THREADED- AN EXCLUSIVE FIRST INSTALMENT
Today’s post is part of a short story I wrote a year ago. I hope you enjoy it!
Crackling leaves and babbling brooks welcome me with warmth to the forest. Blissfully, I take in my surroundings and pop a rolo in my smiling mouth. Through the towering trees, I could see light spilling out like diamonds. I’d only just moved to New South Wales, so I had no idea where I was going or what I would find.
As I sprinted to the edge of the trees, the greenery gradually dissipated to a translucent blue. I fell upon a vast lake that slits the endless body of greenery that consumes this land, and pools like a weeping wound. The lake overwhelms me, filling me with unease. Gazing at the light bouncing off the lake, I wasn’t reminded of diamonds anymore; it was like a knife slicked with glistening blood.
Without warning, a thunderous clap rang out across the forest. Electric fingers pull the tinted sky to pieces, creating pathways for rain to gush through. The sky’s tears slide down my neck, tattooing me with a raw red pattern.
There wasn’t any point in returning to my home. It would take ages to get there and I’m not sure how to get there anyway. Despondently, I sit down at the lake’s edge. I wrench the sodden Uggs off my feet, then immerse my feet and calves in the waiting water. Mesmerised, I watch the water suck the warmth out of me, suck the colour out of me, suck the feeling out of me.
The last thing I remember is the feeling of numbness coursing through my veins.
Heat. All I could think about was the heat I felt on my lips. I was so so cold. I wanted, I needed, that heat. As I began to focus, I realised the heat on my lips was another pair of lips giving me mouth to mouth. Oh my god, I need to breathe. My whole body convulsed as if a puppeteer was yanking millions of strings attached to my body. “Woaahh, mate!” a male voice said with discomfort. Instantly, my eyes sprang open to lock with a pair of almond coloured eyes only inches from my face. Luckily, the convulsions had stopped, but they were replaced with a searing coldness.
“It’s ok, it’s ok, I promise it’s ok. You’re going to be fine,” he reassured me. Desperately, I reached out for the stranger, who in return wrapped me in his arms. It felt safe to be in his arms, whoever he was. He gave out trustworthy vibes and besides, it wasn’t like I could run away. His chest sang a stable rhythm to my frantic mind.
“Hey-” I was cut off by a steady stream of water pouring out from my lungs. “I’m sorry,” I spluttered to the man, “thank you.” “That’s quite alright, um?” “Nikki,” I supplied. He nodded in reply. We sat in silence for a few minutes, contemplating what to do next. I found myself staring at the still nameless stranger. Who was this beautiful man with the almond coloured eyes and the unruly tawny curls? He suddenly provided me with a heart breaking grin. “What?” I blushed self-consciously.
“You’re probably itching to know my name,” He paused dramatically, “It’s Jase.” It may sound cliché, but from that moment I knew my life was going to change.
As we sauntered through the forest, I threaded my fingers loosely with his. He looked down at our hands, and a smile tugged at his lips as he drew our fingers tighter. Abruptly, he came to halt, pulling me to him. “Wanna race?” He asked childishly. I didn’t even bother to respond. Tree after tree fell behind me, they did not run; they’d given up on trying to escape a long time ago. For a while I thought I was winning the race, wherever we were running to or whatever we were running from. Jase seemed to come from nowhere. He streaked through the dark, thick underbrush of the forest like a bullet, like a ghost. It was like he wasn’t even running, he was flying. I could hear his laughter echoing as he became more and more distant.
I began to feel like the trees were closing in on me. Even the lighting dimmed fractionally, although at this point I wasn’t sure whether I was imagining things. A pounding sound drilled into my skull, distorting my hearing and vision. “Jase! Jase? JASE.” I I couldn’t focus. The pounding the pounding. The trees trees trees. Jase? Where, what? Thoughts bounced off the walls of my mind, echoing, duplicating, merging.
Two versions of Jase were leaning over me. They were above me- but how could that be? I searched their eyes. There was a haunted look in their eyes. “What? Jase? What?” I screeched. They talked over me, ignoring every word that tripped out my mouth. At one point, I know I was lifted. I know I was being carried away. Still, I screeched. I screeched till every inch of my throat burned like the horror that burned in Jases’s eyes.
Tears slipped down my cheeks, but they weren’t mine. Jase was still talking to me, still ignoring my screams, but now sobbing as well. Everything was so confusing. What was happening to me? Something had changed. “Stay with me, Nikki, stay,” Jase breathed between pained sobs. “But I am here,” I tried for the final time