I'm Not Her
I'm really starting to hate my best friend right now. Completely lost in one of North America's largest forests- which is filled with wolves, bears, and other undesirables- with an hour til dark... You'd be hating your best friend too.
Lost. Fucking LOST! Angrily I kicked my foot across the ground, stirring up leaves and dirt. Fucking Jason and his fucking naturalist side.
I know it might seem unfair for me to blame Jason for getting myself lost, but I wouldn't even be here if he and the guys hadn't literally dragged me out here.
When Jason, Micheal, and Mitch had suggested taking a camping trip in the North American wilds, I had flat out refused. I didn't trust those idiots to keep themselves from drowning in a puddle. They wanted to spend a week in bear, and wolf infested tree-hugger country!
While I'm at it I might as well blame my sister too. She was the one who had packed all my things and made it easier for them to 'kidnap' me.
"You need to get out more, Ryan. This trip might be just what you need to refresh that gloomy spirit of yours!"she had called out as Jason drove away, me tied up in the back seat. I mean, what was wrong with that woman? She was older by three years and didn't trust the twins, or Jason anymore than I did! What was she thinking? She should have more sense than that.
Now here I was, lost in the biggest fucking orchard I had ever even heard of. I hope their all happy when the search party finds nothing but a pathetic pile of mauled bones!
When we finally arrived at the campsite (after driving for 5hours!), I had been furious. Micheal had proven his idiocy by anteing me immediately. While they had run screaming in different directions, I had been busy getting myself lost... Although I don't know why three six foot-something guys had run from one five foot ten.
I stalked forward angrily, trying to retrace my steps. Somehow I had the feeling I wasn't doing a very good job. Whatever. There had to be an end to this place somewhere. With my current luck it would end over a cliff.
As I kept walking, I noticed that the trees were starting to change. They became bigger, taller, more ominous looking. The air started smelling musty and old. The light was fading quickly and the forest was coming alive with creepy sounds.
I haunched my shoulders, pulling my jacket closer around me. For some reason the air around me seemed to thicken, my movements to slow. I staggered as bursts of light erupted behind my eyes. The world tilted crazily around me as I fell.
I leaned closer to the ground, my arm wrapped around my aching stomach, and tried not to collapse. I shoved my nausea away and stood straighter, swaying slightly. Colors still flashed painfully bright across my vision and it was incredibly hard to focus my eyes. What the hell had happened?
I staggered forward a few steps and glanced around. "W-wha...?" Sunlight filtered through the massive canopy of leaves, too bright for a sun that was supposed to be setting.
The trees that were just slightly bigger than normal a few moments ago were now enormous. Massive trees spreading in all directions, most so tall I could barely see the top of them. There was a lot less ground cover as well. Nothing but leaves and a few rotting branches.
I moaned quietly and brought a hand to my head, rubbing my temple. That was one hell of a trip.
God, what the hell just happened? I asked myself, looking around at the enormous trees. Where the hell am I? It was pretty obvious I wasn't in the same place as before.
I cocked my head sideways, listening. What the hell was that? There was a heavy, rhythmic thumping sound moving toward me... fast.
Suddenly I had a flashback to a horror film I had seen when I was young. The main character just stands there listening to the noises until it's too late, then ends up losing an arm or getting his throat cut. I could almost hear the orchestra and the loud mouths screaming at me to run.
I started to panic, breaking into a stumbling run. I didn't get far before I tripped and fell. Rolling on to my back, I turned to face the direction the sound was coming from. Moving through the trees at a surprisingly fast pace, were three massive horses, their riders glinting slightly in the sunlight.
It was only when they got closer that I noticed the gleaming was coming form reflective metal plates on their chests. Armor. They're wearing fucking armor. When they were almost on top of me is when I saw the sword the head rider was holding, a sword he was swinging right at me.
I can't believe I just stood there. All I could do was watch in horrified fascination as that gleaming arch of metal came toward me.
"Move, you idiot!"
I heard the warning but I couldn't do as it commanded, couldn't move.
