The river entered a region of singular loneliness after abandoning the mother channel, taking us wanderers along with it in its steady flow.
In our little canoe, we had a few sets of blankets and bags full of tools and food that could keep us alive for atleast two days.
The water beneath our little dwelling, crashed and flooded the green, sandy borders of what looked like a small bushy island. Majestic golden crowned trees guarded this very tender land; their roots penetrating deep within the planet.
The wind with its unending buffetings made the bushes and trees sway. On other days, the island was calm and although seemingly in motion; it gave off a rather serene and mystical feel to us viewers. This place had us spellbound.
After a silly bet I and Raye made, we ended up rowing together in our little vehicle. Unbeknownst to us, we ended up here- in a remote kingdom of magical trees and bushes; separated from our friends. The frenzied cries of the wind probably shook us from the path we'd originally been on.
We anchored our boat to the marshy land because the winds were getting more turbulent, probably the onset of a storm. Getting off of our little dwelling , we set out in search of a perfect camping place to take shelter from the heavy rain which was bound to hit this mystical place, eventually.
Further away from the banks, we found a little moist but habitable area underneath the shades of many golden armored guards. Woody climbers interlinked their branches forming a network around the entire area, and that we found sufficient to protect our little tent from the spirit of the tempest.
"We shouldn't have acted like babies." Raye said, as we fixed the tent firmly to the ground. " Look where we ended up. I wonder how we'll get back safely," she continued.
"I think otherwise," I said. "This could totally be an adventure that we've been looking for. This beautiful place is an escape from cruel school and grades. I wish I could stay here forever."
"Ugh! Serena." Raye cried out, "Never mind.. Let's just eat and rest until the weather clears up."
The entire day had been worse than a workout and so, we ended up eating half of our two day's worth meal in one go. We assumed the remaining food to get consumed sooner than we would have wanted it to. But we couldn't help it. It had been truly exhausting, today.
Help wasn't coming soon, we were sure of that. Our friends probably assumed we were at some arcade doing silly things all night long. Nor was the weather settling down. Our ride back to the inn we were lodging at would take some more hours or maybe even days.
With these thoughts and an over fed stomach, we soon dazed back to dreamland and sweet sleep over took our conciousness; letting our body recover from today's strenuous activities.
This island was nature at its own, with no human interference; a bewildering beauty casting astonishing spells on my weak heart. The guys would love to visit here... wouldn't they?
Lightning and thunder broke out, rain drops following soon after. The winds were breezing nastily, blowing away the golden leaves off of the trees. The hungry mouth of the tempest engulfed this entire mystical land.
The trees were whispering something; reciting incantations even. Raye awoke at midnight to the creepy noises and tried to shrug it off as her imagination. But she heard it again, clearly. The trees were talking.
She felt a rush of adrenaline and raised her hand towards Serena, hoping to wake her partner. But she couldn't do so. She suddenly felt starving. Hungrier than ever. Waking that blonde boar would mean sharing all the food!!
Why should she wake her up? Talking trees, what nonsense! Food is all she needed!! Food! She began stuffing herself with all the remaining nutritional supply they had. Everything seemed so calm to her; so calm it was suspicious. As if someone wanted this; was waiting for this — their prey.
The night passed, and we woke from our slumber to find dazzling little birds; a few whom I identified as magpie robins singing beautiful lullabies making me feel more sleepy. But it was the sight of Raye that stopped me from dozing back to la la land.
"Raye, you pig. You ate all the remaining food didn't you!?" I yelled, smacking her head. " There're bits of Double chocolate biscuits all around your face. We didn't eat those yesterday." Raye struggled to get up, rubbing her throbbing head as I went to pick up our supply bag. None of our food items were in it as I suspected.
"You will never get thin. I curse you ; you gloated , fat insensitive pig." I screamed at her. "I-I.." she stuttered and said, "I'm sorry. I don't know why I felt so hungry at midnight. It felt as though I would die if I didn't eat more food. Sorry , Serena. I know you are a pig yourself. I'm sorry. I'll make it up to you. Okay?"
