Chapter Six: The Gathering

Chapter Six: The Gathering

A Chapter by Joshua Donahue
"

Forbidden. Evan is nervous about attending this "gathering" thing which his cousin has invited him to. But he goes anyway only to find it's not what he expects.

"

FORBIDDEN

 

BY: J O S H U A  D O N A H U E


Chapter Six

The Gathering

 

When I asked my mom if I could go to the “gathering thing,” she put the whole parental number on me. “Absolutely not! It’s a school night, young man. You should know better than that,” she said.

“But mom, Luke is counting on me to go with him!” I urged.

Her expression changed. “Luke is going with you?”

I could easily pick up her emphasizing Luke’s name as if it changed the matter entirely. “Yes. He’s the one who invited me in the first place.”

“Well, I’m going to talk with his parents first.”

She went and picked up the cordless phone and called Luke’s house. Then I had a small fear that Luke’s parents didn’t know he was going out, so I hoped I wouldn’t be getting him into trouble.

But I soon heard my mom laughing on the phone and knew that was a good thing. After a minute or two of nodding and replying into the receiver, my mother hung up. “All right. You can go. I have talked with Trent, and he explained to me that he is allowing Luke to go. I told Trent that Luke should bring you home immediately afterwards, and if anything happens for you to call me. Got it?”

I nodded, trying to suppress a smile. I didn’t know what Trent had told my mother this “gathering” was exactly, but she obviously agreed with it.

“Okay, good. Now help me set the table for dinner.”

*      *      *

I was a complete wreck. I had no clue what to wear to this party thing because I had no idea what it was for or even if it was a party. I had sent Luke a text questioning him about this, but he simply told me to wear anything casual (jeans, t-shirt, etc.). I slipped on my usual attire, and then I waited patiently.

It was Sunday evening. Eight ‘o clock was only thirty minutes away, and I was lounging on the sofa in front of the television, watching some Clint Eastwood movie, yet, paying the least bit of attention to it. My mother was at work at the moment so the house was silent"except for the television, of course.

Suddenly, I heard a vehicle’s horn sound outside.

I jumped from the couch, switched off the movie, and went out the front door.

Luke’s truck"or his dad’s truck"was parked in the driveway, still revving with Luke in the driver seat, waving at me to come on. I locked the door behind me and stuffed my key back into my pocket; I didn’t have to worry about my mom not being able to get into the house because she had her own key.

I got in the passenger side of the truck. It was dark on the inside, even though the headlights shining were very bright, but it looked as if Luke was wearing the same kind of casual clothes I was. I instantly felt a small wave of relief.

“Ready, then?” he asked.

“Let’s go,” I said.

He pulled out the driveway and down the road.

I knew most of the town’s layout, but that was only the middle of town. I had no idea about its surroundings, as in back out in the country parts; plus, it was dark too, so it made it even harder to realize where we were. We passed through the middle of town for what seemed like ages, and now all I saw were fields and trees on both sides of the road.

As I looked out the side window of the truck, I felt the cool wind from outside blow against my face as Luke drove. It was so comforting because I didn’t smell the fumes of constant car pollution, or hear the sounds of people and their busy lives. On the contrary, I smelled the sweet scents of nature, and heard nothing but the wind.

It was indeed peaceful.

It was the first time that I realized that it was a full moon, and it looked marvelous in the dark parts of the country sky. It seemed to light everything with its luminescence, acting as the sun of night. Back in California, the moon was the farthest thing from one’s mind. It was the places and people that made San Francisco what it was, not the forces of nature. But here"the moon was huge! The trees interfered with my view, but small gaps between them allowed me to see that it was so large that I could make out the craters on its surface. As I examined it, my mind deciphered a face on it, with eyes directed at me, watching me for some reason. Usually, I would have shivered at the thought of it, but I didn’t. Instead, knowing that the moon was looking out for me, made me feel safe. It made me feel grounded.

Then, a tall, dark chain of trees came back into view and blocked my perspective.

Nonetheless, I had no idea where I was exactly.

