The next item to catch my eye and wandering hand: a painting propped up against the back wall. A woman in a forest. I squint at the lights around her... that's strange...
There is something strange about those woods. Mama told me. She said the ones out back of our house are fine, but to never go into the ones out by the edge of town. She says the whole town's gotten strange since the big blackout that took out all our 'lectronics. The eempee, she said.
I don't remember the eempee, or this town being hooked up to any other towns anywhere. Mama says there used to be an interweb hooking the whole world together. She smiles when she talks about the old days of microwave ovens and computers - but it's a kind of smile that makes me think that she doesn't miss it all that much.
But that's not about the woods, or the lady in the woods.
Who listens to their Mama *all* the time? Not me or any other kid I know. I *try*. But sometimes she says things like "don't go in the woods", and so you just *have* to go into the woods. You have to explore. You have to find out what the big secret is.
The thing about the woods is that as soon as you enter them, it's quiet. *Really* quiet. You can't hear the Madison twins playing in the field not fifty feet away. You can't hear the lawnmower. Nothing but little rustly forest sounds.
And it's dark - trees so thick overhead that the sun can't come in.
So how could I see where I was going?
There were these funny lights. Round and floaty, like really big fireflies without wings. They bobbed in the air around me and darted ahead, like they wanted me to follow them. And of course I did. What's the point in exploring and *not* following stuff like that?
I walked for a while; without the sun, I couldn't tell how long. I ate berries that the lights bobbed at, and drank water from springs that burbled up out of nowhere. And then we came to the pond. And the lady in the pond.
She was beautiful. Not like Mama. The lady on the rocks was *too* beautiful, too perfect, too cold, and her smile was wonderful and terrible. Her voice was low. I remember that. I don't remember what she *said* to me.
But I remember her laugh. And then I don't remember anything else.
The twins found me in the middle of the field. I slept for about a day and a half.
Sometimes I swear I can hear the lady's voice on the wind or in my dreams.
But I have never gone back to those woods.
"Lady on the Rocks" by The_Resa; as Teri Sue Wood, Resa wrote and drew "Wandering Star", one of the best indie comics of the 90s, and "The Cartoonist", which was also great fun. Resa says, "When you go walking in the forest in the early evening here in the
North Pacific Rain Forest, you sometimes stumble upon the most
interesting people. It is, however, not always wise to try and speak to
them, particularly if they have strange, floaty lights about them. Oh
no. Best to keep moving. As those kinds of folk tend to play the most
unpleasant practical jokes. Bid now -- because I'll not only doodle on your envelope, but I'll throw in a free Wandering Star CD. Whoo!" Watercolor paint as underpainting, with
Derwent Watercolor pencils sketched on top. 10 x 14 on 2 ply bristol.
Blogathon 2008. 24 hours of spontaneous fiction for BARCC.
A reminder: All storybits are completely spontaneous. I have no idea what I'm going to write til I sit down and write it. Please excuse typos; between all the linking and digging out artifacts and, well, writing, I have no time to edit!