Here it is.
As Namarai stepped off of the bus she couldn't help but notice that she was indeed walking into the depths of an out casted wasteland. The time was 8:00 o'clock in the morning. The sun should've been up by now but it wasn't. Dark clouds, musky winds, she was high up on a mountain top looking down over many fields. Not a person in sight, just an empty acreage of skeleton trees and a few pieces of burned wood scattered about.
"You sure this is the place you want to be? I won't be back here til next week." The bus driver almost pleaded feeling concerned for the well-being of this young girl.
"Yes…you can go now." Namarai swallowed trying to shake of the jitters of being alone, not even sure if this was the place she truly wanted to be.
The bus door closed and off into the woods leaving the young girl standing all by herself, so defenseless. She sighed annoyed with her fear as she shook her head and began to walk towards the lifeless town though she couldn't quite tell where the town was supposed to be. There were no signs or buildings, just a web of large shredded trees spreading throughout the area. As she continued further into the deserted land she noticed a path, it was hard to make out but it was still a path.
"Well…guess that's a start." Namarai followed the path leading her further into the dark woods that enclosed around her. She had never seen trees like this before. They were so black, looked like someone painted them. Not a single leaf seemed to ever grow on any of the branches. Further down the hill she walked, the trees hiding the little bit of light that was barely shown through the clouds. Deeper and deeper down the trees were now completely over her. Felt as though it were already night time. She could barely see where the path was. And now the darkness was all to be seen. Not even the trees would show their form. Namarai gulped feeling claustrophobic as she felt like she was trapped; she couldn't even see the way back. She pulled out her phone, though it did not have service at least she could use it to light her way.
"This was a bad idea." Namarai talked to herself trying to ease the horror she dreaded to find.
Not a sound was made. You couldn't even hear the wind. The silence crept, focusing on every step Namarai took. She could feel her heart race and her breath was so noticeable. She tried not to hyperventilate but she could feel the pounding of her lungs start to squeeze their tremble through her veins. Suddenly feeling very weak and scared she lowered herself to the ground holding her legs in with her arms.
How can it be so dark?
She quivered to the thought of never finding her way back out.
"Tiere…Tiere! Can you hear me?!" Namarai shouted hoping that some way he would hear her through this pitch black darkness.
Nothing, not a bird in the sky or an animal in the woods. She was alone.
"Tiere! Tiere!!! Please!! Where are you?!!! I can't see anything!!! Tiere!!!" Namarai repeatedly yelled hoping for some sort of miracle.
Phone was almost out of battery. Her last bar on its last stand was all the light she had left.
"No please. Don't die." Namarai felt like a child as she held back the tears of being lost.
She sat there on the dirt ground, quiet. Trying to figure out what she should do now. Would she starve or die from dehydration? The bus driver said he wouldn't be back until next week.
"Mom…I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking. I just wanted….I just wanted to save Tiere." Namarai's strength to hold back broke loose as her eyes watered in doubt of ever seeing her mother again.
"How do you know Tiere?"
A woman's voice spoke from the nightfall as Namarai could hear her footsteps coming closer.
"Who's there?" Namarai's throat choked in surprise as she raised her phone hoping to see some figure before her.
"A human, in Elmbridge. I never thought I'd see the day."
Another voice spoke, this one sounded like a man. An older man. Namarai could hear voices speak from all around her. She swung the little light from her phone around but there was no one there.
"What's she doing here?"
"Who are you?! Please!" Namarai felt as though she were swirling in circles with all the steps with no feet around her. Then Namarai could see very slightly in the black woods some red eyes staring at her. Then she saw some over to her left, and on her right, above her. They were everywhere! She wanted to scream but couldn't find the stable place in her mind to perform such an act.
"Look how frail she is. So vulnerable."
"What should we do?"
"I say this is a most unexpected treat. Shall we help ourselves to this free invitation?"
"Wait! Not yet. Girl, why have you come here?"
A woman's voice spoke over the others for Namarai to hear.
"I…I…I'm here to find Tiere." Namarai spat out as best as she could without hesitating.
"How does she know Tiere?"
"I don't know, but no human trespasses into my land."
"Your land? I believe it's OUR land."
"Never mind your incompetence, get rid of her now."