“Um...Luke where"” I began to ask, taking my eyes out from the window and looking at my cousin beside me.

“We’re almost there. Just up a little more ways.”

Several more minutes passed and I asked him again, but he turned down a small dirt road that was only wide enough for one vehicle to travel. It seemed out of place, because it was a dirt road with a few crunchy gravel pieces that led right through the middle of a wheat field. I know all wheat fields look the same, but there was something about this field that was different"like I had been there before. It was its shape and how the woods collided with it. I couldn’t exactly remember, though.

Then my surroundings changed to nothing but trees"trees that were so dark and thick that it appeared like we were going through a black cave; the headlights shone brightly, however, so I didn’t feel too enclosed. Luke continued to drive down the small dirt road for several minutes before he stopped.

He came to a halt at the brink of what looked like a small campsite. There was a roaring fire in the center and logs surrounding it for comfort"although, all the people were just standing around the fire, talking to one another in small groups rather than sitting. I hopped out of the truck and walked with Luke towards the site. I just so happened to look up at the sky and saw a gorgeous vista above me: the sky painted an ink black with white splotches illuminating certain spots. The moon was at its full potential, shining down over the campsite, with small clouds shrouding it, giving it an eerie look.

I yanked my mind from the clouds and got myself together for this “gathering.”

Around me, I heard a loud opera of insects chirping nearby as they all sang in tune with one another. Back in San Francisco, all I ever heard were car honks and trolley bells. But apparently, bugs took over in Hale"and so did the smells. Now that I’ve experienced the “nature effect,” I could smell pine trees and their prickly branches extending several feet in front of me, their intoxicating bushes, their small berries and flowers that lingered upon them harmlessly, as well as the musky scent of the rest of the woods around me.

Yep, definitely not San Francisco, I thought to myself.

 My night vision was horrible, and everyone was standing outside the fire’s light range so I couldn’t really make out the features of the participants. From the majority of what I saw, it looked as if they were all…men. Weird.

And what was even weirder was that as I entered the campsite with Luke, the loud conversations faded.

I walked alongside Luke, until a familiar man approached us and said, “Ah…welcome, Evan. Welcome. We’re glad you could make it.”

It was Otis Woods"my grandfather on my dad’s side of the family.

My anxiety rush kicked in. “Um…what exactly is this?”

“This? This is our…meeting, I guess you could call it. We come every night that the moon is full, you see.” Then he directed his voice to everyone: “Let’s all take our seats so we may take a moment to welcome our newest member!”

I whispered to Luke, “Member?

“Relax. Otis will explain everything to you,” he replied a little more loudly than I expected. “Just relax.”

Then Otis turned back to me and said, “Come, Evan. There is much to be explained.”

I followed him into the center by the campfire, leaving Luke to take a seat with the others. My first reaction was to have a panic attack, but as I started looking around at all of the people there, I began to realize that I knew some of them: Daryl (my uncle), Derek (my cousin), Michael (my cousin), Edmund (my cousin), Luke, and Otis. There were numerous other men there, but I didn’t recognize any of them. They all appeared to have a Caucasian complexion. Then again, my night vision really needed a serious update.

“Let us begin,” Otis said to everyone available.

Then slowly, everyone in the perfect circle raised their heads towards the sky and placed their arms in the air. With their eyes sealed shut, they began to chant something in an unknown language. But I said nothing. Even Otis was doing it, but he did it in a much more powerful way than the others, like a leader would.

What is this, the Blair Witch Project or something? Talk about your club full of whackos.

Still, I remained deferential as possible, considering…

The chanting grew louder, it seemed, and they all began speaking as one instead of the usual person that would be a second off key.

Suddenly, I began to notice that everything becoming dizzy and blurry. I looked at all sides of me, wondering what was happening to me, and why nobody had stopped chanting to realize my odd status. Then I looked at Otis, but he paid no attention to me. The volume kept increasing, and at the same rate, everything became fuzzy and jumbled together like a profusion of letters from the alphabet thrown into a pile.

