Just finished another lovely deep-fried turkey. Wife wanted that to eat before she left tomorrow afternoon for Houston and radiation at MD Anderson . I exist to serve…dinner.
As I’ve mentioned, my machines have made me older that there are no such things as coincidences. This was seconded by a part-time pharmacist I work with. She’s also an illustrator. Her and her husband’s website is here. I’ve looked at their works and proposed that I commission them for either a webcomic or graphic novel. They’re more – allow (mich-allow?) me to blunt here – much more ‘artsy-fartsy’ than Will is, so I had to see a story that is more in line with their style.
The opening scene is below the fold. Thoughts?
The forest seemed much less safe than she had supposed.
She had been atop a small hill in a clearing. A mix a moss and grass under her sandals. The air was clean and fresh, so, smiling, she’d decided to take a look around. Once into the woods, however, something…changed. The air was still clean, but warmer, almost cloying in her throat. And while the tops of the trees were a cheerful green, here below their trunks were dark and gnarled.
“I wonder if I can make my way back…” She muttered to herself. A bird’s sharp cry in the distance made her pause.
“It’s almost as if this place is too much alive.” She thought. “Was the hill back that way…?”
A deep, throaty rumbling from some likely unnecessarily large animal came to her ears. She let her right hand fall to the facón in its sheathe at her waist. She started moving slowly away from the direction she’d thought the sound had come from.
“Nooo…reason to panic, I just need to make my way back to… back to….” She stopped again. Where in the hell did she come from? She shook her head violently, causing her left cheek to start stinging again.
“I’m Kalina Sosabowski; I’m nineteen. I like in… live….”
Her eyes registered fear. He left hand came slowly to her mouth.
“Where I am from?”
Another rumble, this time with a rustle of underbrush. Time to go.
She turned and ran.
It was slow going: too many roots and low branches waited to trip her up or slap her down. The rumbling from the animal was louder, but she didn’t turn to look.
“Where I am I?! What the hell’s going on here!?” She yelled as she kept on. In her panic she recalled someone from long ago. “Big Sis! Help me! Dear God, anyone hel—”
A small rock caught her and sent her sprawling face-first into soft green grass. She was going to die.
She spun around, sitting up, drawing her knife as she did and holding it before her.
There was nothing there.
She looked about. A low area, a little grass filled bowl of a clearing, maybe fifteen feet round.
It was a peaceful as the hill where she’d begun.
She stood slowly, trying to look everywhere at once in case that…animal was still after her. She heard nor saw anything.
The hairs on the back of her neck rose.
She whirled about with her knife out. Huh?
Next to a tree at the edge of the low clearing stood a woman just a bit shorter than herself. She was covered from head to foot in pink and rose veils. Kalina could not quite make out her face, but her eyes…. Blacker than coal, pits into nothingness. Kalina couldn’t suppress a shudder.
“Um. Hello?” Good manners don’t cost nothin’.
The woman didn’t move.
“Uh, I’m Kalina!” Nothing. “You are…?”
“There was once an answer to that question.” Kalina had to strain to hear the whispered response. “But now there is not. Perhaps there will be one, again.”
“Er… if you don’t mind, could you tell me where I am?”
The two pits of emptiness looked away, returned.
“No.” Another shudder.