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Once Upon a Halloween...chapters 6 & 7

posted 10/31/2012 9:28:47 PM |
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  soft_touch938

Chapter 6

Bella tried for almost an hour to get answers from her grandfather but he was evasive. There were legends, he said, of (here he paused, cleared his throat) of ‘things’ in the forest. The legends were all different, according to who one spoke to and “Who could know the real truth?” he finished. Then he abruptly dismissed her with saying he had work to do. Bella knew to press him would be futile so she hugged him, gathered her packages and left. As she left his office, his receptionist hastily grabbed the phone, swung her chair around, leaving her back to Bella and began to speak although the phone hadn’t rang.

Bella pushed through the door to the sidewalk, took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and began the walk home. Suddenly she felt different, stronger and somehow, confident…she’d not let these people she’d known all her life upset her any longer! She’d never hurt any of them, not once! Why on earth, she thought, should I let a lot of wagging tongues over silly legends, bother me? They shouldn’t, she decided. Like Poppy said, she was a young lady now and her destiny was her own to decide…she would decide this very day and she’d start with holding her head high!

Although her family seemed touched with apprehension, they still enjoyed an evening of celebrating her eighteenth birthday. The hugs and laughter were genuine and she received real ‘grownup’ gifts…her own set of matching luggage from her parents (perhaps they hoped she would go on to college?); gift cards from various shops in town and a few from the city. A new winter coat she’d admired in a catalog was a gift from her older brother and his wife. A number of very cute homemade gifts from her nieces and nephews. Bella loved them all, both the gifts and the givers!

It was late when Bella climbed to her room in the loft. Full of cake and ice cream, she had a brief thought that she hoped those voices from the forest would be still this night. And they were. In fact, they were still for many nights to come…all except the occasional howling. It began to reach her ears like a song sung just for her. To her astonishment, she missed the voices…she felt lonely.

A sadness began to settle over her and she began to visit the forest on her own. The days were growing shorter as September slipped away and still no voices. A hush had fallen over the forest now as its lush green began to fade and a dryness turned its sounds to soft rustling of drying weeds and brush. A shifting of the late summer sun changed the angle of shadows and she wondered sometimes if she really was seeing glimpses of those forest people or if it was just her imagination.

October turned the forest ablaze and as the days went by, there were still no voices. Midway through October, the sky darkened with black, roiling clouds. The winds grew to tear those brilliant leaves from their branches. Warnings of an early snowstorm filled the television screens of Devonshire. It began late in the evening and wet, heavy snow fell for two days straight, covering the town, making it look more like Christmas than pre-Halloween.

On the third day, the storm was past but it stayed cold and blustery for another week. Then, the week of Halloween, the sun came out and the temperatures began to rise and the snow melted away. It seemed that Halloween would be celebrated during a New England Indian summer.

And this is when Bella began to hear those voices once again…

To be continued…

©bldavid

Chapter 7

Bella returned to the forest nightly now. The first couple of nights, nothing happened. The voices stayed to murmurings yet there was an air of excitement about them. The dark shadow that had filled her being that night so long ago was absent as far as she knew.

Then on the twenty ninth, she left her loft, entered the forest and just past midnight, the 30th of October, suddenly the forest seemed alive! Somehow, she knew he was there. The saddness that had invaded her days was gone and she, too, felt alive!

She stood at her favorite tree and waited. Soon she saw him standing in the distance. As she blinked, he was gone and then behind her…she could feel the warmth. Holding her breath, she waited for him to become part of her but instead she heard his voice, “Turn around Bella…it is time.”

Releasing the air she’d imprisoned in her lungs, she turned slowly as goosebumps rushed her body. She didn’t know what to expect but what she saw, again locked the rush of air sucked into her lungs. He was magnificient! Tall and swarthy and muscular. His black eyes held fire and made her wince. His long, black hair was thick; the waves and curls seemed to waft in an unseen breeze. His lips were full and sensuous and a cleft sat squarely in the middle of his chin.

His deep voice, gentle before, was now commanding and held a veil of threat. “Come Bella…we will talk.” He held out his hand to her and she knew if she took it, she would be lost to the her life, her family, forever. Instead, she stepped away from him and wondered what had happened to that warmth she’d felt from him the first time. A brief flair of menace dusted his face, then was gone and replaced with a smile.

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soft_touch938

Oct 31 @ 9:29PM  
“Very well, Bella, have it your way…for now.” He strode past her towards the thickness of the forest. Suddenly Bella felt angry, more angry than she’d ever felt! Somehow this shadowy figure had something to do with all the shunning she’d gotten all her life and she wanted answers. Poppy was right, none of the townspeople had true answers but she knew this apparation..or whatever he was…did!

“Stop!” she nearly shouted, surprised by the commanding sound of it. “Who are you and why have you chosen me to torment all these years?”

Immediately he was in front of her, facing her, towering over her and his once handsome face briefly flashed evil then returned to handsome as he again smiled at her.

“Bella, Bella,” he said softly now, “You ask too many questions. But I have known you even before you were born and you have always been full of fire, always questioning everything. The answers you seek are yours but to learn of them, you must return tonight…it’s the eve of Halloween, you know and only then can you learn the truth.”

“No!” Bella shouted at him, “That’s not fair! I want the truth now! There’s no reason for me to come back as I am here now! You tell me or I’ll…”

“You’ll what, Bella?” he interrupted. But Bella remained silent since she didn’t have an answer to her threat…it even sounded empty to her own ears.

“Tonight, Bella…midnight.”

She wanted to protest further but he was gone and the forest was silent.

To be continued…

©bldavid
sugarnspice005

Nov 1 @ 11:26AM  

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Once Upon a Halloween...chapters 6 & 7