I felt like I was about to pass out at any moment or that I would fall, crashing down on the hard, solid ground. But I was too woozy to care. Then everything in my sight began to multiply itself and I saw at least seven figures of Otis before me and a thousand figures of everyone else around me.

The volume increased.

I closed my eyes, wishing everything would just freeze to take away the dizziness. I leaned forward to place my hands on my knees, hoping to gain balance.

The chanting got even louder.

Oh, God…

My eyes stayed close, but my stomach gave a sudden lurch like it was being pulled apart and I was going to be sick. Something chunky, but still liquid-like, ran down from my mouth and around me feet, but I couldn’t tell what the substance was; I kept my eyes shut.

The volume increased even more.

The noise began to hurt my eardrums, it was so loud. I tried to cover my ears, but when I let go of my knees, I knew I was going to fall over, so I kept still. The earth seemed to be spinning around like a top.

The sounds increased further.

I opened my eyes for a few seconds, and I saw the color of the fire fade from orange-yellow to black and white. I glanced around wearily, still lurching up chunks from my stomach. Everything was loosing its color and black and white was taking over.

Then, just as I thought the chanting could intensify no more, it amplified to the max.

Pain overwhelmed my entire body. Confusion clogged up the pipes of my mind and wishes that it would all stop became pushed inside my brain.

I felt like dropping to the ground and taking the easy way out, but I couldn’t. My arms and legs wouldn’t allow me to.

I dazedly looked out of what eyesight I had remaining, and I slowly saw that everything began blending into its right context, but in black and white. Yet, the pain still hovered within my stomach as I continued to vomit.

“STOP!” I screamed out loud, almost collapsing onto the ground.

Then, instantaneously, everything stopped.

The chanting vanished into the wind, but the color of my vision did not return"it was all still stuck on a grayscale. This gave me a magnified headache. However, my stomach eased off to its normal state as if it hadn’t even been upset in the first place, and my entire body seemed…normal again.

I leaned back up straight onto both legs, ignoring the chunks of blood and vomit below my feet.

The people around me still had their eyes closed and their hands up, but Otis opened his eyes. He held his hands out to me as if he was expecting me to hold them.

“Take my hands,” he said to me, oblivious to my guts surrounding him below.

My thoughts came back to normal and skepticism arrived on my doorstep. “For"what?”

“To make the transformation less painful and more easier to bear, of course,” he said with a bizarre smile.

“What transformation? What are you talking about?” I questioned. Everything was getting creepy and blown way out of proportion. I wanted to know what was going on. I wanted to know why my insides were on the ground, why pain was all I had felt only a second ago while they were chanting, and why in the hell I was seeing only black and white.

“The transformation that allows you to be inducted into our group. In time, you’ll see. Now, take my hands, Evan,” he said with an even more eerie smile than before.

I began to back away, my eyesight still oddly in black and white like an old television. “No. No freaking way.”

“Take my hands, Evan. Otherwise, it’s going to hurt,” Otis said sternly.

Was that a threat on my life? Whether it was or wasn’t, I knew I had to escape, so I turned my back on him and swiftly ran forward. I jumped unbelievably high above the men that remained seated with their hands still held tall as if their chant wasn’t over. Their eyes were still closed, I realized, so they didn’t even notice my leap. I then dashed into the forest, running as far and fast as possible.

Branches whipped me in the face, leaving stray marks on my cheeks and neck, briars got stuck in my legs, making my pace even slower and more painful, and spider webs got stuck to my body. But I ran, still not caring where I went, just so I could get away from those creeps.

Even though I never played athletics professionally, I wasn’t too shabby on the running, especially when my life was in danger.

So I ran, I ran, and I ran, until I ran out of breath. My chest was heaving, and my lungs were empty of oxygen"but slowly filled as I came to rest. I leaned against a tree trunk to recuperate for a second or so with my eyes closed and my mind thinking of one word: escape.

Suddenly, I heard distant cries from male humans in the direction in which I had come. My eyes flew open quickly taking in the realization that they were after me!

