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Hollen's Blog Entry



 
 

Blog Entry
 
Monday, Jan 18, 2021
Consumption || A Return - RP Repost

    Bântuit.

    In the light of day, it’s nothing but a forest. The trees span a vast area with branches full of life in the warmer months, while becoming barren and empty upon the first cold snap. The ground at the base of ancient trunks teemed with life, where the vibrant greens were only marred by shadow on the sunniest of days. In the early hours of the morning, light fog settled low under the branches. It concealed the twittering birds and scampering critters that moved below the canopy. Trails – some well-worn and some only privy to game – wound around the outskirts of the forest without delving too deep. Tourists walked many a mile within the outer line of trees, immersing themselves in nature and culture. Locals watched from beyond, often murmuring about those who were nebun for entering such a place. Their tales were often dismissed as ghost stories, legends and myths. Yet, the local people had seen loved ones disappear amongst the trees. They had heard the unnatural noises; they had seen the floating lights. There were mothers and brothers, sisters and fathers who had left the forest with strange rashes and visions. Many were haunted by nightmares and silenced by what they believed they had seen amongst the trees. Romanian people did not look at Hoia Baciu and see a forest – they saw a place interzis.

    Monștri.

    To the creatures occupying the land, it’s nothing but a place to call home. The branches – those thick with leaves and those barren – were often occupied by twittering birds and chattering rodents. Upon dense bark and twisted trunks, insects marched in endless lines. Predator and prey roamed the ground, occupying holes and dens, scaling rock formations and darting amongst thick brambles. In the spring, the forest animals sang with new life and awareness. In fall, the sounds began to quiet as slumber and cold threatened even the densest vegetation. Life came and went in the forest, as it did anywhere else. The cycle of life stopped for nothing, not even those who believed themselves more powerful than time itself. Foolish creatures dared to test the bitter snap of winter or the harshest of storms, where the sky was alight with dangerous flashes of electricity. Desperate prey would move too slowly near the shadows and fall victim to the starving bites of predators, their life ended in a heartbeat as the cycle moved on. This was the way it had always been and the way it always would be. It wasn’t vicious, it simply was. The animals did not take notice. Their conscious minds were instinct-driven, where only essential needs were their concern. The only time the animals seemed to take pause… seemed to become distracted… was when something strange happened in the depths of the forest.

    Străin.

    There were places even the animals didn’t go; there were places where the trees refused to anchor. Barren wastelands dotted amongst life. Game trails spreading like veins across the landscape, only for some to end at a rock face, or the base of a tree so round that it would give way to the idea that it had been born at the forests’ inception. Certain groves of trees twisted and formed in ways that stumped anyone who saw them, as if they were growing around an invisible force. Those places were alien; they were mysteries. They were abnormal and foreign, moving against the flow of nature itself. It was in those places that the monsters roamed. Empty spaces acted as portals for creatures that never belonged. The sudden end of a trail was a hidden doorway that sometimes led directly into the lair of a beast. The deafening silence wasn’t because of the animals’ fear, but because there were none to speak. It was in these places that forest blurred with something unnatural and created darkness. The darkness took many forms, some which prompted terror and others that simply made one’s hair stand on end. The forest itself was not the origin of the stories and legends, after all. It was what lived in the forest… what the forest created that struck fear into the hearts of local people and pumped adrenaline quickly through the veins of visitors. Where reality and disturbed fantasy melded into space and time, life was formed. Monsters were bred in the absence of growth; darkness bled into the fog where birds never sang. As with everything, however, there was always a balance to be maintained. As death walked, life followed. Even the disturbed terrors that were born beneath waxing moons and hunted amongst the trees were met with balance – for what was created in the Hoia Baciu could also be consumed by it.

    Consuma.


    Acasă.

