Nischa, pt. 1

She woke to a chill breeze sending shivers across her pale skin. Her sisters slept near her, huddled together. Nischa took a deep breath and listened to the forest around her. It was quiet. The forest was asleep. A smile curled the edge of her lips. Sleep. It was a welcome thing. She took a moment to smooth out some of the lumps from their bed. She curled up next to her sisters and pulled the moss blanket up for warmth. Closing her eyes, she thought of only sleep and peace.

A shrill scream pierced the night air and Nischa bolted upright. Solana looked at her, eyes wide with fear. “What was that?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” Nischa replied and reached for the sharpened stick she kept nearby.

Nym was peering over the edge, out into the darkness. “It sounded like it came from one of the other trees.”

“Should we hide?” Solana fretted. “Somewhere higher up?”

“We don’t even know if something is wrong.”

“Don’t we? That wasn’t a cry of joy!”

As if in response, another scream wailed, closer by.

“Someone needs help.”

“They can help themselves, we should go.”

“What if it was one of us?”

“It’s not. Let’s go… please?”

Nischa stopped and looked at Solana and Nym. “You’d just leave them like that?”

Both Solana and Nym nodded… stopped… and shook their heads.

“No.” they said in unison.

“Come on then.” Nischa handed each a sharpened stick. “But be careful.”

They headed out in the direction of the scream, silently from tree to tree, watching for any movement. Nym heard it before the others and motioned them to stop. There was a rustle in the underbrush ahead. Whatever it was sounded large. It was moving across their path, but not getting closer. Nym motioned and they began to circle around behind. They followed at a distance as the unseen rustle moved towards a large hedge. Nischa thought she could hear whispered voices, but could not make out the words. She moved closer, heard a sharp “Shhh!” and the rustle stopped. Nischa’s skin prickled as the chill she felt earlier in the night swept over her once more. She held up a hand for her sisters to stop and they waited, motionless. The hedge rustled again. Once. Twice. Nischa held her breath and gripped her stick tightly.

Another scream from the hedge and a figure burst out, eyes full of terror. She stopped short, nearly crashing into Nischa.

“Run! They’re everywhere!”

“Who is?” But Nischa would get no reply. A hand shot out from the hedge, grabbed the other, and pulled her back into the darkness, leaving only a piercing scream.

“Oh gods!” Nischa yelled, and turned to flee. “Go! GO!”

She raced past her sisters as they turned to follow. Suddenly the forest was no longer quiet. Dark shapes moved along the forest floor, some quickly, some shambling. More cries filled the night, coming from every direction.

“What are they?” Nym called as they followed behind. A hand shot towards her and she barely dodged to the side.

“Foul magiks!” she called over her shoulder. “We need to be away!”

Another figure rose in front of her, blocking her path. Nischa stopped and throwing her stick like a spear, watched in horror as it merely clattered between the ribs of the skeleton before her. Solana had already dodged to the side.

“This way!” Nym grabbed Nischa’s hand and pulled her along. “We can get out this way!”

She had no choice but to follow. Turning back, she saw a distance opening up between them. “Solana, hurry! We need to stay together!”

Solana ducked as another figure crashed above her. “I’m coming.” She dodged again, and charged in a straight line towards her sisters. A shadow rose from the fallen leaves below and Solana was gone. Her scream already fading.

“NO!” Nischa stopped, Nym pulled away.

“We’ve got to keep going!” Nym called.

That was the last Nischa saw of her sister. Darkness enveloped her, surrounded her, and the screams she heard were her own.


One Response

  1. I forgot all about Nischa. She was fun. I tried to make my pet (perpetually intoxicated pixie) to fall in love with Nischa, but it never worked. 😀

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