Let’s stoke the fires! It’s time to thaw our frozen brains and spread some warmth on two new submissions.
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Submission #1 – Beyond the Demons Control by Leah
Chapter 1 – Jay
I trekked on through the forest, stretching my ears to keep alert. Dawn was coming, I could feel it. Grow up in the forest and maybe you could also tell. I can smell the morning dew, hear the animals awakening from their slumber and the birds calling, and, the most subtle change of all, a slight 1 degree change in temperature. I can feel the change in climate, my skin gets a crawling feeling if it turned colder, and I get comforting tingle in my arm when its warmer. I just grew up that way.
I looked around, pausing in a small clearing to admire the woods. This is the place I had grown up, this is my forest. It’s was my home. I don’t know any different, really. I haven’t even gone to what some people call ‘school’. Does anyone know exactly what that is?
It’s quiet and peaceful, sure, that could be good sometimes. Especially when I needed time to think. But occasionally I wish I had someone to talk to (I have my cat, but he doesn’t exactly count). I haven’t had people around since… my parents.
I shook my head. I couldn’t get started on that subject or else it would take me awhile to get out that spinning dark pit of sadness and regret. I kept on walking, sliding my hands into my pockets as I went.
I’m what is called a ‘furry’, half human, half wolf. I have white ears and a white tail with a black tip.
I watched as the morning fog set in, floating around. I sniffed the air, my senses being overtaken by the morning dew. I was out taking a breather from my dream last night. Usually I live in a tent with my pet cat, Sky. I’ve grown up with him, so its usually easy to tell what he wants. When I had left the tent he had looked up at me, meowing. I knew he didn’t want me to go, but at that time I didn’t exactly know why.
I pushed a branch out of my way, coming across an old clearing. I remembered playing with this clearing, I was around five when I had been playing with… Odd, I can’t remember who. Probably just my parents.
Suddenly I heard a cry ring out and I perked my ears. I turned around to run to the cry, but a sharp pain in my side stopped me. Pain washed over me, and I thought it was just a muscle spasm. However I soon realized it was too painful to be just a spasm, and it was lasting way too long.
Now, I know you can’t experience the pain or panic I was feeling unless of course its happened to you, as well. And if it has, I’m very sorry.
The pain was like a million shards flying into your body, or wolves tackling you and clawing at your side, only a dozen times worse.
Finally I couldn’t stand up anymore, and my legs failed me. I hit the ground with an unsatisfying thump. I looked up weakly, holding my side in pain. I took in a shuddering breath, though I was barely able to do so. A man was standing up in front of me, a black hood covering his face, though I could get a glance of dark brown hair.
He stared at me, holding a bloody dagger. “The deed is done.” he growled, walking off.
I wanted to cry out, I wanted to yell at him, I wanted to see who the man was. But my strength was leaving me faster and faster, and my voice wouldn’t cooperate. I just had time to take in one last painful breath and think, This is it. I’m going to die here, alone.
Then I blacked out.
When I woke up I was looking up at a girl with long brown hair with a purple stripe through it. She jumped back a bit, as if I had startled her by opening my eyes.
“H-hi.” she stammered and I stared at her, trying to figure out who she was. She definitely wasn’t a mortal, I knew that much.
“Hi…” I replied. I shifted my position so that I could sit up a bit easier. I felt something pressing against my side and, looking down, I saw a long white bandage wrapped around my stomach, side, and back. I blinked, a bit confused.
“I saw you laying there, so I sort of bandaged you up so you wouldn’t lose any more blood.” she explained. I numbly nodded in response. I could tell she was a bit nervous because she twirled a piece of her hair around her finger.
“Thanks…” I got up, my hair shifting in front of my face. I pushed it back to the side. I adjusted my hoodie so it covered up more of my face. To be honest I didn’t really know what to make of this girl. I wondered if I could trust her, I mean, she did help me, but there was something weird about her. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I put my hands in my pockets then pulled myself out of my own thoughts to look at the girl.
“I’m Silver.” she introduced herself and held out her hand. I thought for a second then shook it, “I’m Jay.” Guess I could trust her with my name. Not like she could use it against me or anything.
I blinked, “Um… You alright?” I asked, her face and shoulders suddenly tensing.
“Fine.” she replied, letting her shoulders relax again. “So, what were you doing all the way out here?” she asked, and I could tell she was a bit anxious to get off the subject of why she suddenly tensed.
I just simply shrugged and she blinked. “Alright then… Um, do you have a place to live?”
I stared at her then took in a breath, nodding only slightly. My thoughts wandered off to Sky, and I figured he’d want to meet her.
