The forest whose name must not be mentioned
There wasn’t an object on earth that would even come close to the darkness inspired within that forests name; a name so sinisterly twisted that even the most corrupt of minds would appear sane, and the blackest and most precious pearls would resemble worthless pebbles in its gloomy glory. Its age went far beyond anything living, rivaling even the moon itself. A being, not an object, beating and breathing, waiting in the depth of the human mind, brewing and dwelling, awaiting the moment it could regain its endowment once more..
Laura sighed heavily for what seemed like the fifths time within the past minute as she finished dusting the chiffonier. Around her laid piles upon piles of clothes, old trunks and new suitcases filled with different attires, books, and memories. Some were pleasant, others just a reminder of her inability to achieve her dream as a doctor. A dream that was crushed when she had almost lost her life in an unforeseeable accident, which had resulted in her leaving medical school. She couldn’t afford dying young like her mother had. Though the thought of dying didn’t scare Laura as much as it should have, she knew better than to act selfishly and cause her father more trouble. The man’s temper was a ticking time bomb without her needing to add more fuel to the fire.
That was essentially how she ended up back within the very room she grew up in; the the once-white-now-yellow-wallpaper was covered in brightly coloured lilies and sunflowers, most of the antique furniture and the accompanying dust and dirt was replaced with modern, more comfortable, goods. The bed, however, was not one of those ‘newly’ purchased items, much to Laura’s dismay.
Despite all that, her mother would have loved the room, so much she knew. After all, they shared interests and hobbies, passions and even their appearances were eerily similar, starting from the crimson birthmark on the shoulder, to the short brown hair, large brown eyes set in a small-roundish face. Their figures and mannerism were similar to the point some would mistake them for the same being. Some, like her father.
Laura almost laughed thinking back to how much her father had changed since then and how close she had been to reuniting with her precious mother. Her father never spoke of her nowadays, in fact, she barely remembered the last time he had even uttered her mother's name. And yet there was so much more for her to know about her life, so much mystery to unveil. To the point that Laura was determined to find out what truly happened, even at the price of her father's fury.
Sitting down on the bed, the young woman turned to face the window. Outside the rest of the town stretched itself, with houses significantly smaller than her families. This town’s inhabitants were almost never to be seen, they rarely left their home’s. Past the houses and the few fields, lied a thick forest that seemed to cut this place off from the rest of the world like the eye of a tornado. And somewhere far beyond the forest lied mountains and rocky hills, making this place especially unpopular among tourists and made it as quiet like the wailing ocean. The lack of stores and events, with the exception of the annual town meeting, no doubt played a key role in maintaining the secrecy of this place.
The tune of ‘Mollére’ came to a sudden stop.
Silence sliced the air. It felt hot and thick. Suffocating. Sweat ran down her spine, while her brain raced. She hadn’t heard of a power out before. Goosebumps stood on her skin. her sixths sense warning her. She was not alone.
Laura was quick to pull one leg closer. Her eyes darted the room. From the window to the walls. A shadow in the corner of her eye and her breathing almost stopped.The door let out a squeak like a jeremiad.
She spun around but saw nothing. The room was empty and she almost laughed. It was the wind, it was always the wind. There was nothing here, she was all alone. A shadow of a tree peered through the window touching singing the blues but nothing else.
Suddenly a sharp nail dug her skin. She slapped it quickly, her hand shaking. A mosquito. Just a mosquito. She pulled her hand back, palm up. Now she’d see the squashed insect. See? There was nothing to fear, it’s just a-- blood.
Laura opened her mouth but no sound came out. She couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. Helpless, alone. From under her bed darkness seeped. A shadow, a being.
Red horns, with wounds. Outstretched torso with pulsing veins. Eyes were hollow holes of an abyss. Mouth stitched closed, threatening to spill. The stitches pulled, showing sharp teeth. A wicked smile. It moved closer, one leg at a time. A spider? No, too hideous.
It had claws which stretched for her. Her lungs screamed for air, black dots in her vision. The shadow leaped, black blood dropping past stitches. She couldn’t breathe, she was couldn’t speak. She was going to die.
Time flew and before she knew it, it was already morning. Blunderingly Laura woke up with a pounding headache. The clock on her bedside table showed seven thirty, giving her exactly thirty minutes to prepare breakfast. She groaned, her throat feeling dry before she suddenly sat up. Laura stared down at her arm. Blood had caked itself to her skin and the clean white bed sheets, as numbers 666 were carved into her flesh.
