Quicksand (short fiction)
Randomly came across some writing of mine from college that I thought I had lost forever. This was the prologue for a novel I was developing. I lost most of my work on it and will likely never return to it due to the backlog of story ideas, but I still thinks it's an intriguing opening. It's a dream sequence so it feels disjointed and all over the place, but I liked it enough to share it. It's also in the present tense which is a little weird but I was a naive sophomore who didn't know any better. Hope you enjoy.
Huge wisps of white mist fill the night air. With each exhale Katherine's breath is frozen forever into meaningless space. Hard on catching whatever air she can, she kneels over. Barely able to hold herself up, she nearly collapses, using her hips as leverage. Her eyes wander, just noticing the terrifying scene around her.
Forest and hills cover most of the countryside. A dark fog rests along the ground, almost graveyard-like in it's appearance. The trees, their leaves long gone, stick out like knives poking holes in the sky, the sky...a dark pit of despair almost as sad to look at as the land itself. Occasional raindrops fall as Katherine watches around her, a drop hitting her in the eye.
Batting it away with a blink she stares out from atop a hill, just small enough to climb but still tall enough to be intimidating. It's presence mixed with the foreboding nature of the scenery. Long vines and tall grass grows upon the hill, truly being enveloped by nature. Several orange flowers lay scattered across the top of the hill clashing with the grim display of almighty nature. They practically outline the young girl as she struggles for breath still.
"I can't stop moving", she thinks, immediately regretting even thinking such a thing. This was unavoidable. It was something that he had been working towards for years. She could not just give up at a moments notice based on some petty human reaction. This wasn't like her. The air escaping her lungs with no hope of ever returning, the hunched over posture which took away any chances of standing properly; none of it was right.
Her eyes widened as she let out a gasp, staring down upon her ring finger with a wedding ring brightly adorning it. Before even being able to react further, a howl fills the night air; it's fierceness penetrating the hearts of even the strongest of foes. She cannot delay any longer. She must get moving.
Steadily balancing her body she begins rocking back and forth till finally she launches herself forward, briskly rolling down the hill in graceful manner, hardly even visibly. Reaching the bottom of the hill she raises herself, continuing her run deep into the ever-widening forest.
Dodging between broken down limbs and an amass of foliage, she sprints out, not even glancing at what could be behind her. Out of the corner of her eye she spots something; a white flash moving at speeds almost unimaginable for a human creature.
Her face implants harshly against a solid object, nearly rendering her unconscious if not paralyzed. She struggles for air as she realizes her face rests in shallow water. She lies; face down in a shallow stream. Dazed, she looks around her trying to figure out what has happened.
The stream had appeared out of nowhere, causing her to trip and fall into it's depths. The height from the hill in which she plummeted and the stream was not life threatening, but still rather dangerous, especially taking into account lack of depth in the water. Leaves crunch as footsteps can be heard making their way over the hill and next to the stream in which Katherine lies. She knows that the fall delayed her too much. Even if she were to stand up and run off as fast as she can, there was no chance. She couldn't possibly escape them now. It was all over.
Katherine stares up over the hill as three huge figures walk to the stream. On the ground in a flash, they softly step into the calm water; it only coming up to their feet. As if someone had pulled a curtain on the world, the world goes dark. Frightened of the possibilities of her surroundings, she softly weeps, her lower lip quivering with each sob.
A flash of pain pierces through her and all that’s surrounds her is pure white light. She grasps her head, trying to suffer through it but can’t as she screams out in desperation. The pain doesn't stop. It continues to increases, feeling as though a battle of fire wages inside her head. Suddenly, it all stops.
There is no longer anything. No pain. No fear. It is all simply...gone. As is the sound of the stream and footsteps, disappearing as if it had never even been there in the first place. A feeling of pure weightlessness overcomes her, feeing as though she is practically floating in the air. Opening her eyes she sees nothing but several sets of mesmerizing white eyes. "Forgive Me."