Sing us a Song
She was one of our [England's] more frumpy queens… they're all frumpy, aren't they? Because it's a bad idea when cousins marry! Bottom of the gene pool, you know. You're just scraping the barrel there, "We've haven't got enough for any more of you royals there, sorry." First rule of genetics: spread the genes apart!
– Eddie Izzard, 'Dress to Kill'
'Too late, too late you see the path of wisdom!'
- Antigone, 'Antigone': Sophocles
Oh yeah, contrary to popular belief, I don't own 'The Village' or any of its characters. But according to a law created in 1989, I do own Shannon Blakely, even if I haven't bought a little © sign for her.
Ten minutes later, Shannon had effectively been chasing the assailants for ten minutes. In other words, she accomplished nothing but breaking a sweat and nearly twisting her ankle on brush. Her breathing was becoming ragged and she stopped to catch it.
Far off in the darkness she heard a car start. Her car, she knew instantly, damning the ten second stall on the piece of junk SUV that identified it to her every time. She tried to hear the car drive off, but her own breathing was making it very hard.
A sudden feeling of terror washed over her, filling her mind with inexplicable horrors of the fate she might encounter upon being lost in the forest. Calming down slightly she tried to remember which way she had been going last. After realizing she had no idea, she realized she still had her cell phone.
'Oh, happy day!' she thought, flipping open the cover. But, much to Shannon's dismay, the screen read 'roaming: out of service'. She choked the phone for a few minutes before managing another logical thought. The Park had never given a training in how to find your way out of the woods, because no one was allowed in them anyway, but Shannon recalled a few from television.
Looking up to the sky, she realized she couldn't see through the leaves. That was one idea gone. Looking for moss on rocks would do no good; she couldn't remember what side it grew on. She was starting to wish she had marked trees on the way back here or checked which way the wind was blowing.
Without any other choice, she began walking aimlessly, in hope of finding the wall and not anything else. Somehow her own speculations of tall carnivorous dying cows were making herself uneasy as she passed by tree after tree. Up ahead less than 10 yards, she could see the trees thinning out. Running at a slow jog, she hurried to the spot, and was pleasantly surprised to find a gravel path leading in both directions. Now, if she only knew which way to go.
Deciding she was bound to get out either way, even if one way was painstakingly longer, she took a right. And a very long right as she soon discovered. Disappointingly, the road ended abruptly about half a mile, or what felt like a mile at least, when the gravel just blended into the leaves and dirt. Sighing, Shannon turned around and thought about starting down the other way.
An impulse came upon her so strong when she even thought about traveling back down that way it gave her an urge to run as fast as she could any other direction. So she did, she abandoned the road and ran to the right of the road, hoping to maybe outrun her childish fears. After about ten minutes of sprinting, she could no longer see the road, or much of anything for that matter. The trees had begun to space themselves wider apart, alleviating her tendency to bump into them. This was quite a relief as she had raced headlong into a tree when she was running.
Slowing down, she caught her breath and walked farther in the direction she had been sprinting, the fear of something scary beyond all reason following her still lingered in her mind but she tried to block out those thoughts. She was quite sure she had run a mile, maybe two after thinking about werewolves chasing after her. But she remembered, the quarter moon that had been out when she was on the freeway, and that relaxed her a good deal.
Shannon was usually a reasonable person, logical and not keen to old wives tales, but the thought that she was alone in the woods with no way of communication, no food, and no one knowing where she was frightened her terribly, like no monster usually could.
She reached down to her pocket, expecting to find her cell phone and check to see if perhaps she had wandered into her service area again, only to find it was gone. Looking down, stupidly, she realized all her running must have shook the phone out of her pocket, only to lie uselessly on the forest floor.
"Why am I feeling like Oedipus on the day of Iocasta's, ow, sui-"[AN 1] she began, then intervening with an 'ow' as she banged her hip against an overturned tree root. That or a rather short and branchy tree. She was cut off by her own yelp as she slipped, falling forward from a trip on a rock in the loose soil. She frowned as she realized she wasn't face-down in the dirt with a mouthful of fertilizer.
Actually, she wasn't face down in anything. Her head was void of a resting place while her shoulders and torso rested most uncomfortably on the ground. She jerked herself backward and onto her feet in great haste. Peering into the darkness she tried to see what it was she had almost fallen from. Her eyes could make out a blurry blackness in front of her, but no more than what she could tell from falling in the first place.
Slowly, she kneeled down and cautiously reached her shaking hand forward towards the shadows to which she almost was cast. She could feel the edge of a pit of some sort and a very muddy one at that. Crawling on her hands and her knees she carefully made her way around the hole and quickly ran once she was sure she wouldn't fall in it. Either it was an animal's trap or someone was hunting an animal. Her thoughts jumped immediately to a hog trap, serving to quicken her pace even more.
A hog was definitely not something she wanted to meet in the dark when she had been banging into trees all night. A thought quickly invaded her mind.
