(Preview) Through the Realm
Chapter 1: The Awakening
I had awaken suddenly to the down pour of the mornings first sun rays dancing across my face. I lay soaking in the soothing warmth, taking it all in. The sweet smell of nearby wildflowers filled the cool morning breeze. Slowly i pull the blankets off and step out of bed. 'Maybe Massachusetts wouldn't be so bad after all'.. I thought to myself as I made my way across the old wooden floor to the mirror. Cheerfully I brushed my long blonde hair.
A little sunshine will do my pale skin some good. The dreary streets of Seattle takes its toll on complexion , and all over attitude for that matter. For once my outlook was sunny and bright. I climbed down the loft stairs to the kitchen. My mother was already awake, the smell of fresh baked bread engulfed the little cottage. Now she sat at the table in front of a laptop typing furiously.Oblivious to the world around her, I grabbed some bread, buttered it and walked to the front porch. The intense orange of the morning sun seemed to bathe everything it touched in a luminous burst of glistening beauty. My mother had picked a beautiful spot,after much debate of course. She had been offered a position at a local magazine. She was now researching the towns past for an article in the upcoming issue. its hard to believe such a small town would have much history, none of any interest anyway.
"Allura." My mothers voice pierced through my daydream. "Yes." I called as I made my way back to the kitchen. "I'm halfway through and Ive found some old stories that may be of interest to you.: she said as she handed me some old documents. I sat at the table and began skimming through. "Salem Witch trials"........"Woods thought to be demonic?" ....."Hmm" I thought aloud. "Now are these our woods?" I finally finished. "Yes actually these woods to the left of us connect this village to Salem." My mother said with a big grin. I already knew the thoughts swirling through her brain. We both shared a love for the unknown, the paranormal if you will. "Dusk then?" I said with a smile. "Its a date!" she replied as she went back to typing.
A new town meant a new school, and ours started in two days. I spent the remaining hours of the day preparing. My room was still not quite unpacked, and we would be in the woods for most of the night. Panic began creeping up slowly as I thought about my first day. I will be going into my sophomore year at a brand new school. I began reminiscing about my old school, with all its familiar faces and Jason. I hadn't really thought about him with all the chaos of moving. His soft brown eyes and long black hair, it seemed so distant in my memory. A tear fell from my chin and onto some papers in my lap. I took a deep sigh and finished putting away the boxes. I took one last look around. "Perfect" I stated aloud to myself, gave a nod of acceptance and headed downstairs for dinner.
After dinner I stepped outside. It was about dusk and the humid day promised a thick, foggy night for our little adventure. There was a slight chill in the air as the sun finally slipped away. I went inside pulled on my hoodie and grabbed a flashlight. My mother was waiting on the porch. The moon was huge and hugged the woods with a bright, silvery embrace. "You ready for this?" My mom asked with a gleam of excitement in her eye. "Oh Yeah!" I said as I took the first step into the woods. We made our way slowly along the small path woven between the tall trees. "Now according to the legend, after the trials, witches fled deep into these woods for refuge. That is how our village was founded." ......."By witches?" I interrupt ...."yes" she chuckled. "But that's not the best part, now supposedly in the very middle of these woods is a ceremonial ring of stones. And that is where we are headed." she finished. We walked in silence for awhile. I listened to the sounds of the woods and tried to imagine hundreds of people fleeing through the woods in fear for their own lives. There was an eerie feeling that swept across me as we crossed a small stream . My mother stopped. The moonlight danced off her dark curly hair. Her eyes shown brightly. "Did you feel that? We must be close!" She didn't give me time to answer before she grabbed my hand and pulled me deeper into the darkness.
"Here, over here.." she called . I climbed over the remnants of and old rock wall, and as I stepped down I seen it....It was hauntingly beautiful. A small opening int the trees formed a perfect circle of moonlight that shown down on a meticulously placed circle of four large round boulders. " Cant you feel the energy? " my mother whispered moving from one rock to the other. "Its like.... " A loud crash of thunder drowned out her words. "It looks like were going to get rained out." I said. "Yes I suppose we should head home." she replied. The whole walk back was quiet and somewhat peaceful, but I had a feeling I couldn't shake, like something wanted my attention, like we were being followed. I blocked it out and tried to think of my warm bed in the loft upstairs. Finally we stepped out of the woods and on to the gravel road. The rain started falling from the darkening sky, just as we stepped onto the porch. "I'm going to bed' I announced wearily as i drug myself up the stairs to my room. " Goodnight," my mother called behind me. I climbed into bed and drifted off to sleep.