I quickly took in my surroundings as I began looking for a place to hide, but I didn’t spot any. My heart pumped speedily because I was freaking out. Then an idea came to me. The tree! I thought.

I looked directly above me and saw that the branches were low enough for me to reach, but high enough not to be seen. So I started to climb it. As I climbed, I kept glancing in the direction of the steadily increasing sounds of my chasers. I could make out white lights in their direction as I got higher. Then I saw shades of green as their lights hit the forest features. The shock of color hit me, and I almost fell to the forest floor"my color vision was reappearing, I noted. I was like an old television that had been upgraded to a plasma screen. Instantly, I felt grateful.

Abruptly, I realized the voices became less remote every few seconds and that rushed me even more than my already-frightened thoughts. I pushed away my delight for having colored vision again; and within a few seconds, I made it to the branch I was aiming for.

I hugged the tree trunk as much as possible for dear life while resting on the tree’s limb, wishing to stay hidden behind the dark-colored leaves. Not too far off now, I saw their flashlights shine as they scouted for me.

I was petrified, but I recalled those horror films where people always got killed by the psycho maniac because they couldn’t keep quiet long enough. So I had to remain as calm and silent as possible, and I did. In a minute’s time, the lights appeared right near my tree, and the relaxation that I needed"and barely had"was extremely hard to grasp onto. I just prayed to the heavens above that whoever was below me wouldn’t think of looking up.

They seemed to remain below forever, looking in nearby bushes and checking every nook and cranny for me.

I held my breath"unable to perform even the most natural of things.

Right when I felt as if I couldn’t stop my lungs from retracting anymore, the lights passed farther down into the forest. I allowed a small sigh of relief to escape me.

A few moments passed by.

Then, just as I was about to risk jumping down from my hiding spot, my branch gave a sudden shake. My eyes trailed up the branch and noticed a big animal had jumped out of nowhere and into my hiding place. It weighed a ton, I knew, because the limb I was on began to sag from the high capacity. I looked up at it, and I observed that the animal’s silhouette resembled a dog or a wolf of some sort, only larger; I noticed a tail, four legs, and two pointy ears on top"its body was covered in thick fur. Yet, what stood out the most were its eyes; they seemed familiar, like I had seen them before, but I couldn’t place them exactly.

I remained still, watching it steadily just as it watched me"neither one of us removing our eyes from each other’s bodies.

I hoped it wouldn’t see my trembling body, even though the creature lingered mere feet below me. However, it did, and when it did, it began to howl a thunderous noise that deafened me. In reaction, and not wishing to hear any more sickening noises, chants, or anything else of the sort, I covered my ears quickly.

I waited for it to stop, but it never did. Thinking fast and acting as resourceful as possible, I uncovered my ears, I grabbed the nearest branch I could, and I pulled it back like a slingshot, and…BAM!. . .I hit my target dead-on. The strange animal went flying off the branch into some bushes a little ways off. I knew the people that were looking for me (the people who I thought were my family) would come to the sound of the roar, so I bounded down onto solid ground hurriedly and took off racing through the forest in a completely opposite direction of both the campfire and the psychos trailing me. I was going home"wherever that was.

*      *      *

I tried to compose myself as much as possible before I walked inside: I tried brushing my tangled hair down, I tried to wipe away some of the dried blood from the cuts of nature and remove some of the left over thorns still piercing my skin. No matter what I did, I still looked like crap, but it was the best I could do on such short notice.

            I walked in the door of my house, seeing that one light was on. The light streamed from the living room, which showcased my mother watching television (probably waiting on my arrival).

            I tried to act casual and walk on by. “Hey, mom. I’m tired, so I’m just going on up to bed. Okay, goodnight.”

            She looked at me and said, “Goodnight, dear.” Then she froze for a second, taking in what I looked like"I could only imagine. “Evan, what on earth"”

            I waved her off, and said as I walked up the stairs gloomily, “Don’t wanna talk about it. Good night.”

