Chapter 1: Chapter 1

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

Reads: 253

Olivia laid on the grass in front of her grandparents' home. Her mother, Eleodora, wanted her to know her grandparents better, so her parents agreed to let her stay for the summer. Eleodora’s parents lived in the middle of nowhere. The closed town is an hour away. Their two-story stone house is surrounded by a thick forest. A forest that is infamous for lost children. They said that a demon lives there. He lures children during the night and plays terrible games before eating them, but that's just a tall tale meant to scare children. It wasn’t going to deter Olivia from stargazing. 

It was her sole reason for agreeing to stay with strangers who are only connected by blood. The night country sky is better than the light polluted city. There is nothing wrong with living in an urban area with its glamorous lights and skyscrapers. Her father, Henry, would let her look through the telescope at his work, but that wasn’t enough. Olivia was hungry for more. She wanted to see what the sky is really worth with her own two eyes. She wants to be able to find the constellations herself, to prove that she is ready to do things on her own. One step at a time.

She has everything ready for her journey: a telescope, which is only good for seeing the moon, a flashlight with red plastic to help with reading at night, bug spray, a large blanket to lay on, a sketchbook, and a pencil to draw out the constellations, and her book to navigate. Without the book, she was unsure if she would be able to find them. Her father was always there to guide her, but now she is alone with only the book her father gave her. It was her treasure and her responsibility to take care of it. Another task she must prove not only herself but for the adults around her.

She asked her grandparents constantly about staying late to stargaze, each time refusing until today. Three days for them to agree. They gave her until ten. Her grandfather gave her his bronze pocket watch. They trusted her to come in at this time and she was determined to follow it. The old couple would remind her to stay out of the forest no matter what. The forest is cursed that even airplanes avoid flying over it. This town and its people believed in the strangest things. 

Olivia and Swift laid down together during sunset. The dog had been attached to her when she arrived. Olivia always wanted a dog, especially a cute one like her with her curly coat and floppy ears. Her parents would never let her have one in their apartment. 

Winter is Olivia’s favorite season. Not only does she like the cold weather, but she’s also familiar with most of its constellations. If she had to be in the country, she wished it was winter. Summer weather changes too quickly, hot during the day and cold at night. Olivia wore a light brown jacket for the occasion. 

The bugs are also a terror to deal with. They invade in drones, swaying and attacking anything they see. They are even worse at night, attracted by the smallest amount of light. Olivia hated them because of that. How dare they invade the beautiful night.

She skimmed through her book, using the flashlight with the red plastic to see. Eyes have to adjust to the dark to observe the stars; the white light would ruin it.  Olivia studied it and drew the stars' locations as practice. When darkness came, she was able to find a few. 

First, she found the teapot by finding Vega and the harp. Then she found the swan and the eagle. It took her a while to find Libra and Scorpius, the zodiac signs of her parents, and later on Sagittarius, hers. 

She looked at the pocket watch. It was almost time to go inside.  Swift was already by the door when its owner called for them. Olivia was folding the blanket when the lighting bugs rose from the ground. She never saw creatures like these, who mimic the stars. They fascinate her. She set her things down and watched as they moved in odd directions. Some would lazily drift like specks of dust and some would move zig-zags. When they get close enough for her to see beyond their illuminated appearances, Olivia would see nothing inside. They were empty. No bugs inside that made the glow. They are floating balls of gas, masters of imitations. 

 Olivia watched them float around her, making the ground and sky glow gold. Soon silver lights arrived when a rabbit with golden eyes appeared.  It was black like Olivia’s hair and huge as a small dog. It stared at her as if it was judging her. Olivia tried to pet it, imagining how fluffy its fur is, but it moved away from her hand. She didn’t even notice that it had moved. It shifted as Olivia raised her hand again. The animal’s movements are leaves to the wind. Olivia eventually stopped and looked into its hypnotic eyes. 

The rabbit seemed pleased as it proceeded to circle the young girl. The silver lights follow along, creating a vortex.  It made Olivia dizzy and she fell on the grass with a thud.

When the lights stopped moving, the rabbit appeared in front of her with a book in its mouth. She didn’t even realize it until it hopped closer to her. Olivia jumped up, scaring the rabbit. She didn’t even know that a rabbit could carry such a massive book. Olivia wondered if the book was alright, wedged between its large teeth. She quickly calmed herself down and lowered herself to the rabbit's height. The rabbit stared at her, reading the girl's mind.

Olivia made a mistake and held out her hand towards it. Animals are frightened by the smallest things, and the rabbit reacted just like any other prey would do.

It ran.

The wisps followed its master and Olivia did the same. Without even thinking and without even seeing, the girl followed it. Running towards the forbidden forest where the demon lives.



Submitted: July 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 C.L.G. All rights reserved.


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