Lulu has escaped is badly injured, and meets Mark.
|When the lights in the house shut off, the house quieted down to a calm buzz she gently pulled the bag from under her bed. It was a small bag with stolen change from the carpets, car, and the pockets of her visitors. But added up over time, it jangled a little as she crept through the window but nothing too alarming. So she thought until she heard the front door snap shut, and him calling out for her.
With every breath she could feel the dried blood on her scalp pull. The clumps of hair tumbling down her neck as her feet slid across the mud. It was the fourth day in the forest, miles away from Jarrod. Her thoughts rattled tossing images of what she did back and forth as she ran. Her legs were sore, her mouth dry from thirst, her body healing slowly, if at all. Her mind and body were battling against the loss of blood and the adrenaline coursing through her.
"Gods please." was soon the only words dancing through her mind as she toppled over, and started to battle to drag her body across. She needed the distance, any distance that she could grab away from him.
Her eyelids were as if irons settled across them, preventing her to stay focused until she collapsed.
Soon there rustling sounds from where she lay, of what sounded like a lost puppy at first but soon she only heard two feet. The air smelled of sweat or urine, though how exhausted she was, she wasn’t sure. She pulled at her arm, nothing, so she tried her feet, again nothing. The dirt glued her into her spot with her injuries meant whatever was to come, it would be her end.
She managed to pull one eyelid with all the matted dirt against it ripped a lot of her lashes out. She let out a little whimper as tears struggled down the dirt path along her cheek. That’s when the movement stood still, the sweat; definitely sweat now was strong --- human.
Please, please see me. She whimpered as loudly as she could before the steps started moving toward her. A clanking noise started to follow the feet, Holy shit, please don’t mistake me for an animal. But thankfully it simply from what she could tell was just metal pieces on the man’s clothes.
It took him a moment, even with a few more whimpers on her part for him to register that she was indeed a human packed into the dirt. When it clicked he raced over, dropping to his knees to help dig her out.
“Are you okay, ma’am?” He shouted urgently, holding her shoulders, though she screamed and squirmed against it. The stinging from his touch was almost too much until she was finally upright. However, it was not long until she slumped against the brush that sat beside her. There just was too much energy gone from her from that night’s abuse and running through the forest.
He pulled her up into his arms, gentler this time noticing her wounds. He started mumbling apologies to her, and started rocking her. She struggled to stay awake but she could feel her body recovering. The one eye that she could see out of, her energy around her was dancing alongside this man’s energy, a faint yellow, almost cheerful. He seemed unaware of the transaction; however, the wounds along her thighs and hips soon were healing. She started to feel the ones alongside her face heal when the man cussed at something.
“What are you?” Though the words fell flat he still continued sitting with her until she was able to sit on her own.
“I need to get you to a doctor.” He stated, jumping up and dusting off his pants.
“I just need to get out of here.” She looked behind her, she could not hear or smell Jarrod but he was resourceful. The man nodded, helping her along the path he just walked up.
“By the way, I have no clue where I’m at.” He confessed as they continued down the path. To her, that was fine, she could find where they needed to go. She took a deep breath, taking in all the smells in the direction they headed.
When they arrived to his car, he let her into the passenger side.
“My name is Mark.” He smiled down at her. His face was light, thin and the smile made his scared face far better looking.
“Lulu.” She shyly smiled back at him before he shut her door.
She was amazed at how urban the area was. Her home was somewhere in those forests and she never even knew that this all existed. Loud, crowded, and moving quickly, including the man driving the car. As soon as they got off the highway the scenery around them began to transform. A few miles in she felt a surge of anxiety course through her as she thought they were going back into her home woods. But houses began to pop up in the horizon, cows, and lovely pastures along the roadways. Nothing like this was even close to where she lived. Soon he turned onto a gravel road, the quiet road trip turned into rowdy as she bounced across her seat.
“The Larson put in the black top just for them.” He explained as they drove across a small patch of tar before falling back onto the gravel, taking another turn, right. “Mind you, my house is disastrous.”
“How long have you lived here?” Lulu asked as she gently stepped out of the car; there was just a giant field of grass across the street. Around the home, trees, nothing thick like a forest but enough to escape to if she needed to.
“My grandparents moved here when they were younger and just been here ever since.”
Mark explained that his grandparents and parents instead of putting money in the bank put it in the house. Which was fantastic as the house was a beautiful shade of yellow, trimmed in white and looked well cared for. On the left there was a giant wooden sign that read “Brooks B&B”
“This is a business?”
“For a few years, my Grandmother made it into a bed and breakfast.” Mark smiled, “It is still my home, though.”
The house was stunning, nothing she ever lived in. The house was properly painted, yellow with white trim. A lovely porch on the ground floor with a few patio chairs, and a second floor porch as well. Through the dark-wooden doorway, the first thing she saw was a spiral-staircase. She fought the urge to run up them to explore, tucked just to the left of the stairs was a dark-wood desk, with a gold, old-style telephone on it.
“Does it work?” She asked pointing to the phone.
“No, just the one in the kitchen does. I’ll show you if you need to call someone.”
“No, no, I just need a shower.”
They walked behind the staircase, into a large sitting area. A leather sofa sat stretched across the floor, with a few extra chairs scattered about.
