Evynne screamed sending blankets and pillows alike flying as she fell out of bed. She hyperventilated as she curled into a fetal position, as the sensation of what had occurred faded away. She laid on the ground for awhile as she tried to regain her grip on reality. Finally, she uncurled to lazily blink up at the ceiling, again she had a nightmare.
“It was so real though, I could have sworn…” she mumbled to herself as she rose and went to the window, and opened it.
Dawn’s rays muddled as it tried to pierce the dense fog. Evynne rubbed her arms as the mornings chill cocooned her, a frown marred her lips. With a sigh, she climbed down the tree and made her way into the forest.
With heavy footsteps she followed in her nightly trail, hoping that she had only been dreaming. Before long her panic tracks could be seen in the soil, followed by much larger tracks in heavy pursuit.
Her heart raced as she picked up her speed, as the forest began to blur. She came to a halt beside a tree with blood splattered on it. Panting she saw where the creature prowled and where it lunged from. Shakily she stroked the drying blood on the bark, only to have her eyes drawn to a pool of blood that stained the leaf litter.
It had only been her out here, there had been no one else. Who’s blood was that? Questions buzzed in her mind like an angry swarm. She paused a moment of clarity burst forth, she had been wounded by the creature. Shakily she reached for her arm where the creature wounded her only to have her finger stroked smooth skin.
“Evynne? Why are you up so early?”
Evynne jumped as Cameron emerged out of the fog in running attire. He pulled out one headphone and paused in front of pooled blood as his eyes widened.
“Man, the circle of life is brutal. I just hope this poor creature had a quick end. Is that blood on the tree?”
Evynne nodded as Cameron leaned forward, “Damn I wonder what got whacked, what ever it was it bled a lot. You still haven’t answered my question.”
“I… heard…. something. So…I wanted to investigate.” she stammered.
“I guess, that makes sense. After all the food chain in the city is you hunting for the best hot dog cart.”
Evynne gave a one shoulder shrug, “What can I say, it’s hard to find a dignify hot dog.”
Cameron chuckled, “Oh don’t worry, in Sacred Grove we can blow those processed meats out of the water. Hey, you hungry? I know the best place to get breakfast. Want to join me?”
They went home, got dress while Cameron grabbed the keys to Jethro’s patrol car. The drive that Evynne had before with Jethro was cold and quiet, but with Cameron, it was loud and lively. Almost every song that came on the radio he seemed to have memorized, lyric by lyric. Evynne laugh when he added his “famous” dance moves that would put the current pop idols to shame.
They arrived in town with the stereo blaring with the car drifting side to side. Evynne wondered where they were going to eat, she saw a diner but Cameron passed it. Maybe the bakery? That business was passed by as well, only to stop in front of Prince’s Finest.
“Come on! Prince’s cooking is the best, when I lived here he always made me breakfast.”
Cameron vanished inside the store with Evynne on his heels. The door opened setting off an alarm, which Cameron quickly shut off.
“He hasn’t changed, the code is his birthday.” Cameron chuckled and jumped over the counter and took off up the stairs that were hidden by black drapery.
Evynne was halfway up the stairs when a loud crash echoed. Quickly she climbed the rest of the stairs to find Cameron and Prince covered in paint and with their lips awkwardly pressed together.
Cameron recoiled sending globs of paint everywhere, “I…. uh… uh..”
“You call that a kiss? Here let me educate you,” Prince seized Cameron by the jaw and forcefully kissed him. Evynne stood and watched in curiosity as the two males inhabited raw emotions she did not understand. They broke apart saliva trailing between their lips.
“Now if you excuse me I need to change, child please come with me. Leave the lovelorn fool to his fantasies.”
Evynne hesitated but quickly followed while avoiding the splatters of paint. The room they when into was covered in paintings and one yet to be completed. One large painting caught her interest, it hung above Prince’s bed in a silver frame. On further examination, she realized there was a plaque with the title “Homage”
The scene in the painting was of tribal people dancing naked around a massive bonfire while its flames beg the heavens to join it. Shadows danced on the bluffs while a white stag stood proudly at the crest.
“That is a portrait of a long forgotten ritual to the lord of the forest. It was a time before man became unwilling to call upon the old ways .”
Evynne jerked and quickly faced him to only have the blood rush to her face. Prince eyebrows raised as she quickly covered her face.
“What? You were staring at naked people in the painting what is so different with my own skin? A body is a body, you don’t expect me to wear those soiled clothes. I have standards you know.”
He turned and pulled out a pair of boxers and quickly slipped them on. “I believe I should start breakfast, after all, that’s why you two came and disturbed my morning. Cameron has always seemed to know when I’m about to start breakfast, it’s like he’s synchronize with my daily life. Even after all this time. You can come join me when you compose yourself.”
He left her in his room, where she quickly calmed and followed after him. She passed by Cameron who was still sitting with a goofy grin on his lips, and into the small kitchen.
Prince swore as he knocked off some fancy magnetic magnets off the fridge when he opened it. They clattered across the floor and came to a stop in front of Evynne’s feet. She picks one up to discover a rhyme written on it.
‘Trees grow tall, so do I. One day I will touch the sky!”
“I was short when I was younger, Cameron gave me that as a gift.”
“Have you Cameron always been close?”
Prince’s airy chuckle filled the small space warming it, “Are you kidding? The man is
enamored with me. Has been since we were pre-teens.”
“How about you? Do you have feelings for Cameron?”
“Perhaps at one point in time, but ten years away does dampen the mood.”
Breakfast was serviced, and all ate in quiet. It seemed to happen too fast, one minute at the table the next she and Cameron were in the car heading home. Cameron’s grin was gone and he was quite, dully the radio played. Evynne swore she saw tears misting his eyes.
Suddenly a giant buck jumped from the tree line and rammed headfirst into an oncoming truck. Cameron slammed on the brakes as the truck lost control and collided with them.