Alright, this is just a little whimsical work I fabricated out of boredom, so heads up it might be a bit flighty-- read at your own risk. I might leave it as a 'one shot' / short story post or I might add on, it just depends. But if I do keep going it will most likely be more horror/suspense orientated. Sorry for spelling/ grammar mistakes.
The word could describe this place perfectly, she supposed. It was a dark, gloomy region most of the year, with a seemingly endless parade of rainclouds accompanied by an overenthusiastic band of lightening and thunder that was more than likely being paid a fortune in overtime. Add in the dark terrain that, though was abundant in greenery and any other sort of plant life, just seemed to droop and lean, making for an effect similar to that of landscape painting left out in the rain and most didn't care for making lengthy trips here.
Which was fine with her.
'To each their own' and all that jazz. As far as she was concerned the less tourists that were drawn here the less she'd have to hear her grandmother nag her ear away. 'Simmy, Why don't you play with little Jessica?' 'Simmy, did you hear the motel has some guests? Why don't you bring some fresh fruit up to Beth-anne and see if the newcomers want any?' 'Simmy why are you being quiet?' 'Simmy, it's rude not to greet them.'
Simmy this and Simmy that. There was only so much she could take, especially of that name. She scowled darkly, fingers trailing over the untamed grass she was sitting in. Her name was Simone- no 'Simmy' or 'Sim' or 'Mone'. Simply Simone. Why was it that everyone around the town understood that and her grandmother couldn't? Her slender fingers twisted several tendrils of the greenery viciously before ripping them out and tossing them into the murky water a few feet to the left of her.
"I can't wait to be free of her!" she declared dramatically. She rocked back and sprawled hazardously on the ground, one hand reaching for the water and the other tossed carelessly upon her stomach. Above her the cloud roiled and rumbled but from a lifetime of living here she could estimate it would be a while longer before they opened a furious downpour upon the land. A time period she planned on squeezing every second from. She closed her eyes and breathed out deeply, attempting to grasp hold of the surrounding calm of nature.
The gentle hush of the river flowed over her and she just let it, reveling in the serenity it brought. The wind soon joined the song, as did the few birds that braved the forest around these parts. She felt numb almost, as if she was detached from her body. All she was, was a part of nature. She breathed and she felt the earth move with her, each heartbeat seemed to sound in time with the water bubbling over rocks in the shallows. She was just drifting... So calm... so peaceful.
Thunder sounded in the distance and the feeling vanished leaving her as she was, a girl lying prone across an expanse of cool dewy grass.
With a soft groan she pushed her mind back into gear.
Just another year, one more lengthy, drawn out year of the bitter old crone and she would be free to move out on her own. Her fingers drummed lightly. Where to move though? She tended to like the climate and flora here so moving away from the community held no interest for her. She glanced around pensively. Perhaps she'd build a place out here, away from all of the nuisances that came with living in a small town of any kind. She'd get a plot near the water- though not too close as she wasn't stupid enough to disregard the seasonal floods and the landslides- and build a small cottage. Nothing big really. Three rooms would be enough, a bedroom, a bathroom and a larger room where she'd split to make a kitchen and a living room.
A feint smile teased her lips.
The paint would be a soft brown, she decided. At least on the outside. On the inside the walls be a subtle red that, if one didn't look hard enough, would never be discovered passed the overall brown tint it would carry. A secret within a secret cottage within a secret part of the woods. She liked the idea of that. No one would be able to bother her unless she showed them where it was and she doubted she would extend that privilege to anyone.
She wasn't like those other girls of eighteen and nineteen who liked to perch on stools at the breakfast bar at Lorie's to whisper and giggle among themselves like no one could hear them. They'd flash flirtatious glances at the road workers and flaunt their belly shirts as if they were a badge of honor of some kind-- a right of passage, as it were, into 'womanhood'.
Simone snorted in a very unladylike fashion.
She much rather preferred to go trekking around this forest then run a competition of who could garner the most provocative looks in a day.
A loud rustling echoed through the area and she stilled. Her left arm drew slowly back to her side.
It was most likely a lizard. They were common around here, one of the many other reasons the other girls of the town preferred not to venture out into these parts.
The rustle happened again and she nervously licked her lips.
'Nothing to be worried about,' she thought to herself, trying her hand at calming the sudden two step her heart had begun.
