Appreciate any feedback from pacing etc to grammar or sentences =] Thank you in advance, guys! =]
The moon glistened in the night sky as a teenage girl walked through the forest. She often came to this lonely, quiet place when she wanted to feel alone. Listening to the wind blowing through the trees always seemed to calm her. Tonight, like any other night, she felt at peace walking through these woods. A familiar stream stretched before her, with the stepping stones to cross it in the usual place. With 3 nimble steps, she was on the other side of the water and able to continue on her usual lonely journey into the forest. Sometimes she would think to herself how wonderful it would be if this place was an enchanted forest, how if she could meet the old spirits and run with along with the forest gods. She liked to dream of such things, she’d always had those kind of thoughts and seen those kinds of things since she was a child. It was many years since she had made any friends such as those, and she often wondered if they had even existed in the first place. She had been a child after all, it wouldn’t have surprised her to learn those times were all little fantasies that played out in her head.
Unfortunately, though, this forest was entirely normal. It was “enchanting” in its own way, but not the way she would like it to be. If it just had some kind of oddity she could learn of, an old legend she could search for or even a far-fetched myth this place could truly be a paradise to which she could retreat when she wished. She enjoyed the feeling of being alone this forest gave her, though. It was the feeling that she had the whole world to her self, like she’d been cut off from all society and was the only person left on Terra. It freed her, let her mind wonder away from her life. She could walk through this forest, where nothing paranormal ever happened, from one end to the other without ever coming within a mile of another living soul. She could sit and fantasize about anything she wanted and her father wouldn’t hit her. She could come up with more fun stories about witches and demons without her mother calling her Satan’s whore.
Once she got far enough that she could no longer hear her father’s drunken shouts coming from the farmhouse, she retrieved her book from the same place it always was. “The book of designated entities”. Whenever she looked at it she felt a slight pain in her chest, thinking of her uncle and how much she missed him. Her life would be so much better if she could live with her uncle instead, her parents were horrible and she hated them both. At this point she’d long decided that she’d leave them at the earliest opportunity and never even consider looking back. She’d catch a beating for running away today, but it didn’t matter. She was alone with the forest and her uncle’s book, and she could get lost in the world he told her about.
She opened the book to where she last left off, taking her uncle’s fabric soft silk bookmark and using it to tie her hair back so that her long brown locks wouldn’t get in her way.
“The fallen Angels”
She murmured out loud.
“The angels of the heavenly host that were cast down from their perch on high due to their avarice.”
Her fascination with her book only grew with each amazing story she read. She loved to read these stories and she lived to one day meet the creatures depicted in them.
“They’re real. I know they’re real.”
She was determined. There was no way it couldn’t be so. There was not even a tiny piece of her that could possibly believe otherwise. It was not fiction,they were real. Her uncle would never lie to her like her parents do.
“Joanna! Where are you?! You get back here right this minute or you’re gonna get a beating young lady!”
“Joanna! Joanna! Come back Joanna I’m sorry!”
Her journey through the wonders of her book soon came to an end as Joanna heard her parents calling for her. Her mother: desperate, her father: Angry. She didn’t want to deal with either of them right now or ever again. She wanted to get away from this boring life in this boring farm in the middle of this boring forest where nothing supernatural ever happens. She wanted to go to the big cities and look for Entities with her uncle. She longed for that interesting life that her uncle had promised her before her parents had forced him to leave. She was angry that he had never contacted her, but she could forgive him. He must be too busy hunting entities, obviously. He didn’t have time to search out some stupid teenage girl who couldn’t even get away from her own parents.
She ran with all her might into the forest, that thought in mind.
If I can’t escape them, how will I escape an entity?!
She ran as fast as she could, using every foothold and shortcut that she had come to know so well. This forest was her terrain, this was the place she could win. The adrenaline surged through her, she felt free, she felt alive. But this level of freedom was not enough, this taste of life was not enough. She needed to get out and see the world. She needed to meet “them” for herself and make her uncle proud of her. She needed to leave her parents behind.
She surged through the forest now, dodging all the branches and jumping all the roots as she went. Her parents’ cries were now distant echoes. Her worries were now an old nightmare. Her dream now lay before her.