My dreams were haunted by vivid visions of a ceremony. It was held at what looked like the woods we were just in. There was strong smells of burning wood and herbs. But what frightened me were the screams. They pierced my mind and woke me up in a cold sweat. I grabbed two white pills beside my bed and choked them down without water. I was soon in a deep slumber. I slept through the rest of the night and well into the next day. My mother woke me up with orange juice and fresh fruit. " I felt drained after our little investigation, how about you?" she said softly. I nodded and took a drink. The afternoon sun burned the side of my face. I got out of bed and shut the blinds. I debated whether to tell my mom about the dreams. They probably meant nothing but those screams, I couldn't get them out of my head. The day drug slowly by. I tried to get excited about school the next day, but my mind wandered off to the circle of rocks in the woods. What was it about that place that keeps calling to me? My mother had been in her study all afternoon and most of the night working on her novel. Besides her job at the magazine, she was a novelist. She wrote mostly about ghosts and witchcraft, things along that nature. Every weekend she'd disappear into the study and not come out until dinner. Most of the time I'd find her slumped over the keyboard fast asleep. We talked about school and other small talk over dinner and headed off our different ways. I went up to bed, and she sunk back in front of the computer. i drifted off to sleep hoping for an answer to the screams from the dreams the night before. Moonlight glittered of a rock in the middle of the woods. The screams returned louder this time. Through the darkness I could barely make out the outline of three small children, crouching beside each rock in the circle. At the last rock a tall robed figure stood hands raised towards the sky. A feeling of panic ripped through my body. Once again I woke in a cold sweat. Thuds came from the stairs below. My mothers head peeked out of the shadows.."Are you okay?" she asked. A look of worry crossed her face but soon faded. "You were screaming!!" "I'm fine, just a bad dream" I replied.."Goodnight Mom". She kissed my forehead and slipped off into the darkness. I lay in the dark starring at the ceiling. The dreams returned all night long, over and over, the same images, the same screaming.
The next morning I awoke suddenly frightened from the reoccurring nightmares. I got dressed and headed down to eat before school. "So how did you sleep?" my mom asked. '"Good" I lied. "Well i have to head over to the office so I thought Id drop you off at school"...." All right" I said as I grabbed my bag and headed to the car. I never expected to be the odd one at school. I fit in so well at my school in Seattle. But I knew as soon as I pulled up to the Sunny Brooke High School, my converse shoes, polka dot tights and worn out mini skirt wasn't going to cut it. I played nervously with the black plastic bracelets covering my arms as we parked. I could feel the judging stares looking me up and down as I made my way across the courtyard of students and into the principals office."Good morning, you must be Allura Mekki." An older man greeted us as we walked in. He had a warm smile and I felt a little more at ease. My mom smiled back and began filling out a few pages of paperwork. She gave me a quick hug and was out the door. "Well here is your schedule Ms. Mekki, I will walk you to your first class. I am Mr. White, come see me if you have any problems finding a class or need anything at all"
First class was Algebra II. "Yuck" I thought to myself as we walked down the hallway to a small room at the end of the building. It was about 5 minutes to first bell. I was the only one in the class room. I decided to pick a desk close to the windows in the back, hoping to not draw any attention to myself. I sat alone and my mind began to drift back to thoughts of Jason.... A tear slipped down my left eye. "Hello" a voice came from behind me... I spun around to see what i can only describe as the most gorgeous boy I had seen since I lost Jason. His green eyes entrapped me and I stammered trying to hide the blood now rushing to my cheeks. "Huh..huh...uh...Hi" I felt so stupid. He flashed me a smile that I would dream about later that night. Walked to the other side of the room and sat down. A tall, thin lady walked in shortly after he sat down. " Hello Ms Mekki if I'm not mistaken . I'm Mrs Barkhimer." Her voice was shrill and high pitched but there was something calming about it. I nodded my head and went back to my daydreams. The bell rang pulling me out of my thoughts and kids began to pour in the classroom. My heart sank as i watched them all pile in to their seats. It was like an ad for abercrombie and fitch. I knew at that moment I was not going to fit in.
The stares and whispers started shortly after the last girl sat down. The overwhelming feeling of loneliness crept up my spine, shaking me to the core. I began to realize how much I would miss my friends ......... and .............. Jason........... A tear rolled down my eye as Mrs. Barkhimer continued on with the lesson that I was not even paying mind to. My daydream began to become more and more vivid. I could almost smell the burning brakes and the sound of the shattering glass rang in my ears.....and then .... those screams...I had almost forgotten what he sounded like. "Jason".... I muttered out loud... My face burned with embarrassment. Now not only do I look different , they're all gonna think I'm the crazy girl who talks to herself. I looked around me praying no one was paying attention.