Chapter Seven: VisitorsA Chapter by Joshua Donahue
Forbidden. After his little "escapade" in the woods with his deranged family, Evan finds his nerves shaken to point where he feels sick and must stay home alone from school with some visitors.
BY: J O S H U A D O N A H U E
This time I didn’t think I was dreaming; I knew I was dreaming. For starters, I was in the same field again like before; only this time, it wasn’t night. The sun was shining down its intense heat as if it was a preheated oven. I saw the same field again with its tall, wispy weeds growing out of the dirt and the tall trees, motionless, surrounding the field like an impenetrable fence. I felt the same emptiness as before as if I was alone…or so I thought.
I glanced over to my right, looking for something"anything"that would indicate why I had returned to this forsaken place. However, my eyes saw nothing but more weeds and a few trees in the distance.
I swiveled my head to my left hoping for something in that direction that could serve as my guide. I saw the exact same thing as I had on my right, only something odd caught my gaze. It looked like…a gap of some sort in the weeds that ran quite a distance towards the trees.
I walked towards the gap. It appeared as if it was at least a football field away, but I somehow managed to reach it in less than a few seconds.
I stepped one foot from the weeds when my foot crunched under a few stray pieces of gravel. Then, as I approached the road, my other foot hit nicely-packed dirt. I looked in the direction of the trees to the road disappear into them, like a dirt-covered fruit roll-up that had been unraveled to go down a monster’s throat. For the first time, I looked at the trees and realized they were just as dark in daylight as they were at night.
Trying my best to ignore their presence, I turned behind me to look in the opposite direction of the road. I saw just another plain sight that was practically featureless.
I started to travel back into the itchy field when a sudden memory blasted me. I’ve been here, I thought. I had actually been in the same location before in reality; I had traveled the exact same road before!
Instantly, I knew why I was experiencing a flashback! That was the field that I had traveled when I went with Luke and his deranged family into the woods.
Then another questioned filled my skull: Why?
Why did I have two dreams about a field, and why was this a coincidence reoccurring?
I turned around just as my head became boggled like a game of Scrabble. I realized I was completely alone in the middle of a gargantuan field with nothing to amuse myself with, unless I wanted to count clouds or weeds. Otherwise, I was out of luck.
I searched around for any sign of life, but I found nothing.
Seeing no other option, I started down the dirt road in the opposite direction of the trees. I only got a few yards when my ears detected a strange thumping noise that sounded like feet attacking the ground with a powerful thrust.
I looked back and saw only weeds"which were probably laughing at my ignorance.
I strolled onwards in hopes of finding a highway or something in which I could escape this wicked dream. I got a few more yards before I heard the same noise again, only louder.
This time, when I turned around, I was instantaneously knocked backwards onto the hard dirt.
I could feel mounds of fur on my skin, and when I looked up at my attacker, I saw the same thing I had before: deathly brown, ominous eyes.
* * *
Monday. That was the day of the week now"I think. My head sort of hurt and everything was a little hazy when I lifted my wild-haired head from the comfort of my pillow. I looked around my messy room. As soon as I sat up, I had to lay right back down because I had an instant head rush. I glanced sideways at my alarm clock for a moment and saw scrambled numbers. However, after a minute of concentration, I finally saw that it was nine o’ clock in the morning; sunlight was shining through the curtains of my windows, which gave me even more of a migraine. I started to get up and seal the curtains when my mother entered.
“Oh, honey, how are you feeling?” she asked with worry written all over her face.
“Crappy. Why didn’t you wake me for school?”
“Sweetie, you have been burning up with a fever all morning. I think you’re sick.”
“I feel sick,” I said hoarsely.
“Look. Just lay down, and I’ll close the curtains for you. Then I’ll call in sick from work, and I’ll go to the pharmacy over in the next town to get you some medicine; then I’ll come back. Sound good?”
“Mom, no. Go to work, I’ll be fine. I promise. I think I can handle a small sickness.”
She pursed her lips with her hands placed on her sides. “Okay. Well I am at least going to the pharmacy. Only then will I go to work.”
It was as far as I could get with her. At least now I realized where I got some of my stubbornness.
“Sweetie, what happened last night?” she asked.
“I…fell. Some dog came at me out of nowhere and chased me. I fell and fought with the dog for a few minutes. It happened on my way home last night,” I lied easily. It took me an entire night to come up with such a feeble lie.
I would ponder over the truth when she left.
“Why didn’t you have Luke bring you back home?” she asked me with obvious suspicion in her voice.
“I wanted to walk. Just for the exercise,” I said simply.
“Okay. Well, I’ll call Luke and tell him you’re alright then. I better go on and head to the pharmacy. Be back soon,” she said.