She stopped at an open door where she saw a toilet and sink.
“This is just a hallway restroom. In there is one in here with a shower.”
It was a nice bedroom but smelled stale, as if it’s been unoccupied for a while. After standing together in the room, he finally understood that she was waiting for him to leave. She sighed with relief, walking into the bathroom.
The bathroom was extremely clean, its brightness almost giving her a headache. She felt bad as she peeled off her clothes. She made an effort to maintain the mess to one corner by the door. But some of the mud, blood and whatever else was on her flaked off around her. Her breasts were still pretty scarred up but the stinging stopped. Her stomach was completely healed. She fought with the knobs to get the shower to lukewarm. She bit her lips as she pulled herself into the bathtub, sitting letting the water hit her. The room spun as she fought to maintain conscience.
She could no longer smell Jarrod on her body and no longer in the air. They were far enough that she started to relax. The water turned grey as it circled down into the drain. Her skin was glossy now, even with the ragged flesh that was not healed yet, it was looking beautiful. As she stood up turning off the shower, there was a yellow glow to her hands that was not there before.
The hell. Down her arms, breast --- everywhere a yellow faint glow. It bounced around with her already green aura. She got out of the tub, wrapped a towel – hurrying out. She didn’t consume blood and she already had parts of her healing. The only other person that happened with was Jarrod. She shuttered, at that past memory. When they had slow months and he was bored and drunk.
Her feet slapped noisily across the floor as she looked around cautiously for Mark. She passed by the family room, going around the staircase, she walked through a computer area. It was full of papers and artwork – some of it tacked to the wall. She slowed down a bit; some of it was actually nice. She hoped from the way they were treated that they didn’t cost a lot.
Finally she found him standing in the kitchen frying up bacon and pancakes.
“What are you?” She asked.
“Think you’re supposed to ask, ‘Who are you?’ “He grinned. Redness developed across his neck as he noticed she was just in a towel. He walked around the island and went into the living room bringing back a pair of pants and a t-shirt. “It’s not going to fit. The shirt may be long enough until we can get you some clothes.”
She nodded walking up to him taking the items. He went back to his pancake making and she went into the closest bedroom. The smell of the food was strong, her stomach clenched with hunger pains. She hadn’t eaten in how long? She wasn’t sure the last thing she remembered was a bug crawling across her lips. She could tell by the size of the pants that they weren’t going to fit at all. The shirt though, reached to her knees. Well, alright then.
“There is no way this shirt actually fits you.” She stated when she came back. He already had the table set; she grabbed the plate, putting two seats between them.
“Well, it did a few years ago.” He put the food on the table. All he did was look at her funny before he took his place at the table.
She attacked the bacon and pancakes. She shoveled as much as she could possibly do without her stomach bursting.
“That’s actually how I gained so much weight.” He joked.
“I had been in a forest for four or so days without anything to eat.”
“About that, what happened? You keep avoiding answering my questions even though you seem to expect me to answer all of yours.”
Mark was right she needed to trust him. He was not Jarrod or the people who bought spells. But if he knew what she could do, would he still stay the same? If he knew she had magical abilities, what then? If he took her to the police or a hospital she was not in any record. They would try to put her on the news, to try to “help”.
One, two, three. The last piece of pancake sat on her plate. The man in front of her was not running for his life. He was not trying to kill her. He didn’t even try to call the police. She took her time, and finished the rest of the food. She had to trust him the best that she could. This freedom, even if it were to be short lived, was very worth it. A large meal and a bath and at least a few hours from Jarrod, was brilliant. To have escaped alive was a major feat. It was brilliant.
“I am a familiar to a witch.” She held her breath as he sat there taking in what she had to say. She let out a nervous laugh; It just was a soft laugh, nothing close to cackling or any other evil laughter. Though from the way he looked at her, it may as well have been.
Four, five, six. However, he still sat there.
“Look, you know I’m not mental. You saw my skin all grow back together.” She broke the silence.
“But I was lost and disoriented, from being lost.”
“Yes, because that makes the most perfect sense in the world.” She got up and collected their plates. He flinched when she got close. She placed the plates in the sink. When she turned around, he was making a cross symbol at her with his fork and knife.
“Yeah, see, about that.” She walked up to him, gently pressing the utensils down. She kept his hands down at his side, leaning in and kissing him gently across his lips. Their energy danced around, as he dropped the fork and knife. She started kissing along his neck, their energies intermixing. She pulled away and he just looked up at her.
“That, Mark, is not being disoriented in the forest.” She smiled at his panic expression.
“Don’t do that again.” He quickly stood up adjusting himself.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to totally freak you out.” She started leaving the kitchen, “I will be out of here.”
He grabbed at her hand, she jerked away in a panic she collapsed to the floor, sobbing. The tears flooded and the room spun, she tried to force the feelings back into the pit of her stomach but nothing was working. She could hear him saying things, a droning noise behind her skull. Seven, eight, nine her thoughts and emotions became her own once again.
“Shit I am sorry I didn’t think about that.” He slid down beside her, not close but enough to try what she took it as a way of apologizing. “I just was going to say you can stay here for a while. I didn’t mean, I just didn’t want you racing out of the house before I could say that. Oh god.”
Maybe he is trustworthy.