Six years have passed, and Serena's forced to return.
At age fourteen, Serena's could only barely remember her little adventure in the forest late that night six years ago. All she remembered was a dare from Kyle Madison, a vivid red light, running, fear, losing her camera, and a pair of vivid red eyes. She had gone back after her grounding had been finished, and looked for the lost camera, only to find that it was no where to be seen.
It bothered her to no end that she couldn't remember what all had happened. Until she had turned thirteen the memory had been so vivid, and easy to remember, even though the name of her Savior had been lost to her. Now, she only remember those tiny bits and pieces. Of course, she knew the whole tale too, four versions of it.
On her twelfth birthday, Serena had been given a diary, her very first(she had never wanted one before), and had written the story of that night in it so many times, each time differing just a bit from one before it. The first story though, was so sloppily written that now she couldn't read it for the life of her.
She tried hard not to let it bother her though. After she had turned thirteen the red eyes that had haunted her since she was eight had seemingly disappeared from her mind all together. Until last night.
Last night, when she repeated the same exact thing she had done before. But this time, she hadn't gone alone.
A new girl had moved to their small town just a few weeks ago, and Serena and her had spent some time together. The girls name was Kelly, and Kelly was rather... Eccentric. She was different from the people who lived in Serena's small home town, and Serena liked that fact. She had asked Kelly to spend the night, and before dinner, while they were sitting in Serena's room, Serena had retold the chopped up and blurry version of the tale. She had shown the pocket watch to Kelly, it being the only real thing Serena felt she had of interest.
After dinner, Kelly began her plot. Getting out of the house was easy. Serena's parents turned in at about ten, and both girls had slipped down the stairs, and left the house silently. Her parents had been none the wiser. Serena had felt nervous from the beginning of this plot, but wanting Kelly to like her, had gone along with it.
The forest was dark, and the air was cold. October had come around, Halloween was just around the bend, and the chill that followed the girls was rather unnerving. The tall trees around them seemed to loom overhead with malicious intent, and every sound made Serena whimper. She clung nervously to Kelly's black coat, and followed the red haired girl through the trees.
Unlike her first time out here late at night, there was no blinding red light, no strange creatures, and nothing to really fear. Kelly lead them straight to the field, but even as they stepped just outside the thinned out trees and into the tall grass, there was nothing but darkness.
"Okay, we came. There's nothing here... let's go." Serena whined, hugging herself in an attempt to stay warm. She was suddenly wishing that she had grabbed her winter coat, rather then the thinning sweater.
Kelly looked horribly dissatisfied as she turned back around to face Serena. "Damn. I was really hoping there would be something here."
"Well.. since there isn't anything, shouldn't we go?" Serena asked. Turning around, Serena started to walk back into the trees.
"Hey! Sere', check this out!" Kelly shouted over her shoulder at the retreating girl.
Serena froze, and hesitantly turned around. She had half expected Kelly to have found a dead body or something, luckily that wasn't what she had found. Sadly, what she had found would change both girls lives forever. Serena's brown eyes widened, as she watched Kelly poke at the air. Normally, this would have just made Kelly look like a nut, but the air rippled around Kelly's finger like water. "What..."
Kelly stuck her whole hand in, and withdrew it, looking it over to check for anything unusual. Serena had by now walked back to where Kelly was, and was looking at the hand as well. Kelly smirked, and before Serena could say a single word, the red head had stepped through the rippling air, disappearing as though she had been swallowed.
Serena stood, her body wouldn't move, fear washing over her. Nervously, she lifted her hand, and stuck her hand through the ripples, pulling it back quickly, she inspected it, before taking a deep breath, closing her eyes, and jumping through. When she opened her eyes, she found herself floating in an abyss of ever moving shades of red. Dark red, light red, bright red, slightly pink red, slightly orange red...
A horrid smell, like rotten eggs and animal feces mixed together wafted through the air. Her stomach lurched into her throat as the red around her moved quickly. She felt like she was being pulled in three directions, and before she knew what was happening she hit the ground hard. Pulling herself to her hands and knees, Serena felt bile rise, and before she could force it down, what had once been dinner lay on the ground in front of her.
Coughing, and wiping some of the puke off her mouth, she spit what was left in her mouth out, and stood. Her legs were shaky, and her knees knocked together in an attempt to keep her up. Looking around she was stunned to find the various types of creatures before her. Only a few looked at her with disgusted looks, as though she were lower than the dirt they currently stood on. When she flashed them a tight-lipped smile, they turned away from her. She took note to their strange skin tones, greens, purples, pinks, reds, grays, and blues, all though, held a red tint from the ruby colored light that seemed to fill the field she had been to many times before. Never before had this field felt so... magical.
