Wars of the Night
BY: Genevieve Harris
I: The Forest
I knew the second I entered the forest that something was wrong.
No birds sang – nothing moved, nothing made a sound - I stopped walking and looked around uneasily, not understanding this strange feeling that something wasn't right. The forest seemed different, alien… wrong. It was unsettling. But, I told myself that I was crazy; nothing was wrong. The forest was the same as it has always been. I began walking again.
I had walked about a hundred feet, and suddenly, a twig cracked, breaking the silence, and I panicked. I spun around to run away and go back, but there was a problem: the forest behind me? Yeah… wasn't there anymore. What lay before me was a huge expansive lake. And, in my shock, I tripped over an exposed root by a tree that was there, lining the lake's bank, and fell on the edge of the muddy lake.
What was going on? Where was the forest? My mind was in chaos; it just could not process what it was seeing. I tried to tell myself that this wasn't real; that this was just a dream… an illusion; that when I fell, I hit my head, and this was just a hallucination.
But, the lake was still there.
Then, a voice called out of the forest that was still there, shaking me from my stupor.
"Hello? Is someone there?"
Once again, I panicked. What a coward I am.
I tried to scramble up and run away, but only succeeded in slipping in the mud and falling backwards into the lake.
"Oh my goodness! Are you alright?" cried the voice, getting louder as its owner rushed to the water's edge. I spat out water, and looked up into the beautiful face of a young woman with soft copper curls. I stared up into her concerned green eyes as she said,
"Here: let me help you up." And she extended her arm, holding out her hand. I took it and she helped me to my feet. I climbed out of the lake, carefully stepped over the mud, and onto dry and solid ground. I looked at the girl and she giggled.
"What's so funny?" I demanded.
"You," she laughed, "You just look so silly."
I looked down at myself: I was dripping wet with mud all over my clothes. I looked up and water-plant slid off my head and onto the ground.
"I guess I do," I said with a shrug and she giggled again.
"What's your name?" she asked.
"Why are you snickering?" I demanded once more.
"Your name; it sounds funny. I've never heard it before."
"And your name?" I asked.
A strange expression came over her face. But, she answered,
Then she looked at me - scrutinizing, and that was when I noticed what she was wearing.
"What's with your clothes?" we asked at the same time.
We both looked down at our attire. Under all the mud and wetness, I was wearing cargo pants and a plain dark blue t-shirt. She was wearing a white peasant-top blouse with a corset overtop, and with small silver-star embroidery on the seams, and a knee length ripple skirt which was light blue.
"This is normal clothing," I said. "What's with the Middle Age getup? You're way behind the times, Cecilia. This is the twenty-first century, not the fourteenth or whatever."
She looked at me like I was speaking pig-Latin.
"What's wrong with you? Is your mind addled? You're obviously the one who is behind the times," she spat at me before I could speak again.
"I have not lost track of time and no my mind's not addled." She glared at me, but I continued. "Where are you even from? Certainly not from Curity Point."
She looked at me now like I was crazy and had five heads.
"I am from the city of Jearmida, in the providence of Orche."
Then it hit me.
I was no longer in my hometown of Curity Point, Pennsylvania. I was somewhere… else.