Submission #2 – Dawn by Hannah
“Don’t forget I’m picking Ray up before I come, so I’ll be a bit late. Probably more like 6:00 instead of 5:30.” Chris texted. I have to smile a little. How many times do I have to tell him that he doesn’t have to use correct grammar and spelling in texts? I push the cart towards the exit of Wal-Mart and stop for a second to put my coat on, trying to think of some reply that doesn’t require total spelling in all of the words. Some reply that would drive Mr. Grammar-Freak insane. Finally I reply, “ill b waiting 4 u”. I can imagine him raising his eyebrows at my message, completely bothered by the lack of punctuation and capitalization.
Snow flutters down softly, but I can tell it is going to get heavier. Those clouds coming from the mountains look ready to burst. I hope it doesn’t interfere with the date. It’s getting dark and I hurry to get home. I need to get ready before he’s supposed to pick me up in an hour-ish.
It takes me that full hour to get ready, and I’m rushing to finish doing my hair when six o’ clock rolls around. I expect any minute for the doorbell to ring and Mom calling up the stairs that Chris is here. Then I’d yell down that I wasn’t quite ready yet and Chris would come upstairs and lean against the bathroom door, watching me, unnerving me. He’d claim that he liked watching me doing my hair, like he did last time I wasn’t ready when he picked me up. But the doorbell stays silent for a couple minutes, and I finish my hair in peace. I go downstairs to wait on the couch and check my email while I wait. Six thirty rolls around and I’m starting to wonder if he told me the wrong time. I try to call him, but I get the voice mail. Then, I try his house and his mom picks up.
“Mrs. Sanchez? This is Aura. Do you know where Chris is?”
“No. Isn’t he there?” She sounds concerned.
“No, he’s not. I thought that maybe you might know where he is. Is he running late?”
“No, he left the house on time. Did you call him?” My stomach begins to sink.
“Yeah. He didn’t pick up.”
“I’ll try and figure out where he is.”
“Well, call me if you hear anything, ‘kay?”
“Okay, you do the same, honey.”
I try dialing Adam’s number before I remember that he does his hours with the ambulance on Friday nights. I hang up the phone and go to the door, watching the snow come down thickly. Maybe it’s just this storm that’s slowing him down. But he would have called me if he was going to be late, right? I finally slip on my coat and sit on the porch, watching for him. Every minute that passes increases my anxiety. The phone rings inside and I jump. How long have I been sitting here? I rush in and snatch it up. “Hello?”
“Aura?” Adam’s voice answers and there’s a lot of noise behind him. Is his voice trembling or is it my imagination?
“Yeah, it’s me. Is something wrong?”
“Um…yeah…there’s been an…accident.”
“And…” I prod, my pulse quickening, my voice quavering a little. If anything happened to either of them…
“Chris got hurt. You…you might want to come to the hospital. He…he doesn’t have much time left.” His voice breaks a little.
He might as well as stabbed me. “You…you’re joking, right?” I ask, attempting a laugh. “This is one of Chris’s jokes, right?” If I’m honest with myself, I know Chris would never play a joke like that, but I can’t help but hope. But then again, there was that one time when he texted me that he was in the hospital and then his phone had died so he didn’t reply to any of my messages and I had freaked out.
He gives a sorry attempt at a laugh. “I wish. You really need to get here…be…before it’s too late.”
My throat clogs. “I’ll…I’ll be right down. How bad is it? What happened?”
“Just come to the hospital. I’ll meet you in the front lobby. I’ll explain everything when you get here.”
“Okay, what about Ray? Is he okay?” At least let my brother be okay. If something happened to both of them…
“He’s a little shaken up, but he’s fine.” Relief overpowers the fear for a second. At least I won’t be losing both of them tonight.
“’Kay. I’m on my way.”
Mom calls after me, reminding me of my 10:30 curfew as I race out the door. The car doesn’t start when I turn the key, just rumbles a bit and then dies again. Of all the times. I shove it forward again, praying that it will start. I’m going to miss seeing him all because of this stupid car. Frustrated, panicky tears rise up in me as it rattles but I keep the key cranked and finally it hesitates to life. Snow patters against the windshield as I back out of the driveway, trying desperately not to give into the fear. I go way faster then I should for the weather.
My heart feels like an anvil. ‘There’s been an accident. He doesn’t have much time…before it’s too late.’ Chris is dying. I blink tears out of my eyes and when I stop at a red light, it all breaks out. I can’t help it. I collapse my head on the steering wheel and sob.
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