She woke up by a streak of warm light stretching across her face. She rolled over to try and drift back to sleep. It was too late. The rising sun had already waken up her mind. She stretched as long as she could and let out a deep sigh. This trip to the country side was actually a great idea. She thought she’d miss the conveniences of her gadgets and the drama of her friends back home, but the stillness of the forest and simplicity of conversation was a break she didn’t realize she needed.

She looked at the clock; it was 10:30. Her family would probably be in the kitchen eating breakfast without her, ready to chastise her for her laziness and make jokes about her “hibernations”. She rose out of bed and lazily threw a sweatshirt on.

She reached the kitchen; nobody was there. They probably went on a run to town without her. That’s fine, they probably just didn’t want to wake her up.

She stepped outside; it was beautiful. The cabin was small and quaint. There was a large green field sprinkled with wild flowers separating the cabin from the woods. The grass was tall and swayed effortlessly in the wind. It smelled fresh. There was a slight chill to the breeze, but it was bearable. She stepped back in the house and made herself some instant coffee. She walked out to the front porch, sat on an old rocking chair, and cupped mug, warming her hands while she slurped small sips. It was refreshing.

She enjoyed moments like this alone. She felt being alone was the only time she could feel truly relaxed. She loved people and enjoyed their company, but there was always that underlying feeling that she had to entertain in one form or another. Being alone meant she could be real. The thoughts she had privately could finally be dissected and analyzed. She could be her real self, if only with herself. She stared across the swaying fields and peered into the forest. It was intimidating. The trees were tall and a dark, a black-green. The landscape seemed divided. The fields were dancing and full of life; the forest was thick, silent, and still. It made her shutter.

She stepped back inside and closed the door behind her. She walked over to the clock to check the time-her family should be returning soon. 10:30 still? That’s odd, the clock must be broken. She knew at least over an hour had passed since she woke up.

She realized she was growing bored. She needed entertainment while she waited for her family return. That’s when she remembered her sister had brought a few magazines. She headed down the hallway to her sister’s room and opened the door, knowing the magazines would be in her backpack. She entered the room but quickly came to a halt. There was no backpack. Actually, there wasn’t a suitcase either. The bed was also pristinely made, looking as if it had never been slept in. Did she just randomly decide to clean her room? She headed to her parents room. To her confusion, it was also seemingly untouched. She started to feel a wave of panic- were they playing a prank on her? Probably. She tried to calm herself down and headed back outside to feel the reassurance of daylight.

She quickly walked to the front door, still feeling panicky. She stepped outside. It seemed like a storm might be moving in; the sky had grown darker and the clouds were moving quickly. She hated this weather. There was a strange stillness now- the grass was no longer gracefully dancing in the wind. It had come to a complete halt; all the blades slumped over. Come to think of it, there was no breeze in the air at all. It was eerily silent. Not a single chirping bird or buzzing insect could be detected. Alright, she was freaked out. She decided she would walk to town, grab a donut, and head to the internet cafe. That was enough nature for her. She began walking down the dirt road at a quick pace.

The sounds of her footsteps pierced the eerie silence. The overcast sky was intimidating. She glanced over at the dark woods again. This time, she couldn’t look away. They deeply disturbed her. The trees were so thick the forest appeared black. They seemed like they were hiding something. She stared intently. She felt something might be looking back at her. That’s when she heard it.

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