A Fee in the Woods

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
A childish venture into the woods is turned upside down when they find a witch.

Submitted: July 29, 2016

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Submitted: July 29, 2016

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The Fee in the Woods

My name is Jeanie. It’s not really my name though. I’m third in line. My mother’s name was Jeanie and her mother before her. I am 15 years old. I have two younger brothers and a younger sister. There is Tommy (we call him Toro) born 6 years after me. Dana, my younger sister, she is five. Then there is Cleveland, who we call “Cleaver” since he has a knack for destroying everything. He is four years old. My parents are away on vacation. They always go to other countries in the winter. They leave us behind citing, “Other countries are no place for young children.” They promised to take me to England when I turn 16. For now, we stay with my Dad’s brother and our elderly grandmother. My dad’s brother, Sal, is only 20 years old and attends college. He failed his first semester twice. My dad likes to pick at him about this. My grandmother doesn’t leave the house much. The medication she is on causes her to sleep most of the day. We take these opportunities to explore. My siblings and I venture out into the woods behind my grandmother’s house. We pretend we are adventurers who are exploring unknown lands. I take the roll of King Arthur. Toro plays a talking Minotaur, no surprise there. Dana plays a princess in combat boots. She found them in the attic one day and never takes them off. They smell like fish and sweat. Last, is Cleaver who plays our baby dragon.

“RARRRRRRR,” He cries out when we fight imaginary foes. Last winter we made costumes and pretend weapons to fight of the enemies. Mother says I should start acting like a teenager, but I enjoy the time with my brothers and sisters. I don’t want to end up like my father and Sal. Their age difference caused them to live different lives and split apart.

It’s a very chilly day, so we pretend we are high up in the Himalayas searching for the yeti. We spend hours out in the woods and make our way to the edge of the thin brush before thick trees cloud the skies above.  We fight and slay the yeti before turning back. We sing our homemade song while walking back.

We are the 3 heroes

We are the 3 heroes

We repel evil

We save the common people

And don’t forget our dragon

RARR RARR!!!

We finish the verse and hear a strange noise. It sounds like wet coughing. Animal like grunts fade in and out of the woods.

“Jeanie,” Dana whimpers. “Those noises are scary.”

“Don’t worry Dana,” I say. “Those are the cries of a lost animal in need of our help.”

I lie to ease Dana. The sounds are horrifying, but the group calms down after my fabrication. We start walking back towards the house.

“Wait,” cries Toro. “Shouldn’t we help it.”

“It’s getting late. We need to get back before Sal does.” I tell him.

“You said it needs our help. We can’t just leave it.” He argues with me. A tinge of anger seeps through his words.

“We’ll save it tomorrow, Toro. We need to get home first.” I beg with him. I can’t help the anger that pollutes my tone.

“I’m going after it.” He says as he turns away from me and bats the grass with his wooden sword.

“Stop!” I scream. “We can’t. Sal is going to get mad at us.”

He doesn’t say anything. He bats the grass and walks away. I take my younger siblings hands and lead them in pursuit of Toro. The woods are getting thicker as the sky grows darker. It’s hard to follow Toro’s movements as he walks faster than me. I round a tree into a small clearing. I run right into Tommy’s back.

“Let’s go,” I tell him. He points in front of him across the bed of thick grass. At the edge of the clearing is a black mass. It wiggles and writhes ever so often. We watch the figure for a while before I have a feeling that it could be a bear. I start pulling on my siblings to back up until I see a milk white arm hold up an animal’s leg and drip the blood into its mouth.

“Hey!” Toro screams. The figure turns around and its body extends to an incredible height. It’s arms and legs are gangly and bony. Nothing compared to the milk white arm I saw earlier. Its skin is grey and black veins run along the length of exposed skin. Blood was smeared all over its face.

“Oh?” It shrieks in a grotesque, grizzly tone. The being morphs and shrinks into something. Its bones crack and bounce around within skin. It morphs into a woman. I should clarify that she was radiantly beautiful. The white skin had returned, but it was glowing now. She had ruby red lips and the blood that once covered her face disappeared. She had curly, black hair that framed her soft face. A black cloak adorned her and the hood was drawn over her head. The small opening of the cloak revealed more of the milky flesh. I realized she was naked besides the cloak and a pair of black underwear.  I felt embarrassed for her and even thought about shielding my brother’s eyes, but I couldn’t move. The shock of what I was seeing kept me frozen still.

“I’m so sorry children. I did not mean to frighten you.” She spoke with such serenity. Her words carried softly. They echoed all around us. It’s hard to describe, but her voice felt comfortable. She motioned towards us and Dana cowered behind me. Toro did not move. He had a sour look on his face.

“My name is Telly,” She said. “Who are you, my sweets?”

“You’re a witch.” Toro claimed. Telly gasped and chuckled.

“How could you tell that my dear?” She said still chuckling. Her words still floated in every direction.

