Ch.1: Our Favorite Spot
💙 Sienna’s POV 💙
With eyes closed, I savored the fragrance of my surroundings. The rush of the water roared in my ears, so loud I couldn’t hear my excited exhales and inhales. I listened to the mating calls of birds and the rustling of branches. My toes curled with anticipation as they dipped into the stream, excited by the adrenaline rush that will ensue.
Opening my eyes, I ran forward and leaped over the edge of the waterfall. The wind rushed through my long black hair and caressing my skin with its mist. I let out a laugh as the rush of falling filled me with adrenaline. I hit the surface of the water, feet first. I let out a yelp as the frigidness of the water at the base of the waterfall shocked my body. I closed my eyes as my head went under. I relished the feeling of the water around my body, pushing me but at the same time giving me the freedom to move.
Its been so long.
A pair of arms wrapped around my body before I could emerge from the water to catch my breath. I knew whom they belonged to, and let them pull me towards a hard chest.
I opened my eyes underwater to look at him, just as a pair of lips brushed over mine. The kiss was light as a feather, before becoming more feverish. Our lips moved against each other, hungry for more. The kiss broke too soon as our lungs began to scream for air.
With Jax’s arms still around me, we swam to the surface of the water. As soon as my head was out of the water. I took a large gulp of air to overcome the burning sensation in my lungs.
“That was quite the jump, Sienna!” Evelyn yelled over the sound of the waterfall. She sat on a large rock at the edge of the water pool. Her Black tank top and blue shorts were still dry as she hadn’t yet made the jump over the waterfall.
Her long brown hair was braided, reaching the base of her spine. Radiant green eyes, framed by long lashes, adorned her heart-shaped face. She was my best friend since kindergarten. I considered her a sister and couldn’t think of a time before she came into my life.
“I agree, my girlfriend is one hell of a badass,” Jax said while laughing. He leaned in and stole a kiss from my lips. Laughing, I kicked him away from my body, he drifted in the water for several feet. Sticking out my tongue at him, I tried to swim away, racing towards the rocks.
“Go, Sienna!” Evelyn shouted, making her way over to the rock I was swimming towards. I pushed myself as hard as I could, the adrenalin of the chase, making my heart pound against my ribcage. As I neared the edge, Evylen extended her hand to me.
Almost there, just a little more.
Inches from the edge, I reached out to Evelyn, and she pulled me up. Just when I thought I made it, a hand grabbed my leg. It pulled at my leg aggressively. I didn’t like it and turned around to tell Jax off but got a mouthful of water instead as I was dragged back under.
I was terrified because when I turned around just before hitting the water, Jax wasn’t behind me. I didn’t know what pulled me, and couldn’t make out its appearance. The hold on my leg was so tight, I thought it would crush the bone. I wanted to scream in pain but kept my mouth sealed shut, so I don’t give up my only available oxygen.
The deeper I was dragged, the dimmer the rays of sunlight became. My lungs began to burn as I struggled to hold onto whatever oxygen I had. My heart throbbed against my lungs painfully. I kicked with legs and thrashed my arms, trying to swim upwards. Still, their hold was too strong.
‘The chosen one will die. I must do my master’s bidding, and then they will reward me. reward me.’ I hearda voice echo in the currents. It was raspy, like nails against a chalkboard. I wished I could cover my ears, but I had bigger problems.
As I ran out of oxygen, my lungs forced a breath full of water into my lungs. The burn was horrible, black spots began to fill my vision. Soon the hold on my leg was released, but I was too exhausted to move. I couldn’t swim back up, and my vision went black.
′Die, she will die.′
I woke up coughing as pressure was applied to my chest, forcing the water out of my lungs with every push. It took a few minutes for my eyes to focus on my surroundings. As my vision became clearer, I saw the sky above me, clouds blocking the sun. The worried faces of my best friend and boyfriend came into view, drawing me back to reality.
“You scared the living shits out of me, Sienna!” Jax said, struggling to catch his breath. “I thought we lost you.” He said mournfully, his chocolate brown eyes framed with red. Water drops trickled down the strands of his short blond hair, down his angular jaw, and landed on my face.
“What the hell happened?” Evelyn asked, brushing the wet strands of my black hair that stuck to my face.
“I don’t know, something grabbed me after you pulled me up. It kept dragging me down so deep. I didn’t see what it was. It then let me go, but I couldn’t swim back up.” I said, my voice came out raspy. I cleared the throat to get rid of the scratchy feeling. “How did I get out?”
I left out the part where I heard a voice underwater. There was no way they would have believed me. The whole thing already seemed unbelievable enough. God knows how much Eveyln hates supernatural stuff.
“I wasn’t chasing you for real, I just wanted to watch you swim away. After you reached Evelyn, I swam towards you, but you fell back in the water. When you didn’t come up, I thought you were joking. But then you really didn’t come up for a while. I assumed the worst and came after you.” Jax explained, helping me to sit up.
“Thank you, Jax, I don’t know what I would’ve done without you,” I said, grateful. Tears welled up in my eyes as I realized that I almost died. Evelyn, too had several tears clouding her vision.
