The Daily Post Prompt: Torn
This is an excerpt from my new thriller which I recently completed. It is still very raw and going through editing. I thought you should be the first to read it and tell me what you think.
Please read on—
I knew my life was in danger the moment he saw me.
It was Friday evening and I had decided to go for a walk, well not entirely true. I was hoping to see Edo, the tall, muscular built, but forever smiling boy from Block 12. He jogs every day in and around the woods surrounding the Barracks and I was hoping that we will ‘accidentally’ bump into each other. I liked him as soon as we were introduced by Chi Chi, the popular girl in Block 9, which is the next row of long building close to Block 5 where I live with my father and little sister.
As I started off on my walk, I told myself that I needed to have my head examined- for the simple reason that only last week, I saw a multi coloured snake on the same part. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem because I understand that most of the snakes in these parts are not dangerous, but I shudder at the thought of snakes, dangerous or not. I clearly recall what happened. I had gone to the corner shop, close to the river to buy I had stopped walking for a while- trying to find my bearings when I felt something slimy on my legs. I looked down to see this snake gliding slowly over my legs and into the bush opposite.
At first, I was transfixed on the spot as I watched it glide slowly into the bush, then I let out a blood curdling scream that could have been heard miles away. I dropped my purse and ran all the way home. After that, I swore never to go into the woods again, at least, not alone.
So what am I doing here so late in the evening? And alone? Silly me. I scolded myself, but my legs propelled me forward. The thought of bumping into Edo propelled me even more. I took the next turn and came to a clearing. Funny, I have never seen this place before. It was August and we were well into the rainy season. There were dead yellowish leaves on the damp ground. I felt the twigs crunching under my feet. The smell of the woods was stronger here. It wasn’t the musty, dank smell usually associated with a forest after a rain fall. The smell was fresh and organic. And like a miasma, the composting smell rose up in waves to my nostrils.
I moved forward. I noticed that the leaves had been disturbed in places. I smiled to myself. Edo has surely come this way this evening because the marks on the ground appeared fresh. I looked around me again. It was eerily quiet. I wasn’t very confident after alI. I was getting a bit jumpy. I started forward again and jumped at the sound of what appeared to be squirrels scurrying away in the bush.
I was torn. Part of me wanted to go forward and another part wanted to go home . I was contemplating going back, when I heard a low moan coming from somewhere in front of me. I almost ran forward. Surely that must be Edo jogging in place or simply doing other form of exercise. The boy is crazy, exercising all the time. What else was he trying to prove with a body like that? Well, that’s why he looks so good. I shook my head at my fantasy and shuffled forward instead. But something was telling me to be careful.
My heart was beginning a slow thump in my chest. I reached up and wiped the film of perspiration which had suddenly formed on my forehead. My thin silky blouse was starting to cling to my back. Maybe it was the darkness of the woods which was beginning to wrap me in a cloak of fear and uncertainty.
A bird flapped its wings above me and I looked up sharply. The foliage which was thick and lush, formed an arch of fairytale-green above. The huge trees sprawled over each other as if in a silent embrace, watching me like a guardian. Boughs, gnarled with age, dipped onto my path. I ventured deeper into the tangled heart of this forest that I didn’t know existed until now. What dark secrets do you hold? I asked silently, as I continued cautiously to an unknown destination. The path I left behind has since become a blur. I heard shuffling noises from deep in the interior and my spirits lifted. Finally, I will see Edo working out or something.
This time I rushed forward. Without warning I came out at a wide glade. The trees fell away suddenly, revealing the sky above. This part of the wood was not dark. The sunset, although long gone, had left a bespeckled sky which now cast some light on the huge boulder in front of me.
I hesitated for a second and looked closely. There were about four men, all naked, their hands raised above their heads, chanting something in low voices.
My heart skipped. This was not Edo jogging or exercising. I had stumbled on some sort of ritual. I immediately ducked behind the nearest tree, my heart pounding uncontrollably…………