The moonlight hid behind the clouds as it always did, but today, for the first time ever, something out of place caught her eye. There was someone in the path ahead of her, about fifty yards ahead. Was it her father? Had he circled around ahead of her? No. That old drunk wouldn’t be able to catch her on flat ground the way she is now, let alone in this forest. On closer inspection it appeared that it was indeed not her father ahead of her, but a man wearing some strange traditional clothing.
A shiver went down her spine. The reason for this was unclear, but she started to have a feeling. One of dread. Something was strange about the “person” in front of her…
The problem was that he didn’t appear it be a person at all. Joanna couldn’t see him clearly, she could hear no sound coming from him, she could smell no odor coming from him. None of her senses could give her more information on the “person” in front of her. It was not Normal. It was not Terran. Rather, it was “Paranormal”. The thought made her heart flutter. A whisper on the air came to her:
“Ah… eh… uh”
The “entity” made strange sounds to itself, as if it’s mouth were covered by an invisible cloth. She was stunned into silence for a moment, the strange feeling on the air and the muffled mumbles of the creature before her instantly replacing her curiosity with fear.
It’s a real entity…
She thought. After a moment, she regained her courage and slowly approached the darkness-shrouded being before her. As she got closer it became ever more apparent that this was not a being she should be approaching, her every instinct screaming at her not to talk to the creature. After what felt like an eternity, just as she was about to call out to the creature, she had shouts coming from behind her again.
Her mother screaming hysterically “Joanna! DON’T LEAVE ME!”
Her father bellowing furiously “I’M GONNA FUCKIN KILL YOU, SATAN WORSHIPING LITTLE BITCH!”.
The entity slowly turned around to face her, it’s stiff movements made her realize her fear for the first time as she tensed. Watching the creature and listening for her parents, she waited as it turned. Horrific noises sounded as each movement seemingly broke one of the creatures bones.
Is it in pain?
She couldn’t help but wonder. She couldn’t see it’s expression, but it sounded like it’s bones were being broken and then reset every time it moved itself. As if it were rooted to the spot by some unknown force and it was now moving through sheer force of will.
Maybe… I should help it?
Now, this was a strange thought for a Terran to have in the face of a paranormal entity. To “Help” such a creature in a situation where one was experiencing the emotion known as fear, and the creature was the cause of that emotion, was an entirely illogical thing to do. There were few people in the world that would even be able to identify that this creature was paranormal and thereby sense the danger it presented, even less would have the thought occur to them that they should help such an entity. Entities, to Terrans, were creatures that could not be allowed to exist. Supernatural existences that posed a direct threat to the life of even one Terran being was given a “Containment designation” and would be hunted whenever their kin should appear. If they were in Joanna’s book then they had been designated, they were dangerous and they should be destroyed. Joanna knew all this, and yet…
The creature, as it turned, appeared to be frightened. Joanna didn’t know where this feeling she got came from, but she realized that feeling of fear that had overtaken her was not her own. She was not frightened at all, in fact she was stood less than two meters from the entity now. The one who was frightened was the creature in front of her.
A paranormal entity. A creature who has probably been hunted all it’s life…
Joanna came to the conclusion… It appeared to be afraid of her. It thought she was one of the people described in her uncle’s book…
It thinks I’m an exorcist…
The creature now turned to face her completely, and that’s where Joanna let out a small gasp. She had expected a vampire, a ghoul, an evil spirit or a Demon. But what stood before her was none of those. It was something that her brain lacked the ability to describe. It had nothing to further to describe about from the appearance of its strange clothes. It had no face to speak of.
The creature continued to make muffled noises despite having no mouth to speak from. Is it trying to communicate?
“It’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Ah…” the creature tilted it’s head in confusion. It seemed to her, somehow, as if the creature was sad. This could have easily been just her mind playing tricks on her as she longed to meet a creature just like this, in a setting just like this. But she felt like she could help the creature… and… maybe the creature could help her in return…
The moonlight finally shone through the trees once more, revealing the full form of the creature to her.