"How, pig! How!?" I said, loudly. "How about I go hunting for our breakfast? There are many birds and shrubs around. Maybe I could find something edible to feed us." she suggested, and I agreed.
How did she assume she could hunt? She was a city girl, priestess and as much as I hate to admit it, a beauty who probably never had gone hunting in the wild before. Atleast I hadn't, being the normal high school kid living in a proper city.
Raye did as she had told so and left me all alone enjoying the after view of last night's storm. The weather had settled down but the water currents were still frenetic. The shrill cries of the trees and the ceaseless, eery melody of the wind, buzzed in my ears, sending me a shiver down my spine.
The trees in their majestic golden glory, surrounded my little body and swayed. It was as though they were crying one moment and sighing the other, and the feeling of something bad brewing between them stayed constant.
And the human mind truly wonders the most impossible things during distressful times. So I tried my hardest to shrug of all kinds of crazy ideas that were entering my mind uninvited.
I wondered for how long Raye had been gone. I should keep a mental check every time I dress up to put on a watch — which I could definitely use in dire situations like this.
Summoning the remains of bravery amidst the cowardice within me, I stepped up in search of my friend. I would not have done that, had evening not sunk in.
On the other end, Raye was dead beat, but she had to find something edible. Otherwise, she couldn't face the other glutton given her pride.
She had tried climbing up the trees to no avail; had tried to search for fruity bush or edible plants and all that she could think of. At the same time, she couldn't pinpoint the source of this immense hunger she still felt?
She suddenly heard crunching sounds from all the leaves that had fallen to cover the ground; the sounds not coming from under her foot. A similar rush of adrenaline hit her, all her senses reached a heightened rate.
She turned towards the source of sound, bravely making steps towards whoever it was, hiding inside those bushes. But when she finally reached there, she found no one in particular; just a few branches which had somehow bent enough to reach her knees.
Sighing, she turned back in order to go into the direction she'd originally been on; just to feel a loud smack on her head and felt herself drift off into darkness.
I had walked for roughly ten minutes but it felt like ten hours because of my overly vigilant state of being. Raye wasn't anywhere in my vision and inside of me, I was dying for her company. This place felt like an entirely different planet, with aliens living everywhere.
The Aliens were probably not green martians; but very sturdy golden- green crowned celestial embodiments that probably arose to throw my soul into a fear filled world. Blame my overactive imagination as I felt convinced that the trees were talking, and the island was moving.
Those gossiping golden giants wouldn't stop talking, gossiping and laughing at our rash decision — or rather my rash decision to enter this sacred land of gods, spirits and beasts. There were originally no hints of human interference, and we dared to take shelter here. Something here surely resented our presence.
The island had its own free will, and this thought though strange, touched a keen sense of danger within me. I rushed, increasing my walking pace and running a few steps; my sense of vision on high alert. I had to find Raye and get out of this island as soon as possible.
I bit my own tongue accidentally due to the shock of finding Raye feeding on a rather human like creature. I should have thought twice before calling out to her but I didn't. "Ra-Raye!" I said , "What- What are you eating?"
"Just some human who'd been eyeing me." she said, turning around to face me; her face disgustingly filled with hot red blood. She continued, " 'twas tryna hunt me so I hunted him instead. Oh! And pro'ly I found other dead humans like him around."
My voice was caught and imprisoned within my throat. I couldn't scream nor say a word. I felt like I was due to be the next meal for my starving friend. "Oh! Serena," she cooed " Don't worry. I won't hurt you. Darling, I'd be a fool to hurt you. It has been ages since I met a heart like yours."
My feet were stuck in the same spot due to fear and I gulped down my saliva with anxiety. Raye chuckled and wiped her mouth with her slender fingers. "How is my humble garden, Serena dear?" she said. I didn't have the courage in me to reply. I just wanted to flee but this thing could have hurt my best friend. I couldn't just run away.
"Raye! Raye.. Please. Come back to your senses." I yelled, " Please. This place is horrible. We need to get out of here. RAYE!!" She chuckled again. "That heart is going to be wonderful. Such pure spiritual essence is a rarity." she said with delight.
