She could only stare.
The sword glinted in the light of the setting sun, glowing a violent shade of red like a sunset after a terrible battle. The dull sound of a body, large and heavy with muscle, hitting the ground reverberated throughout the clearing. Lively green grass waved gently in the breeze and was stained crimson. There was silence for a moment, only the wind whispering in her ears could be heard along with the rustling of the trees around her.
The tall form before her spun slowly around to face her, silver hair catching the sunlight and shining as it flowed around the man. Her breath hitched and caught in her throat at the sight of piercing golden eyes, cold and sharp as the steel of the sword that had cut down the monster. He opened his mouth and spoke, but she didn't hear what he said. The world, so unfamiliar and frightening at that moment, spun and faded to black. There was no forest, no monster trying to eat her and no silver haired savior, just quiet and darkness.
Faintly, she recalled how she had gotten into the whole mess, but even that only confused her and in the end, she gave up and let herself go into unconsciousness.
It had been a normal enough day at first. She had gotten up, gotten dressed and headed out to the store after breakfast to pick up something for her mother. That much was normal enough, but then she had gone to the new neighbor's house, the one who was always inside, never going out to talk with the others living on that street or even to go to the store. Few had seen the old man and none had spoken to him and it seemed that he had no intention of changing that.
However, her mother had a reputation for being exceptionally friendly and that wasn't about to change, even in the face of such an anti-social neighbor. That was how she ended up sitting in the old man's couch, nibbling on some faintly stale cookies. While her mother talked amiably to the man, she looked around the stuffy room.
It was normal enough, with an old set of furniture and a relatively large television. The coffee table was occupied with a small pile of magazines on various topics. Her gaze traveled to the fireplace, on top of which several trinkets were placed. Even from her place she could see a thin coating of dust on all of the small figurines and snow-globes. She wondered how that was possible when the man had just finished unpacking, but that was only a fleeting thought.
Honestly, she was getting tired of being there, but her mother showed no signs of departing anytime soon and the man, as reclusive as he had first appeared to be, seemed to be enjoying the company and the opportunity to recall the days of his youth. She cursed her mother's interest in practically anything anyone had to say and wished she had been as lucky as her little brother who had been sent to a friend's house to play for the day. Eventually, she asked to be excused, saying she needed to use the restroom. The old man told her it was on the second floor at the end of the hall and she headed off.
It was a relief to finally leave the room and as boring as the place looked, she liked the idea of being able to explore a bit. She had always been rather curious, but then she wasn't very old. The stairs creaked slightly as she climbed them, slowly making her way upstairs. Once she reached the second floor, she noticed how very dark it was, even though it was still midday. There were doors lining the hall on both sides, made of dark wood with brass door knobs. The dark red carpet was threadbare at the places where it met the wall and she remembered the old man mentioning that he would be working on restoring the house. It certainly needed it.
For some reason she couldn't quite think of, she desperately wanted to leave the place, but at the same time, she wanted to keep going. In the end, she gathered up her courage and made her way to the door at the end of the hall; the bathroom. It didn't take long before she was outside of it again and calmly, she began to head to the stairs to go back, but stopped after taking only a few steps.
She was sure to be bored if she returned and no one would notice if she took a bit longer. With a small and mischievous smile, she turned back and headed for the door closest to the restroom, ready to explore. The first two doors yielded nothing of interest. One seemed to be a nearly empty guestroom, only a bed sitting inside, bare and painfully plain. The second was what seemed to be the old man's bedroom. It was cozy, with a large bed piled with soft looking sheets and plush pillows of various tones of blue. The dark blue curtains were drawn, making the room dark, but not scary like the hallway. There were a few other pieces of furniture - a wardrobe, desk, bureau - but nothing remarkably interesting and so she continued on her way. It was when she entered the third room that she found something worthwhile.
The room was bright, unlike the rest of the house. The curtains fluttered in the warm Summer breeze and the sun shone over the wooden floor. Boxes were piled in the room, some sealed up with tape and others opened and half empty. A few chairs and other pieces of furniture had large white cloths thrown over them to protect them from the dust. She looked around for a moment and was about to shut the door and return to her mother's side when something caught her eye. Something was glinting in the sun every time the curtains raised to allow the light in. She looked around, searching for the light when she saw where it came from.
At the back of the room, against a wall, there was something covered with a white cloth, something with legs of tarnished silver that stuck out from under the white sheet. Without any hesitation, she walked over to it and pulled the cloth off to get a better look at the object hidden beneath it. Her eyes shone and her mouth opened slightly in surprise and delight at the sight of the tall silver mirror propped up before her.
The silver frame was beautifully formed, adorned with flowers and leaves, twisting around vines and shining more brightly than she had ever known silver to shine. The glass was spotless, clear and large enough for an adult to stand before it and see themselves fully. She stared into it for a while, observing the way her big green eyes were reflected onto it. Her hair, the color of straw, the two small green hair clips that held up some of her bangs to the side, her pretty new white sundress with the little green leaves, they were all clear in the glass. She smiled lightly and continued to stare, but something strange was happening.
