The Village of Death

Have you ever heard of Charles Darwin's 'Natural Selection' or also known as 'Survival of the Fittest'?

Due to lack of resources, plagues, tradition, and their known goddess he grew up in an environment that still exist today, a village of the cannibals. His instincts drew him to become this way but was drawn away from his natural lifestyle 3 years later when the town grew modernization.

Aldyz and his city friends visited area V, a village unknown to the society that only people who used to live there knew the way, making their guide to be Margarette one of their high school friend who was visiting home.

Two individuals meeting together in different reasons but one cause. What will become of this two in the near future?

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4. Chapter 3: They Who Live in the Woods

Chapter 3: Girl in the Woods

The night was cold but the early morning seemed colder.

The group was asleep in the given guest rooms provided by Margarette. Ace, James and Aldyz shared the same room while Nemia, Margarette, and Maridith was on the room beside it. The rooms were spacious enough for the group and the bed was enough to fit the three of each.

And then morning later, they were all coiled on the thick blanket trying to stay warm. The sun was hidden up above from the thick haze on the evening rain that night. Now the rain had stopped, leaving the grounds muddy and slippery outside the front yard as the plants remain nodding by the passing wind cold and wet by the past raindrops. But it seems that the slamming of the old window back and forth from its ledge made Aldyz irritated, deciding to lift himself down his bed and searched for the disturbing sound just to find that all their windows were closed but were having no more maintenance over the loose ledges that was actually causing the banging sounds.

Albeit the issue he wanted to build up, he decided not to complain anymore. After all, it wasn’t his house and place to do so.

He went towards where his bag had been placed grabbing his jacket and wore it around his body, taking with him his camera and continued to ploy his so called documentation. He made his way out of the door and decided to film the hallway ahead of his room. Thinking that he was the first one who woke up and concerned that he might woke other people around the house if he had made any noise, we quietly and slowly walked, making sure that the motion of his step would not cause any screech on the old wooden floor he’s stepping in until he reached the stairway down from the second floor. However, upon making his first step down, the old staircase created a sudden screech that made him took his foot back up and stood still.

Again, he tried to step down from the first stair step and made it as careful as he could while the camera was still in front of him making his gaze into a near window beside the stairs and unintentionally saw something flutter from the woods just beside the house. A white cloth. For a moment he kept the stare there, but deciding to the fact that he was yet half asleep was another reason for him to ignore it and think that it was merely his imagination creating vague images for him. Until finally, he reached the first floor and continued walking hoping that he won’t get to encounter Maridith’s old grandfather which he had felt that he must distance away from. While the camera still on filming, he made his way out of the living room and decided to get out to feel some rural breeze to start his day. He held the knob turning it carefully then soon pushed the door open with the emptiness of modernity view welcoming his eyes. A constant town. No change in the matter such as electricity or signal. It was like the city had vanished into the point of the country map that even Maridith who used to live there had forgotten where the place was nor does it knows what kind of place it is. It was a completely strange place as though it had been separated like a lone island. But despite of the place being this less versatile, it’s still a good place to stay in to. Aldyz thought. It’s relaxing and refreshing to the eyes that he wanted to take a look around the town if given the chance to.

“Lovely day we’re having.” Someone suddenly spoke that made Aldyz gave an abrupt look. But soon frowned as he tried to familiarize not to make it offensive from addressing the lady. But it seems like she had noticed his bewilderment and gave a sweet smile. “It’s Margarette. I guess it’s really hard to differentiate which is which isn’t it?”

Aldyz gave the smile back. “I’m sorry. You really look like Maridith that I can’t really tell. As you’ve said, it’s really difficult.” He replied awkwardly.

“It’s okay. It’s not really the first time that someone became troubled with us twins. Everyone in the village are.” Margarette replied.

Aldyz nodded to show that his listening. “By the way Margarette, how long has it been since you have visitors?” He asked.

“Just two weeks ago, I guess. They were actually lost foreigners who accidentally made a turn here. But after a week they left with one of the town’s people as guide to their way.” The girl replied.

“How did the guide came back?” again Aldyz asked.

“There’s actually a bus who used to pass by here twice a month since there are people who used to go to the closest neighboring town to buy some agricultural supplies such as fertilizers and seeds to fill their farms after discarding the first harvest of the year.” She explained.

“What does that supposed to mean? Some kind of tradition?” he asked.

“Well… might be? It was some kind of saying from the elders that the first harvest of the year suppresses the dark evil energy that surrounds the village and that they offer it to avoid bad wealth and misfortunes. Since it’s been something that is a must ever since our ancestor’s reign, all town’s people are serious about passing it through generations to come. It sounds really weird but that’s just how our lifestyle the way they were.”

“It’s okay. It’s not like I feel uneasy about it. Other places do something like that, probably in a different manner too.” Aldyz tried to justify not to offend Margarette’s story.

She simply giggled and nodded. “Probably.” She replied. “Well, I’ll be going back in. It’s really cold out in the early morning.”

“I’ll be staying out here for a while.” He said.