I couldn't comprehend what she was speaking. Everything felt too surreal. It had better be a nightmare. She started walking towards me steadily then, the look in her eye changed and she brought out the very sharp object that killed the man before me; hoping to feed on me instead.
I didn't want to die here. I didn't want to lose my friend either. Everything was a mess. Tears filled my eyes, my breath was shaky and my muscles were twitching. I didn't hesitate this time around and took long strides away from her; running at my best speed.
Raye was right behind me, just a few inches from me and that gave me the strength to keep sprinting faster, towards our canoe. The little narrow vehicle was just a few meters away from me; my escape was just in my sight when a large branch bent down, knocking me off my balance.
This was probably it! "God!," I cried, " I'm too young to die!" And I burst out, sniffing and hiccuping. But the attack of the sharp object never came. I finally opened my eyes only to find a huffing Raye, on top of another Raye!?
"Serena," the seemingly normal Raye yelled, " Get the vehicle ready." I got up and rushed towards the canoe, grabbing it towards the water as Raye battled with her look alike.
Raye smashed a thick wooden branch against her opponent's head, sending another bout of shivers down my spine. It was too creepy to see her hit her look alike without flinching. The lunatic look alike fainted on spot and the sharp object dropped out of her hand. Raye picked it up and dashed towards our boat.
We rowed against the strong currents of the water, battling yet again with the onset of a storm. The waves were gigantic and carried within them the spirit of Neptune, crashing against our Canoe, dripping us wet with water.
Our little Canoe was tumbling , and the thought of it flipping over felt very plausible. Nevertheless, we kept struggling against all our invisible foes and kept going forward.
After what felt like a lifetime, we reached calm waters; far away from the channel that had dragged us towards that island. "Raye!" I said," What happened to you? There were two of you?"
"Just somebody hit my head and when I woke up, I followed my own traces to go back to where we were camping. And I found you." she answered. "But I was way off the direction from our tent." I said. "How did you accidentally find me? Hell why were you even gone for the entire day, you pig!"
She just gave a small laugh at that and gave no further explanations. She was too calm. I couldn't help sweating profusely as I sat across her. Raye had always been athletic. It was no surprise she could take on that creepy look alike. But she had never been merciless enough to beat someone bloody.
I didn't have the courage to ask the thousand questions spiralling in my mind. Maybe what Raye had experienced alone was enough to change her, igniting her survival instincts I was worried, shocked and anxious to get out of here as soon as possible.
We rowed until dawn; neither of us keen on sleeping. Soon the very familiar lodging we were staying at could be seen in a distance. I finally breathed a sigh in relief. "Raye! We finall--" the feeling of something sharp piercing my chest overwhelmed me with pain.
Raye chuckled and softly whispered, " Darling, how can I let you go?" My mind spiralled and I coughed out blood. This was it! This is how I died. And probably how Raye died too. I couldn't believe this would be my pathetic end.
I was loosing conciousness. I thought of my parents, friends and thought of the morning we'd made this stupid bet. What was the bet about? I couldn't recall anymore. As I was slipping away to the darkness, I heard Raye's soft sigh as she placed her hand on my head.
She softly kissed my forehead and pressed her cold hands against my wounds. It felt warm. What an irony? "Darling I tol..Not.." I couldn't hear the rest as i finally fell victim to the underworld.
I woke up suddenly, gasping for air as I clenched my fist against my chest. The sight of familiar golden crowned trees welcomed me. And I was yet again greeted by a red puffy face of Raye, with double chocolate biscuits all around her face.
"Darling, you'll surely like it here," I heard raspy whispers in my ear. The wind was blowing gently, yet the trees kept swaying turbulently. I kept heaving. I had to find a way out. For myself. For Raye. Anxiety filled me to the brim.
The island was definitely alive ; with our souls ,now, trapped deep within these brown mazes -- no breaking out of here.
Sailor Moon- one shot Fanfiction By Zee.