            I know she dreaded being quiet and not being able to win my battles for me, but I hadn’t fought a bully or anything close to that. This was way different. I left the room entirely as I reached the top of the stairs and that was how she knew that I really did not want to talk. At all.

Especially not about what had just happened to me and what I had experienced. I wanted to forget it all, and pretend it never occurred. But I couldn’t do that because it did happen…didn’t it? I said to myself mentally and confusingly. There was no way all that was just a big hallucination…right?


*FINAL VERSION 04.16.11

 




© 2011 Joshua Donahue



Author's Note

Joshua Donahue
FINAL VERSION 04.16.11: A much improved version has been added thanks to an English master of mine who is reviewing this for me. (Only grammar/vocabulary edits have been made. Plot changes may be made at a later date). Thanks.

As the writer, this was the easiest chapter for me to write. I don't know why, but I guess it's because all the stuff in this chapter just happens quickly because that's how it happens to Evan. So pay attention. Let me know what ya think!

p.s. it usually takes me 1-2 days to post a new chapter. so stay tuned!

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Featured Review

Amazing, as always. The reader seems to be more in tune with Evan during this chapter than the others; it's probably the description of the trees and the moon, plus the killer action sequence. As Trish said, you do need more of a transition to the house, but that was the only bit that I thought needs work.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

sheesh. When I got to the last sentence I realized I'd been holding my breath for most of the read. Nice suspense and formidable graphic imagery.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 6 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I thought it was great. I loved how the reader could really relate with Evan, even though I'm sure none of us have been in this situation =) It's fantastic and I can't wait to read more.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
<Closed>
This chapter Is amazing and from an untrained eye the action comes out of nowhere! I did see some grammar issues, and as always I'll start with them:

I nodded, trying to suppress a smile. I didn’t know what Trent had told my mother this “gathering” was exactly, but she obviously agreed with it.
*Told my mother this "gathering"*

It seemed to light everything up with its luminous light, acting as the sun of night. Back in California,
While this has no actual grammar error, I think you should change the wording a bit, to make it seem less repetitive.

but still liquid-like, ran down from my mouth and around me feet, but I couldn’t tell what the substance was; I kept my eyes shut.
This part, again, may not have any grammar error but could Probably do with some rewording.

I remained still, watching it steadily just as it watched me. Neither one of us moved or removed our eyes each other’s bodies.
Here; another point of the mind adding in the word, "moved or removed our eyes each other's bodies."

That's all I could find. With the story, again I loved the sudden action. I don't really have anything to say, other then noting his personality change is showing more, and he seems to be realizing it. Will read your other chapters whenever I can but i should probably catch some sleep.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


I love this story! Keep up the good work! =)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Interesting. I'll be waiting for the next part.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Amazing, as always. The reader seems to be more in tune with Evan during this chapter than the others; it's probably the description of the trees and the moon, plus the killer action sequence. As Trish said, you do need more of a transition to the house, but that was the only bit that I thought needs work.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
RTB
took me a lil while to read cuz im slow haha but yeah it was great good usage of wording and dialuge written really good overall story worked perfectly for me i agree action was in there and i think u did great good job :P

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
bbb
Bravo!!! I already liked the story, but this particular infusion had me glued! Loving it!!!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is great, I loved it! It kept my attention from beginning to end. Great job! :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

thanks for the reviews! please let me know of any parts you think i may need to elaborate on because i figured i needed that i just need another eye to point it out a little bit. :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago



First Page first
Previous Page prev
1
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

1470 Views
16 Reviews
Rating
Added on July 23, 2010
Last Updated on April 16, 2011
Tags: chapter, six, the, gathering, forbidden, Evan, Woods, Hale, werewolves, nymphs, love, romance, party, relationship, paranormal, supernatural
Previous Versions


Author

Joshua Donahue
Joshua Donahue

Jefferson, SC



About
UPDATE! 06.27.13 Hello, WritersCafe! I realize that I have abandoned my account since the summer of 2013. Since then I have started college, and I have experienced... a lot. However, this does no.. more..

Writing

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..