Serial: Part 2

Jack won’t stop staring in the direction of the sound until I start dragging him away from the area. I don’t know who is lurking in the forest, who isn’t even concerned about the sharks, or who would want to actually cause us harm, especially the agonising torture of being slowly devoured, but I don’t want to find out. I take off running, still clinging to Jack’s arm in an attempt to get him away from the creature which not only injured him, but which is also weighing our lives in a very unbalanced scale.

Jack nearly falls over with the force of my pull and from his inability to voluntarily move his limbs, but once he begins to stumble, his body kicks into action and he begins to sprint, faster than I ever could and disappears into the lush and wild greenery. Great, he’s so scared that he’s leaving me behind.

A few moments later, a rock rushes by my head and my hair moves with the force of it. Is he throwing rocks at me? Why would he throw rocks at me? Another rock passes over my head, and I decide to glance back. I soon regret as well as rejoice that I did so. A dog of some sort with a large collar and an even larger set of teeth is chasing me, which is terrifying, but sends another rush of adrenaline pumping through my veins and causing my speed to increase. Another rock passes me and I hear a snarl from the dog, meaning the rock either hit or came very close to hitting it. Jack is protecting me. I can’t help but smile a little at the thought.

I finally begin to catch up to him when I notice we’re back at the glade, or a glade, with a lone tree in the middle of the clearing. Something looks strange about this tree, but I can’t tell what. Jack is already entering the shadows of the lower branches when I step into the clearing. He pauses while he’s still low in the tree to grab my hand and pull me up. We know that the branches, especially the lower ones could be the perfect shelter for small sharks, but we’re more willing to risk encountering them than the dog.

“We need to climb,” Jack says sternly. Even if I doubted his judgment, I wouldn’t bother questioning this statement, so I start climbing, trying to be as careful as I can. Stepping only on branches I know could support either or both of us, I climb as high as I would usually deem safe, and further still.

After a few minutes of climbing, I finally reach a spot where I can no longer go higher, and I hope that the owner of the dog isn’t as light or fit as Jack and I if he decides to pursue us. I look back to make sure Jack is still near me, and see that he is only a couple branches lower. He’s seems to be keeping an eye out for sharks, which might be more important than ever considering we just sent several flocks and lone birds flying, and the attention drawn from that will most likely attract every predator in the forest in our direction.

I decide to look out through the leaves from my perch. I see a sunset of bleeding orange, fiery red, and gold flecks of clouds on the horizon. It’s the most beautiful display of nature I have ever seen, but mingled with the brilliant colours, I see the grey haze of smoke blending with a lone patch of striking pink in the sky. The smoke is issuing from a cabin on a hilltop near the western edge of the forest. I don’t know whether the cabin will be a place of refuge or our doom, but I tell Jack, mentioning that it might be our only escape. “If it means getting to survive the night, I don’t care if it might be dangerous. Finding danger in or around a building doesn’t seem as though it could be as bad as all the dangers we are facing here,” he responds. We slowly begin our descent, but the darkening sky and the muffled growling of a dog are friendly reminders that whatever we do, we are not safe until we are far, far from this forest.

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Serial: Part 1

Whoosh. Whoosh.

This started out as a really great day. I mean, who doesn’t want to go galavanting around with their crush? Sure, I know taking up his offer of coming here was foolish, but I wanted to prove that I can do anything I put my mind to.

Whoosh.

But now, I’m running for my life. Ugh. Why do I have to be so stubborn and vain? I don’t even think he stayed here after I came into the forest. Did I set myself up with a serial killer? Probably. There’s nothing I can do now except try to survive the night and find a way back to the city in the morning.

Let’s see. How exactly did we get here?

Yesterday morning, he called asking if I wanted to go out tonight get some food and then coffee. I spent the day figuring out what to wear and what some of his favourite topics are so that I could actually hold a conversation with him. Then we met up and went to La Rue de la Vie to eat. The tiny diner was so romantic and delicious, though I might have put him off by eating two steaks, a salad, a baked potato, and some pie à la mode. I know, the diner has some of the best French food in the city, but I wanted some steak so badly. At least I have plenty of food in my stomach to hold me over until I find a way home.