“Uh…no. You don’t have to call Luke. I’ll call him,” I told her.
“Are you sure?” she asked from my doorway.
“Yeah.” It was another lie. But I didn’t want my mother having any kind of communication with Luke at the moment.
After a few minutes passed and my mom left for the pharmacy, my head swirled again like a slushy.
Was…Was last night real? Or was it all a dream? I thought.
I mean, if it was a dream, then it was a pretty vivid and wicked-cool dream. But if it was reality"Well, I didn’t really want to think about that at the moment. Then my intuition kicked in. I began to feel the aching of my legs like they had run miles, and I saw a heap of clothes from last night. They weren’t really a pretty sight. I reached over to my stand and snatched my cell phone up, checking for any new messages that Luke might have left. But there were none.
I let out a gust of air from my lungs in frustration, trying to recall the truth about last night, but then I felt the extent of a major headache. I let out a groan, and I rolled onto my side, sitting my phone back on my stand and falling back into a comfortable slumber.
Later, my over-parenting/over-protective mother called about an hour after she arrived at work to check in on me and to see how I was doing. My headache was easing down, and I was officially able to move around with the help of her medicine, so I was doing better. Before she hung up, however, she informed me that she was going to be at work all day to make up time. But then she said she would be call several times to check and make sure I had taken my medicine. Then"finally!"she hung up.
No adults. No rules. Just pure fun! Except I wasn’t exactly in the best condition to have fun at the moment, but that was beside the point.
I ended up taking a nice, warm, rejuvenating shower and slipped into some fresh clothes. Afterwards, I played my Xbox and ended up beasting a twenty-five year old in Halo. Then I went online to my social networking profiles and deleted messages and whatnot, followed by going on the web and watching a few movies that some dude recorded illegally. And the day continued on like that: games, music, movies, etc. Anything to block the dreaded memory out of my mind.
* * *
“…The virus that has been spreading around the Carolinas is steadily growing, say analysts. So far, there have been more than 66 deaths due to the unseen disease, not counting the 43 people who have been admitted to local hospitals with the infection. Doctors are concerned that as the weeks continue, more people will be overflowing hospital rooms with the virus, unable to contain it. However, doctors are taking precautions by transporting those in serious condition to fellow hospitals with available rooms. Hospitals have been taking safety precautions by requesting those infected to enter the building by a special door where they will immediately be placed in a safety-coated room. Meanwhile, scientists are working on figuring out the virus, where it came from, and whether or not the disease is contagious. No word yet on the solution to any of those questions, however…”
I ignored the rest of the newscaster’s words as I began to fall asleep. Whatever she had to say was unimportant to me. I was relaxing on the couch with a bowl of popcorn in my lap and a glass of kool-aid on the table. School had let out about an hour ago, and my body was still easing down. I was feeling better than before. I was at the doorstep of the “Land of Sleep” when I heard a knock at my own house door; then the doorbell rang.
My body leapt up from surprise, spilling my bowl of uneaten popcorn all over the floor from the noise. I bent to pick up my mess out of fear of my mother’s wrath, when the doorbell rang again.
“Coming! Hang on a sec,” I shouted towards the intruder.
After the mess was cleaned, I rushed towards the door.
It rang again.
As I was opening the door, I said, “I said I’m com"ing.” I swung the door open and stammered on my last word as I realized the identity of the person ringing my doorbell.
It was her.
“Hey. I"I was just in the neighborhood and thought I would"um"stop by, and, you know, say hi,” Summer said.
“Hi,” I said as conventional as possible.
“Can I"um"come in?” she asked.
Was I hallucinating? Or is this a prank television show?
“I’m sorry, what?” I had to be sure that my ears were in perfect order.
“Can I come in? I mean, it’s okay if you don’t want me to, seeing as how we barely know each other and all, but"”
“It’s totally fine. Sure, come"in.” I had no grip on how my words escaped my mouth.
“Thanks,” she said as she walked through the doorway.
And yet, I just stood still with my hand still on the doorknob and the door wide open.
“Oh, right…” I muttered to myself and shut the door.
My body began to go completely crazy: my heart sped up and sounded like a washing machine when mom goes all-out with the laundry. My brain seemed to freeze, and I could hardly breathe. My body was numb throughout. It was like the cafeteria scene all over again! But this time was occurring in my own home. I was in a closed space with her, and I could actually embrace her every scent. Her scent was significantly sweet to me, like honeydew.
I took a short whiff, and peace engulfed me into its own little world.
“So…Um…What’s up…?” I said as lamely as possible.
“We’re partners. In chemistry, I mean,” she said.
I must have given her a confused look because she then explained further.
