She has no idea who she is or where she came from. All she knows is where she's going now.
She sat up, feeling the cool ground beneath her. Her head spun and her body felt weak. Looking around she recognized nothing, the cold spiky grass an unfamiliar texture between her fingers. She tried standing, failing twice. Finally, she steadied herself on her feet. Where am I?
“Hello?” she called out, not hearing even her own echo. She could see a large barn, which had been obviously unused for many years. In every other direction she saw only dying grass and darkness, with only a sliver of moon to light her surroundings. Sighing, she chose a direction at random and started walking, trying to work through her thoughts.
That, however, seemed to be her problem. There was nothing going through her mind. No images or faces. No memories. She could remember nothing beyond waking in the grass moments ago. She walked faster, trying to escape the fear rising in her chest. Where had she come from? Where was she going? She started running, spotting a line of trees in the distance. Shoving her aching body forward, her fear turned into panic. Not even the drumming of her feet or the crunch of the ground beneath them could drown out the ringing in her ears as it got louder. Reaching the tree line, she slowed only enough to not run into the obstacles in her way. She didn’t know where she was going but she was determined to escape the ringing silence. Tripping over a tall tree root she crashed to the ground. The sound of her feet being replaced by her pounding heart. She cursed and hit the ground with her fist, fighting the tears welling up behind her eyes as other sounds begin to drift through the air.
Insects chirping and moving in the trees around her seemed to break through her haze. She sat up on her knees, squinting, trying to see through the dark. Far in the distance she could make out what could be light and a soft, almost inaudible noise. Drumming maybe. Slowly she stood up, her feelings of panic and fear twisting in her chest. She adjusted her scarf back over her face, as it had fallen while she ran. As she did this she realized what she was wearing, and that it was as unfamiliar as the grass and trees around her. A tear escaped her eye, soaking into her scarf as she examined the rest of her clothes.
A dark colored fabric wrapped around her head and face, concealing all but her eyes, and draped down her back to her waist. A similar, but lighter, fabric wrapped over her shoulders and chest but flowed all the way down to her ankles. It appeared torn and rough though, judging by the breeze that passed through it. Her feet were covered in thick leather fabric that stretched up her leg, keeping them warm against the earth. Tucked into one of these boots was a sharp blade, about as long as her forearm. She gripped it by the handle and held it at her side, somehow feeling safer with it.
Taking the time to relax her breathing and steady her heartbeat allowed her to think a little more clearly. Attempting to remember anything at the moment was futile so she decided to avoid that topic. Instead, she focused on her surroundings and the small glow in the distance. She continued forward, slower and more cautious now, aware of every small change in the rhythm of the forest. Some small creature scurried a few feet to her right, and something larger snapped a small stick further in the distance. She paused turning to the sound. Another crunch told her it was getting further away so she continued onward.
The glow was only about a hundred yards in front of her now, and the sound was clear. It was a steady drumming sound with a gentle melody. She could hear two distinct voices harmonizing with the music. She was completely silent as she neared what seemed to be the edge of the tree line. She hid behind a larger tree and slowly peered around it to investigate. The light was coming from a small fire surrounded by round stones on the ground. A man sat next to the circle on a tree stump singing along to the song that seemed to be coming from nowhere. She studied his expression and manner trying to decide if she should show herself, watching the light and shadow flicker across his face.
He had small dark eyes, hidden under the brim of his hat, and a short beard that seamed to fade from brown to gray. He was a large man, but he had a seemingly gentle aura, tapping his foot on the ground and drinking from a brown glass bottle. Behind him sat a large metal machine on wheels. She kept watching for what might have been more than an hour, as the flames danced and crackled with the drums and strings.
“And be a simple,” he sang out, making her jump as his voice rose. “Kind of man,” he vocalized.
He stood and tossed his empty glass bottle into a bag and started dusting the fire with dirt. As the flames grew dim she knew she had to decide quickly whether she was going to show herself or not. With her blade in hand, and him seeming to be unarmed, she stepped out from the trees. She braced herself as he turned her direction.
There was still enough light in the small clearing to see, and she spoke quietly as to not startle him. “Hello Sir, can you tell me where we are?”
“Won’t you do this, for me son,” he continued singing, slurring into a hum and ignoring her as she stepped closer.
“Excuse me. Hello?” She spoke louder. He turned nearly knocking her over as she tried to move out of his way. She fell over his black back of bottles and crashed to the cold ground. He turned, jumping at the sound of a bottle breaking. He looked around quickly, looking everywhere but at her. “You can’t see me…” she muttered to the cool air.
He bent down, only inches from her, to retrieve his bag and toss it into his vehicle, still not responding. As a new melody started playing from his shirt pocket, he circled around to finish putting the fire out before getting in his truck. He started the machine and it lurched forward, exposing a hard, clear path behind it. As it disappeared from her vision the world faded into black again and she let the tears spill down her face and onto the cold ground.