Unaware of her own actions, she took a few steps towards the mirror, still staring at her own reflection. The glass began to cloud over, the white mist gathering at the center as it emerged from the borders, swirling into shapes and dispersing the reflection that should be there. Her surprise and awe grew as she found herself staring at grassy hills and blue skies, endless and calling to her. A small hand reached for the glass and a cold sensation crept up her fingers. A force pulled on her, taking her hand and then her arm in, moving on until she couldn't pull back.
She wanted to call out for her mother, or maybe even for the old man who owned the house. She wanted to pull her arm out and run out of the room to sit at her mother's side, but she couldn't. It was cold when she went through the mirror and for a moment she thought she would be trapped inside it, forever looking out at the people on the other side, nothing more than a reflection, almost like a character of the darkest of fairy tales, but then she found herself spinning.
Colors swam around her, quickly melting into one another, spiraling just as she was doing and then it was too much and she was unconscious.
When she awoke it was to the singing of birds on a not so distant tree and the warm sunlight on her back. The grass seemed soft beneath her and the wind was gently rustling her hair. She sat up and looked around, wondering where she was and what had happened, hoping she was dreaming, but only partly. This place, wherever it was, was too beautiful for her to truly want to leave it. Still, she was slightly panicked at the thought of being somewhere unknown without her mother or anyone she knew. There was no one around, no one she could hear and the forest surrounding her seemed foreboding in it's stillness.
Hesitantly, she stood and looked around again, hoping to find someone, but knowing she wouldn't. After a moment of consideration, she decided to walk a bit, in the hopes of finding a road or someone to point her home. The trees were tall and imposing around her, but she kept her courage at hand and trudged on, leaves crunching beneath her feet. A rustling sound made her stop and look around for it's source, but there was nothing and no one so she continued on her way.
She walked for a while, never meeting more than a few squirrels and bugs. There was no road and no wandering person to help her, but she didn't give up. The forest grew progressively quieter and she felt eyes watching her every move. Every now and then a rustling sound or the snapping of a twig would make her stop and look around nervously, but there was nothing and so she went on. It was nearly an hour later, when she was getting tired and more than a little hungry, that she heard the rustling again, this time louder and closer than before.
"Who's there?" she said in her small voice, trying to sound braver than she felt.
There was no response, but she didn't move.
"Is there someone there?"
Nothing, at least not at first.
A minute went by and there was not a sound to be heard. Eventually, she turned to continue on her way, but then there was that rustling again and this time it was closer, not stopping and growing louder by the second. She stepped back, facing the forest around her, not knowing where the sound was coming from.
There was a growl and a flurry of leaves and dark grayish skin. Fangs, as large as her whole hand and eyes the color of blood stared at her. She didn't know what it was or where it came from, but she didn't want or need that information to know that she had to run and run she did. She scrambled over fallen logs and fought her way through low branches, some of which hit her, scratching her arms and legs, but she didn't stop. There were the loud footsteps of the creature behind her and the growling, coming from deep within it, fierce and menacing, speaking of his intentions more clearly than anything else. The crashing of trees and broken branches told her of the ease with which it moved closer towards her and she was glad she ran so much when playing with her friends for it made her legs strong and quick, but she was still young and soon she grew tired.
There was bright sunlight up ahead and she ran faster towards it. The dark forest gave way to a small clearing, bathed in light and peaceful at first glance, but it was of no use to her. The forest, at the very least slowed the creature down. She hurried to the other side, heading to the forest again, but then her legs gave out and the slightly sloping ground tripped her up easily in her exhaustion, bringing her down onto the grass. The beast came closer, she could hear it, and so she turned her body to look at it as she scrambled back, trying to distance herself from it as much as she could, but it was of no use.
In a couple of strides it stood before her, as imposing and menacing as when she had first seen it. A large clawed hand was raised and she closed her eyes, not wanting to see anything else, hoping it would be quick and wondering if she would really die. This all seemed like a story. Like the ones her father used to read to her when he was alive. The ones where nothing happened to little children because they were too innocent to suffer or die, but this wasn't a story and there was no way she would be saved so she waited.
There was a roar, louder than even the ones from the lions at the zoo she had seen and scarier than anything she had ever heard. Then there was a swishing sound, quick and light in her ears, and then there was a thud, like something heavy hitting the ground. At this, she opened her eyes and stared. A tall man -because she knew it was a man from the broad shoulders- stood before her. Silver hair moved gently in the wind and a sword, gripped in a clawed hand, dripped with blood from the monster laying on the ground; dead. It was the most beautiful and horrible sight she had ever laid her eyes on, and before the man with the golden eyes could finish speaking, she was unconscious, a strong, calm voice echoing in her mind for only a moment before she knew nothing more.
Well, there's the first chapter of my newest story. I know I should concentrate on other stories, but my mind won't allow me to write until I get this new idea out and as proof of how inspired I was to write this, I did it in a record time of an hour and a half. Anyway, hope you enjoyed it and I shall update soon. The next chapter will have a lot more dialogue since this was more of a prologue. In the meantime, please review and tell me what you think.