Miranda cracked one eye open. Holy crap, her head throbbed. And she was laying on a jack-up mattress with lumps...Wait, something wasn't right.

She was laying outside.

And it was night time.

The surrounding branches shook in the damp November breeze, giving her glimpses of a full moon. The same wind cut into her exposed arms and stole her breath.

Miranda rolled on to her stomach, feeling bits of bark and pine needles fall from where they'd pressed into her skin. 

Her right side was so goddamned sore. She shook from the effort of getting onto her knees. Anger at being in pain waylaid the panic trying to overtake her.

She remembered talking with someone that afternoon.... Christine. They were in a car. Going somewhere to get something. Miranda's headache pulsed again at the attempt to retrace her day.

Something moved in the bushes to her left. Then a fluttering in the trees. Wet maple leaves rained down on her. 

Miranda grabbed a slick, moss-covered branch from the underbrush and wobbled to her feet. It was hard to hear over the pounding of her heart.


She felt the voice, more than heard it.

Miranda tried to speak, but found her throat too dry. She bit her tongue to make herself salivate.  "Who's there?"

No response.

Miranda turned in a circle, then backed away from where she'd heard the voice. She came up against a tree trunk. 

Upon contact, a bright light blasted against her eyes. But not from an external source. It was a memory. Of Christine leading her to the trail that took them here.  Where they went looking for...God, what was it?

"Listen to me."  The voice was right next to her this time. The breath of its owner tickled her neck.

Miranda jumped. A whimper escaped her mouth before she could supress it. Because according to her own two eyes, no one was there. Yet...something was there, hovering over her.

"Miranda. They're coming." 

The End

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