She gasped and froze for a moment…She felt like she recognized this creature but she didn’t have the presence of mind to look through the book she grasped tightly to her chest.
“Are you… an Entity?”
The creature continued to stand and face her, it’s empty white face seemingly trying to contort itself to form speech. “Ah…eh…” It continued to make incomprehensible sounds as it began to try and stagger towards her, it’s arms reaching for her.
Joanna felt no fear in this moment, instead she mustered all her courage and
“I’d like to help you… and I’d like you to help me!”
She spoke these words to the Entity before her.
The creature stopped, it’s arms still slightly raised in front of it, and stood perfectly still in front of her.
Does it understand me? Joanna thought to herself. The wind stopped for a moment and the trees seemed to listen along with her as she strained her ears for any reaction from the creature.
The silence was punctured by the obnoxious screams of her mother, Joanna felt a tear slowly roll down her cheek.
“That’s my mother shouting my name, if you can hear it.”
The creature remained completely rigid, it’s blank face looking directly at her, seemingly willing her to continue.
“YOU LITTLE WHORE!”
“The second voice you hear is my Father. He seems especially drunk tonight.”
Several aches and pains from Joanna’s body remembered their existence as Joanna recalled the image of her drunken father.
“I used to like living here, in this pretty forest. With Mama and Papa and uncle. We’d go for walks down by the stream and tell stories and catch fish. It was really really fun”
Joanna struggled to keep her voice from shaking as the tears streamed down her face. She didn’t know if it was the pain from recalling distant memories or the happiness of confirming her belief in her uncle.
“But it changed. Suddenly it wasn’t fun anymore. Nanny died and Papa started drinking, Mama started getting angry when Uncle told me stories. And then they told Uncle he wasn’t allowed to come to the farm anymore and… and…”
The Entity before her took another step as her despair heightened, the shouts from her parents getting ever closer.
“Then Papa hit me. And he would keep hitting me. Then Mama would hit me too. They said my stories weren’t real. They said uncle was a heretic and a liar.”
The Entity took yet another step as Joanna let all her emotions loose, hysteria filling her voice.
“But I didn’t believe them! I always told them they were wrong no matter how much they hit me! Uncle wouldn’t lie to me! One day he would come get me and we’d go meet all the Entities together! And it would be really fun again! And then I’d go make my own stories to tell him and he would be really proud of me and tell me how fun my stories are…”
Joanna sobbed uncontrollably…
“But Uncle hasn’t come back yet… and… I-I can’t take it anymore… I-I d-don’t want them to hit me anymore… I don’t want him to put it there anymore… I don’t want them to hurt me…”
The Entity froze once again. The aura of sadness that came from the entity was now completely gone, having been completely absorbed by Joanna.
“I just want to go away with Uncle…”
“I just want to see the stories…”
“WHERE ARE YOU?! I KNOW YOU’RE OUT HERE!!!”
“And you’re real! You’re not stories!”
“I’M GONNA BREAK YOUR FUCKIN LEGS”
“So I just want to meet more of you… I just want to leave here…”
“THERE YOU FUCKIN’ ARE!!! GET OVER HERE!!”
“So could you help me… please…”
Joanna finally looked up, her vision blurred with tears, expecting to see a bloodthirsty Entity bearing down upon her, subconsciously wishing that some magical force would spring forward and end it all.
“Wh-wha-… What the fuck is that thing?!”
But there was nothing in front of her but a clearing in the forest… And behind her, her unspoken wish was being granted in a way she hadn’t been expecting.
“Get the fuck away from me you freak!!”
Joanna couldn’t process what was happening around her. There was gunshots. Her father’s gun? Why was Papa shooting?
“AHHHHH!! HELP ME! SOMEONE HELP!”
She heard a sickening sound, one that she could not describe.
“Ibrahim what’s wro-”
The sound of bones breaking at an unbelievable rate… and then… another bloodcurdling sound…
Joanna was stunned. She didn’t have the power to move, it was as if some unseen force was holding her down, as if she was under some spell to stop her from turning around.
But it was pointless… Even at her age, she knew exactly what had just happened…
She knew exactly… What she had caused…