    The forest was familiar in the comfort of its outstretched trees that sought the depth of infinity above them. It was familiar in the deep roots that held fast to the soil, a network of veins that held the entirety of it together. The sun shone through the canopy – casting warm tones of greens and yellows in the heat and spidery cold shadows in the cold – just like any other forest. Life breathed within it and last breaths were often uttered and mingled with the air. There was noise and silence; there was darkness and light. Immovable objects lasted hundreds of years in the same place, while each year brought the birth and death of the underlayer that was so often trod upon. The forest was familiar in the same way that all forests were familiar. The trees may have had different shaped leaves or varying types of bark and the animals that called it home changed depending on location, season, the supply of food… yet, the forest was always familiar. It had not mattered how many forests the monster had occupied: they were all home to it. This place had been a location of origin for the beast, where something had sparked into existence that never should have been. It was the wrong that flowed against nature itself and lurked within the darkness of the woods, yet was not afraid to come into the light. This place was far from apples and deep caves, broken-down cathedrals and worn gashes that twisted innocent trees. This place was familiar and terribly different all at the same time. The creature had never worried about walking amongst the trees before. After all, it had never encountered a contender to the likes of itself.

    Pierdut.

    ‘Hoia Baciu,’ is what the locals had called this place. The woman had not recalled learning Romanian, yet when the locals spoke, she had understood each word. She stood out amongst them, as she tended to do, with her copper hair and abundance of freckles. When she had inquired about the forest, they had stared at her as though she was surely confused. ‘Cursed,’ they had claimed while warning her about entering. ‘Unnatural,’ a woman had cried, pointing to the shadows that played in the evening light. The streetlamps didn’t reach far enough to penetrate the imposing darkness, though the woman’s blue-grey gaze showed intrigue instead of anticipated intimidation. ‘Foolish girl. Fată prostească,’ they had whispered as she thanked them for their information and continued on her path. Night had fallen by the time she had approached the outer line of the trees, at the start of a path that was apparently popular amongst the tourists. The moonlight caused her pale skin to glow as she shed her borrowed shoes and slipped out of her worn sundress, letting it pool at her feet. Hair darkened like blood trailed down over her shoulders and spine while her freckles looked like spots of dirt had been splattered upon her flesh in this greyscale landscape. There was no hesitation in her stride as she entered the forest, feeling the pull of home and change as she disappeared into the shadows. A foolish girl she had been.

    Coșmar.

    Human skin was shed as the sky began to lighten. The attractive pale form twisted and broke, bones snapping and reshaping. A wail split dry, cracked lips as her legs elongated and her arms more than doubled their size. Human feet disappeared, forming into giant hooves that clicked against the stones amongst the dirt. Her slim stomach sunk in, retracting and pulling upwards towards stretched ribs, while the knobs of the creature’s spine swelled and pressed against taut flesh. Hair like blood shrank and spread to cover the figure in patchy fur that shimmered in the dim light. Her jaws snapped and sharp teeth stretched with a forming maw as a scream morphed into a raging howl. Petite ears pulled back and elongated while the spurs of broken antlers twisted up up up into a horrifying rack of ivory. It stood hunched for just a moment, chest rising and falling with heavy breaths as large nostrils flared and left clouds of chilled breath in the air. It leaned forward on clawed fingers, front arms almost the length of its entirety. A monster, a creature of the night that was whispered about in certain cultures and familiar enough to be known in others. The wendigo snapped sharp, cognizant eyes open and glanced around the fading light, finding solace in the shadows and their shifting, their wavering. Hunger furiously clenched at its gut and the creature began to move, driven by nothing more than instinct and the need for sustenance. The hunt had commenced.

    Dispărea.

