Chapter 1 - Awakened
A cold drizzle trickled onto my skin, causing my body to shiver. The wind brushed the trees, and my hair, in a rhytmic manner. Fall leaves swirled around the edges of my skirt. My eyes widened, as the fog thickened. It was dark outside and the temperature was dropping. I wasn't sure how I had ended up in this strange place, but I knew I was there. Familiarity crept up my spine and my memory straied to recognize any part of this area. Curious, I spun around in a circle to try and get a good look at my surroundings. I heard a sound float through the air, seemingly close by. My eyes spotted nothing.
I strode a few paces down a path that spread wide in front of me. My breath, heavy and damp, followed my direction. My arms ached. I wondered just exactly how long I had been here, standing in this clearing. As I walked farther down the trail, the air smelled of pine. To each side of me stand piney trees and other evergreen trees, whose green pricks seemed to lunge and reach for me. Crickets chirped in the distance. The moon was becoming visible and I could see its silhouette glimmer on a perfectly round puddle. Walking out of the piney area, I spotted movement out of the corner of my eye. I shuddered and stumbled back, hitting my back against a tree. I felt something scrape my back. Something trickled down to my ankle. Looking downward, I discovered blood down my leg. I must've cut my back, I decided.
Once again, I heard a noise carried on the distance. It was almost a cry. Fright ened, I started back down the path. The rain had begun to turn into a moderate snow, brushing my cheeks and tickling my tongue. Surprisingly, the temperature didn't seem to change. In fact, the breeze calmed down a bit. A while down, I spotted a squirrel leaning against a tree. It gave a small cry, seeing as a stick was lodged into its leg. Nearing it, I became cautious. Who knew what it was capable of while so irritated. When I got closet to it, I gently held onto it's leg. It didn't seem to mind, just continued its crying. I held the tip of the stick lightly in my hand and decided to pull it out. The squirrel moaned in pain and its foot gushed with blood, spattering my clothes and the tree trunk. I had a weird feeling, so I turned around and continued my way.
First off, I wasn't sure where I was going. It was as if the breeze, though light, carried me like a feather. My nose turned up as a putrid smell wafter through the air. Looking to my right, I discovered a deer carcass hung up on a tree brank. The guts hung out of its stomach like putty. I cringed and started to run down the path, swarms of gnats following my strands of hair.
"Is anyone there?" I called out loud. "Hello? Someone please answer!"
Eventually, I came to another piney area, except beyond this one the fog lifted. Among the snow-covered ground was little girl, dressed in a white dress. She had long, white hair and held a doll in her hand, its hand scraping the ground. She looked at me, a blank expression worn on her face.
"Hello," I called out to her, walking closer. I was relieved that I wasn't entirely alone. "Are you lost? Where are we?"
"He's coming," she stammered, her body beginning to wobble. "It won't be long."
"Who's coming sweetie?" I asked her, turning her to face me. Her doll fell in the blanket of snow. "Who is he?"
"The man," she mumbled, staring at me with her grayish eyes. The wind picked up once again, her dress swirling up and down continuously. "The man playing the-" Suddenly, I heard a sound. It was similar to that of a flute, almost like a pipe. I looked down at the girl to discover her nose was bleeding. The blood dripped down onto the snow, painting it with fear. It soon dripped all over her doll's face, until the doll's nose matched hers.
"Sweetie, what's happening?"
"We need to leave," the little girl told me. "Now!"
"Why?" I asked, grabbing her arm. "Please help me understand."
"I can't explain," she said. "Just follow me. The girl led me back the way I had come, darting in and out of trees. We picked up our pace and I tripped and fell in a puddle of mud. My breath picked up, but I still lay there helpless. I felt as though my heart was lodged into my throat. I began to cough, but I got up and limped as best I could."
We're almost there," the little girl said. "Just stay close." We came to a dead end, in front of a cave. The pipe sounded louder than ever, echoing into my ears. I saw a figure emerge from the
cave entrance, but it stopped at a certain point and hid in the shadows.
"Who's there?" I turned to the girl. "Is that him?" The girl stood there, her back to me. She didn't even answer when I addressed her again. I reached my hand to tap her back, but she reached hers back and grabbed my arm. She tightened her grip and began twisting it.
"Honey, let go please," I asked of her. "Ow, that hurts!" She spun around and revealed her face. It was now covered in blood and her eyes were rolled back inside of her head. The man stepped back further into the cave and I was face to face with the seemingly innocent little girl.
"Don't trust everyone you meet in the woods," the girl said. "Red riding hood." She cackled and continued to put strain on my arm.
"Stop!" I yelled, as her grip tightened. "Please stop it!"
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