings blur and the air thickens, while the meadow gets colder and colder. She turns back to the stage. Alicia is gone! She tries to call out, but no sound escapes her lips. Then she notices a girl in a white gown floating over the amphitheater benches.
The girl appears to be in her late teens, with flowing strawberry blonde hair that fades into a dull gray. The hair splashes and whips around her face and over her shoulders. Her gown also flows and whips in the air. The girl points toward her in warning. Tears flow from her face and trickle down her cheeks to where a mouth should be. However, no mouth exists. The girls eyes widen in horrific fear as if pleading for her life.
She’s frozen, still unable to speak or call out for help. She attempts to say something to the girl, but her lips move without sound. Her bones quake and the hair on her arms raise to a point. The moment lasts what seems like forever. She wants to escape, but remains unable to move.
The girl floats closer and closer to her before bursting into a black cloud and disperses like ash in the wind. Then, in an instant, everything goes black.
© Alan “Jedi” Zaugg 2018