    Warmth spread amongst the trees despite the land’s chill during this season and the creature relished the feeling against its back. Its maw was gaping, blood diluted with saliva as it licked glistening teeth clear of marrow. A boar – a common kill for the beast – lay prone and broken at its feet. No chance to fight, the poor creature hadn’t heard the monster coming, for despite its size, the wendigo often moved within silence itself. The hunger had demanded immediate gratification; there was no time to play with its food, not that night. While hunger was a common emotion for the monster to experience, the companion it had become showed itself in a variety of ways. The creature had been voracious upon entering the forest and the boar had been an easy meal. Useless entrails, tough skin and snout, and fragmented bones were all that remained of the animal as the nightmare shifted back amongst the trees and roamed through them easily. Time moved around the beast, shifting and twisting in a way that it didn’t really understand. Even with purpose, the wendigo had never experienced speed when moving in such a way, yet it never seemed to take much time to get from one place to another. Maybe it was just a lack of attention that let to ignorance, but it didn’t matter. Not much mattered to the wendigo. The sun had reached a near apex by the time the wendigo slowed and stopped, at the edge of a strange circle that was barren of any life except for a blanket of grass. The creature’s massive ears pricked at the oppressive silence surrounding it, suddenly aware of the lack of life. Its watery eyes blinked and glanced around, nonchalant as it stepped lightly forward and into the circle proper, becoming immobile the moment hoof hit ground. Something shifted and changed in the very atmosphere, causing the hairs along the monster’s spine to shift and erect. That intelligent gaze fell upon a light – an orb – that floated in the middle of the circle. It glowed despite the sunlight, seeming to cast a shadow aura around itself to make it pronounced. It wanted to be noticed, whatever it was, and the wendigo was enraptured. Of all it had seen before, nothing like this had ever appeared before it. Feeling drawn, it was a mere moment, a blink, before the wendigo was standing before the orb. And in the next – they both were gone.


    Întoarcere.

    The woman appeared out of nowhere, falling onto her hands and knees with gasping breaths visible in the frigid air. Each snowflake that calmly fluttered towards the ground, intercepted by her body, felt like a jolt of electricity on her naked frame. Her eyes were clenched tightly as her fingers grappled with the snow-covered ground. Her body arched upward and curled in on itself, a faint tremble setting in. In the moment that her breath was caught, it came out again in the form of an ear-splitting scream. The force of it cracked her dried lips, fresh blood dripping crimson into the snow beneath her. Layers of long, tangled copper hair formed a curtain around her face as she reached up and clapped her hands over her ears. The silence of the forest surrounding her was oppressive in a way she had never experienced before. Her screams echoed into a chorus as she refused to stop until her lungs burned and her voice cracked into nothingness. Freckled ribs heaved as she sucked in the sharp air around her, lifting her head to tilt it up towards the dark grey sky. It was heavy with clouds that littered snow across the forest. The flakes hit her skin and melted instantly, causing the dried blood around her nostrils and left temple to thin and trickle. Her eyes remained closed as her hands tentatively shifted from her ears and came to rest limply upon bare thighs, her whole body shaking with the effort of simply existing in this place.

    Darkness wove its way around her mind as her heart began to race. It was a feeling that was new to her, something that grasped her with its icy fingers and began to wrench within her very soul. She was torn between being frozen in place and wanting to flee as quickly as possible. The clearing surrounding her was a perfect circle. No trees or shrubs dared grow, only frigid and dying grass was left beneath the weight of snow. The animals did not roam there and the only living thing within its vast emptiness was the naked woman. Her eyes tentative cracked open before snapping wide to full awareness. Her head whipped around so quickly that it cracked the bones in her neck and spine as she frantically took in her surroundings. She was panting again, adding condensation to the thin air around her. She twisted on the spot and left trails in the snow as she persisted with looking at all of her surroundings. She struggled to get to her feet, knees wobbling and clicking beneath her weight. They were scored with cuts and bruises – her once pale body now varying shades of blue and violet. She felt like she was suffocating, grasping at her throat as she stumbled through the thickening snow, feeling the bite of it with each step as the cold ate away at her feet. The edge of the circle seemed so far that she was caught off guard when she was suddenly within the line of surrounding trees. Her willowy body froze on the spot and her breathing turned shallow as she felt a prickling sensation on the back of her neck. Slowly, she turned to glance into the circle behind her.

    An orb danced among the snowflakes, floating and darting about, almost seductive in the way it moved.

    A few more steps into the trees, and she put the orb behind her. Another step, she was bending over to heave clots of blood and bile into the snow. A fresh wind whipped around her and stroked over her body like fire, lighting up her sensitive nerves and drawing another sharp scream from deep within her lungs. She was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of this place after spending so long… elsewhere. She had never understood where she had gone; her mind couldn’t possibly comprehend it. A part of her viciously whispered that it had never been real to begin with, that she had simply lost herself to the monster just as the man had before her. The very idea of it pulled another scream from her, an octave higher, filled with that unknown emotion: fear.