Margarette made her way inside the house leaving the boy out of sight and he continued to film with his camera. He stepped out of the porch making his way to the woods where he thought that he had hallucinated a white cloth fluttering behind a tree. Somehow, the woods were alluring him to come and take a look at the place. It made him step closer ignoring the cold early morning ahead and entered the place without any knowledge about where he’s supposed to be going. The camera still his companion in the dark woods while he still went on.

With the air getting colder and the atmosphere turning heavier in the dark woods, birds chirping in the echoes as he went deeper into the darkness. Now he stopped. “There’s nothing here anyway. Why would I waste my film for woods?” he told himself and withdrawn from coming further turning his back to the woods surprised to find a girl in white dress appear before her. “Damn!” he shouted surprised but the girl didn’t seem to have budge from where she stood.

“You’re from outside?” She asked seriously.

Aldyz observed for a while. The girl was pretty and seemed to be the same age as her. “I-I’m sorry about that.” He apologized staring at her with a bit of embarrassment. How could I mistake a girl this beautiful into a white lady? I’m insane. He thought still giving out a stare. “And… yeah, we’re from the city.” He replied.

“Be careful, this place had been set up with a lot of traps. You might get lost too.” She said with her straight face.

Aldyz nodded and looked behind the girl. The way… where is he? He thought he’s just walking quite some time, but why does it seem that he’s been taking the way for more than enough time to lose sight of the house he’s staying from?

“It seems to me that you got lost?” the girl said.

“I think so too…” he replied. “Can you help me find my way back?” he asked.

The girl nodded, stretched her hand and reached out for Aldyz’s leading him somewhere. “I don’t want people getting lost here… I feel bad.” She said. Now that Aldyz had noticed, she doesn’t seem normal over the way she speaks. It was straight and a bit childlike description.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“I have none.” She replied.

“Where do you live?” again he asked.

“I live here.” She said, words being said slow and clear.

“Here?” Aldyz didn’t seem convinced. Besides, she doesn’t seem to look like a girl who lives in some kind of cave nor does she look the part of a lady in the woods, unless she was a ghost herself… or maybe, he thought, that it might be that she’s actually lost her mind. Just starting the with the way she talks. “But this is nowhere.” He tried to talk to her calmly like he was speaking to a child.

The girl stopped, turned towards the man she was holding with a blank stare that gave Aldyz the opportunity to observe her. Her green eyes mistaken into gray because of the dark woods shadowing her orbs, but despite her eye colors being hidden in the dark, she was noticeable from her pale white skin and dress. Then down to her feet she was only bare. Her dress was the only thing she’s wearing as he noticed. Her height was just about his shoulder and her face manifested a bit of foreign, probably half Asian, which explains her small built, then mixed Russian… now he looked confused. She seemed mixed breed. But to find someone like her in a place as secluded as this one almost as hard as a shot in the dark.

“Where are your parents then?” he asked. He somewhat wanted to confirm if some foreign people might find their way on this kind of area.

She didn’t reply.  She just remained staring.

“Okay… so… where’s the way out then?” he asked.

She let his hand go and pointed to her right. Aldyz turned towards that direction and saw the house in front of him. That was not there earlier… he thought a bit skeptic.

“Don’t go alone, people get scared here when they are alone.” She said. “You should leave today.” She added.

“What? Why –“

“Al!” A call cut Aldyz’s question and looked at the direction of the house, finding James on the porch waving a hand at him as he ran towards his direction.

“Leaving is the best option I can provide for you.” The girl whispered.

“What do you mean by that—“

“Aldyz?” Surprised by the call behind him, he quickly turned his head back, finding Margarette just a meter away from him. He could tell, since she wore the same clothes that morning.

“Y-yeah?” he asked a bit shaken.

“Who are you talking to?” she asked.

“Ah, it’s—“ he stopped again when he turned his head to where the girl was but she disappeared. “What the…” he blinked twice, scratched the back of his head and wondered.

“Hmm?” Margarette asked.

James also reached them as Aldyz explained. “I got lost in the woods earlier and I met a girl who helped me find my way back…” he said.

James laughed. “I think you’re imagining things Al, I saw you talking to a tree earlier.” He said and continued laughing.

“I’m not joking!” he said annoyed.

“Well, I guess you met the goddess on your way.” Margarette cut in that silenced both men. “A girl in white? Short and beautiful, right?” she described.

Surprised, Aldyz nodded. “How did you know?” he asked.

“A lot of people who got lost in that woods described her as that. But after that she disappears.”

“How did you know that she’s your goddess?” James asked skeptically. Now serious than earlier.

“The offerings of harvest were actually being offered into that woods. And our goddess has also been described to be changing up into a girl’s form and roams around the forest to help the lost find their way back to where they came from. But she’s forbidden to step out of the woods too that’s why she’s lonely. It’s all in the legend. Not that our goddess is useless, but she’s the one who sets the boundary for her own. She can remove it if she wants too, and anyone who sees her was actually believe to be a lucky person. So you’re a lucky man, Aldyz, our goddess had taking a liking on you.”

James laughed again after Margarette explained. “Wow Al, your charms are especially for the goddesses.” He teased tapping his back while he continued laughing.

“Shut up James.” He made his way back to the house and found his friends sitting on the living room with a cup of coffee.

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