"How very Edgar Allan Poe." She said allowed. She recalled reading the Pit and the Pendulum for English one year and if she was correct, the same thing that just happened to her happened to the guy in that story. But sadly, like most everything else that night, the thought rang aloud other suspicions, like one of the other Poe stories she had read, Dr. Tarr and Prof. Feather. That had been, be far one of the creepiest things she had read, aside from Stephen King's two – 'the Cycle of the Werewolf' and the cover illustration story to 'Everything's Eventual'. She always knew having a best friend obsessed with horror stories and urban legends would turn out for the worst.
Thinking of those things she picked up her pace again, farther away from the stupid hole. Her reasonability was starting to return and she couldn't help but wonder, "Why the hell would someone dig a hole in the middle of an off-limits forest?"
Resolving to be positive, she decided to sing a song. Not surprisingly, the only song that jumped to mind was the one she had been listening to before she had left her car – Piano Man.
Sing us a song, you're the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody
And you've got us feelin' alright
She began shakily, her eyes searching desperately for man-made light, her sight adjusted to the darkness.
And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
and the microphone smells like a beer
and they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
and say, "Man, what are you doin' here?"
Oh, la la la, de de da
La la, de de da da da
She hummed at the beginning, having forgotten the words and decided to try another song. Golden Earring's song 'Ce Soir' came to mind and the only verse she knew, she hummed:
Sing your song, you can't go wrong
Attempted his business adviser
No need for alarm
you'll come to no harm
He didn't mention the sniper
Ce soir, Ce soir
Assassination d'un rock 'n roll star
Deciding the song was a bit strange for a midnight stroll in a forbidden forest, she quickly stopped. "Favorite song, favorite song…" The only one she could think of, other than 'Little Red Riding Hood' and she certainly wasn't going to sing that at this time and place, was Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls.
And I'd give up forever to touch you
Cause I know that you feel me somehow
She started to shiver slightly as the wind blew harder, just enough to lift her damp locks of the back of her neck. She had begun to regret cutting her hair when it was sticking to the back of her neck, itching as she began to sweat.
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now
She continued on, her eyes straining as she became tired, wishing to lie down and sleep. Somewhere near, she could hear water and that somehow comforted her. But if only she knew which way it came from.
And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
She could see the stream now, gliding gently over stones and gurgling invitingly. She moved towards it, dropping down beside it and cupping some with her hands. After a few sips she stopped and stood up. You were supposed to move along the river, which ever way it flows, right? Wouldn't that apply for a stream too?
She walked along side the river a few minutes before another thought entered her head. You were supposed to move along rivers because all of them flowed south. All except the Nile, that was. Streams didn't necessarily follow those rules. Figuring no real time was lost, she moved to the opposite bank of the stream with a quick jump.
Cause sooner or later it's over
I just don't want to miss you tonight
She begun singing again, finding that the song strengthened her courage, allowing her to think less about what could possible be waiting for her.
And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
The songs' words faltered in her throat. An odor, a strange one met her nose. She couldn't quite identify it, but she was pretty sure it wasn't something one normally could smell in the woods. Perhaps it was manmade…
I just want you to know who I am
And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
She was getting closer to the smell, as it was getting stronger. By the time she was close enough to tell what it was; it was too late to turn back. Her eyes fixated, in horror, on a decaying carcass laying half on a rock and half off, flies beginning to feed on the dead animal. What beast could skin something like that? Deciding it for the best she moved away, and began singing again to build her strength.
When everything feels like the movies
Turning around so her back was to the poor creature, she made to move on forward. Only, what caught her sight made her stop in her tracks.
Yeah, you'd bleed just to know you're alive
A small village lied in the middle of a clearing, smoke rising from a few of the chimneys, making it seem very picturesque. A few lights emitted from stands dotting the town. Closer to her, hardly a foot or two away, were flag stands, yellow cloths flapping in the wind ever so slightly. Oh, she was definitely ready to bleed…
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any song used here or the people who sing them. Heck, I don't even own the albums they're on.
[AN 1] A musing on Oedipus Rex, aka Oedipus the King. Basically, he was having a really bad day – he found out a prophesy had come true, one he had been avoiding a long time, and it stated he would marry his mother, kill his father, and well, let's face it – that's bad. Oh, and the problem – he was adopted, so he didn't really know who his parents were. And he had kids by his mother (who was Iocasta, yeah – she killed herself and then Oedipus rendered himself blind.). Yes, Shannon was over-exaggerating.
If you don't get why she's ready to bleed, read the last line of the song that she sung.
Sorry that it's kind of left at a cliffhanger but I've had most of this done for two days and been meaning to post it. It's over two thousand words, actually.
Oh, and the Eddie Izzard quote about the gene pools- my mom and best friends' theory on what would eventually happen in the village. "Wouldn't they all be cousins and siblings after a while?" They're sick, I know. Sorry for the wait and I hope to have the next chapter up soon!
I'm out. Drop a review.