It was a silly reaction. A reaction that most tourists would have and having wandered these banks as a toddler she should've known better. Known not to flinch at every nonsensical whisper that reached her ears. Normally she would've gone searching for the noise-maker, curious to see if it was a creature she'd seen before but... something was making the hairs at her neck stand on end. Something was making the edges of fear scrape her belly.
The rustle happened again, louder this time. Almost as if it had moved closer.
Her pupils dilated, the lavender of her iris being quickly swallowed up by the black. This was all wrong. Her eardrums were ringing, her sinuses stinging with the now pungent scent of grass. Everything was too much for her to take in as the icy waves of terror began to lap at her. She was being hunted, stalked. Her instincts were screaming at her to heave herself up and hurl herself into the tree line. Heights she needed height. She needed to be high up in a tree and far away from the river---
A sharp cry choked from her throat and she grabbed grabbed hold of her head in agony. Her palm pressed into her right eye firmly, increasing the pressure as if that alone would take away the plethora of insanity running rampant throughout her mind.
Why was she even thinking such things?
She didn't know what was there, hadn't seen anything with her eyes. For all she knew it was a lizard! For gods' sake it was most likely a lizard, a small, tiny one that would scurry over her form while she lay there dead from a panic attack her stupid mind was forcing her into.
"Pull it together, Simone!" she hissed. Even that proved to be to loud an she hissed.
The rustle came, this one sounding just a few feet away, but before it even carried to her completely she whipped around with a furious cry and came face to face with an empty clearing. Her lungs collapsed and her tensed muscles went limp. It was just her imagination. Her head dropped down in relief and a slightly hysterical giggle bubbled from her.
"I was half expecting some sort of creature to be there." she confessed to the air. Her fingers flexed in the grass where she had planted them between her knees when she had jumped into action. She didn't think she had ever moved so quick in her life One moment laying on her back and the next kneeling in the opposite direction; her P.E. teacher would've been begging her to join some sort of sport if he had been there to witness it. More laughter forced its way from her, her lungs struggling with the sudden use. 'That just goes to show how pathetic our town really is,' she mused between wheezes. 'Even our two sports teams are bottom of the barrel.'
A shiver shook through her and she laughed again. This time her voice sounded at least a bit less insane so that was good. But for her to react like this... she shuddered. Perhaps it was time to head back after=all. It was chilly and the she was indulging in a manner of crazy disillusion so it would be a fifty fifty chance if she actually found her way back to the house, not taking into account the soon-to-arrive storm hovering above her.
She raised an arm to push the fall of platinum from her face and froze. One last breath sawed out of her. The feeling was back. From her peripheral vision she could see her arm tremble and she fought to stay still even as her heart began the swift staccato beat it had danced to minutes before.
Was that... breath she could feel on the back of her neck?
A guttural growl rumbled from somewhere behind her, the noise pushing a blast of cold air against her flesh.
'Flee!' her instincts were roaring. She wanted to, she truly did. This time, she was completely in agreement with her baser thoughts but it made no difference. Her muscles were pulled tight, her joints locked. There was no possible way she could move let alone run. She was scared stiff, not knowing what to do as horrifying scenarios cruelly caressed the outer reaches of her mind.
A clicking began and the air shifted. Her eyes squeezed shut, hands clenching into fists.
'This is it,' she thought. 'Killed and eaten.' For she had no doubt that it was an animal that had cornered her, no human could make noises like that.
But it was not the snap of her spine she heard next, but the familiar rambunctious clambering of thunder. The sky open up. And it poured.
Nothing happened as she stared out towards the treeline, rainwater streaming down her face and soaking her clothes. She waited for the noises and there was none to be heard. She waited for pain and she felt none. She waited for death and their was no sign of his billowing cobweb cloak swimming in and out of existence.
She was alive.
With a sharp in hail, she whipped around searching for her assailant, her eyelids peeled wide against the downpour as if that would help to see it. But it was no matter. The river bank was empty save for her, and as she sat there, feeling the rain pitter-patter against her skin she realized it no longer felt like a welcoming home.
She no longer wanted the secret cottage within the secret clearing painted with secret holding paint.
Maybe it was because of what had happened; a feeling similar to shock that would soon wear off once she gathered her wits about her.
Whatever it was, it was time to head back.