Without Her Face 2
By Nora Chery
Volume 2 Issue 1
October 8, 2021
Image provided by National Park Service
(Note from the author: If you want to read the previous chapter, click here: https://www.vsnorthstar.com/articles/without-her-face)
Secretly, beneath his easygoing nature and simple philosophies, he pat himself on the back. He prided himself on being the only kid his age with any common sense. Most teenagers in Snow Valley Square were below him. He thought of himself as a god.
However, his dose of reality soon hit him like a bullet piercing between the eye and brain.
Who would have thought that leaning, applying your 130-pound weight on a rotten, weak part of a wooden fence, would cause it to snap?
Sending you, headfirst, down the tip of a hill. Barreling you towards a dark sea of trees, in the middle of the night.
In the town of Snow Valley Square, in the forest below the hills, resided our false god. He was flat on his back, lying on damp, dark green leaves, and the murky shores of a muddy pond. His right leg was snapped and twisted like a twirled mop. With rose leaves as stickers on his face, and grass as hairpins, he bawled for help up the hill, hoping someone could hear him. No one did. Up there, the residents were religious. They had to sleep early, as they had church tomorrow.
The boy mewled. His broken leg gave waves of pain, warning him not to move or else. Like a needle to an open wound, sobbed the boy from inside. The wave of nausea wasn’t a pleasant gift either. Oak and spruce trees were the only living things around to hear his shallow breathing. His tears joined the pond under him. He called out once more; the houses above responded by looming before him like a dead streetlamp a someone forgot to light.
But just then, a hem of a cheap lemon-colored summer dress approached him from his right, followed by a pair of rawboned legs. When the boy looked up, he felt his eyes burn, swearing they’d cry out blood, as he saw the face of the hideous, gaunt creature. He could’ve sworn he saw his short life flash before him as the humanoid demon reached down towards him. Its pale, spindly fingers extended, and the claws came closer and...
Two fingers, a pointer and thumb, adorned with blue polish, came down to pinch at Mr. Blue’s right cheek. The sudden action made him gurgle on his spit, but his eyes remained shut. Drool peeked out of the left corner of his mouth. The fingers, still clasping on, gave a couple good yanks on the skin. It was strong enough to trigger his eyes to snap open. His sleepy body bobbed alive; he inhaled as he straightened up on his seat. He drifted his eyes to the fingers, then up at Mrs. Blue, whom they belong to.
They were the only ones on the bus. The other couple was still distracted with each other and missed the bus when the married pair had boarded. Mr. and Mrs. Blue sat on their green seats as the white lights shined. The sleeve of Mrs. Blue’s frock intertwined with Mr. Blue’s parka. She leaned on his shoulder, peering up at him,
“Our stop is next. I would’ve used a much gentler approach to wake you—If you weren’t such a deep sleeper,” Mrs. Blue said.
Mr. Blue hummed in response; his drowsy eyes stared at his right leg contained within his yellow cargo pants, solid and healthy. “Thanks,” he mumbled, smiling softly, still looking at his leg.
“You had another dream, Mike?” asked Mrs. Blue.
“Yeah, about a monster this time. It was gaunt and ugly,” jested Mr. Blue.
“Again!? I’d protect you from those if I could.”
“Thanks, Sophia. You’re a sweetheart when you don’t have venom.”