Chapter two: flashbacks
skyla; by xkatieshepherd
I remembered the very first time that I laid eyes on him.
It was night time, the bright white stars danced in the inky sky above me. There was a slight chill in the air, one that made me shiver and caused goosebumps to spread out across my skin. I was in the woods, something Father had always told me to steer clear of, especially at night. "A dark place for dark people" was what he had said. He always believed there were predators lurking in the shadows, waiting for young girls like me to snatch away.
Well, there was a predator that night, just of an entirely different kind.
I was laid out flat on the damp grass, with my arms crossed behind my head and my eyes closed. Every now and then I would open them, take in my surroundings and sigh in bliss. The woods was my favourite place to come, it was my escape from the harsh reality of my life.
The very first words he said to me were, 'Isn't it a little late for a young girl like you to be out alone?'
I remember my eyes snapping open and my body jerking up, instantly on the defensive. However, when I saw who had spoken, my heart literally seemed to melt. He stood over me, half masked in shadows, half bathed in the silver moonlight. He was tall, taller than the average man with extremely defined features; sharp cheekbones and a chiseled jaw line. His eyes, so captivating, so dark and penetrating held me frozen to the spot, like a mouse caught in the death stare of a snake. He casually ran a hand through his black hair and I noted how pale his skin looked in comparison.
All at once, the spell was broken and I was free to move again. I stood up, a shaky movement that seemed to make the world spin. I stumbled slightly and he caught me by the elbow.
I remembered how startled I was by his casual touch. He did not seem to know about personal boundaries between strangers.
'Who are you?' I couldn't help whisper.
'My name is Harry,' he took a little bow and despite my unease, I giggled.
'Skyla,' I couldn't help courtesying back.
'What a beautiful name,' he tilted his head slightly, really seeming to mull this over. 'What are you doing out here alone? The woods are not safe for a pretty little thing like yourself.'
'I'm fine,' I said, a little indignantly. 'I have been looking after myself all my life, I think I can manage.'
'But still,' he smiled widely. 'Accidents may happen.'
As he said this, reality dawned on me. I was alone in the secluded darkness with a stranger I had never met before who could easily overpower me. Something like excitement tingled through my body probably as a result of the adrenaline. I had never found myself in this situation before.
I decided to play with fire as I took a step closer to him. This caught him completely off guard and his eyes widened.
'What are you doing?'
'You're going to kill me? Kill me then,' I purred.
Looking back I realize the absolute recklessness of my behavior. Oh how easily he could have killed me, but I was so desperate for that rush of adrenaline once more. I was so desperate for... a way out. Out of this life. Out of the same mundane pattern that had dominated my existence.
'Are you mad?' traces of anger began to show in his tone.
'Maybe. Why, am I supposed to be scared?' I raised one eyebrow challengingly. He seemed to be at a complete loss for words.
I took this as a confirmation.
'It's not going to work.' The idea that I was about to die had completely taken over me. A surge of exhilaration tore through me. It was so incredibly stupid, but also kind of justified, looking back.
Without warning, he grabbed me by the arms. He looked completely furious, his eyes burned and his lips pulled back over his teeth as he growled at me. I waited for the attack that could quite possibly end my life, but it never came.
'You're really something, you know that?' he cried out, exasperated.
And then he was gone.
He literally disappeared from my sight without so much of a trace of his presence. Briefly wondering if I had made him up, if I had finally snapped, I collected my belongings and ran home. Fast.
That was not the last time that I saw him.