Part 1: Not As It Seems
It was late morning. LuAnn Kumaine was perched on the edge of the dirty lake bank, watching the waterfall flow its beauty into the large pool. Everything wasn't perfect; she was too stressed out, back at the cabin. When she had her paranoia attacks, the large, comfortable cabin felt like a never-ending maze, the exit nowhere to be seen. It wasn't her fault; she didn't ask to have a mental illness.
She sighed and leaned back, yawning as she did so.
Why can't I relax just for one minute, she thought to herself irritably.
The forest was eternal. The large, lush foliage, the grassy forest floor speckled with dabbled sunlight, and the lake, beautiful and pure. Perfect for calming her down. Ever since she was a little girl, she adored interacting with nature and being in its' charming atmosphere. It was a second friend; she needed it, anyhow. But it wasn't as good a friend as Serene Grace. Her father never loved her the way she did. LuAnn was glad he didn't. He was with a bad crowd.
"Enjoying yourself, Lu?" a voice asked behind her.
Lu smiled. She instantly recognised her voice. Serene Grace. Although she was completely made up and was inside her head, she was the most trustworthy friend she could've asked for. That was one advantage to her illness; she forever had a friend to turn to. Great for the bad times.
"Yep, I'm alright, Serry" Lu replied. Serry was Serene's nickname.
"Good, good, walnut. Hey, look, there's a bird up there." Serene observed.
Lu looked up, to see a male woodpecker pecking at a small birch tree. At first, when Serry began calling her 'walnut', she thought she was being racist, especially as she was mixed race. But it was because Lu's eyes were shaped like walnuts.
"Wowsers, that is beautiful." Lu whispered, holding her arm out towards the woodpecker.
LuAnn always had a thing about birds. She believed they were the angels of the sky, soaring and supervising the children in the woods. The woodpecker began staring at her. A tingling feeling began in her heart. She felt like an excitable 7-year-old, despite being 21. It spread its colourful, broad wings, and floated down to land on her arm.
Serry smiled, happiness painted onto her face. Lu's eyes were lit up, a playful fire dancing in her irises. She particularly adored woodpeckers. The connection between her and the woodpecker, and the trust sealing the friendship. It was a sight that never grew old.
The radiant woodpecker flew away eventually.
"Bye, see you soon." She softly told it as it flew away to the thick foliage.
"Lu, I think it's time to go back. Michael will be worried...Lu?" Serene queried. Lu eyes were wide open, and she was shaking. Serry was calm; she'd done this a million times before.
The forest was evil. In LuAnn's eyes, everything was turning sharp, dark colours, such as purple and black. The woodpeckers were turning into bats and screeching loudly into her ears. Large oaks' carved faces were grinning evil nonchalant smiles at Lu, and she no longer felt safe. Out of 'fight or flight', LuAnn was definitely flight.
"LUANN! Go to the cabin!" Serene screamed.
Nothing was normal in Lu's mind. Everything was vicious, and deadly, and unwelcoming.
"SOMEBODY HELP!" Lu yelled in distress, as she ran towards the cabin.