Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Forest Has Ears... Part 6

Karen stood slowly with the help of Ellie's out stretched hand. She walked to the doorway and stared. Her heart was pounding as she looked into Jessica's eyes. Derek slowly moved to the front of the doorway. Karen could see Mark standing inside the room. Karen touched the face of the man she had loved forever. She looked at Jessica and Mark. Tears streamed down her face as she tried to process all she was seeing.These people were dead. She had already accepted that and yet here they were, standing in front of her. Suddenly she struck Derek on his cheek with her open hand. He stepped back in shock of what she had just done to him. Jessica stepped between Karen and Derek.
"Mom, No!!!! He did nothing wrong!"
"Nothing wrong!?! Faking a death, letting me believe that I had failed in some way and that all three of you were dead!!! That is wrong! That is very wrong!" Karen turned away and looked at Ellie. "And You!!!! How could you do this to me!?!?!? I hate you for this, Ellie!"
"Then hate me, if you must, Sis. I did what I had to do to keep them safe until we could get to them here. If Melody even thought they were still alive, she would have hunted them down and maybe, just maybe, this time she would have succeeded in killing them."
Karen relaxed her mind a little bit. She walked to Derek and hugged him to her. She opened her arms to welcome Jessica and Mark. She held them tight to her, never wanting to let go of them. Her moment was only broken when Ellie spoke out.
"I am sorry to stop this but we really must figure out what we are going to do about Melody. She may already be here."
"We have the energy now to defeat her. We can not stay inside the forest forever. Melody will eventually find us and kill us."
"You are right Karen but if we are to fight her, it needs to be here, inside the safety of the forest. That is where we stand the best chance of defeating her."
Outside the tree line, twenty or thirty witches moved up and down the row of cedars. Standing near the road, Melody watched as each one reached into the trees, searching for a doorway. She needed only a tiny opening to rip the trees wide.
"Where did they get such energy!? Karen was supposed to be the only one that had all the elements to reap from. I know I felt more than one energy flow when I was trying to drag the little witch out of the stand."
"Maybe Ellie has been hiding her powers from you, Melody."
A flash surged from Melody's wand and struck Melinda in the chest. The energy sent her sprawling across the pavement. The skin was torn from her belly and legs as she slid across it. Melody stood beside her now.
"Do you think I am so stupid or weak that I would not have felt her before this!? I have my mother inside of me! I can and I will kill them all, and then you will know who knew what!"
Melody walked back to the center of the Tree stand. Flames scorched the pavement where her feet touched. The witches all stepped away as she passed them. Her anger and her energy was strong this night.
"Listen to me, all of you! I chose each of you because of your strength and loyalty. If anyone wants to go, go now! Once we breach this stupid fortress, there will be no turning back! If anyone tries to run, I will kill you before you get ten feet from me. This battle does not end until Karen and her sister are both dead. Anyone with them dies also! Any questions!?!?!??"
Not a word was spoken. The witches turned back to the trees and continued searching.Melody moved against the trees and leaned her ear to one of the tree trunks.
"Talk to me. Tell me what you have heard in the Forest. I know you listen and hear everything." Slowly, she began to strip the bark from the tree. Long strips of tree skin peeled away as she raked her nails over the exposed tree. Sap ran red like blood from the tree. "You will tell me because I will claw away at you until there is nothing left. You will feel every single scrape! Now tell me, Tree, what do you hear in the forest?!?"
She listened as the tree moaned it's answer to her. Her face contorted at it's words. Deeper she dug into the tree as it whispered to her all she wanted to hear. The tree began to wither and weaken. It's branches sagged to the ground and it leaned forward like an old man trying to keep from falling over. Suddenly, Melody drove her hand all the way into the tree. She clenched her fist and pulled. A huge piece of the tree came out with her fist.
"You have served me well, tree. I will plant this heart of yours on top of the grave I bury the witches in. It will grow strong, feasting off of the witches for many years to come."
As Melody walked away, the huge tree lurched once more as if it were trying to stand straight. It stretched it's huge branches towards the sky and let out a loud moan that could be heard through out the Forest. And then... it died.
"Shhhhh!!! Did you hear that?"
"Hear what Jennifer? I heard nothing."
"Listen, Mom. The trees are talking. They are trying to tell us something."
"She's right, Karen. I can hear them too." A silence filled the cabin. They all listened. And then Ellie spoke again. "Oh My Heavens! She knows."
"Who knows what, damn it. Tell me!"
"Tell her Jennifer."
"Melody knows we are all here. She knows about Ellie and about dad and Mark and I. She tortured one of natures beloved trees and it whispered of our existence. Mom, what are we going to do now!? She has 25 witches outside looking for us. If she finds a way in, how are we going to stop her!?"
"We will stop her, Jennifer. I don't know how yet, but we will stop her, once and for all."

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