    Necunoscut.


    Estompa.

    Slim feet carried the pale figure until they were bloodied and blue, her body breaking the edge of the forest. Her clear eyes remained squinted as if the natural light was harsh as she gazed around for something that would gauge familiar in her brain. The trees were not thick in this spot; there was a path of dirt peeking out beneath the snow in places where thick branches temporarily provided shelter. She followed the line of trees in a stumbling gait, like a weakened fawn, with her hand touching each rough trunk for balance. The bark cut into the tender skin of her palms but she hardly felt it beneath the chill that numbed her to her core. The walk from the circle had cleared her mind, blanked it completely as her body moved with instinct and purpose. A keen sense of survival drove her out of the woods and away from dancing orbs and the echoes of desperate screams she left to haunt the shadows there. It was a part of her that she foolishly thought had been lost – she had been lost - but that was impossible. Even if she did not wish for survival; even if she had given up and risked dancing with death… the creature who comprised half of her whole being would not let it be. So she walked with the harsh snow biting into her frozen feet, wind whipping copper hair to lash across her tender skin. The pain was minimal as the rest of her seeped into an overwhelming sense of numbness.

    The light covering of snow did little to hide the ground’s transition from dirt to stone. A part of her mind registered that each cut of stone against the arches of her feet felt like stabs of fiery pain, yet she continued to move forward. Her prints trailed behind her, indenting the snow and decorated with dots of blood. Her hands moved from the trunks of trees to the cold metal of vehicles that were parked in the makeshift lot. Some were cold beneath her touch, others warm and lacking the fine dusting of snow, giving away their later arrival. Her eyes tracked any motion they could catch: a bird fluttering above the canopy, the branches shaking in the wind, the final drips of condensation dripping from an exhaust pipe. In her periphery, she caught sight of her hair shifting around her angular shoulder, covered with freckles of white snow in a side mirror. She stopped and stared, taking in her almost skeletal form, the haunted look upon her face that accented sunken cheekbones and the purple hallows beneath her eyes. She purposefully avoided the bruises that were painted across her pale skin – a stark rainbow of color in comparison to the smattering of freckles she usually possessed. She stared, entranced for a moment, as if trying to remember the last time she had seen herself. Then, she was gone, having turned away from the blank gaze staring back at her as she came across the last few parked cars.

    She was searching, peering through windows for the briefest seconds, simultaneously aware that she could be caught at any moment and that she would need to consider another escape plan if this one did not work in her favor. The second to last car she approached, however, showed promise. It was an older model with dents in the back and she could see that the locks weren’t engaged from where she stood. In a rush of adrenaline, she urged her shaking body forward and wrenched open the driver’s side door, moaning with delight as it easily swung open. Long fingers shaking, she searched along the floor of the car and found a lever, pulling it to hear the satisfying creak of the trunk cracking open behind her. She moved with purpose as she looked to see if there was anything inside of it, lips curling into a smile so wide that it split the skin and she could taste blood upon her tongue. It took only moments to cover her naked frame with the long coat before she got back into the car. Immediately, the frail woman began to open the glove compartment, followed by the console to look for what she needed. As she shifted, she heard the sound she’d been listening for: a tinkling of metal. Slowly, she turned her head and realized that the keys to the car were sitting right there, in the ignition. A bloodied grin led to a shaking laugh as she twisted the keys and heard the engine struggle to life. It would have to do.

    Carefully, she backed out of the space and turned the car towards the entrance to the lot, where rickety posts occasionally paired with rope lined the path. As she drove towards the specks of light in the distance, she didn’t risk a glance back. She couldn’t risk the nature of the forest consuming her once more. No, her focus was ahead. Her mind could only grasp at faded memories: bright eyes and a face marked with scars.

    Găsite.


Posted at 09:32 am
Actives (12) Fresh Blood (1) View All
(this month)
The Fallen (1) Graveyard
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