The Trees Behind Our House

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy


An outsiders view on their world and the parallel universe that lingers just beyond the trees.

Submitted: September 04, 2018

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Submitted: September 04, 2018

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Trees are said to hold many secrets. These secrets could be ancient, or fresh like frost on a new beginning. The trees behind our house are compacted together to create that of a forest; this forest holds secrets. Secrets even we cannot understand. Secrets that can be heard, that can be smelt, and even touched if your heart can stand the shock. Metamorphic creatures roam the edges of the night. Roaming to see if any flesh is foolish enough to venture too close to their world. The edge represents a mirror to a world where the soul's darkest desires are fulfilled. For some it is a release of ecstasy. It can open many chasms; light or dark, your soul will decide. Unless fear eats your soul before you find out the truth.

 

The lucidity of your skin bewilders me. It's said that your first impressions are never wrong. But on you, little one, I was wrong. Your skin resembles untouched snow, that of a virgin whom in a time is most vulnerable; and your eyes, eyes of blue flame, beautiful yet will burn those who get too close. The evidence of your presence is that of your footprint; clear as daylight, in the soft earth entering the forest beyond our house. The soft soil moulds around your feathered toes, persuading you not to leave. The forest, dear one is not for child play. Your rounded features will be damned the moment your foot crosses the threshold. For why do you venture so close to the parallel world? They, whatever they are, will sense your arrival before you can even imagine what 'they' are.

 

The wind dies, and you are left with the only sound of your heartbeat - unusually steady for the journey you are about to take. The creatures of the forest are aware of your abnormal closeness to the forest's edge. The edge of their world where they are the powerful, and we are the weak. Is your soul strong enough to withstand the heart stopping shock you're about to experience? I wonder. You make the decision to step over the threshold. You are in their world now, the parallel world you've left behind cannot help you now. You are but alone with your own thoughts, and the invisible eyes of the forest.

 

In our world, the sun is setting, making the invisible line between the two worlds blur, creating a weak spot for the damned creatures of the night to prey on the souls they so desire for their own. This cannot be prevented and those with souls remaining must suffer the endless terrors of the ebony that lingers. The blood curdling screams of those foolish enough to venture out after curfew rip through the night, cutting deep into my heart. Yet you are unmoved by the on going events and carry on, through the darkened forest and towards Ara, the centre of the forest: the heart of both our worlds. Your journey must have purpose, won't you tell me? A feeling inside me grows, growing to the thought that your journey is only one way. If redemption is what you seek, seek it elsewhere.

 

You move further away from the carnage you've left behind. Are you not phased by your people being massacred behind you? I'm not entirely convinced you know what you're doing. An innocent girl, bare foot, travelling alone to the most dangerous place of our two worlds. Foolish child, do you have no knowledge? As the screams get louder, your pace quickens, out of synch with your heart beat. your pace is fast, your heart is calm. There is something in your pocket, sticking out and flapping in the artificial breeze of your speed. “…until we meet again”. These words flag up a warning to me. you’re clearly meeting someone, someone you have met before. is this not your first time crossing the threshold to the unknown world? The feeling inside me tells me that this person, this thing you are meeting is soulless. soulless as the lycanthrope that roam these forsaken trees. if you’re not careful, whatever you’re meeting will tear your heart from its strings before you can draw breath from your sweet lungs.

 

I may be overreacting, maybe I’m jealous of your curiosity. Jealous of your bravery and courage to seek the unknown, and visit those whom are damned. its occurred to me that some of these soulless creatures could be saved. Saved by the painted men, who bleed them of their sins, and let them spend the rest of their days an empty caucus, waiting to die. however, a part of me thinks that these poor creatures should not be and don’t want to be saved. Why strip your freedom and strength for the captivity of one's own thoughts and malicious deeds?

 

I’ve decided to follow you, moulding my own footprint to fit yours so i don’t stray from the path. It’s so eerie here, i can hear the blood pumping in my heart and pounding in my ears. i see white mist directly in front. Alas it’s my own breath, white as the transparent skin of nocturnal creatures. Their sad yellow eyes follow me, fixated on the back of my neck, making my hairs stand on end in fear, or anticipation - i can’t quite decide which. Your blood red cape flaps in the wind, guiding me from a distances as not to startle you. i only wish i could hold your hand, and have your sweet voice giving me courage. But i must venture on, you’ve always been there for me, and now it’s my chance to pay the debt.

