2 readings

1

I followed Nora through the forest. It was dark in the early morning hours, there was fog setting on the forest floor. The ground crunched beneath our feet as we headed through the dense maze of trees. Every now and then we would come up to a clearing where bits of the moonlight would manage to shine through the clouds and trees giving the ground a ghostly glow.
When I turned to look at Nora her eyes were gleaming with excitement. She had a smile etched onto her face. This made me nervous. Nora usually has a straight face on. She’s usually not a huge fan of nature either. Then I saw a house.
This wasn’t right. How did Nora of all people know her way around the forest so well? It seems like she’s been here before without me. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach. I wanted to turn back. I should have realized how much of a red flag it is when Nora asked me to go to the forest with her. She doesn’t like the forest. She claims that all of the bugs and plants, not to mention, animals freak her out. Something is wrong... very wrong.
Nora turned and smiled at me. Her mouth quivered with excitement, then she said, “You’re not going to regret coming with me. This is where my cult meets to talk to the spirits in the house. They’re great. You’ll see soon!”
This is absolutely not right. She wouldn’t dare to join a cult. Maybe I don’t know her as well as I think I do. I tried to put a steady smile on my face. I ended up replying with, “Yeah, I can’t wait.” I’m not sure she caught the flatness of my voice. She just smiled back as if she was about to say something about my answer.
As we approached the house I saw someone standing on the porch. They said, “Welcome Nora. Who did you bring with you today?”
“Oh, just my friend, Gracie” I nodded to the guy. This was creepy. Nora grabbed my hand then said, ”C’mon Gracie its almost time!” She was buzzing with excitement. I, on the other hand, was beginning to feel terrified. Nora was walking fast. On top of that wind was blowing sending my black hair whipping around my face.
When we stepped into the house the amount of dust was choking me. I felt blind. Nora led me to what I could barely make out as stairs. We turned left and headed up a smaller flight of stairs. There were some windows. They were caked in dust, giving a nebulous look to the house. At least the second floor was lighter than the first.
We headed down the hallway and came to this room. This lit room. There was a soft glow to it. The type of soft glow that only comes from candles. I could also hear voices coming from inside the room. I didn’t want to go in. I could feel my whole body shaking with fear and nervousness.
Nora grabbed my wrist again and lead me into the room. The people in the room stared at us as we walked in. Their expressions unreadable. One of them finally said something, “Welcome Nora, Sam told me you brought someone named Gracie with you. I hope she will enjoy her time here and come back. She is very welcome.” He continued, but this time a menacing edge to his voice, “As long as she doesn’t leak any information to ‘outsiders’. Otherwise, I think she’ll fit in just fine.”
I wanted to run out and leave. Yelling, out of pure terror. I hated this place. I really shouldn’t have agreed to go with Nora.
Nora led me to the circle of people. In the center of the circle, an Ouija board. My stomach had that churning feeling like my body was screaming for me to leave. Something bad might happen. Nora looked at me then said, “Since we're in Salem Massachusetts... Let's contact one of the accused and executed witches!” The others looked excited. I could tell that they were waiting for this day to arrive.
I finally plucked up the courage to say something, with a fake smile I said, “I hope this meeting will be interesting.” Everyone in the room looked at me as if saying ‘She can speak!’.
“Let's get on with the ritual.” One of the cult people ended up breaking the silence. “Put two fingers on the donut piece. Then let's contact a convicted and executed witch.”
“They weren't actually witches. The Twenty people executed were accused because of the people in the village eating Ergot... a fungus on the grains. The people had no evidence and just suspected someone” Everyone looked at me with a death stare as if saying, ‘don’t ruin our fantasy!’’
I put my fingers on the donut piece. I was shaking. Gracie Shultz don’t be such a wuss, stop shaking and just act cool. It’s not that hard. Maybe. Someone said, “Executed witches... are you there?” The piece moved to yes. “Executed witch... are you evil?” The piece moved to no. “Executed witch... What’s your name?” S A R A H W I L D E S. Sarah Wildes. I felt a cold shiver run down my spine. A sweet, cold scent overpowered the musty scent of the house. The candles blew out and all went dark everyone's fingers flew back to the owner. I didn’t know this at the time, but you have to properly close the gate between the living and spirit realm by saying goodbye. We didn’t. That's when it all went downhill.
I got up and ran. Nora following closely behind. I got to the stairs when I saw someone. I saw a woman with curly brown hair and a white dress. She had a rope around her neck. She wasn’t transparent, but I knew this wasn’t one of the cult members.
My clothes were dirty from the dust. My black hair was in knots. I didn’t care. I wanted to get out of there. Desperately. I took one last look at her. She had a sorrowful expression. She didn’t look sad to tears. No. It was more of a regretful type sorrowful look. Then I realized this must be Sarah Wildes, it’s a possibility.
I ran down the stairs. She followed. The moment I touched the forest floor. I froze. She touched my shoulder. She was murmuring something I couldn’t quite make out. Her voice was sweet but rough. She grabbed my hand trying to pull me back as if warning me. My adrenalin was rushing. I wanted to just wake up from this nightmare. I wanted to be in my warm bed with my dog. I wanted to live to see tomorrow. This might not be a life or death situation. It sure felt like it though.
Nora was walking over to me her eyes glazed with madness. There were many thorn trees around. She picked up a stick covered in thick, huge thorns. She was walking towards me. The undergrowth crunching beneath her feet from the frost in the cold November air. I saw a dark figure with horns putting its hand on Nora’s shoulder. I was trepidatious. My vision became hazy. Finally, everything went black. I felt my body hit the ground. The cold, hard ground. I couldn't recall anything after that.
Is this what death feels like? An empty void if blackness. I could hear something though... My mom’s voice, my sister’s voice, my dad’s voice. I wanted to call out to them. I couldn’t move. I wanted to cry. I couldn’t. I felt trapped in my own body. Was I paralyzed and alive, possibly asleep? I’m not able to see anything only hear. I wasn’t hungry or thirsty. Is this all one big dream? I don’t know I won’t be able to find the answer until I wake up. What if I don’t wake up. My death will CRUSH my parents. I can’t do that to them! I have to wake up!
Then I felt it. Tears were streaming down my face. I started to open my eyes. I saw three blurry, peach figures. Was I dreaming? If not... I’m crying with tears of joy and terror. I’m awake! Someone hugged me. I was struggling for breath. I managed to push them away. Then I realized that the person that I pushed away was my mom. I could barely make out needles protruding into my arm. I could hear a steady beep. The bed I was in wasn’t my bed nor was this my room. I was in the hospital
The next day I was told I had been in a coma for 8 days. I had bruises and cuts all over. The nightmare I wish hadn’t been real, was definitely real. I should have listened to Sarah.
Currently, I’m 27 I have my own family, but I’m scared from the incident that happened in the woods.

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