Turned out I didn't have to. Something- or rather, someone- hit me like a fucking train from the side. Me and whoever it was hit the ground hard, rolling a few feet before stopping. I lay there slightly dazed and watched as the other guy stood quickly, pulling something that looked like a bow from under his dusty brown... cloak.
It wasn't until someone started screaming bloody murder that I actually sat up. The first guy had already gone past us, so I glanced at the ones behind him. One of the horse-men was clutching at his neck. Oh my g... The guy had a friggin' arrow in his throat!
I watched as he fell from his horse in slow motion, hitting the ground hard and just lying there. Watched as the horse behind ran him over.
I looked back to the guy who had shot him. His arm was drawn back and the bowstring was still moving. The other horse was now riderless.
A flash of dull silver to the left of me was the only warning I had before there was another sword swinging toward me. Rather the same one as before. I didn't stop to think, just dove forward. Behind me there was a dull metallic thud as the sword hit the tree roots I had just been leaning against.
Jerking around, I saw the first guy- would you call him a soldier?- trying to pry his sword out of the wood. It didn't take him long before he started swinging at me again. I tripped, sprawling on my back. My eyes never leaving the man as he stood over me, smirking.
I couldn't help thinking: Oh God, this is so not happening! But I had that stupid little voice in the back of my head telling me that yes, it was happening so I had better get my ass up and do something.
There was this high pitched whistling sound and the guy staggered backward an arrow jutting from his left arm. He didn't scream, didn't make a sound. He turned and ran.
The guy still holding the bow him let go. He looked over at me and rolled his eyes, then stalked over to stand in front of me.
"Well, girl, what are you doing here?" he asked, carefully sliding the bow behind his back and under the cloak.
I just stared at him. I don't think I've ever been so outraged in my life.
"Girl? I'm not a fucking girl!"
He stepped closer to me and squinted. "Hm. I don't know..." He crouched down in front of me, his dark eyes glinting with mischief, and did something I totally didn't expect. He grabbed me between the legs. "I guess you're not." For some reason he sounded slightly surprised.
"Wha... I... You... YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!" He was still crouched in front of me, so I took the liberty of kicking him in the chest, finally removing his hand.
He let out an 'Oof' sound and fell backward hard on his ass. He groaned, rubbing the spot where I kicked him. "Son of a..." Glaring at me, he managed to his feet, hands crossed protectively over his chest.
We stayed that way for a few minutes, just glaring at each other. My face felt like it was on fire. Finally he sighed and rubbed his forehead as if to say 'I'm to old to be putting up with this.' "Sorry," he mumbled, "It's just that the only people with eyes like yours are women."
I felt my forehead wrinkle in confusion. "What do you mean, 'eyes like mine'? What's wrong with 'em?" I was starting to get angry. First the guy grabs my crotch, then says he doesn't like my eyes? Asshole.
He looks at me like I'm stupid. "I didn't say there was anything wrong with them. I only meant I've never heard of a man with eyes like that. Because you know, only the women with power have those eyes, and, yeah, it was only natural I assumed... so yeah."
I didn't understand a single word he said, so, "What's wrong with my eyes?"
He gave a defeated sigh and turned away from me. "Ya know what? Forget it. I can't believe someone would be so stupid as to not know what I'm talking about," he muttered, but I still heard it.
Angry words died on my tongue as I heard the low rumbling sound again. Arrow-boy - I didn't know his name - cocked his head to the side listening. "We need to leave. Now."
He took off, sprinting to the nearest horse and swinging astride it. I didn't ask questions as I made my way to the other horse, fear just beginning to show it's ugly head. The ground was now vibrating with the sound of the low rhythmic thumping. God, that was a lot of horses.
I grabbed the horses reins from where they were drooping on the ground. Carefully I placed my foot into the stirrup and swung my leg over. A.B. spurred his horse into a gallop and shot off through the trees. I touched my heels to the horse's sides, following close behind him.
The horses flew over the uneven ground, stumbling through the deep leaves, and proturding root. It's was incredibly hard to stay in the saddle and all I could think was, Thank God Abby made me take that summer riding course with her.