"Eden...Eden?! Where are you, dear?"
The sweet, syrupy voice beckoned me to come back. At first I was baffled as to why; the voice had been cloaked by distance; hidden by the eerie baying of the wind, and it was unrecognizable to my hindered ears. Much to my dismay I was also perplexed as to where I was. But, as I soon found my bearings; coming to realize I was deep into the forest that surrounded the property of my family, and I was utterly bewildered as to how that occurred. Only snippets of memory provided even the slightest of clues; the distant memory of a cooing voice, and a silence all too quiet. But not even the silence, not even my careful examination of the memories could explain to me why I was out in the woods.
I knew now that the voice beckoning me was my mother; if I was not back there soon she would have my head, probably worse than she is going to now. How long was I gone? Nothing provided the answers I so strongly wished to have; unwillingly my mind continued to contemplate on what the possible answer was.
"Mother, I am coming," I responded shortly after she called my name once more, but I did not know whether she had heard me, nor did I care.
As my body unwillingly strode towards home I continue to dwell on a certain realization I had come upon due to a slight image from one of the memories. In it, the trees were dark shades of green, the ground tinted a brilliant shade of dark blue, and the sky, an almost milky black. It was night in the memories. But how? There, truthfully, was no logical explanation for this, for it was still quite light out. Not even an outline of a moon was present, nor were the woodland creatures who roam the land present.
I soon came upon my house; the light, peach walls igniting a comforting ache within the pit of my stomach; it seemed as if I was gone for years, almost. I looked ahead swiftly to become aware of my mother staring fixedly and angrily at me. The ice of her stare burning holes into me, settling a deep fear inside me. I strode towards her silently, too ready for what was to come.
"Where have you been, Eden?" I could almost taste the animosity that her words left on the air, and it made me almost cower beneath her; but I held my ground; just as I always had done, and always will.
"I was out, mother."
The sickening crack that came was horrifying, and it resembled a large tree cracking against the harsh wind of a storm. Stumbling backwards, I gripped my feet as best as I could to the floor below me. After finding my footing I met her with my own fixed, outraged stare. Her eyes softened after a few minutes; but I kept my ground against her, and never let up for a second. But everything faded from my sight, my whole body feeling groggy; stumbling, I gripped the rough bark of a tree, the sound of my mothers worried shouts becoming far off and distant. The searing pain her hand left on my cheek sizzling down until it was nothing.
I could no longer make sense of everything around me; all light seemed to dissipate, leaving a harsh twilight in its wake. Snippets of sound aroused my senses, and drew my curiosity from its light slumber. These sounds were all too familiar to me; despite my lack of memory as to why.
"Eden, come to us; we have been waiting too long."
My head twirled in the direction of the sound, but it was as if it came out of no where; like the wind itself was talking to me. This is bloody strange. Almost as if it was responding to my vulgar thought the wind whipped roughly against the fragile layer that is my skin, leaving small, but visible cuts on it. A smidgen of a scream bolted out from the barrier of my lips; the leaves on the trees began to rustle as if they were doing so in laughter.
An unsettling fog coated the surrounding air; the leaves of the trees and the trees themselves becoming invisible to the naked eye. Where did my mother go? But not even the whispers could provide me an answer; as if they, too, could not hear a thing. A break in the fog coaxed me forward; a bright figure stood in the middle, an unnerving beauty was about it. But even though I moved closer the figure became no clearer than it had before; it wanted me to follow, and it was using my curiosity against me. Once again the whispers started; they were louder this time, and clearer as well. But the figure did not speak, for its mouth was pressed into a hard line; it was as if it was concentrating entirely too hard at keeping the fog at bay. A garden of brilliance appeared slowly through the fog; its interior coated with wondrous flowers of reds, blues, whites, and yellows. I stood awestruck before it; my fingers shook as I reached out a hand towards it as if my subconscious mind could not believe this was real.
The figure beckoned me to continue forward; it moved quickly back into a denser part of the garden, a part of the garden that was overgrown and untamed. Weeds and dead flowers inhabited this part, and the stench of fear was all too noticeable in this area. A gate of some sorts was placed in clear sight before me, and a warning sign adorned its faded planks of wood.
' All o' yous scutty keep out er kite a death unimaginable ter yer ignorant mind.'
Chuckling, I searched for any latches; none were visible, and there was absolutely no way to enter through the gate. Beyond where I stood, beyond the gate before me was what seemed to be a dead wasteland; it seemed too neglected to be revived; which, to me, seemed like a logical reason as to why it was barricaded off. The wind howled; fog settled around me once more in a light less veil, and I could no longer see the ground underneath me. A crushing dizziness pushed down on me; the edges of my vision blackened slightly as the figure stepped closer into view.
"Eden, the Garden of Hope is close; we can not wait any longer, please find us," its words were desperate; the hushed sound of its voice like honey on my ears, lulling me into a deep sleep.
Far off in the distance there was a panicked screaming; along with it the rustling of the leaves, and soon the fog, which had now just begun to disperse from my vision. The woods were left in tact, and before me was no gate, but only small patches of burnt summer grass, which had withered from the harsh sun. I could still hear the whispers in my ears, some taunting me and others comforting me; I did not know which to believe, the harsh slaps of words or the soft, motherly cooing? Twilight seemed to be falling quickly upon the land; the shimmering rays of the sun had begun to vanish in between the folds of the leaves, and the sky turned brilliant shades of dark blues and yellows.
"Eden, we are coming for you," the harsh whisper sent chills down my spine, and I shivered roughly as frigid air whipped angrily against my skin. Facing towards the open field behind me, I closed my eyes and called out.
"What are you?!" But all I had gotten in response was the howling of the wind, and the distant chuckling that only seemed to exist within the deep recesses of my mind.
"Eden...Eden?! Where are you, dear?"