Closing her eyes for only a moment, she saw a flash, an image passed through her mind, a pale face, red vivid eyes, all framed by long black hair. Opening her eyes, she blocked the image, and began looking around for Kelly, but the girl was no where to be seen. Turning around slowly, Serena reached her hand out and looked at the air before her. Unlike before, the air here shimmered like a piece of clear plastic with red glitter. Reaching out, she touched it slowly, it rippled only a little, and her hand slipped through with ease. When she pulled it back, her hand was lightly sparkled with red. Wiping her hand on her sweater, she turned back around, careful to avoid stepping in the mess she had left on the ground, and began to walk through the crowd of creatures.
She stared at the shimmering wings, tails, pointed or animal like ears. Some creatures were so tall she thought they would easily tower over her uncle who stood at 6'2", and other so small they were barely the size of a Barbie doll. But sadly, as she walked, she couldn't find Kelly anywhere. She wanted to continue walking, looking for her friend, but the creatures around her made her scared, some of them leered at her, other gave curious glances, and a few gave her blunt looks of hatred.
She walked on, keeping her eyes locked on the ground. Her fingers slipped into the pocket of her jeans, rubbing against the silver pocket watch that lay there. Her fingers rubbing against the garnets and sapphires, her fingers following the little lines that made up it's strange design.
A hand grabbed her shoulder, and Serena jumped, a scream ripped from her throat, but was muffled by a warm hand that covered her mouth. She was pulled back against a hard chest, and something black and leathery surrounded her.
"Be silent, and follow me. Do not look any one in the eye, and do not speak. If you don't do as I say you will die." A cold voice whispered in her ear, "Do you understand?"
Nodding her head, Serena resisted her urge to bite the pale white hand that was placed on her mouth. Slowly, the hand moved away, and the black leathery things- which turned out to be wings- withdrew, giving her sight again. The hand on her shoulder stayed in place, and another hand came down to press against the small of her back.
Serena stared at the ground as she was lead through the crowd, back towards the shimmering barrier. When they came to a stop, Serena turned to look up at the person who had led her. She gasped at the deep red eyes staring down at her, "Y-you..." Her eyes were wide, and her hands shaking as she reached up to touch the pale face, those hauntingly red eyes that had been her dreams for so long...
"You must go." The man said, starting to push her backwards, towards the red glitter.
Serena almost nodded, feeling dizzy and dazed from just taking in the sight of him, but Kelly's face flashed in her mind. Putting a foot firmly on the ground behind her, so she couldn't be pushed as easily, "My friend, Kelly, she's here somewhere... I can't leave without her."
The red-eyed man's face twisted in distress, but he nodded tensely. His eyes glanced around at the other creatures, before pulling her back to him, her back to his front again. This time, one of his arms came around her front from her right to hold her left shoulder, while his other hand still pressed into the small of her back.
Again, Serena kept her eyes down, only looking up long enough to look for Kelly, but sadly, there was no sign of the red haired girl. After walking for what felt like eternity, Serena began to loose hope. Nervously, she checked her wrist watch, but found that strangely it had stopped working. None of the little hands moved, she tapped it with her fingers, but still nothing. Frowning, Serena shook her hand a little, the watch was new, and in her mind she could already hear the lecture that her mother would give her for breaking it.
"The limits of human time had no means here. The watch will not work." The man stated, not looking down at her. His eyes scanned the crowd, looking for the human girl that had gotten lost. His wings flexed a little in irritation.
The ruby light above them dimmed a little, and around them circles of red flashed. "Wh-whats happening?" Serena asked, her voice cracking.
"Dawn is coming."
"Dawn?" The word repeated in her mind over and over. It couldn't be dawn yet, Kelly and herself had only come out here, about twenty minutes ago! Last time she had checked her watch, just before they had left her house, it was only 10:45 PM... "It can't be... It wasn't... it wasn't even eleven yet!"
The man didn't reply to her, he just rushed her through the crowd, towards the barrier. Standing in front of it, he lifted her up, much like a princess would be held, and before Serena could say anything, he had walked through the barrier. Panicked, Serena's arms wrapped around his neck, and her face buried in his chest, she squeezed as close to him as she could until the horrid smell and feeling had passed.
When she lifted her head, and opened her eyes, they were in the forest, the rippling air behind them beginning to fade away. Looking up at him, "My friend..."
"I will search for the human. You will not return, understood?" He told her firmly, as he set her on the ground.
Nodding only once, Serena watched him turn around, his wings stretching out for a moment before folding neatly at his back, and then he walked through the barrier, disappearing from sight.