Small

My entry for the new picture prompt competition. Lara has been unimportant and small all her life. Now, she wants to escape. But what will she find out in the real world? (Please like and favourite, if it's not too much trouble. :) )
**This is NOT discontinued. Continued on any of the two regular fiction websites mentioned in my profile**

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7. Dizzy

Lara stirred, the grass rough beneath her scalp. Immediately, she knew something was wrong. She used a nearby tree to prop herself up, when her vision began to blur. Soon, the green and blue of the grass and river blurred into nothing. But that nothing became something, a slanted world. The lines were blurred, and the vision-like quality was poor. The unclear form of a body came before her eyes, its limbs were flung in painful-looking directions, and crimson stained it's torn clothing. Tall black curves surrounded them, flickering with instability. Tiny echoing sounds came from the forbidding darkness that lead deeper into the tunnel. Just then, an earth shattering screech pierced Lara's ears.

"Who's that?" Her voice came out as a frightened whisper. A dirt-coloured shape lingered in the cave entrance. Two unclear claws were hoisted up by its head as it put one shaky foot forward. The cave trembled and the monstrous shape moved forward again. Lara turned her head, the body was moving-but only just. Her mouth parted a fraction, while the monster bent over the body. She winced at the gruesome sound of jaws sinking into flesh. About to turn away, she noticed the falling feeling taking over her limbs. With a jolt she returned to reality.

 

Sweat poured down her chest, and all she could see was James' concerned face watching her.

"What...?" he seemed to lose himself in his confusion, eventually looking back up at her with a helpless frown.

"I'm just as confused as you. One moment I was here, and the next, I was in some other world." mixed emotions drifted across Lara's mind.

"Are you okay to stay here while I go and look for some food?" he asked her, leaning against the tree against which she was resting. She paused for a moment, weighing up the facts and possibilities.

"Yes." she said finally. "Yes, I'll be fine." James nodded grimly.

"Can I ask you something before I go?" Lara nodded in reply to his question.

"Ask away." she managed to stutter out in a weak voice.

"What did you see?"  his own question caught him by surprise, so he hoped Lara hadn't noticed. Fortunately, his friend was too wrapped up in thinking about the unexpected question.

I don't want to frighten him... She thought. I left St. Avorlina's to be free... If I tell him, I risk losing that freedom.

"I couldn't tell. It was blurred." she felt bad for lying as soon as he turned his back, but it wasn't completely a lie, the vision had been blurry. Nevertheless, James had forgotten, so she intended to also. She eyed his retreating form, while picking at the moss by her side. It was leaving the tree, like one friend, separating itself from another...

 

"Of course!" gasped Lara, jumping up. She dashed over to the river and started to inspect it. "Why did you try to jump across...?" her fingers searched the soaking bank for footprints. A triumphant grin crossed her face as the tips of her fingers came into contact with two slick grooves. When then moved further, there were two more, this time deeper. "That must be where he fell." She nodded to the deeper set. "But what are these second ones...He tried to get across!" she exclaimed in realisation, almost losing her footing in the process. "Oops. I have to find out what's across there, providing I don't drown first." Her eyes did a 360 in their sockets then she straightened up to full height. Glancing around, Lara saw the area around her was empty. As she swallowed hard, a lone bead of sweat trickled down from her forehead onto the bridge of her nose. She raised her head determinedly; the drop of sweat slid down the side of her nose, tracing the corner of her lips, and running along her jaw line, before finally falling down onto her crumpled college uniform. Lara was about to take the leap James had previously, when a strong, invisible weight took her body captive. It began to pull her towards the ground, sending a flood of nausea towards her throat. Spluttering, she bent down, using the ground as a support. A deep rumble emanated from her chest-her muscles began to quiver. Then she collapsed. A delusional state acted as a cage, imprisoning her body.

 

The vision wasn't any more or less vivid than the first time she had seen it. It played in all its horror, and Lara did exactly the same things as she had the first time. Instead of awaking after the scene had finished, she was plunged into a deep blackness. A claustrophobic knot formed in her stomach, as the world inched ever closer to imploding (in her mind), crashing down upon her and wreaking havoc with her tiny universe. Something had gripped the girl tight, like it wanted something.

"What do you want?" she attempted to say, but it came out as a strangled gasp. Air pressed closer to her skin in reply. Did it want her?

"Do you want me?" yet again, her speech was a string of barely eligible nonsense. The strange force answered again, releasing her slightly. One eye flickered open. It scanned Lara's surroundings. She seemed to be suspended in never-ending darkness. It was like her worst nightmare. Wait, no, her worst nightmare was much, much worse. But she soon forgot about that as she took in the fact her arms and legs were held away from her body, and bound by non-existent chains. Gusts of wind began to encompass Lara. It rippled through her hair despite the rest of her body remaining inert.

"I must show you something..." a raspy voice whispered. "But you may not speak... Please don't interrupt... I don't have much time!" its distress was apparent. Lara nodded slowly, silently marvelling at what was happening. The winds eased and Lara regained control of her limbs. She pulled them nervously in her sides while her eyes darted about her. The voice made a strange coughing sound, causing Lara to snap her attention to the empty space infront of her. She knew it was just a disembodied voice, but it made her feel more attentive if she faced forwards. "Listen carefully..." Its silvery voice told her.

 

James ran his finger along the skin of fruit. He'd just found something that looked exactly like an apple, and having decided to try it out, was now contemplating it's taste. His mouth twisted in several 'amusing' shapes until it finally spread into a smile and devoured the rest of the fruit.

"I'll have some more of these." he wore the pleased grin all the way back to their riverside clearing. Placing the basket he had created on the ground, he approached Lara where she lay. He didn't see the pained expression on her face. "You must've been tired to fall asleep there." he chuckled, scooping her up in his arms and carrying her over to the shade.  Then he made her comfortable, arranging her limbs, with her arms folded across her stomach, and her legs falling neatly into place next to each other. James stood back to admire his handiwork.

It wasn't long before he managed to start a fire, and begin to slow roast the various foods he'd found. Of course, they were all things like fish, and fruit. Fortunately, both campers were accustomed to a diet such as this one. Sounds of the fish roasting on the spit kept James company as he watched Lara. In those moments of silence, the strange connection plagued him once more. What was so important about this girl? Why did he feel like she was something to him?

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