“It’s in my book. ‘Creatures of the Night Volume One.’” Toro said in a matter of fact way. Telly cocked an eyebrow and sighed.

“Creature of the night huh? Well it’s not as bad as hell spawn.” She chuckled a little and walked towards us. Toro crossed his arms and the sourness on his face accentuated.

“Tell you what,” She spoke. “I’ll give you a chance of luck if you keep this secret between us.”

“No,” Toro exclaimed.

“Toro,” I said. If Telly was a witch, I didn’t want to be on her bad side. “Let’s just take her offer and leave.”

“No,” Toro said again. “The book says that a witch will follow us to make sure we never reveal her secret, so I want her to restore the animal she killed back to life.

“You’re asking for a lot kid,” Telly said. Her tone turned to a one of annoyance. She leaned down and stared into his face. She even recreated Toro’s sour face almost exactly.

“You can do it can’t you? I don’t want your charms. I want you to restore life.” He said shoving his face into hers.

“Well how about I just kill you,” She said through clenched teeth. At the word kill, I grabbed Toro’s arm, but he shrugged it off.

“You can’t,” he said.

“And why not?” She retorted.

“You kill us and the police will search these woods. They’ll find your hut and expose you.” He said. She backed off and looked annoyed. She walked back to the carcass and snapped her fingers. The deer jumped up with life and ran away from the clearing.

“Well, there goes my dinner.” She said. She turned her head back towards us. “See you around Toro.”

With a blink she was gone. Toro turned around and started walking towards the house.

“Toro!” I screamed at him. “That was very dangerous. She’s dangerous.”

“She can’t do that to poor animals. I won’t let anyone harm living creatures.” He declared. Dana and Cleaver rallied around him and chanted his name. When we got back home, the sun fully set. We walked through the door just before Sal walked in.

“You guys stink,” He said pinching his nose. “Go wash up for dinner.”

We did as we were told. It seemed Sal had a rough day at work. I sat in the bath water, shivering at the thought of the ghastly figure we first encountered. I thought about the crooked teeth and lack of eyes. I was awoken from my stupor by the knocking of Dana on the bathroom door. I got dressed and exited the bathroom. Dana and Cleaver took baths together. I cringe at the thought, but let it go when thinking about their child like wonder. Toro seems mad about today. His sour expression has not left at all. He jabs his fork into the microwave dinner. The meatloaf splattered all over the decorative place mat.

“Quit picking at it and eat it.” Sal barked. Toro stuck his tongue out and bit off a piece of toast. That night I had a dream about Telly. I pictured her dancing in an old ball room surrounded by floating of candles. She gracefully stepped on her toes and smiled as she spun. She spun and spun knocking out the candles with the generated wind until it was pitch black. I woke up after that. Toro was standing over me with our weapons. He looked furious. He threw my sword on the bed and told me to get dressed.

“Why? What’s the matter?” I asked. He didn’t respond and left my room. I noticed his tightly clenched fists. I got dressed and met him in the kitchen with Dana and Cleaver. They were playing patty cake.

“Please tell me what’s going on Toro.” I begged him. He just stood there staring out of the back door. I followed his eyes to a horrifying sight. Two deer antlers were protruding out the wooden fence in the backyard. “HA HA HA” had been written on the fence in red. I assumed it was blood.

“I’m gonna kill her.” Toro muttered to himself. I grabbed him by the shoulders and stared into his eyes. Fire and rage stained his pupils.

“Please don’t Toro,” I sounded pathetic. You could compare my tone to the mewing of a dying cat. Toro shrugged my hands away from his shoulders

“Come or don’t. I don’t care.” He said as he stormed through the back door. Dana and Cleaver followed suit. They skipped with each other and hummed our song. I reluctantly chased after them. It was especially cold and hinted at snowing that day. Me and my youngest siblings were dressed appropriately, but Toro wore only a t-shirt and shorts. Toro walked ahead of all of us and I found myself having to jog from time to time to keep up with him. He walked as if he’d walked these woods hundreds of times; determined, but also very stubborn. After 20 minutes of walking through the dense growth, we happened upon the clearing. Toro walked to the middle as we stood at the edge.

“WITCH!” He screamed out. His voiced hitched and cracked as his words rung through the air. We waited, but only heard the sound of leaves rustling. Toro cried out again.

“WITCH! COME OUT!” A blink and Telly appeared behind Toro. I gasped and she poked his shoulder. He spun around and stumbled to the ground.

“You called?” She cooed. She looked the same as the night before. She was glowing less in the greying light, but everything else remained the same. She was still nude besides the cloak and black panties. Toro gathered himself and lunged at Telly with his sword. She vanished again. Toro spun around sporadically looking for her.

“Why did you do that, silly?” I heard from behind us. I gathered the younger ones in my arm and backed away from the voice. She smirked and walked toward my brother. He ran at her with his wooden sword. He swung with a loud scream. She put up her hand to block the attack. As the sword came into contact with her skin, it broke into a million splinters. She laughed and her voice carried throughout the woods. Toro did not stop his assault and continued on with a flurry of punches. The witch moved at lightning speed, dodging every punch. She vanished again when Toro tried to kick her. Her cackle appeared low and almost incoherent, but it started building. She sounded as if she was all around us. She manifested once again in the middle of the clearing.

