Slowly pushed herself out of her bed as the annoying sound went off that morning. She moaned as she forced her stiff arm out and switched off her alarm clock, silencing the irritating noise. Once the room became silent again, she let her body drop back onto the soft mattress. She let a groan escape her lips, enjoying the comfortable position.
She let her body roll over and slowly she let herself begin to slowly drift back to sleep. She could feel herself begin to float away when her ears were filled with another annoying sound.
“Hali, get up! You’ll miss the bus again.”
Hali let a growl escape her lips as she pushed her body off the bed, letting her feet to touch the ground first. “I’m up Caren.”
She forced her weight up until she was standing up straight. She stood for a moment waiting for her dizziness to subside. As it passed she made her way to her closest and began to search through her clothes. Searching over and over again, she stopped when she found exactly what she wanted to find.
She settled for a pair of calm diggers that were old and faded and had a slight slit in the seams, only for an inch. As for the top she picked a white tank top that had beading stitched into it in a neat row. Over top she put on a white blouse that went low, showing off her beaded tank top. It went tight around her waist and then flowed out like a small wave. It was the same with the sleeves and had the same frilly ends.
She looked herself in the mirror, happy with what she had chosen. She looked around her room for a moment longer deciding on what she should wear for shoes. She spotted a pair of tan coloured sandals and grinned. She snatched them up and quickly tied them up her feet and turned for the final item. Her tote bag, shaped and designed to carry canvas’s, a small easel, as well as all other artist tools. It was completely packed and ready to go. She grabbed it and pulled the strap over her shoulder, the bag hung on her other side against her hip. She gave one glance around the room to see if she had forgotten anything else. She had everything, so quickly she ran downstairs and headed to the small houses entrance.
Hali opened her front door. It was a heavy solid mahogany door with a metal handle that reminded Hali of stainless steel, only it was a brownish gold in color. Stepping out into the street she looked up and down the cobblestone roads, and the many more people that were traveling down the street her street now. Many more people had now begun to shop at the small market just a block away from her home, and many of the cafés had opened for their early morning customers.
She closed the door behind her and stepped onto the sidewalk just at the end of her street and looked at the streetlights, waiting for them to direct her when to go. The traffic on this corner was always busy in the morning, so she knew very well it may take a few minutes for the lights to change. She stood for a few minutes, more people joined her in her wait. Hali’s eyes began to wander to the people waiting with her. Her eyes stopped on a woman who looked to be in her early thirties, and her eyes were on her as well. A smile was crossing her lips; her dark almost black eyes seemed completely entertained by just looking at her. The woman’s thick brown hair trailed down her back in a loose pony tail, stopping at her mid back.
Hali couldn’t help but be memorized by the woman, she wasn’t that attractive by any means, not like the models in magazines, but something in the woman’s eyes had caught her attention. Hali could feel her heart beat quicken in her chest. She didn’t like this. There was something wrong about this woman. Something wasn’t right; she was doing something to her. She couldn’t seem to take her eyes off the woman. Hali’s mind screamed for her body to move, but it didn’t listen, and just continued to stare at the woman.
“Excuse me.” Hali grunted loudly as a man passed Hali, bumping into her, elbowing her hard in her stomach, almost hard enough to knock the wind out of her. Her eyes snapped up to look at the young man. She could see him, but it was hard to make anything out, his back was to her, a baseball cap on his head, and a large baggy sweater covered his upper body and he was wearing loose jeans. He was crossing the street also, as were the other people who were waiting with her moment s earlier.
Hali questioned this for only half a second when she realized the walk light had gone off. She mentally kicked herself and quickly took off to try and beat the light. As she crossed her eyes tried to search for the strange woman who had caught her gaze. There was no sign of her however, not ahead of her, or behind her. She was just gone.
‘I think it is going to be one of those days,’ Hali thought.
She finished crossing the road and once again began to look for the man who had injured her. She spotted him quickly enough and began to jog through the crowds to try and reach him, her large artist bag winging wildly, smacking into her body every few steps. She ignored it long enough to see him also quicken his pace and soon took off into an alley way.
“Wait, I just want to ask you something,” she called.
