Too Late Now


She always loved the sound of the rain, falling through the trees, in the woods. It calmed her mind and the beautiful scents as she walked along the path, made her feel alive. That was, until tonight.

Something was different. As she walked along with a feeling of unease in the pit of her stomach, she was sure she could hear another set of footsteps, in time with her own, in the wet muddy path underfoot. She stopped. No sound. She started walking again and once more, the sound of footsteps were echoing her own. 

She wanted to look behind her, she truly did but her fear was pulling her forwards and so she continued, with jagged edges of trepidation piercing into her body.

Try and calm yourself down, she thought. So she listened to the birds, as they always had the ability to relax her and she always enjoyed their beautiful melodies. Only tonight, their melody was urgent, calling to one another. Or were they calling to her? Their usual tunes of merriment and splendour were now sounding like warnings and urgency. 

She had to get out of here. She was totally freaking out if she thought the birds were trying to alert her to danger.

The footsteps felt like they were right behind her now. Almost on top of her own. She wanted to cry out but knew that it would be futile as there were no houses for miles. She had to turn around. She had to. If for nothing else than to put this silly notion out of her head, so that she could get out of here with her sanity.

Okay, on the count of 3, you’re going to turn around. One. Two. Three. She spun around on her heels, almost tumbling with the spin as she faced the other way. Nothing. She exhaled a breath that she didn’t realise she had been holding. I really need to stop coming into the woods alone at night, she thought. If she was getting this neurotic, it was definitely time for new route.

As she turned around, with a half-smile on her face at her own stupidity, she eventually let go of that scream she had wanted to let out before. Even although no one would hear her. Standing right in front of her was the back of a girl. Not just any girl. It was almost like she was looking at the back of herself. Same jacket, same jeans, same hair. But standing right in front of her looking ahead.

She was panting now, what the hell was going on? She spun to look behind her again and the scream that she let out this time, was filled with so much horror, that the birds came down to observe what was going on. She was now staring at herself. Only this version of herself was smiling. A sickening, wide smile with a manic look in her eyes.

That’s when she felt the arms around her. From behind and in front. We’ve come for you. Come with us. You have been waiting. You complete us.

And with one last sickening scream, everything went black. The wind whipped the trees into such a frenzy, that the birds had to fly back into the air.

As the rose up, they chirped to one another She should have listened to our warnings.

And with a chorus of Too Late Now, they all flew away.

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Wendy Pratt

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