I just forking completed a prompt my lovelies!!! My beautiful LemonLovely, my sweet sister… suggested we do this prompt for the Chuck Wendig’s Fiction Challenge together. I’m rather late but it’s done and also… more than a thousand words. But who the fork cares! I’m so excited because, even if it took me forever, I did it and you should go check LemonyCustard’s piece for this prompt.
Thank you my sweet friend, sister, for encouraging me when I was freaking out. I’m glad I did it. Very happy actually. I feel like… (*dances around in her pajamas… jumps up and down… high fives LemonySugar*).
(Image courtesy of Google)
I wasn’t supposed go to her house that day. I just needed some space. Space between me and this guy whom I thought was… it. My family too. Fucking nagging me all the time. I had no idea that things were going to get so… fucked up. My skin is crawling right now. The space I wanted… the space I needed… I have. Not sure I like it though.
It began with a visit to my friend Clair’s house. She was such a sweetheart… she was perfect. Her sweet blond curls gave way to a soft smile that made me feel all warm and fuzzy. It was comforting to be around her. I wasn’t much of a friend, but she liked me for some reason. I’ll never know why, now. I’ll never get to ask what possessed her to like me so much. I am forever grateful for her, though, but she’ll never know. Anyway… it was a Friday after class. We went to a local college near the house. I was majoring in History and so was she. My dreams of attending an Ivy league school chattered by laziness and lack of confidence. I didn’t apply, though my grades were perfect. Perfect.
That afternoon Clair hadn’t been feeling well. I had called ahead and asked if I could check in on her. I was feeling like fucked up lemons. Yeah… fucked up. Sour and squirty and shit. I had argued with my boyfriend, Lucas, and I needed Clair. That’s the truth. I was concerned for her, but I was more concerned with my state of things. I know… I was a fucking selfish bitch. Knocking on her door gave me butterflies. I was always nervous going into her house. It was a very nice house. Not like mine. I always felt underdressed but as always Mrs. Brady, made me feel at ease. She was as sweet and kind as Clair. Yeah… Brady. Fucking crazy! Right? Clair Brady. I burst out laughing the first time she introduced herself. Mrs. Brady pulled me in after I kind of froze like an idiot. I was nervous. Nervous to see my friend, anxious to have her explain everything to me. My life, my love, my world… everything! She was good at that.
“Come in child. No need to be nervous? Now you go on upstairs. She’s resting in bed but she’s not contagious.”
Wow… she was so nice. Not like my Mother at all. My Mother would have used the word bitch and fuck about a hundred times by the time Mrs. Brady greeted me and let me in the house. The house. It was immaculate. Gosh… Clair and I had such different upbringings. Just by looking around the house, I knew she had peace. Not like me. Fucking brothers and fucking older sister picking on me all the time. Fucking drunk for a mother. Dead beat dad left us when I was only ten. Fucking, fucked up life! I walked carefully up the stairs. I was wearily conscious of the way all the pictures were hung as I went up. She was an only child and I wished I was one too. It made me smile as I got closer to her room. Such a lovely room. Complete opposite of my stinking mess of a pig sty.
“Lara!” She exclaimed so sweetly. I miss that sweet voice. I miss the scent of lilies she gave off. Sweet and fresh melancholy perfume. I remember how tightly she held me. She cared for me and I’ll never know why. Never.
“Clair… are you feeling okay?”
“Yeah. I’m glad to see you. How was class? Was it boring as hell?”
“You know it! Fucking professor is so monotone.”
“Yes! He is. You make me laugh. You’re sweet.”
Fucking Clair… she was so fucking nice to me. I’ll never forget her face when she said that. So sweet.
“Yes… you! Why do you doubt everything I say? Come sit next to me. I’m going to show you something that will make you forget about Lucas. He is an ass, if he thinks there is anyone better than you. My lovely Lara… there isn’t anyone better than you in the universe.”
“Clair! Stop it!”
I had tears by then. I had fucking tears and I couldn’t stop. She held me as I poured my heart out in tears.
“Lara… it’s okay. I will show you how you can stop torturing yourself. I’ll help you.”