She quickened her pace to attempt to catch him in the alley way. She turned into the alley way, her eyes wide with surprise. No one was there. Two people under five minutes disappeared before her. He couldn’t have been that fast of a runner. This alley was long and straight she should have still been able to see him in the distance, but nothing was seen.
‘I’m going crazy,’ she thought. ‘I must have imagined them both.’
The sore muscle on her stomach told her otherwise. She rubbed it softly trying to take the pain away. It hurt a lot, so there was no way that she could have imagined them. He had elbowed her hard enough to almost knock the wind out of her. This happened while she was caught in that woman’s gaze. This couldn’t have been a something she had just hallucinated.
She stepped out of the alleyway and back into the crowds that were now filling the streets. She sighed deeply unsure what to think now. Changing her viewpoint she simply began to look ahead of her, to make sure that she would make it to the bus stop on time.
“Hello,” Hali greeted as she entered the small class room. Only four other people were in the room and they all stopped there setting up and greeted her with kind smiles. She smiled in return and took her place by the window, her stool waiting for her. She opened her bag and took out her folded easel and began to set it up in its place. Returning to her book she took out an old plastic peanut butter cup and set it in the easel’s holder then placed her clean brushes next to the plastic cup and lastly took out her palette.
When she was finished, she checked her watch, unsure of the time. She was always late, but for once her professor was late. That was so unlike her. She was always an hour or two early.
“Did Professor Otis step out?” she questioned.
An Irish transfer student named Patrick looked up at her to answer. “No, she hasn’t been in.”
“Maybe she’s ill, and the replacement is late,” the youngest in the group, Lyris stated.
“It’s a good theory Lyris, but that is high school stuff. Professors, especially in arts would cancel class before letting someone else teach,” Hali said. “It’s like letting someone else step into your turf and letting them changing everything.”
“I agree,” Patrick replied. “Professor Otis is nice and all, but she’d hate someone stepping into her turf. She’s either late, or something happened.”
“What should we do then?” Lyris asked. “Should someone call her?”
The group of concerned art students turned towards the doorway where a tall lean man stood. He wore all black, consisting of black dress pants and a long sleeved turtle neck, which seemed to barely over any of his long thin neck. His head was raised above some, so that his nose seemed to stick out even more, a serious and slightly frightening expression on his face. Hali knew who it was right away, a serious and very snobbish Acting Professor two floors up. Professor Cyril Vaughan.
“The headmaster wanted me to inform you of what has happened to your Professor Otis, as of late last night. While on her way home, Miss Otis was said to be taking her usual route home when it would seem she was in a car accident, struck by another car. She is doing fine, but will be out for a few days. ,” the professor told the class. Lyris’s eyes began wide and gasped sharply, while the rest of the class stayed in their places, shock over coming in. Patrick stood from his place, his hands rubbing his temple. Hali just sat on her stool unsure exactly to react.
“The headmaster also wanted me to inform you that classes will be canceled for the rest of the week, and you shall all receive emails by tomorrow evening. So, just go home.” With that said the snobbish professor raised his head all the higher, his sharp nose raised in the air even more, and he marched off. Once he was gone, Hali spoke up.
“We should go see her!”
Lyris nodded in agreement, “We should!”
After a little bit more convincing from Hali, one of the oldest in the group, and Lyris the youngest, both begging the other to go, the other three students finally agreed, and they were off.
Lyris stood beside Hali as they walked down the cobble stone streets. Lyris held her tote bag that held all of her art supplies around her shoulder; Hali did the same with her bag. “I’m glad that Professor Otis will be alright,” Lyris was smiling from ear to ear as she stepped down the street. “It’s also good to know the other driver wasn’t seriously injured either.”
Hali nodded her head in agreement. She looked around; the sky was becoming more orange as the afternoon was becoming evening. Twilight would soon be the only light. “I also really appreciate you walking me home. I am a little worried with those wild dogs the police have been warning us about,” Lyris smiled gently, her eyes were on Hali. She returned the smile as they stopped at a cross walk.
“I don’t mind. You only live four blocks away,” Hali continued to smile as she looked at the coast that could be seen just down the street. “I’ll be going to the beach right after.”
“Are you going to be painting?”
Hali nodded. “It relaxes me and inspires me. Water is my element I guess.”
Lyris giggled, “Well Hali I guess it is, your name even means the sea.”
