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Walkers – Part 1

December 20, 2012

Unhurriedly, she rose from the patch of damp, cool, light green moss she had been lying comfortably in for several hours of consciousness within her primary world. She knew this cleared-out spot well, she always returned here before time was up, if she could. When she was standing straight, she smoothed out her clothes and took her first steps.

Gingerly, as she walked through the pair of oak trees that marked the beginning of her path, she pulled her waist-length brunette hair back into a loose ponytail, tucking her side-swept bangs behind her left ear and revealing light green eyes that seemed somewhat hazed over with thought.

Her ears picked up the quiet sound of the moist leaves shifting beneath her bare feet as she walked slowly into the deep, dark abyss that was their forest. Moving through the woodland, she touched her hand lightly to the tree trunks as she passed them by, feeling the different textures of bark beneath her fingertips. Smooth, soft birch to rough, coarse oak… she felt the sensations of the forest against her skin.

A small twig snapped in the distance, echoing through the scarce, spaced trees and thick brush. She didn’t flinch. Long ago she might have, but now she knew it was merely a fellow Walker entering the world she had dwelled for all her twenty-eight years of life. Was this their first time entering this place? Had they been here before? These thoughts crossed her mind, but didn’t linger for long before she turned her gaze back to the path before her.

This was a world she knew well by now, one that she hadn’t really discovered the secrets of until she was six years old. That night was one she would never forget…

It was the night that the world she inhabited went up in flames.

The usually pitch-black woodland was cast in a dark, eerie yellow-orange glow as a crackling, rushing sound met the ears. A young girl with long, thick brown hair burst out of the burning thicket, running, the bracken and brambles cutting up her thin, white legs and tearing the hem of her pale violet dress to shreds.

Molten hot flames were catching up to her as she tripped, landing on her stomach and struggling to get up again. Turning to look behind her, her expression changed from fear to pure terror. Her leg was caught in a fox trap of some sort, the flame-kissed metal spikes burning as they dug into her delicate flesh.

She screamed, but doubted anyone would hear her. Using all her adrenaline-filled strength, she pried the scalding trap open, feeling her hands burning and blistering as she freed herself and tried running again. She was limping from lack of feeling in her foot, but persevered. When she spotted a light up ahead she hoped, prayed it wasn’t more fire. Only focusing on the light, she fell again, face-planting into a stream, the water trickling around her. It was over, she thought, she was going to die.

Suddenly, arms wrapped around her and she was lifted out of the water, being held close to a firm chest and carried toward the light. The rescuer broke free of the forest and hurried down a rocky path toward a cliff. She began to take in the sensations around her. She was wet, and cold, and slightly sticky. Her ankle was throbbing, and she could feel the blood running down, coating her foot in small red trails. Her skin was dirty, and her face felt warm and slimy.

She reached up a small hand and wiped the water from her eyes to look up at her savior. It was a man, around the same age as her father, who had a moustache and beard that were a dark brown, almost black, and thin, wiry hair of the same color atop his head. What struck her as odd, however, was that one of his eyes was cloudy blue and the other was dark, alert green. She didn’t complain, however. She had been rescued by this stranger and she was grateful. Her mouth opened and closed a few times but no sound came out, so she remained silent.

Moments later, they entered what looked like the city in which she lived. He brought her into a house and lie her down upon his bed, going to make some tea for the child.

“I’m Joseph,” he stated as he walked out of the room. And nothing more was said.

So yes, she knew this forest, this city. She’d been here more times than she could estimate without a calculator handy. She followed the path Joseph had gone down that night, stepping into the light from the dark forest she had once feared. She looked at her hands, now fully healed. She often found it hard to believe that the burns she had suffered so many years ago had restored themselves so quickly, having mended within hours. Pausing in her walking, she looked at her ankle, and the scar that had lingered, but only existed here. When she reached the city, she walked past the man’s house and smiled, entering her own home. The city looked like London and Boston combined, the two cities she adored, with its old English architecture and bustling urban streets.

She had once thought this world would cease to exist once she left England for America, but no matter where she was, this city came alive once she closed her eyes.

For the longest time she didn’t understand why she Walked two different worlds, but what mattered was not that she lived in two dimensions…

It was that she couldn’t live without both.

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From → Writing

2 Comments
  1. Created ~ Create.it permalink

    I love your writing. Thank you for sharing.

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