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August 08, 2022

Tomorrow Falls 15

By Carrie A. Golden

Fifteen

"Tess?"

The voice was familiar. Where did she hear it before?

"Tess, sweetie."

Mom?

The darkness felt heavy. Breathing was difficult. She tried to lift her hands up to push the invisible blanket off her chest and face.

Mom, where are you?

"Tess!"

She let out a huff as she fought against this unseen force that kept her in the dark.

I can't see you, Mom!

All of a sudden, everything around her changed. Tess found herself standing in the middle of some forest.

Trees without life.

She turned around slowly as she studied her surrounding. The sky was colorless. Starless. In fact the only colors were gray and black.

"Tess." The woman's voice now closer than ever.

Tess peered ahead, towards the direction of the voice, and spotted what looked like a soft glow of some kind.

She walked towards it and found the glow emanating from a single tree.

An oak tree.

The only living thing in the forest. She stood next to it, and with one hand, reached out to touch its bark.

Warm.

Mom?

"My darling." The voice came from the tree itself.

Tess's eyes widened. With both hands, she pressed her palms on to the warm, brown bark.

She felt soft, rhythmic thuds behind it.

I'm here, Mom!

"You must open your eyes now."

But my eyes are opened.

"He needs you. They all will need you." The voice began to fade.

No, don't leave me!

Tess pounded on the tree with fists. Suddenly, the entire forest filled with howls.

"Run, Tess!"

The glow dissipated, and the oak tree now dead.

Alone, she glanced in all directions trying to determine which way the creatures were coming from. She couldn't tell as the guttural snarls echoed all around her.

Heaving, she dropped to her knees and clamped both hands over her ears.

Leave me alone! Please!

"Tess?"

This voice was different. A man's.

Tess looked towards the sky.

Beck?

"Open your eyes, peaches."

The sky no longer colorless as it took on blue and pink hues with streaks of purple and dark blue clouds. The howling faded. She felt herself floating up, towards those fluffy clouds, and suddenly everything grew so bright, she turned her face away from it.

"Tess?"

Something warm pressed on her hand. She turned towards it, and opened her eyes.

Article © Carrie A. Golden. All rights reserved.
Published on 2016-11-28
Image(s) are public domain.
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