“Yeah. Mr. Wallace decided to do something different this time. He made everyone choose a partner. I didn’t get picked, and you were absent. So he made us partners. But it’s all just for our assignment.” Then she handed me some papers that I didn’t notice by her side before. “Mr. Wallace asked if I could get these papers to you.”
I scanned them, but I was struggling to absorb the information. “What do"we have to do?” I asked.
“We have to bring the stuff on that list to chemistry tomorrow. We’re making candy. And besides, I came by to check up on you because…well, you weren’t at school today and all,” she replied with calmness.
“Oh, yeah. I"I was sick. Bad cold. But I’m getting better now.”
“So you haven’t been feeling funny or anything?”
What an odd question. “No. Not really. Just the"um"cold.”
“Oh…Well, that’s good then I suppose.” She looked like she had something on her mind.
“…Yeah. So…you wanna soda or something?” It was the only conversational that came to my mind.
“Sure, why not.”
So I led her into the kitchen where I laid the papers down and I grabbed some sodas out of the fridge. I handed one to her with a slight clumsiness.
“So…where are your parents?” she asked me.
“My mother’s at work,” I answered sheepishly, because I didn’t know if she would feel comfortable knowing that we were alone in the house.
“Oh…so she’s a single parent then?”
My mouth was overflowing with a mishmash of words, but I tried as steadily as possible to at respond. So I simply said, “No, a widow"I think that’s what you call it. My father died a few months ago.”
She seemed saddened and embarrassed. “Oh…Sorry. I didn’t know.”
“It’s okay. And what about you?”
“Well…,” she seemed to choose her words prudently, “My parents are currently away at the moment on a business trip and won’t be back for quite some time.”
I paid no attention to her anxiety when she said this. “Wow, that’s a relief. I thought this small town was full of people that didn’t cross outside city limits.”
She then let shine a glowing smile. “Yeah, this town can seem like it’s stuck in the past, but it gets better after a while.”
Then the doorbell rang.
Summer stiffened for a moment, then said, “I’m sorry. I must go. Thanks for the talk. It was nice. Really, it was. It’s just that I forgot that…there is something I must do.” Then she took off out the side door that led from the kitchen, and out the garage door, all before I got a chance to say “good-bye.” She even left her soda behind on the counter, along with the faint scent of honeydew lingering in the air.
The doorbell rang again.
I didn’t know who it could be, but whoever it was, they had just ruined any chance I had of acting normal around Summer. When I opened the door once again, I found myself in a state of utter shock.
“Hey"” I wedged in a conjured coughing spree, “"Luke. What’s up?”
At first, he seemed a little hesitant as he sniffed the air for a moment like he caught the whiff of something odd. Then he seemed back to his former self. “Hey. Can we"uh"talk?”
I gave a convincing cough. “Sorry. I don’t feel too good right now. Besides, I wouldn’t want you to get sick too,” I said hoarsely and convincingly.
“Oh, right. Well, can I ask you something?” He seemed nervous.
“Make it quick, ‘kay?”
“Yeah. Um"Did we, uh"Did we freak you out last night?”
“Actually I haven’t thought about it much.”"which is kind of true"“This cold has really got me down. I gotta go. See ya at school tomorrow if I feel better.”
Then"very rudely and deliberately"before he could say anything more to keep the conversation going, I shut the door and let out a sigh of relief.
I locked the door behind me, and went back to the couch to flop down and relax a little. All that fake coughing had really done a number on my throat. But then my head lurched, thinking back on Luke’s words to me.
So last night really did happen!? I thought to myself. How"I mean, my never-met-in-my-life-before family seemed normal and nice when we first met. Now they had some kind of redneck/full moon/fireside-chanting club they wanted me to join. And what about that chase after me? And that wolf-like animal that I hit? Were those just hallucinations or reality? I questioned.
I knew I wasn’t crazy"at least, not entirely.
I knew my dad’s side of the family had some kind of club or gang going that they wanted me to be a part of"well, the males in the family anyway.
And I knew there was something very odd about the people I had been hanging around lately"especially Summer.
And last, but not least, I knew that all of it was tied to me. Therefore, I was stuck in the middle of it"meaning it was going to have to find a way out.
But not today. Not now. Because right now, sleep was inviting me in.
*FINAL VERSION 04.16.11
© 2011 Joshua Donahue
Added on July 31, 2010
Last Updated on April 17, 2011
Tags: forbidden, chapter, seven, visitors, love, teenger, teen, high, school, romance, paranormal, supernatural, werewolves, family, Evan, Woods, nymphs
AboutUPDATE! 04.11.13 Oh, how I have missed writing deeply. I always plan to return to this site ASAP, but it just never happens. I have not been inspired really. But I want to be inspired again. I wa.. more..
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