The cross light changed and both girls stepped off the sidewalk in onto the street. As they became silent Hali let her eyes wander, taking in every sight her eyes stopped on. The streets were fairly empty for this time of day. The café’s and stores along the streets were even quiet. Something that Hali considered just as strange.
Hali brushed her thoughts aside as she assumed something simple could explain what was going on, a festival for example. The summer was drawing near, so festivals would be starting up very soon. Within weeks even. Lyris came to a stop, bringing Hali from her daze. The young student waved. “Thanks again for walking me home Hali.”
“No problem. I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon maybe.”
“Sounds good, I’ll keep my schedule open.”
Lyris had taken out her keys from her pocket and had unlocked the door to her apartment building, and within a moment she disappeared inside, leaving Hali on the street alone. She turned away from facing the apartment and looked at the street across from her. Taking a quick glance in both directions she decided that it was the perfect time to cross. She crossed quickly taking low leaps along until she stood on the side walk.
There she stood. Frozen, stuck in her place. Her eyes were staring down the alley way, her mouth hung open agape. She could see herself half way down the alley. Not like a mirror image, but rather like another being. She was running towards where Hali was standing, tears running down her cheeks, fear were in her eyes. And behind her were three figures that she could not make out, because the shadows covered their faces. They ran towards Hali, her eyes still glued to her, even as they were only inches from her.
Then she gasped sharply, her eyes were wide, but began to blink uncontrollably, her eyes were sore and felt dry. Her eyes focused, and the alley was empty. The figures were gone, and Hali herself was gone. Her hand raised to her temple, her fingers rubbed that place in simple circular motions. She was so confused. What was that? Hali’s blue-grey eyes turned in all directions looking for any explanation to what she had seen. She could see nothing around her now that could explain what she had seen.
Taking a step backwards Hali forced herself to turn in the direction of her apartment. Her long wavy black hair blew in the calm breeze that caught her. It relaxed her body as it reminded her of where she was.
‘Just get home. A good nights rest will do you some good.’ She let her feet begin to guide her home. Taking even steps, becoming quicker with every step she took. Her body was soon running as fast as she could. She could feel her heart beating as fast as it could, her body quickly began to beg for her to stop. Her legs were becoming heavier and her head was beginning to feel light. She wanted to stop, but her mind just kept telling her to run. ‘Don’t stop, keep running.’
She continued on like this until she stopped right in front of her apartment building. Her throat burned dry; while her heart beat so fast she was sure it would stop at any moment. Closing her mouth she began to breathe out of her nose as she bent over slightly, her hands on her knees.
‘You’ve got to be safe now.’ She stepped forward; her body standing up right on it’s down. Turning to her door she pulled out a small set of keys and found the house key. She used it on the lock and opened the door. She went inside and locked the door right behind her.
A relieved sigh escaped her lips. What had happened? She hadn’t understood why she had been so upset. Had she mentally sensed something bad was going too happened? Or had that hallucination really just got to her?
“Hali, is that you?” Carena’s voice was coming from the top of the stairs.
“Yes. Professor Otis is in the hospital so my class went to visit her.”
Carena came into view at the top of the stairs, a worried expression played on her face. “I heard that actually.”
“And I also walked m classmate home,” Hali answered. “She was a little nervous after the accident.”
“Well, dinner is in the oven. It should be ready soon,” Carena replied. A moment later she disappeared into her room, leaving Hali alone in the hall. She sighed for a moment as she headed up the stairs. At the top she entered her bedroom on the left. She sat on her bed, removing her tote bag. Sitting for a moment Hali began to think about the day she had been having. It had been such a long, strange and confusing day indeed. She removed her sandals, placing them beside her bed.
Her eyes scanned to her second easel that was already set up in her room. A finished water painting on canvas stood facing her. Most of the canvas had been painted black with the water colors. Her eyes fell on four figures that were painted in black, outlined in white to separate the two blacks. The figures looked like dogs, standing upright like men, but held canine pointed ears and long bushy tails.
In the center stood a wolf, and it was the greatest detailed part of the painting. The wolf was painted in white, but had brown eyes that could clearly be seen, while it seemed to be in a defensive stance. Beside the wolf on the left side of the canvas stood a human figure that was painted in grey. The human was watching the five other’s for a battle that was to come. It was a dream that she had about two weeks earlier, and she worked endlessly on, until last night when she had finished it.
