Jerome kept calling after her, but Avery didn't care. You can't make me do this. She thought. Avery ran and never looked back.
She ran away from the tree, into the featureless landscape. She ran for several minutes, until she finally got tired and collapsed.
Breathing heavily, she looked back in the direction of Jerome and the tree - and saw nothing. "Thank god," she gasped, exasperated.
It was at that time that she realized that her immediate surroundings weren't so featureless anymore. A bus stop with no road and no sidewalk stood twenty feet away from her like a beacon in the darkness. A streetlamp to its right illuminated the area around it.
Inside the bus stop sat a young lady.
She wasn't near as young as Avery, probably in her mid-to-late twenties instead. She wore business attire, consisting of a navy blue pencil skirt and a white blouse. Her brown hair was pulled into a bob. At seeing Avery, she smiled. "Hello." She said.
Avery stood there for a few seconds. "Um... Hello." She said, and walked towards the bus stop.
"Come inside, honey!" The woman beckoned. "You'll get soaked out there!"
Confused, Avery looked up and saw no precipitation - just a black backdrop. She returned her gaze to the woman, and stepped inside the structure. "It's not raining for me."
The woman cocked an eyebrow. "It isn't?" She sighed. "I guess I don't exactly know how this place works. It's pretty frightening though, isn't it?" She extended a hand. "I'm Theresa."
Avery chuckled despite herself. "You've got that right." She shook Theresa's hand and sat down beside her. "Avery, but my friends call..." She stopped. "My friends called me Ave. Mind if I sit here for awhile? I'm exhausted."
"Of course not, sweetie." Theresa scooted over to make room.
With a sigh of relief, Avery leaned her head back onto the glass and closed her eyes. Upon opening them again, she caught sight of her new acquaintance examining her sadly.
"What could make a pretty girl like you do this to herself?" She said, almost to her lonesome.
Not you too... Avery thought. "When..." She swallowed, thinking of a way to change the subject. "When did you... Get here? It's been the longest day ever, so far."
Theresa seemed to buy it, and turned her gaze back out the bus stop window. "Hmm... Good question." She pondered it for a moment. "I'm not exactly sure how much time has passed, but I..." Pause. "Got here in early 1984."