 

Briefly, you disappear from my sight. My blood runs icy cold, and i feel the trees slowly moving to swallow me up, as if the only reason I’ve survived so long is because of the invisible thread that binds me to you. Fingers crawl up my back, i freeze, not daring to breath, not daring to move. But it’s only you. Your perfectly rounded face, so close to mine i can see the scar below your left eye,white as the gleaming set of teeth that haunt our steps. Your eyes, blue as the bluest skies on a spring morning, whisper unspoken thoughts; as if your words aren’t safe this far away from the safe, the tranquility of our houses behind. You begin to walk again, you don’t mutter a word, but leave your hand extended, an invitation i cannot refuse. Your straw coloured hair tickles my hand; my, how your hair has grown, tied back in a poppy red ribbon to keep it safe from the myth of fairies using it to hang their traitors.

 

We approach an arch way of elder oak trees; thickened twigs entwine together to create a breath-taking entrance to their sacred home. I look down the path, a trail of forgotten secrets and devilish plans, yet there was a sense of comfort from the enclosed trees; i believe they will keep us safe. As we cross the threshold, i can feel unspoken words between us. Are you angry? what’s on your mind? I’m desperate to know. A voice in my head told me to remove my shoes and leave them by the entrance; clearly you had the same message, yet your feet are already bare. My bare feet made no sound on the paved stones that lay ahead, the stones appeared rough and ill maintained, yet the soft cool touch that touched the sole of my foot was very unexpected and i yelped in surprise. You face reveals blatant annoyance at my reaction, yet you say nothing.

 

We approach the end of the tree line and the world opens up around us. To the left and right of us, the ebony within the trees still lurk, watching our every move, tense to see what our next decision will be. I hear the sound of water, i look ahead and see the white foamed tips of lapping waves in the distance. You begin to walk towards the water, leaving the darkness behind. Having never venture into the trees behind our house, i’m astounded to witness such beauty within such a dark and forbidding place. Is this Ara? Is this the heart of our two worlds? I look behind me, but the opening has now vanished; either an illusion or the trees have blocked our exit. Having left my shoes back at the entrance of the arched elder oak trees, my feet leave the cold stones of the path, and sink into the lush dewy grass. The feeling is soothing and a comfort compared to the path behind. I look up and see you standing a few feet away from me; standing in an impatient posture; my cue to follow you. As i approach, you fall in beside me, matching my rhythm and stride.

 

As we get closer to the water, i see that it is vast, spanning miles in every direction. I begin to smell something, a sort of salty aroma. It seems to strengthen as we get even closer to the water. You walk ahead of me as my senses are overwhelmed, you are either uninterested, or this is nothing new to you. As i continue behind you, the terrain changes again, and my feet experience a new sensation; sand you say? I’ve never experienced it. I try not to get too overwhelmed by it, as I can sense your impatience once more. I walk towards the water, and let the water glide over my feet and then retreat again. A soothing feeling, surprisingly calming my heart rate. I cup the water and bring it to my lips, I hadn’t noticed how thirsty I was. I instantly regret this decision. The water is shockingly salty, which now I understand is what emitted the salty aroma. I am now thirstier than before.

 

I begin to watch you, you seem to be looking for something along the shoreline, your fingers so delicately brushing the surface of the cliffs. I approach you to help, yet you signal me to stay. It seems hours before you move again. You begin to reach into the side of the cliff, and then disappear from my sight. I panic. The time it takes me to reach the place you disappeared seems to take too long, yet I do reach it in time to notice the strange sensation of suction coming from a crack in the cliff side. I place my hand over it and darkness engulfs my entire body. I try to scream, yet no sound escapes my lips. I emerge the other side of the crack, confused by what had just happened. As I regain my balance, a spiral stone staircase is illuminated by blue fire torches, which seem to be hovering in the air, beckoning me to descend. The air is thick here, from the illumination of the fires, i see the walls are wet, as if sweating with anticipation to see me become devoured by the horrors below. The steps are wet with moisture, I carefully make my way down. The staircase tightly spirals vertically downwards, and with nothing to hold onto, I tread with caution. I reach the bottom to find a long narrow corridor awaiting me. as I tread from the wet stone steps, I find the floor to be sand; wet sand. Ahead, I see your outline, illuminated by a blue flame hovering over your right shoulder. I begin to walk towards you, yet find the wet sand to have a hold of my feet. The more I move, the more it takes advantage and pulls me further down. I look back, and witness one of the blue fire torches glide towards me, and hover over my right shoulder; my body is mine once more. I pull myself up and begin again to follow you, you're so far away now, I fear you are an illusion and that this is one of the horrors of this abyss. Pulling away from this idea, I begin to notice my surrounding. The walls and ceiling of this corridor are water; rippling and moving as if this corridor was an illusion, and not disrupting the nature of the water. With the blue flame at my shoulder, I am able to see through the walls and into the watery world. I place my hand against the wall, to find I am able to push my hand into this parallel world and to experience both worlds simultaneously; what a curious feeling. A feeling that I have somehow felt before, yet not know how. I pull my hand out in fright, and then it hits me.





 


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