"No! Stop! Please! I want to help him!" Namarai cradled herself in a ball covering her face as she feared the worst from these creatures.
"What did she say?"
"She wants to help Tiere."
Namarai opened her eyes as she could see a few feet away a lantern lit. A man walked towards her. He was dressed in a very posh and grand wear Namarai had only seen in movies. His hair was flowing below his chin in pure white. He looked no more then 25 years old. His eyes were blood red as he knelt down to Namarai's level.
"Who are you?" The man directly spoke as if this were a jeopardy question.
"I'm Namarai…Namarai Reade." She whispered still cradled on the ground.
"Hey! She's that one girl!"
"That girl that Gildrin was talking to. You know the one on that human box. She was looking for us. Gildrin was going to dispose of her once he reached Tokyo but I guess she came to us in the nick-of-time."
"Is that right."
"Tell me girl, what is your purpose in these woods?" The man with the lantern demanded more than questioned.
"I received letters…from Tiere…they were for Cristlin…but he must've got the addresses mixed up. I came because he said he was going to end his life…I have to stop him…please…please let me see him." Namarai pleaded feeling like a prey in a lions cave.
The man with the white hair was stunned by this girl's objective. He stared at her in astonishment.
"You want to help Tiere? Is that what you're telling me your reason for coming to Elmbridge is?" The man's red eyes pierced into Namarai's gaze.
"Yes…I want to help him. I want to stop him before he does anything."
The man couldn't help but sit still in an entrancement.
"Houlwood, what should we do?" A voice spoke afar referring to the man that stood before Namarai.
His eyes stayed put as he could see Namarai's kind spirit wavering inside her. She meant no harm and he knew it. Only an innocent gesture to the human instincts.
"Let her go." The white haired man muttered as he stood back to his feet walking away back into the dark trees.
"I said! Let…her…go." The man sharply snarled at the other voice Namarai could not see.
Namarai watched as the lantern light blew out and she was left alone again with the darkness. No voices left were heard, no steps were made. Namarai couldn't help but feel unsatisfied with the outcome of this unimaginable intrusion.
"Wait! I have to see Tiere! Come back! I have to help him! Don't leave me here!" Namarai attempted to follow them with a blind sight. Bumping into trees and logs along the way she started to run straight into the direction she last saw the lantern.
"Please! Come back!" Namarai dropped her phone as she shoved her way through the scraping branches across her face. Step after step she ran not knowing if she was about to smash her face into a log of wood. She had to find them; it was her only chance of finding Tiere. The woods were becoming less dark the more she ran, she could avoid the trees now and see the ground on which she stepped. She came to a stop as a form of trees unusually bridged over the other. She tried sticking her legs in between them but the space was too small. She heard something behind her but there was no body there. Namarai felt like she was being watched by someone but that didn't stop her. She kicked the branches making an opening space for her to crawl through. Breaking the branches with her hands she was able to fit herself into the glob of bridged trees. Now feeling like a soldier in a battle field she made way on her stomach as she pushed forward with her feet tearing the branches as she went making somewhat of a tunnel. She could feel the scratches of pain on her arms and legs, she knew she was bleeding and would need to patch herself once she got out of this.
Is this even going anywhere?
Namarai hoped she wasn't leading herself to a dead end. She punched the last few branches blocking left in her way and then she saw it. Behind the moonlight in this foggy night stood a castle on a hilltop. Namarai could not believe what she was seeing.
"A castle? How is that…" She was out of words as she had entered into a world that was unknown to any human. Was a place hidden for no one to ever find. She felt like she had just found the wardrobe to Narnia except this place seemed a tad more creepy.
She realized the sky was completely black without a single star. Just the bright moon with a ray of red surrounding the surface of it. The ground had grass that looked fairly grown but it did not have color. Everything, every tree, every hill, everything was black. Mist twirled around her as she pulled herself out of the branched tunnel. Every step she made raised the fog like she was splashing in a puddle. The castle was so tall, so large she couldn't tell where the entrance would be. She heard something above her like a squeaking sound. Namarai shuttered as she saw a flock of bats fly into the castle.
"Bats in a castle? I'm going to regret this." Namarai pounded herself as she was determined to see Tiere. At whatever cost.