“Anything new cutie,” she said winking. Toro rushed her again with his fists drawn. She sighed as she dodged more of his punches.

“This is getting boring.” She announced. She caught his next punch and kicked his legs out from under him, but before he fell down she caught him by the neck. She lifted him high in the air and his feet kicked in panic. He gasped and struggled in her grasp.

“No, no, no, no, no,” I said this quietly to myself. I pushed the kids heads into my legs. We all shook at the sight of our brother writhing and struggling for air. The witch laughed.

“You fought stupidly, dear and it looks like you show no sign of stopping this onslaught. I must show you the error of your ways.” She reached into her cloak and pulled out a ball soaked in a red liquid. “Here is your heart,” She smirked. The ball morphed and pulsated. The liquid thickened as it turned darker. It finished its transformation and beat rhythmically. Toro struggled for air more violently then before. He thrashed before finally ceasing. His skin turned a grim white and his whole body slouched in the witch’s hand. She threw his body across the clearing right in front of me. The children shrieked and ran to the lifeless body. The shook him, but he did not move. They got angry and pounded on his chest.

“Wake up!” They screamed in between sobs. Their fit ended as the lay across his body with tears streaming down their cheeks. I felt intense rage build up inside of me as I picked up my own weapon.

“He can’t be dead!” I shouted as I ran at her with my sword cocked. She dodged them as easily as before. A tear formed for each failed attempt at making contact with her. My efforts grew weaker as my will depleted. Telly knocked the sword out of my hands and I crumpled to my knees. I cried harder than I ever had before.

“Please give him back. This wasn’t supposed to happen.” I muttered out.

“Rules are rules sweetie. He initiated the fight and I ended it.” She said cowering over me. “I guess that book didn’t tell him how to kill me.”

“I’ll give you mine. Just take me heart.” I clutched at her cloak. “Please take me and give him back.”

“You would really give up your life for an impulsive, loud mouthed brat?” She leaned down and cupped my face in her hands. “You have so much potential to cure cancer or end wars. Would you throw all that away?”

I nodded. “He’s my brother. I love him.”

She looked at me with pity and disgust. “Fine than my dear.”

She pulled the lifeless heart out of her sleeve and squeezed it until her knuckles turned white. When she opened her hand, the ball had reappeared. I heard coughing and cries of joy behind me. I tried peeling myself from her grasp, but to no avail. She had me in a tight embrace and wasn’t letting go.

“I’m sorry child, but you are mine now. I must take your heart and you seeing your brother would only make it harder.” She said. She ran her fingers through my hair. I sighed a shaky breath and closed my eyes tight.

“I’m ready.” I said, hopefully with confidence. In that moment I thought about my family and my trip to England I would never get to encounter. She pulled my face up to hers. I waited for a while, but nothing happened. There was no pain and I thought I was already dead. I felt nothing until two lips pressed against my own. Even in the cold, the red hot blush burst through on my cheeks. I tasted something sweet. I tried comparing it to other sugary things, but nothing came to mind. Candy, cake, or pure sugar itself did not compare. It was a taste all on its own. As soon as I opened my eyes, the lips had vanished along with Telly. I was left kneeling in the middle of the clearing. I frantically searched the clearing and even called out the Witch by name. No trace of her was to be found. I made sure Toro was okay and we started walking back to our house. I made Toro climb on my back just to make sure. Our spirits were down until Toro started singing our song. When it came to the dragon part, Cleveland screamed it. The outburst made us laugh and we sang it again at full volume.

Toro never went back into the woods after that day. We all didn’t, except for me. I snuck out during some nights and escaped to the clearing. I sat there for an hour or so, calling out for Telly. On an especially white night, Telly left me something. The same red ball that morphed into the heart. It wasn’t wet with the liquid, but it was clear to me. Our parents returned from their trip the next morning and I had to wait a whole year to return to those woods. I never saw her in the woods again, but I saw her throughout the rest of my life. The corners of my eyes caught glimpses of her. Her black cloak blew past me when I took nightly runs. Curly black hair made my heart race with anticipation. I spent a large portion of my youth in a sex craze. I longed for the touch of another, but it was always unsatisfactory. I wanted Telly and no one ever amounted to her, men or women. I drew pictures of her and practiced until they were almost lifelike. My obsession was fueled in hope of one day meeting her again, but it was always unfulfilled. I only realize now what she stole from me. I thought that she didn’t steal my heart, but in fact she did. Not a physical one, but an emotional one. I feared the hermit life, but I knew no one could fill the gap Telly left me. I wish she would’ve killed me that day instead of this unbearable pain, but I love her.


© Copyright 2017 Voskie. All rights reserved.

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