“Hey, hey, don’t cry. I don’t know what happened either but, you’re ok now. ” Jax said with a soft voice, placing his warm hands on either said of my freezing cold cheeks. At the first signs of warmth, my whole body began to shiver, goosebumps spreading across my skin. I leaned into the warmth of his touch and let it wash away the terror I felt.
“What if it was just a leg cramp? And then you freaked out and couldn’t swim?” Evelyn tried to reason, but I shook my head.
“I swear it felt real Eve. Something definitely grabbed me.” I insisted, looking her in the eye.
“Ok, I believe you so enough about the creepy water monsters. Sienna, I bet your grateful to me for convincing you to ask Jax out.” Evelyn joked, trying to lighten the mood. I knew she wouldn’t believe me, but I was grateful for her nonetheless.
“Yeah, I’m sure glad for all your pep talks,” I said, smiling as I remembered our high school days. Jax and I were high school sweethearts, dating since we were both sixteen. Neither of us went off to college and instead stayed around to help out our parents.
We lived in a small town, secluded from the rest of the world by jagged mountains. It was a sleepy little superstitious town. I had always wished to leave, to experience life in the city, but too many things tied me here. Or I should say, too many people tied me down, Evelyn and Jax being among them. My desire to leave was something I never shared with anyone.
“Its what I do best. Anyway, don’t you dare go and die before Friday night. There will be no dying before your birthday. You’re not allowed, ok? I already picked our outfits and all.” Evelyn said, lifting my mood as I felt my excitement for Friday night. We had been planning this day for a month now. We planned to go to a bonfire in the woods with a bunch of friends from our high school days. Well, the ones that were still in town. We were going to hang out and drink.
Pulling me to my feet, Jax placed a peck on my cheek before he went over to grab my clothes. I gratefully wrapped the clothes around my shivering form. Gathering up the rest of our things, we made our way to Evelyn’s car.
A shiver ran down my spine as I took one last look at the waterfall, but it wasn’t from the cold. The voice of that thing echoed in my mind, still fresh. This place had been one of my favorite hangout spots, beautiful and serene. A little bit of paradise tucked away in the forest.
From now on, when I think of this place, I will be reminded of the terror of drowning. Call me paranoid, but I don’t think I would ever set foot in those waters again, not even a toe. Not for a long, long time.
The thing was real, I could swear it. Its voice sounded real. Its grip felt painful, and I was able to see the silhouette of its massive body. I knew they wouldn’t believe me, so I decided to not press it further. I just wanted to get back home.
The sun was just beginning to dip below the mountains when we finally made it back to town, an hour’s drive. After dropping off Jax, Evelyn dropped me home with the promise that we would get ready for on Friday together. I waved to her as she drove away. Making my way up the creaking old steps of our two-story grey house, I unlocked the door and made my way inside.
“Mom, I’m Home,” I yelled.
“I’m in the kitchen!” She answered. Walking into the kitchen, I saw her making dinner. I hugged her from behind and placed a kiss on her cheek. “How was your swim?” She asked me. Many people say that I was the spitting image of my mother in her younger days. Straight long black hair outlines her a heartshaped face. Large hazel eyes framed with long lashes sit atop her high cheekbones. Her lips were plump, like two pink pillows with a well-defined cupid’s bow.
“Y-yea, it was alright. The...uh water was pretty cold today.” I said, my voice slightly wavering. Dammit, I should have composed myself better or even planned what to say.
“Sweetheart, did something happened?” She asked, narrowing her eyes at me.
“No, nothing happened,” I said quickly, keeping my eyes on the stew cooking on the stove. “I will go to change and come help,” I said before she could say anything further.
I walked out of the kitchen and made my way to my room. After showering, I changed into a comfortable pair of blue shorts and an oversized black T-shirt.
I made my way down to the kitchen. Setting up the table, I placed two plates and two forks. Mom kept giving me suspicious glances the whole time.
I lived here with just my mom in this big house. She had inherited it from her family and was generations old. The furnisher was antique and old-fashioned. My mom loved old stuff and refused to throw away anything. She was another person who tied me down to this town. I could never think of leaving her. She was my only family after dad walked out when I was just twelve years old.
“Sienna, there was something I wanted to tell you...” My mom started to say, but her voice wavered. I looked up from my food, with concern on my face.
“What’s up, mom?” I asked. She seemed afraid, her eyes would not meet mine, she kept biting her lower lip.
“Friday, I will be going...somewhere.” She whispered, still not meeting my eyes.
“Where, mom? Are you ok?” I asked, getting up and placing my arms around her. She hugged me back.
“You know what? forget about what I said, its nothing.” She said with a sigh and gave me a weak smile.
Something didn’t feel right, but I didn’t think she would tell me even if I pressed her. She was always so secretive. She never told me why dad left. I hated that about her, always treating me like the child who couldn’t handle the truth. Soon I will turn twenty, but that doesn’t seem to earn me anymore trust in her eyes.
However, she wasn’t the only one keeping secrets.