This short story still isn't finished. I think it'll end up being around 10 or 15 pages, which is quite a bit longer than I wanted it to be. Or I just won't finish it, even though I hate leaving stuff unfinished. Ah well... c'est la vie.
This begins right where the last post left off.
The mountains behind us had vanished completely. In their place was a green, slightly hilly plain that seemed vaguely familiar to me. As I looked back over my shoulder at what had been an almost sheer drop, I saw the same plain that was in front of me. The eagles were nowhere to be seen.
Heath came up beside me, wide-eyed.
“Is this the kind of stuff you usually imagine, Trish?” he asked hoarsely. I felt like I had been splashed with a bucket of ice-cold water. I had seen this place before. It had been just like this—only I was dreaming before. This was real, or so I thought. I pinched myself a few times just to make sure.
Heath repeated his question, and I jumped.
“Yeah, this is what I’ve imagined. Only… it wasn’t something I came up with myself. I dreamed it,” I replied softly. Heath regarded me narrowly.
“Do you know what’s going to happen next, then?”
“Maybe, maybe not. If the dream was, in fact, true, then there should be some people coming right over…” My voice trailed off, since I saw people in the direction I had been gesturing. “Well… I guess I do know what’s going to happen next,” I added halfheartedly. I had no time to elaborate further, since the people arrived in front of us at that moment.
“We’ve been waiting for you,” the tallest one said. “Come with us.”
My senses became frighteningly sharp. I saw in my mind’s eye where these people had come from, and it didn’t look pretty. Josh was just about to accept when I stopped him.
“No, I don’t think we’re the ones you’ve been waiting for. Sorry. There are three other kids who look like us. Maybe they’re the ones,” I told the people, attempting to sound cheerful, hopeful, and totally naïve.
My attempt was apparently unsuccessful. The tall person came up to me and glared down his nose. He was so close to me that I had ample occasion to observe the stubble that wanted shaving on his upper lip.
“You are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Your failure to comply with us might result in unpleasant consequences,” he threatened. At that point, Heath interposed himself between me and the tall person. From the set of his jaw and the dangerous glint in his eyes, I could tell that he was furious. Not just angry or peeved or annoyed; he was absolutely livid.
“You want to repeat that?” he whispered. I grabbed his arm and tried to tug him away from the tall person.
“No, Heath. Stop it. He’s a lot more powerful than you are. Heath, get away!” I grunted, trying with all my strength to pull him back. He wouldn’t budge.
“I don’t know about that. And I don’t think I really care, either,” he growled, still addressing the tall person.
“Heath!” I all but shrieked. “Stop! He’ll kill you! I saw it in my dream.”
Heath finally heeded my advice and backed away. The tall person smiled malevolently.
“At last you show some wisdom. She’s right; I will kill you. But not just now… I think I’ll have a little fun with you first.”
I squeezed my eyes shut and clung to Heath’s arm as the person raised his hand. Josh caught hold of both Heath and me.
The next thing I knew, we were standing on the mountain again, and it was pouring rain. The eagles were gone, although Josh and Heath and I were still standing in a tight huddle.
We all stared at each other, breathless and totally stunned. Heath was the first to partially find his voice.
“How about we keep this to ourselves? Nobody will believe us if we tell them, anyway,” he said, his voice abnormally hushed. Josh and I nodded our agreement. We stood there for a few more seconds, still staring at each other. Then, as if we had simultaneously woken up from a nightmare, we let go of each other and walked back down the mountain.
Heath and Josh’s house was closer to the mountains, so we went there. When their mother saw us, she clicked her tongue and ushered us inside.
“What do you three think you’re doing? It’s raining out there! And what have you done to Patricia? Tch tch tch,” she blustered. Her faintly British accent, as always, almost made me giggle. Heath and Josh exchanged looks.
“We went on a hike before it started raining. There wasn’t any sign of a storm when we started, I promise,” I volunteered. Josh shot me a look of affected fright, which changed when he saw that his mother had softened.
“Well, all right. You need to get home, Patricia; I’m sure your mother is worried about you,” she directed. After I’d dried off a bit and gathered a raincoat, I scuttled to my house.