When I was younger hide and seek used to be my favourite game. My dad would leave for work and I would attempt to play the child's game with Hal, much to his displeasure. I now feel like Hal, who knows how large this forest is and to make things worse the sun seems to be sinking towards the horizon at an incredibly fast pace.
I have no idea where I am going, stumbling back through the forest everything looks the same, now in the eery ghost light projected from the 'sun' the trees look foreboding casting elongated shadows across the landscape creating dark hollows of black so dense the eye can't make out its depths, even in the pitch black the forest seemed more welcoming than it does now. With the white light bouncing around the mirrored forest the whole place is transformed into the bleak snow-ridden landscape that is Greywald, just without the welcoming sounds of chattering people and the steady hum of daily life.
I come to a stop at a path that looks as if it has been recently trampled down by someone, or something, hastily trampling their way through the bush. It could have quite possibly been whatever spooked me last night, but somehow I know in my heart of hearts that this is the way they came. Treading lightly I follow the beaten path, side stepping between neighbouring trees trying to stick to the shadows for fear of being spotted by some unknown foe.
Peering around the side of the tree I am currently hiding behind I can make out figures in the distance. Slowly drawing closer, I can start to make out the outlines of four people one of whom is most certainly Gabe; his black hair stands out in such contrast to my entirely white surroundings. My steps quicken towards them, but something feels off, they don't seem to be moving, just stood completely still gazing towards the fourth figure I could see. From the gentle curves of the body and long flowing blonde hair the figure is most definitely female. As if on impulse I feel myself drawn to her, a trance like state enveloping me as I step towards her. Then she turns in my direction, immediately the trance breaks and I jump back towards the trees. Her eyes are completely black and her skin so white she blends in to our bleak surroundings. I can now see all three of the boys looking at her with the same sense of awe I felt before I caught sight of her face, she could not be human. This was a test and I would have to be careful not too once again get distracted by her pull.
Somehow I need to distract her, just so she is distracted long enough for me to free the boys. If I can. Pulling on one of the glass branches, it breaks off in my hand shards of mirror embedding themselves in my hand, I have to bite down on my lip to silence the hiss of pain that vibrates in my throat. I throw the branch as hard as I possibly can further in to the depths of the forest and I hear it shatter with resounding echoes through the forest. Immediately her head snaps in the direction of the sound and she stalks away into the depths of the forest as silent as a spirit gliding over the forest floor. Holding my breath, I edge forward until I am sure she is gone, then I speed forward as silent as I can possibly be. The blood pounds in my ears as I stand in front of them. Their eyes are hollow, no sign of life as I stare back at them. And then, as if a switch flips in his mind, Will barrels towards me his eyes ablaze as he reaches out to grab me. All I can do is turn and run as he pounds through the forest after me, my legs burn and my heart feels like it will burst, it is the first time in my life that I have ever regretted being lazy and if I make it through today it will probably not be the last.
That moment of distraction was all it took for me to not see the protruding root and to land face first on the hard ground, twisting around on the forest floor I turn to see Will reaching down towards me and in that moment I fear he might actually kill me.
Yet for some unknown reason I reach up and pull his face down towards my own. Pressing my lips against his, I kiss him. He freezes, I feel his body go rigid against my own, then he kisses me back, the feeling is indescribable and it all ends too quickly as he pulls away dazed. Looking around he rubs the back of his neck awkwardly, a slight red tint grazing his cheeks, he looks so undeniably cute.
"I'm sorry" he whispers. I laugh nervously. "You don't want to kill me anymore then". He looks down, ashamed, "I'm sorry, thanks...for coming back I mean" I look back at him "I don't know what happened" he says "I was awake but not aware of anything going on around me until you well, you well...kissed me." He looks back at me and I feel my cheeks flaming. "You can explain when we're safe, I went to the gate and saw Lucian, he said we all had to cross back through the gate before sundown." He looks up towards the sky "Why did you not leave?"
I sighed "Because once I crossed over you would have all been trapped here." I think he is going to cry his eyes glinting with unshed tears but he doesn't, he clenches his jaw and turns back towards where we came from. "We better get a move on then if we are to make it back in time" he announces. He reaches a hand towards me, taking it he pulls me to my feet and in that moment I feel less alone than I had ever felt since my mother died.