Exactly eight o’clock she served breakfast; sunny side up eggs with bacon, coffee, and toast. Fresh flowers were put into a vase on the table as a finishing touch. She knew her father considered skipping breakfast a bad omen but she doubted she’d be able to push food down her throat after yesterday's nightmare and the once-there-now-faded-wounds.
Her father on the other hand, had no problems stuffing his face with the food, greeting her ‘good morning’ somewhere between his forth and sixths bite of bacon. The sight almost made her roll her eyes, almost. She looked bored to tears.
“ Good morning as well, father.” she proceeded to do the dishes, ignoring her father disapproving eyes at the fact that she wasn’t eating. Though soon his attention seemed to have wandered away to work instead of his ‘fatherly concern’;
“Did you fix the old tractor?”
“I have. It is as clean as a whistle.” by the time she had finished dishes, her father was already heading outside.
“ Lovely. Don’t disturb me today, I’ll be busy. No need for dinner, I’ll be home late.” and just like that he had gone out to the fields, leaving Laura with only one thing to do the rest of the day; read.And read she did within the grand basement library which too, had once belonged to her mother. The room was filled with books from the floor to the ceiling with two large couches in the middle of the room and a small coffee table. She spends her time there reading about the human anatomy. The secrets of the body that had been discovered and dream about the ones yet to be revealed. The human body was a fascinating thing that no one really knew much about.
Silence. Laura noted that there was no noise. Had it always been so quiet? So humid? Her hair stuck to her skin. The book felt unusually heavy. A weight pressed on her chest. She found it hard to concentrate. A claw dragged along her scalp. Her head snapped back, eyes wide. Her mouth dropped opened, shocked, speechless. The creature of darkness.
They looked at each for a minute, then, suddenly the scenery changed.
Laura let out an ‘oomph’ as the creature dropped her on the forest-grounds. She attempted to move, to run, but her body refused. The creature pulled her by the leg further from safety, further from home, until safety was nothing more than a mere light in a far away distance. She was left there in the forest unaided, gasping for air. It was freezing outside, but all she felt was heat.
The forest moved abnormally, almost ghost-like. The trees were dancing in the wind, shifting from one place to another until she didn’t know where home was anymore. The moon glared down angrily from its place high up. As though it was judging her, blaming her. Laura felt the claw-leg let go before another claw pinned her down.
A white shadow moved between the trees, passing by the beasts. It made a round before stopping right beside Laura. The white nothingness moved and shifted, forming into a face that resembled her own. Her mother. Ohh her dear mother. She wanted to touch her to hug her, but the woman only shook her head. “I’m sorry Laura, my child, you cannot hold me anymore, not in this world. The dead do not belong to the the world of the living” she murmured.
“But mother I’ve wanted to see you for so long. To talk to you, but father, he’s..” Laura felt the lump in her throat tighten with tears threatening to spill down her cheeks. She tried to speak again but her voice seemed to fail her.
“ Shh my Laura, don’t weep. Time has been unkind, but there is a way to change that.” Instantly all of Laura's attention was on her mother and the sad expression she wore. Listening to every word, savoring every syllable she could get from her. “ It’s not easy. I want you to open the gate.”
“What gate? Laura whispered, fearing the worst.
“The gate to the spirit world, I’m trapped in here until someone opens the gate.” and only once Laura swore that she’d do all it took to get her mother back, she returned back home, to the library as though nothing had happened, as though it were a dream. She thought the world of her mother.
With the only proof of its reality being a large horn with ancient foreign carvings stabbed through her hand. A horn which was supposed to guide her. The creatures crawled away down the well, like her mother.
Laura went back to the house to her father, she turned around a last time. It seemed like the forest was shrimping a significant amount. When she past the living room, had her father already been taking forty winks. He was snoring terribly loudly, it almost emitted like a sewing machine.
She decided that she would ask her father tomorrow, about the earlier events. It almost felt like a dream, so surreal, being able to reunite with her mother. She smiled blithesome to her herself. For the days they can spend together in reminiscence.
The following morning, Laura waited and fretted for her father to return home from the fields. He had always been a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at any given second, but she knew she couldn’t wait forever. She could feel her judgment day approaching the longer she stayed in this town. Laura jumped, startled, as the door opened and her father strode in. He was clad in torn grey working-trousers and a straw hat. His hands were covered in soil, and judging by his expression, he had forgotten something important and as such had to return home.
Laura couldn’t afford to wait until he finished working for the day and stood up, clasping her hands in front of herself to gather strengths and not to look so nervous. “ Father,” she called out to catch his attention. “ I have some urgent business with you, it cannot wait.”
