Very Very Frightening [25]

I laid in the pile of straw where I’d been so unceremoniously dumped for a few minutes, slowly moving arms, legs, and back bit by bit, just checking to see if any of my elderly parts had been broken or disarranged. This bit of maintenance accomplished, I slowly got to my feet.
The place I found myself was a loft of sorts, 20′ off of the ground, roofed, but open on the two shorter sides. This was the storeroom for the workshop below. It was enormous to my eyes, almost half the size of a big-box hardware store, but again, it was built to accommodate giant feathery people, and to their scale might seem a bit cozy.
There were all manner of crafting supplies neatly stowed in baskets in the cubbies and shelves that lined the two walls, and the “straw” pile I’d landed in was basically from a broken bale of some kind of sweetly perfumed azure blue grass.
I saw lightning flashing through the trees, in the direction of the Town Square. A minute later, the full force of its thunder swept over me, and I grabbed for a nearby shelf, my heart pounding, breath coming in gasps.
The force of it was terrifying. It made clear that there was a major battle going on. The flashes of light and accompanying waves of sound were overwhelming from where I stood, almost a mile away from town. It was more like the artillery I’d seen in movies than any electrical storm I’d ever witnessed.
Terrified, I bent over weeping and crawled back into my little blue hay pile and curled into the fetal position.
It was too much. Everything was too much, and I could no longer put on the brave face and take things in stride, pretending to be competent to handle all of … this.
I let myself crumble for a little while, sobbing and wailing my angst and allowing the overwhelming fear of the past few days to flow out of me while the thunder crashed over me.
After a while, maybe a half hour or so, I ran out of tears and sat up. The battle appeared to be done. There were small sizzling noises, occasionally, but the gigantic terrifying thunder-and-lightning waves were over with.
I sniffled a bit and wiped my face with the hem of my big t-shirt.
I realized that I really needed to go to the bathroom, and started hunting around for a way to get down out of the loft I was in, to get to a bush.
There were several two-foot-tall wooden spools in one of the lowest cubbies. They were wound with a soft white bleached cording of some sort. The spools were very heavy, but I managed to tip one over and roll it across the loft, unwinding what looked like about 25 feet of the stuff. I cut it with the edge of a large pink clam shell from another basket, noting to myself that having that Bowie knife with me would have been handy.
It took me a little time to do all of this, so by the time I had the rope cut and tied off, and shimmied down it, I literally had to run to the nearest bush. I dropped trow, and sighed in relief.
As I got myself re-ordered, I heard a rustling noise about thirty feet off, and froze. Every hair on my body stood on end. The rope was ten feet at least behind me. I crouched and crept backwards to it, keeping an eye on the shrubberies. I saw shadows moving, heard a crunch and the rustle again.
I channeled my inner ten-year old from gym class, jumped onto the rope, and hoisted myself about ten feet upwards before realizing I was no longer ten. I clenched my teeth and took a deep breath, and forced myself to make it the rest of the way up as quietly as possible, and then rapidly pulled the rope up behind me. Only then did I allow myself to wheeze, groan loudly, and collapse onto my back.
I heard the rustle again, and then it came louder, and closer. That smell… it was right beneath me in the bushes. I wanted to look but I was afraid to expose myself. I rolled as quietly as I could away from the edge and laid still for a little while, then rose to my feet and tiptoed back to my safe blue haypile. I wished I had a blanket to hide under.
The rustling went back and forth for a little while. First it went over to the bush I’d so recently occupied, and was there for a little while. A new noise began to accompany the quieter movement-sounds. It was something like the rattle of a rattler, but quieter. It almost sounded like it was chuckling.
I just focused on laying still and breathing, and hoping this critter wasn’t like a python- capable of wrapping itself around a tree and shimmying up.
And then I heard a different rustle and looked up to see Tremayne standing over me. The relief I felt was enormous, but I signaled “quiet”, hoping he’d understand, and pointed towards the edge of the loft I’d so recently clambered over. Tremayne cocked his head, nodded, crackling a bit, and almost silently flew back out the way he’d come in.
The next thing I heard was a “whump” and a shrieking noise, and then the sound of arcing electricity. Tremayne reappeared a short while later, grim faced.
I stood up, then. “How long until morning?” I asked.

Published by goddesswest

I'm a painter and am writing something now. People keep asking me to put it together in an easier to access place, so here I am. Plan to get some of my artwork in here too, eventually.

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