Saturday, January 26, 2019

Short Story: Faceless

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By: Sarah K. 

I stared at the darkness around me. Trees blanketed the sky, making it impossible to see the stars or moon. 
I heard footsteps not too far behind me. I wrapped my cloak around me and walked on, I didn't want to meet whoever was following me. I looked over my shoulder, but saw no one. 
I decided I would follow a path through thicker brush, to make it harder for someone to follow me. I walked for what seemed like forever, until the footsteps faded. 
I stopped and looked around. It was still dark, but I could just barely see the moon. The ground was covered with plants, many of them with small spines. 
The footsteps returned, from in front of me. And behind me. 
"How many of these people are there?" I wondered. 
I didn't have time to wonder long about how many there were when a face came into the light. Or lack thereof. 
Whatever it was, it was black and it had no face. I jumped back slightly, a faceless creature in a forest, in the middle of the night wasn't something I saw on a regular basis. I'm glad I don't. 
I turned around. There was another one, in a dark green. I stared at it for a second. My heart was beating very quickly. 
They just stood there. 
I looked at the black one again and pictures flashed before my eyes. 
People screaming. Fire. Feathers. 
I looked away from the black creature and backed up. And remembered that the green creature was behind. I whirled around. 
The green creature was just as terrifying as the black one. At least this time I didnt see the paI mean, images. Instead, I remembered all my fears. All of them, I could count every single fear. Failure, spiderscounting my fears wouldnt help me. 
I threw off the cloak and spread my massive black wings and flew up as fast as I possibly could, I didnt want them to catch me. As soon as I took my eyes off the green creature, my fears stopped being so clear. 
I continued flying up, but couldnt get through the forests thick canopy. I decided to land on a branch near the canopy to rest my wings. Flying was helpful at times, but flying up for long periods of time could be rather exhausting. 
I stared down at the forest floor. I didnt want to go back and find those creatures again and see my pathose images. It wasnt that I was afraid, those pictures were just unpleasant. And the green one was just as bad. Remembering everything you were afraid of wasnt something you wanted to happen in a dark forest, in the middle of the night. 
I saw the creatures walking far below me and hoped they wouldnt look up. I turned away and crawled along the branch to get closer to the center, where I would be less visible. I pulled a branch to the side to look for the creatures. They werent there anymore. 
I held my breath, then looked behind me quickly, wondering if these creatures knew how to climb. Nothing was behind me. I let out my breath slowly. 
I looked down again. They were walking, but it was more like they were stalking something. 
Then it hit me. The tree trunk. They were stalking me! How they knew I was in that specific tree, I did not know, all I knew was they were coming, and I wasnt sticking around to find out if they could climb. 
I crawled away from the base of the tree so that I could take off without getting my wings caught on anything and opened my wings and took off. My wings were still sore, but Id live. Flying with sore wings is better than finding out what some creepy faceless things could do. 
I kept flying for some time, until my wings couldnt take me any farther. I dropped, but grabbed a branch. The end of the branch was too flimsy to support me and snapped. I fell and hit another branch. Luckily, I didnt fall any farther, but I hurt all over and I was way too close to the ground. 
I sat up and looked down. I was about 20 or 30 feet up, too far down, there were no leaves to hide me, and my wings wouldnt be able to lift me, I was defenseless. If those creatures came anywhere near this tree, theyd see me for sure. I would, for once in my life, be better off on the ground. 
But there was an issue. Walking around wasnt the problem, it was getting down there that was. Climbing would be hard, if not impossible, there were no branches below me, and falling wasnt even an option, I had already taken a fall, I wasnt going to be taking a new one, plus, broken bones would make this whole thing even worse. 
I decided to try to slide” down the tree, but of course, it didnt involve any sliding, the bark was too rough. 
I got a good foothold in the bark with one foot, but my other foot slipped and I skidded down the tree. I beat my wings to slow my fall, and it worked... Sort of. I landed on the ground with a thud. 
I stood up and dusted myself off, then started walking. Dead leaves made every step painfully loud. I kept walking. 
There were footsteps ahead of me. I froze. The faceless black creature showed up in front of me. I looked away, not wanting to see the past. 
I thought for a second. 
"I admitted that those images are the past?" 
I looked up at the creature and the images flashed through my mind again. Fire and screams again. I kept my eyes on the creature. 
"It wasn't my fault." I said. 
The images stopped and the creature tilted its head. 
"I didn't cause the fire." 
Black smoke surrounded the creature. It cleared after a few moments and the creature was gone. 
I stared for a second. Defeating that creature was that easy? 
I looked up at the canopy and saw green smoke rising. It was over? 

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