The Nightmare

This is a nightmare that has constantly haunted me since I was in third grade. The people in this story are by no means like this. But then, it's a nightmare, isn't it?

Side note: This is an exercise to get it out of my head. It is rushed and most likely full of errors. Haha, sorry about that.

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1. Into the Woods

 

Into The Woods

 

          “We’re out of firewood,” the words escaped my mother’s lips like a death sentence. I looked up from my book. I felt my body resign. My shoulders sagged while my breath passed through my lips in a sharp protest. “Kay,” I heard her call but I tried my best not to look up and acknowledge her. “Kayla.”

          Once more the air in my lungs escaped in another protest. I pretended that I was still reading, but by now I knew it was hopeless. “What?”

          “Kayla, do you want to take the others out and gather some more firewood?” her voice was coated in sugar blanket, but the statement was sealed to discussion. I closed my book biting my lip so I could censor my usual retort. As I stood up I heard her call out some words of appreciation, there are times I wish I had bothered to wait long enough to her them.

          “Matt,” I looked over to my cousin and waved him over. He stood about 5’7” at the age of sixteen. He looked up from his carving and then set it aside. “Cassie,” I called to my other cousin. She was seventeen and already 5’9”, the rest of us were sure she would become a model one day. “Charles,” I motioned to my best friend. He looked up from his work that he had been scribbling on various pieces of paper. He was about an inch shorter than Matt and six months younger. “Kai,” I called to my second best friend. She was the closest to me in height. She stood at 5’2” I was 5’ even. She was two months younger than Cassie. I was eighteen. “Firewood,” one word, it was all I needed to say. Their bodies sagged in recognition that we would have to go out scavenging.

          I lead the way out of camp. Now it would have been faster if I allowed everyone to fan out and search the forest, but only Charles and I knew these woods. Being the oldest I felt responsible for everyone’s safety. I wanted to be able to see everyone so we stuck together.

          Time crawled by. One would think that finding wood to burn in the middle of a forest would be easy, but today it seemed impossible. The sky was getting dark, only two of us had enough wood to take back. “Alright,” I called out, “let’s head back. I think this is all we’re going to get before nightfall.” That’s when the first drop of rain struck the ground. “Crap,” I muttered.

          The rain progressed from drizzle to full on storm in a matter of seconds. I cursed my terrible luck as we bounded through the forest back to our camp. When had it become so dark? I wondered. I was losing bits of my precious cargo, I was going to have to slow down or-

          “Ahh!!” Cassie screamed and crumpled down in front of my latching her hands around her foot. I tossed the wood I had been carrying aside and jogged up to my cousin.

          “What’s wrong?” I asked kneeling down to take a look.

          “My foot,” she cried in pain, “I think I cut my foot.”

          I looked down. Along the outer side of her left foot was three inch gash. I growled a few choice words under my breath. “Why the hell are you wearing sandals?” I looked up at Charles. Frowning, I shook my head.

          “I didn’t think we’d be running in the rain,” she sobbed. Charles nodded in reply, walked over to me and stood so that his left pants pocket was facing me.

          I stuck my hand in the pocket to pull out his pocket knife. I worked my voice into an even calm tone. “We’re in Oregon. It rains all the time here.” I took off my sweater, cutting away a few strips of cloth.

          “I know, … it, it just looked so sunny today,” she frowned.

          “Yeah, it did,” I nodded in agreement, wiping the rain off my while returning the pocket knife. I mouthed the word thanks to Charles. He nodded, walking back to where Kai stood. I wrapped the cloth strips around Cassie’s foot. “You’re going to have to walk on that, at least until we find some place safe and semi dry. Then mom or someone else can take a better look at it.”

          “How about that place?” Kai asked pointing to our left.

          I turned my head slowly. On the cliff side stood a tall beautiful mansion, complete with brick towers and climbing ivy. The lights were on making it appear inviting compared to the storm that kept pelting us with raindrops. Lightening streaked across the sky behind the old building. “Why do I feel like I’m in a horror film?” I muttered. I didn’t question why the mansion was there. I was actually grateful for its existence. At least Cassie wouldn’t have to hobble far. I nodded and helped Cassie up. “Alright, Matt, lead the way.”

          As we trudged along the forest the mansion seemed to become more distant. Charles had abandoned his stack of firewood to help Cassie limp along. Kai walked next to Matt as they chatted about dragons. I stuck to the back, occasionally glancing up at the sky looking for any sign that the rain would let up.

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