Hali fell back on her bed staring at the ceiling. She was tired, but she felt no desire to sleep. It was like a defensive response one would experience after they knew something bad was going to happen. Something was going to happen. Something serious. It was just a gut feeling, but her grandmother had also told her to always follow her gut feelings, that it could one day save her life.
She rolled over, facing her laptop that sat at the end of her bed. She sat up quickly deciding that she should check her email and perhaps send a message to her parents. She grabbed her laptop and opened the cover, glad that she had an internet connection already. She opened a window and began. After ten minutes she had completed the message to her parents, explaining her day to them, excluding her strange walk to the bus and her run home.
When that task was completed she skimmed her email messages and read a few, her eyes stopping on one name. C. That was all it said. The subject only said. ‘Read’. Her heart began to beat faster as her cursor stopped on the email. She held her breath as she clicked on the email.
‘Why are you so scared? It’s probably just junk mail anyway.’ That did not calm her nerves. In fact, it seemed to only upset her further. She closed her eyes tightly as she let the page load, opening the email curiously.
I realize how upsetting this email will probably be to you, but please read it and understand that I am only trying to save you.
I am part of what you may consider a cult that I do not want to be part of. Yet for many reasons I can’t explain in a simple email, I can not leave this cult. I know for a fact that tonight some of the people belonging to this cult will be trying to meet you, and they will force you, like they forced me, to be a part of their cult. However they can’t enter your residence for the time being, thanks to some charms your room mate has with her.
After dark tonight, stay inside. Stay inside every night if you must, but stay inside and don’t let any strangers in. Perhaps in a few weeks time they will forget about you. These people are not to be reckoned with. They attack anyone, anywhere. Just stay clear and stay strong.
This took Hali by complete surprise. Her mouth was dropped slightly, her surprise and confusion was easily read on her face. Was this a sick joke? There was no possible way this could be true. Who was this? How did they know her name? What did they mean? Questions filled her mind as she read the email over and over again. Nothing was making any sense to her.
Hali began to rub her temple as she looked around her room, her eyes stopping on her painting. Her eyes became stuck on the grey human figure. She found herself standing up off her bed, and taking even steps towards the painting. Her fingers reached out to ran across the human figure. The moment her hands touched the figure however she suddenly flashed back to when she saw herself running down the alleyway, the strangers chasing her earlier that day.
She stepped back for a moment, surprised by the sudden contact. Her hands turned to the five black figures standing in the painting. Her hands slowly traced back to the canvas, stopping on the figures. Another memory flashed around her, the four figures chasing her, and then to the woman she had seen earlier that morning on the street. She gasped sharply, ripping her hand away from the painting and holding in with her other hand almost like it had been burned. She began to shake as her eyes stopped on the white wolf, its brown eyes, now seemed to be staring directly at her, almost into her soul.
Slowly her hand drew forward. Stopping only an inch away from the wolf on the canvas. She held her breath and then touched the wolf. A second passed. And then another. And soon another. Nothing had happened. Hali took two steps away; her whole body was shaking now. What on earth was happening to her? Had she lost her mind? There had to be an explanation to what was happening.
She closed her eyes, and turned her body, trying to find something else for her eyes to focus on. She had to get her mind off these events. She slowly opened her eyes, and found herself focusing on the window. Her eyes looked out at the streets below, and soon traced towards the horizon, but stopped dead on the low flat roof across the street from her. Her eyes were wide as her eyes stopped on the wolf across the street. The wolf’s eyes staring directly through her window at her. The wolf was clearly a dark Mahogany color, but under the moonlight it looked almost like a smooth fur coat of silvery gold. The wolf was a fair distance from her, but its eyes struck her. They were amber brown, glowing in the darkness, and they were staring directly at her into her eyes.
Her eyes glanced away for a moment to be staring at the water painting. The white wolf’s eyes seemed to follow her even though she had moved out of the way. They were the same brown as the wolf outside. She leapt forward to the window and quickly drew her curtains, removing the creature from her view. She gasped deeply, suddenly realizing that she had been holding her breath the entire time she had seen the wolf.
Manage Your Items