Her father, in turn, paused mid-stride, almost as though just realizing she was there before he lowered his hat. “You look a bit under the weather”.What is troubling you, my daughter? he continued searching for whatever it was that he had lost.
“You’re keeping something at bay”. What happened to mother?
She could clearly hear something snap, could clearly see her father beginning to lose his cool. “Insolent daughter! How dare you demand that of me! I’m not obliged to justify myself in front of you, you hear me?!” his voice just kept getting louder- He was yelling at her for a simple question as though she were a child who’d understand nothing.
“Nevermind. I’m already aware of the truth, of where my poor mother is being kept against her will.” those words brought tears to her eyes, tears of frustration, of anger, of hate. Laura stood up and left the kitchen quickly, slamming the door behind herself. She really hated the hateful, explosive and selfish nature of her father. He had really cut Laura to the quick.
Laura couldn’t just sit on the fence, but needed to take action immediately.
All too soon she found herself back in the basement, in the library, and for several hours she paced against the rows of books in frustration. The stairs to the library made a spiral shape, and the steps made a wailing sound like a human crying in melancholy.
When her anger finally faded, and she was left with sadness and pity, she began running her fingers over the book spines.
She was searching for a book, for something to take her mind off of everything that was happening in her life. She paused suddenly as her eyes landed a peculiarly unfamiliar book. It was covered in black leather, with grey stripes. Between the stripes, she could make out curved patterns that almost looked like- “Horns.” Laura breathed the word as she carefully pulled the book down and opened it. The first thing she saw was a picture of her mother but when she looked closer she noticed a shadow reflected in the background. Its presence was haunting despite the fact it was just a picture. Her mother was smiling brightly, without a single trace of sadness on her face. On the other hand, the demon had his tentacles over her shoulders and legs. It was the same spider-crawling creature that had left Laura breathless earlier. The aura of the book devoured her like smoke covering the once brightful sun.
The picture seemed to move and for a second it looked like the creature's legs were pointed at Laura. Bright red letters flashed in her mind, making her drop the book and stumble backward away from it. It seemed to say three words; ‘You are next.’
For a while, she remained frozen before she let her eyes wander towards the window, and she looked outside. If she peered closely she was certain that she could see the trees moving in their hypnotizing dance. And something else, something much darker, lurking within those woods. Peering at her and studying her, just as closely as she was studying it. The demon in the forest seemed to smile. That smile was all the persuasion that Laura needed to gather the book once more and then head out into the forest, stopping only once she was in the same place where she had met her mother.
At that moment, Laura didn’t care if she ‘was next’. For as long as she could save her mother, she would be happy. With her mind entirely made up, she flickered along the pages until she came across one covered in horns and ancient writing. It appeared to be a witches spell. Though that wasn’t the most interesting thing for Laura, no, what fascinated her the most was the handwriting the spell was written it. That handwriting belonged to her mother.
With all of the hesitation settled she begun reading the words for what felt like hours. Over and over again, but seemingly to no avail, even as the last words rolled off her tongue. The words rolled off her tongue as she read them, one by one. ..”Truculentus Eburnu”
The world remained the same with her precious mother dead. Something did not feel right.
A sudden scream cut her off mid-word. She recognized that voice and it was her father. It sounded like he was in excruciating pain. Despite her anger towards the man, she rushed to his side only to witness the horrific sight of a demon tugging on his leg, gnawing at it even as her father kept shooting and kicking it, and even Laura's attempts did little to get the creature off him. In vain. The man that raised her, the man she called her father was now nothing but a corpse on the ground. A corpse that she burned once she was done weeping. Though she was far from being done with mourning her father, she knew she had to hide the tracks to avoid the creatures from coming back, or in the very least, from bringing more of their ‘friends’ to the feast. Though she could feel them waiting in the forest, like the brisk avalanche she would soon be annihilated by the serpentine creatures.
The air felt soothing against the non-fading heat on her sweat-soaked skin, though it did nothing to calm her nerves as she once more entered the house. Laura was alone now, with no one left to protect her. No one but herself. She quickly loaded the gun, hoping that the bullets would in the very least stall those creatures long enough for her to escape, before looking out of the window. She couldn’t see them, but she could feel them. Those demons were after her like eagles after their prey, persistently and without resting. The moon changed position in the sky, the cheesy yellow now appearing more like a milky white. It would have been a perfect night to spend with her mother and father.
Returning to her bedroom, Laura proceeded t...
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KällhänvisningNadia Recinos [2017-11-14] The forest whose name must not be mentioned (berättelse)
Mimers Brunn [Online]. http://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=60190 [2018-09-19]
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