Fiction · Short Story

The Wilderness

The air was cold around me, but I pushed my legs further, harder. The white out effect hadn’t kicked in, and I was waiting for it. I looked down at my two legs moving faster and faster as my lungs were filled with the freezing air.

I tripped over something and watched myself fall in slow motion. I laid on my stomach for what felt like ages. I used my aching, bleeding arms to push myself onto my back. I watched the snow began flurry down through the tall, bare pine trees above me. I began to count.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, …

“Callie,” I hear from in a tree. I began to count faster. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

Something fell from a tree beside my head. I used my strength to sit up straight – I hadn’t noticed how cold I was till just now. My eyes came to focus as I surveyed the object that had fallen: thick, black fur covered the thing. It had beady red eyes and two jagged front teeth. The creature heaved for breath and its body was rising and falling ever so quickly. Two small puncture marks were made in the stomach, and a large amount of blood was seeping out into its charcoal fur and over the pure snow.

My vision began to blur so I scratched at my eyes. “You’re scared,” he called from above. The branch shook. “Callie, Callie, Callie… What are they going to do with you?”

I stood up again and tried to run; my feet gave out and I fell back into the cold, wet snow. A branch shook overhead, “You’re not going to run away from me. I can,” he breathed in deeply, “smell you.” “Stop!” I shouted, standing up again and looking into the tree tops. He chuckled and the limb above my head shook. “At last, she speaks! You’re not a waste after all,” he shouted down at me.

I watched as he jumped from one limb to the other, but I could only see him for a minute. His raven black hair stood out against the fresh sheet of white snow. His red sweater was torn and tattered and covered in spiders’ webs. Snow fell from a limb seconds before I heard a large thud in the snow just a foot in front of me. He is here. My breathing hitched. “Callie,” he whispered to me. His breath was of ice and it chilled me to the bone. I dared not move for fear of what was to come. “You should not have run away. You should have stayed.You messed up.”

A tear rolled down my cheek, for now, I knew what my fate held for me. He stepped closer into the mood light and took my still bleeding arm in one hand. His skin was paler than any other person’s I have ever seen and colder than the snow around me. He looked at the blood dripping off of me and licked his lips. “Callie…” his voice trailed away. “You are so-”

“Callie!” I heard you call off in the distance,“Callie! Where are you?” Flashlights flickered as he snarled at me and ran back up into the tree. I wiped away the stray tears and watched him run back up into the tall pines. “Oh my gosh!” You turned your head back in the direction in which you came from and called out, “She is over here!” You turned back to me, “You scared us all! Where have you been? And your arms!”

You engulfed me in your arms as nurses came running up. I was pulled to my feet and lead back into the direction of Sick Minds. I turned back to where I was standing just moments prior and watched him step into the pale moonlight in between the tall pine trees. He snarled at me as I was lead off. That was the last time I stepped foot in the real world.

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(This short story was inspired by a writing prompt entitled The Wilderness which instructs the author to take two previously existing characters and put them in a wilderness. The characters I chose were Callie from the book Cut by Patricia Mccormick  and Baz from the book Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.)

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