I was sitting on my back porch drawing the lake, waiting for dinner. My twin brother, Razor, was cooking. He always cooks. I’m not good with anything food or food related. I burn toast and those Stouffer’s dinners you get in the frozen food section. So, Razor cooks. And he’s damn good at it. He can make authentic Chinese, French, Italian, and American food. Maybe more.
The lake looked exceptionally pretty on this late September afternoon. So, I decided to draw yet another picture of it. My room is filled with pictures of the lake, Razor, and random people. It’s also filled with the stuff my parents got for Razor and mine’s birthday, which was just a few days ago.
My parents barley visit anymore. Five years ago, they decided to retire and move to Florida leaving Razor and I to fend for our ten-year-old lives. I don’t mind living with just my brother, but it sometimes gets lonely. Our parents only visit four times a year: Christmas, our birthdays, and their birthdays. Which I guess isn’t that bad.
I looked up and saw something immerge from the woods behind the lake. It was a person, a girl to be exact. She looked about my age maybe a bit younger. I put the colored pencil set I got for my birthday and the clipboard that holds the paper on the chair I was sitting on and got up.
I walked slowly over toward the woods, hoping that my Converse would be silent on the semi-wet grass. A bunny near the lake saw me and stood still. I got on my stomach and started to alligator crawl in the tall grass around the lake. The bunny shifted and hopped off.
The girl in the woods hadn’t moved. She was checking out my small, white, three-story house. I don’t think she saw me yet. I kept alligator crawling till I was seven feet away from her.
Now, I could see her clearly. She had shoulder-length, shaggy, blonde hair with red highlights. She had on a white oxford shirt with a black vest that stopped above her hips, red skinny jeans, black high-top Converse like the ones I had on, and fish-net arm-warmers. Her eyes were a lavender color and she had spider bites on one side of her lip.
I shifted in the grass to itch my nose, when she saw me. She looked down at me and glared at my bright green eyes with such intensity it made me shudder and made the tattoo of the Chinese word Water on my arm tingle. I jumped up and glared right back at her, knowing my eyes could be that intense. She gave me a once over, then turned and ran into the woods.
“Wait!” I called after her and started running into the woods. I could run fast but she ran a bit faster. My red-black ponytail hit my elbows as I ran. I dodged trees and jumped over logs, yet I was no closer to seeing who this girl was.
I decided to stop since I was getting nowhere but farther and farther away from my house. The girl kept running even after I stopped. I watched her go till she was just a black dot in the green woods.
“Bruise?” I heard my brother call my name. “Bruise, where are you?”
I sighed, looking at the spot where the mysterious girl disappeared.
“I’m in the woods. I’ll be right there,” I called back. I took one last look and turned around.
I walked slowly back to my house, listening to every sound. A bird chirping, a squirrel dropping a but on the woods floor, a wolf howling somewhere in the mountains behind the woods. But no sound of footsteps on the foliage.
The sound of my footsteps on the porch steps echoed in my brain. I grabbed my art supplies from the chair and went inside, the smell of the roast and potatoes in the oven making my mouth water.
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