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|A blood curdling howl rose from beyond the horizon, causing us to stop dead in our tracks. The lurking beasts were near. Before long the impending doom we had all been anticipating would become our reality; or should I say, end our reality.
“They’re coming,” I shivered.
Oscar’s eyes flickered toward me, and then back to the horizon. “How long?” he murmured, his deep voice almost a whisper.
My body was shuddering now and I couldn’t find any words. I managed to lift my shoulders slightly in response, but his wide eyes were glued to the horizon.
My younger sister— Sasha, turned toward me. She looked dark, furious. “I told you not to meddle with the unknown,” she seethed.
What could I say? She was right after all— it was my idea. But, how was I to know that I was conjuring up something unnatural and evil? Or, that we had inherited our mother’s ability to connect with the supernatural world? I could not have known that. She was declared insane when I was just nine years old, and then they shipped her off to a mental institution.
Our father had been quite frank about mum’s deteriorating condition. He advised me that I should not give any credence to anything my mother had said. He also forbade me from visiting her. He said he feared that she would poison my mind.
Sasha on the other hand, was only three when she was taken from us. She didn’t remember our mum at all as we were growing up, and as a result she became obsessed with her. As soon as she moved out of dad’s house, she went to visit her. She used to come and see me after the visits, and she would insist that our mother was not insane. She told me that the things that she had seen and experienced were real, but I didn’t buy it. I could recall how frightening and inconsistent my mother was prior to being taken away, and from my perspective, she was crazy. I wish that I had listened to her.
“I’m sorry, Sash.” I breathed.
She shook her head, “Too late, Mel.”
Another shrilling howl broke the silence of the misty dawn, closer this time. In a swift movement, we turned in the opposite direction and the flight response kicked in. Before long we reached the edge of the ancient forest, and began weaving our way through the twisting moss-covered tree trunks. The sound of our scurrying feet crunching against the forest floor in frantic haste was all that broke the deafening silence of the forest; that, and our gasping breaths.
I guess it was the adrenalin, but we didn’t tire. We made our way deeper and deeper into the dense woods, the sound of our crunching feet becoming a constant drumming rhythm in my mind. With every gasp for air, I inhaled an overpowering scent of wet pine needles—a smell that I would normally find invigorating, but which was presently cutting into my throat like a blade.
I glanced over at Oscar, and instantly felt a sting of guilt. It was unfortunate that he had to get caught up in this ordeal, because of me. We had only been seeing each other for six months. I’m sure he must be wishing that he had never got caught up with me. God knows I am wishing that I could have somehow avoided my blood line and thus avoided being in this irrevocable situation.
Maybe it will be a relief when the end finally arrives. I have grown weary from the sleepless nights, and unstable from constantly having to look over my shoulder.
A bellowing roar broke my train of thought, followed by a thud behind me. I looked over my shoulder to see that Sasha was lying face down on the cold, wet forest floor.