He said he wanted to do something crazy, that he had never done before, and that he wanted to have the experience with me. That didn’t really last long… Well, he suggested coming to the forest to see the sharks. Yeah, they have some at the zoo, but neither of us had seen a wild one before, swimming through the trees, awaiting to find some prey to rip and devour. I thought it would be cool to come here and see them, but I wasn’t really thinking we would be getting out of the car and actually trying to find one. I am known by some as being a serial dater: I’m vain, constantly looking for guys who are willing to go on crazy adventures, mooch off my dates to eat as much as possible without paying a cent, and seeing how much I can gross or weird them out, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever been truly terrified because of what a date decided to do after dinner. Well, it’s too late to turn back now. I’m going to see if I can find him and then get us through the night, that is if he is still here…and still alive.

Whoosh. Whoosh.

I keep thinking I’ve finally lost the great white that has been following me for the last fifteen minutes when I here the whooshing of it’s tail in the air again. This has got to be the most adrenaline I’ve ever had pumping through my veins. Despite the fact that I’m absolutely terrified, I’m also quite enjoying this adventure; it’s incredibly thrilling. This is the first date I’ve had that I actually liked the guy, but apparently, I’ve found my match in the serial dating game, and I’m just hoping that he isn’t the serial killer he kind of seems to be right now.

Still running, I trip over a branch hidden among some plants. Just as I regain my balance, I look up. A glade! However, I don’t know if a glade is more dangerous or safer; I don’t actually know the habits of sharks. If I weren’t trying to escape from a great white, I would simply stop and bask in the beauty of the glade; I’ve never seen one in real life before, very few people have. I’m scanning the glade and its perimeters for a hiding place when I see a man with wavy brown hair stand up and turn toward me running. Freaking Jack! Oh my god, it’s him! He’s still here and still alive! I see his eyes, and they are full of terror, so I look behind him. A frenzy of hammerheads, cookie cutters, and goblins is following his scent, numbering about twelve sharks in all. I am no longer happy to see Jack. Forgetting about the great white, I turn around and run just as Jack nears the edge of the glade. Why? Why did we think this was a good idea?

Even though we are now being following by a great white, some hammerheads, goblins, and cookie cutters, I can’t help but think about how wonderful dinner was and how even when I brought up topics I know he doesn’t fancy, he willingly discussed them. Glancing at him, I realise that his blue eyes seem even more piercing in this haunting light and adrenaline-filled forest, and now I want to get through this more than ever.

Panting, Jack slows his pace slightly and turns to look at me. “I am so sorry. This is by far the stupidest thing I have ever done, and it was all to see if I could impress you.” He blushes, and I can’t help but alternate between staring wide-eyed back at him and looking where am going so I don’t run into a tree. “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to simply impress a girl so that she would like me before, and my mind just jumped to the craziest thing imaginable…”

I slow the pace even more, partially because I can no longer breathe. Is it the running, or is it the conversation? I come to a stop and listen, and I can no longer hear the tails of the sharks coming our way. This gives me an uneasy feeling, so I start to walk again. As I look at Jack, I see he is bleeding on his right arm, just slightly. That small injury is the worst thing that has happened to us yet. I quickly begin ripping part of my shirt off to bandage his arm to attempt blocking the scent of blood. He realises what I am doing and tells me he was bitten by a cookie cutter, which is why there have been so many sharks following him, but that doesn’t look like a bite. It looks as if he were cut by a knife.

Then we hear it. A sharp snap in the foliage. But this forest is known for only having sharks and birds, and the birds rarely come down from the trees. There is something, or someone, else in these woods, and from the look of horror on Jack’s face, it’s someone he’s encountered before. Suddenly, I’m not so concerned about the sharks anymore.


 

 

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