This is a book of magical short stories! So therefore if you feel the need to write down a short little thought feel free to do so! You don't even have to do it just once for in this place you can do it as many times as you wish!
“Can we go in now? It’s getting cold.” Kathryne’s voice pierced the silence. I shivered in agreement as a frozen wind brushed past but one look at Ella and I knew she wasn’t ready to go back into our grandparents’ house. As we stood there, I did my best to focus on the stars above rather than the dark, ominous trees that lay to my right. “Please guys...” Kathryne pleaded, grabbing my hand. I gave her hand a squeeze for comfort.
“You can go in. I want to stay out here.” Ella said, distantly. The sky had her complete attention. I glanced at the trees as she said this. There was absolutely no way I was going to leave Ella out here by herself. I turned to Walter, Kathryne’s older brother, who stood apart from the rest of us as he stared at the stars. He seemed to be enjoying himself at a first glance, but if you looked closer, you could see on he wanted to go inside too.
“Walt, you can go inside with Kathryne. I’ll stay out here with Ella.” I said softly so Ella couldn’t hear. He nodded as he placed an arm around his sister’s shoulder and led her back to the glow of the house. I faced the trees as if to tell whatever creatures were hiding in there that they weren’t going to scare me away.
“You don’t have to stay with me if you don’t want to.” Ella said turning her eyes to me. I shrugged.
“I don’t mind.” I said simply. “How about we take this to the back? We can go grab some blankets and lay down in the grass.” That way should anyone or anything try to attack us we’ll be closer to the house. I added in my head.
“That’s that a good idea.” Ella smiled as she joined me back to the house.
Inside, the adults could be heard laughing in the kitchen while the younger cousins watched a movie in the family room. We maneuvered through the mass of children and bedding as we gathered our blankets. Once back outside, we located a good soft patch of grass in the backyard and made ourselves comfortable. I positioned myself on the ground so I could keep a close watch on the trees. That way if anyone tried to attack us, we’d know it. We laid there in silence for who knows how long.
As I stared at the sky I began to see memories from before, back when Ella and I had been closer. I remembered the silly games we’d used to play with Kathryne. Especially the ones where we’d pretend to be homeless children; it had been our favorite one. That was when we were kids. Junior high and high school came along however and I think that’s when things began to shift between us.
I remember listening to them discuss the latest boy and about how cute he was. I grew up with no one but guys by my side for the longest time that I was never thinking about them in that way. They learned how to wear makeup and both of them had cell phones by the time they were fourteen years old! As for me, I didn’t care for makeup. I thought (and I still do) it was the stupidest invention on earth! A cell phone was something I’d always been told I’d have to buy myself if I really wanted one. So, as the years passed, I became the strange one out of the three of us. The ‘third wheel’ you could say.
“The stars are so pretty here.” Ella said, dreamily breaking the silence. This brought me back to reality and I found myself smiling. “You can’t see skies like this in Utah.”
“No, you can’t.” I said slowly. We sat in silence again for a bit longer, each gaining more confidence, and before either of us knew it, we just started talking. We spoke about things we’d never told anyone else in our entire lives; things we’d been trying to hide and forget. It was the first time in a long time that I’d been able to talk to her like that or anyone for that matter.
The conversation kept going and for a while I forgot about the dangers lurking in the trees next to us. Laughter could be heard streaming from the house, though it went ignored. We stared at the stars and tried to locate the constellations. I didn’t want to go inside but we knew it was getting really late and there was no way our parents were going to let us stay out there for the rest of the night.
“We should probably go inside now.” Ella said with a sigh as she sat up. It wasn't until she’d said those words that I realized how frozen I was and that the deathly woods were still next to us.
“Probably.” I said with a laugh. We stood up, gathered our blankets and began to make our way towards the welcoming glow of the house.
“Ilana,” Ella said before we reached the porch.
“Thanks for everything.” she said before giving me a hug on the porch. She headed inside, leaving me on the porch. I stood there for a minute as the guilt rose in my chest. I’d never known how similar Ella and I were. At home every time someone brought up my cousins I would groan and complain about how awkward it was to be around them. Now here I was spilling my darkest secrets to one of them.
Slowly, I began to walk towards the door. As I gripped the handle, I stopped and turned to face the trees. I gave them a smug look before entering the house. I had beaten those monsters once again.