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Hello, I have returned. Sorry I was gone, had a bunch of stuff going on that ate up my time. But I will be posting regularly from now on so expect something on Monday. I hope you enjoy this week’s part and have a good weekend! Let me know what you think in the comments!
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If you’re behind or new or just want to reread, you can find the rest of the story here
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Persephone was right, the forest was creepy. It reached into my bones and pulled out the parts of me that I didn’t like. The trees moved when I wasn’t looking, to do what I wasn’t sure. The girl led us through the trees, turning at random, running her hand over every tree that she passed. She was always whispering, to us, to the trees, to the air. The sound of our feet was swallowed up by the piles of leaves on the floor. The entire forest was silent except for her eerie whispers. They were words of encouragement, of gentle scolding, of small talk.
I tried to think of how the girl died. When she died. Why she did. But I couldn’t remember because that seemed like a million year ago. Everything did. The forest was reaching into me and pulling out the memories I wanted. It was pulling out the good. And it was stressing the bad. It was emphasizing what I was trying to hide.
The good was leaking out of me. The light. The little warmth left. It was pulling her from me. I stop, my whole body quivering, my jaw setting.
“What are you doing?” I asked, my voice comes out harsh and Persephone gave me a look of utter confusion. The girl turned back to me, her face turning a slightly darker shade of grey. Something about it, something about her features hid something. Something that was lurking. Persephone saw it too and looped her hand through mine. A small bit of light returned a small bit of warmth.
“You’re not supposed to break the rules,” The girl hissed, her throat a pair of snakes. “If you break the rules for her, you’ll do it again.”
“Erlik,” Persephone whispered. I didn’t take my eyes off the forest girl but I nodded, “I know this is horribly inconvenient. But I changed my mind. I want to go home.”
“Perfect, we’ll see what we can do,” I murmured. Everything stilled, the leaves, the forest girl, both Persephone, and I. The only thing that remained was the sound of her heart, pumping sure and loud throughout the forest. Reminding the rest of us of what we’re not.
“You can’t break the rules,” The forest girl was trembling as if she was being forced to say this. As if she didn’t want to. Her whole body was rigid and I suddenly felt very sorry for her. Because she was bound by these rules. As I was. As I used to be. But then. Then I met her. I met Persephone and it all changed. Because her gentle light and forceful warmth had broken me free of the rules.
I just needed her to get home. Then I could pull fully free from them. I could make my own rules. I just needed to get her home. No matter what it took.