“I’m sorry. I really thought he loved me. I thought…”
The way she looked at me. Her rosy cheeks. The softness of compassion surrounding me. I miss her.
“Shhh… you’re fine. The world is not, though. I have a confession to make.”
“I’m not sick.”
“I lied to Mom, so I could stay home and read.”
I was shocked actually. She was a rebel like me, even if it was just to read. I suppose maybe she connected with me that way. I suppose.
“I’m going to show you a place… in my book. I’ve never shared this with anyone. I trust you Lara. I feel like we’re sisters and I want to share everything. My knowledge. My power.”
“Oh my dear. That boy you love. He is not worthy of you. You’re so much better and deserve to be treated like a queen. No one should touch you.”
“What do you mean?”
She pulled out a rather large book from under her bed. It looked ancient, leather bound. It was kind of beautiful. I felt the power of it. I was hypnotized. Her smile, the feel of the textures on the cover… made me take a breath.
“It is. I want so much to share this with you. My family… years… thousands of years and this book has been our guide. It is up to me to carry on its tradition. But I have no one… that is…”
As she said that… whispers. I heard whispers calling my name. They startled me. She held my hand.
“Don’t be afraid Lara. I hear them too. They’re calling you. They’re calling you to a place where there is peace, safety. Your life will be different from now on. Oh… I’m so glad you came. I was hoping for it.”
I don’t know what possessed me to stay. Why wasn’t I scared enough to run? I wasn’t. The whispers were loud but they were beautiful. My heart was racing. I remember the smell of damp moss. I smiled but I didn’t know why really. I just did. She opened the pages of her book. Beautiful words. I understood them, but I shouldn’t have. How come? What was happening exactly? She took hold of my hand with a smile. She pulled me close to her. Her arm around me. I was enthralled… bewitched. Her smile…
“You will no longer feel pain or sorrow. No one will hurt you… ever again. I will protect you. You will never be burdened again. I will make sure of it. You mean so much to me Lara. I will keep you safe.”
I don’t know why, but she held me with those words. I was taken by them. Nobody had ever said such a thing to me. Not even Lucas. He was an ass. I was just wanting love… needing… love. He was there… and his kiss was… intoxicating. But then… he was an ass. Damp moss… strong petrichor. She turned the pages of her book and read off some weird shit. But somehow… somehow… I knew what they meant. A chant? I was gone… she continued to turn the pages as she looked at me straight in the eyes.
I couldn’t utter another word. She finally stopped right in the middle. An image… menacing and yet…
“Lara… can you smell it?”
“Yes… petrichor… moss… damp. How…”
I began to feel a warmth. Like a fire surrounding me. I couldn’t understand what was happening. It was more like… I didn’t want to understand it. I just wanted to accept it. So, I did and with each verse or whatever it was, she took me in. I was not in her room but in a dampened field covered in moss. I was alone. I wasn’t scared. My bare feet kissed by the moist nature that felt like a protection, a cushion. I should have been cold, but I wasn’t. I was warm. The whispers were stronger now. They led me to him. He was majestic… a penetrable image. He was the center of everything. A completion. Life. Death. Both. My stomach felt a pull. I was in a trans. I couldn’t speak. Maybe… I didn’t want to. He was powerful as fuck. I could feel him. Beautiful, enchanting… beguiling. Whispers…
“My child… you have arrived. Do not be afraid. I am your protector. Come closer. You should not fear… I am you. You… are me.”
“I am… you.”
I remember repeating the words. I had no control. I just kept repeating them. He was beautiful and his voice… moist like the moss and strong like the petrichor.
“Come to me my child.”
I did… and with each step… each pull of my belly, the warm moister became a gentle, soothing caress under my feet. My breath became heavy and I felt myself float towards him. His branches taking hold of me. I felt… free. I had never felt such a bliss. His branches enveloped me. My skin felt a blend of his severe texture and the breeze that held my hair ravenous against him, bathed my senses and I let myself be swallowed. I was being engulfed. I felt no pain, no sorrow. Just as she said. I felt… nothing.
I’m in a fucking tree. I am alone… and I feel… nothing.
© 2018 Mel Gutiér