Denial, Chapter 1: A memory
äänet päässä huutavat: MENE JO!
Again that voice. I know for sure that it’s a female’s voice, but I don’t have a clue that to who it belongs. Yet it sounds so familiar, and the words…, I don’t have a clue what they say, because it’s in a language that I don’t understand. Why would I remember such a thing? Why would I remember something in a foreign language that I don’t understand at all? What’s the point?
Those were Ciara’s thoughts when she woke up in the moss. It wasn’t the first time in her life when she had heard the voice in her dreams. A dull light hit her eyes as she opened them and sat up. She looked around her. She didn’t know where she was, and she had no memory how she had gotten to this spot.Everything looked grey. The moss, the grass, the trees, the light. As she looked up the sky was white. Clouds? Ciara thought and now stood up. Ciara was wearing a dark grey cloak and a white gown. She had no shoes, she was barefoot. She could feel the icy watery moss under her feet, it stung.
“Cold.” Ciara commented to herself, as she slowly and awkwardly stared to move towards the direction she was facing. The icy coldness had made her limbs stiff and almost numb. Where am I? Am I alone? Ciara wondered.
“Hello!” Ciara shouted, but there was no response and she only could hear the echoes of her own voice. I can’t be the only one here, it’s not possible! I was with Vida last night! But where is she now?? These thoughts ran wildly through her mind, and she could feel the panic in herself rising.
“Vida? VIDA!” She shouted again, calling for her dearest. But as expected, there was no answer. Even if there was no answer, Ciara just continued to walk. No, I can’t panic now, she must be here somewhere, Ciara reminded herself. And this forest just can’t go on forever…, which she was right on.
Soon she came to the rim of the forest. Ciara saw some outlines of cottages, and her first thought was to see if there was anyone around and to get help. But as she was about to step out of the woods, she heard a cracking sound behind her, like someone would have stepped on a tree branch. When she turned around, few feet away from her she saw a woman who was naked, pale as snow, and really skinny. You could clearly see her ribs and other bones were sticking out too. The woman had long white hair that was tangled and on her face she wore a masquerade mask that had the shape of butterfly wings. And the cuts where her eyes should have been, they were black. Even if Ciara couldn’t see her eyes, she knew that this strange woman was staring straight at her.
A cold shiver went down Ciara’s spine, and quickly without giving the woman a second glance, she ran towards the cottages. As she ran she felt like she would sink deeper in to the soil. It had rained heavily, and the soil was all soft and muddy. As she had reached the nearest cottage, she took a deep breath and looked back towards the forest. The pale skinny woman with the butterfly wing mask was gone. While she firmly held her gaze towards the forest in case the woman would reappear, she knocked on the cottage door. Few moments later it opened and Ciara heard a voice she surently knew.
“Ciara?” She turned around to meet Moire’s worried eyes.
“Hi, can I come in?” Ciara asked in a weak voice, and only know she realized that how much she froze.
“Sure, come in! We don’t want you to get sick, now do we?” Moire said and let Ciara in. Moire was a tall slender woman, with big dark eyes and with long black curly hair. She wore a dark green dress and her dark brown leather boots.
Ciara sat by the fire, feeling the heat that slowly crawling up on her limbs and melting the cold away.
“Here, take this.” Moire said and gave Ciara a bowl with steaming herb tea. Ciara didn’t say a thing, took the bowl and started to sip the hot beverage.
Both of the women sat in front of the fire in silence, and only then when the bowl was empty between Ciara’s hands, Moire asked what was she doing out there.
It looked like the question had flown over Ciara because she absently stared into the fire, but then she shook her head and in a hazy voice answered: “I don’t know.”
“So you are telling me that you don’t know what you were doing out there?” Moire asked and raised an eyebrow.
“That’s what I told you.” Ciara answered quickly in a defensive tone.
“Alright, no need to get mad about it. I was just wondering since you have no shoes on…” Moire pointed out and Ciara looked down at her feet. A thought struck her.
“Oh yea. I was with Vida.” Ciara laughed nervously as Moire tried not to look too much confused.
“With Vida, you say?”
“Yea, why are you doubting everything I say?” Ciara hissed angrily, feeling pretty hurt.
“I’m not doubting what you say, dear Ciara. But wouldn’t it make sense that if you were with her last night, she would be here with you now?” As Moire had spoke out the question, Ciara’s mind started to work on something. A memory from last night, perhaps?
“That makes sense…,” Ciara doubted, and sat in silence for a while, and then her eyes suddenly lit up like stars, ”Yes, that’s right! I was looking for my shoes with Vida!”
“...In the forest?” Now Moire had totally lost the track of Ciara’s thought process.
“Yes…, then I really don’t remember what happened next, but then…” Suddenly a thought hit Ciara. Vida had gone with her to the forest, and then she had lost her. Would she still be there?
Panic and worry struck Ciara, as she suddenly got up and said shortly: “I have to go.”
“What? Why? Ciara, are you insane, Ciara-, CIARA!” Moire yelled after Ciara, but it was no use and it was also too late, since she had already rushed out from the cottage.
Small drops of rain hit Ciara as she ran back to the grey forest where from she had come from. It was about to rain heavily again.
“VIDA! VIDA!” Ciara yelled as she ran. As before there was no answer, nothing.
Running here and there with no destination made Ciara feel dizzy. She also started to feel out of breath, like she would have been running for a long time.
“Am I running in circles?” Ciara asked herself before she fell down to the cold moss. The rain got heavier every minute that passed, and on the top of that the forest started to fill with thick white fog. Slowly it creeped its way between the trees.
But it wasn’t just an ordinary fog, oh no.
With the fog came the masked ones. Creatures dressed in formal clothes, dresses and cloaks. Masquerade masks on their faces and black liquid oozing from beneath the masks.
They seemed to float as they moved. They swirled and spun around Ciara who was now frozen of fear. Among the masked ones were also children. Their clod laughs could be heard as they moved with the others.
They didn’t seem to have the intent to harm Ciara.
Then it happened.
Ciara’s blood froze in her veins as she spotted a familiar figure in the distance.
The white woman with the butterfly mask.
Oh no, Ciara thought as she started to panic. The woman was staring straight at her.
The fog people didn’t care of the woman’s presence either.
Slowly the woman opened her mouth, a low growling sound came out to the air and black thick liquid started to drop down from the open mouth.
Ciara couldn’t handle it.
And so, the darkness swallowed her up once again.