Charlotte Donnelly
The sole beneficiary of her aunt's estate, Amber decides to move into the large house in the village ... Show More
Fantasy, Horror, LGBT, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
folk horror, gothic horror, england, britain, british horror

Chapter Two - Psithurism


(n.) the sound of rustling leaves
Amber set off at a good pace, sticking to the right-hand side of the narrow road so she could see if any cars were heading her way. It was nice to be off the bus, at least; though it was still hot, the sun beating down on the back of her neck, there was the occasional breeze, and at least the air was fresh. She switched the hand that was pulling the case every so often, and eventually found herself smiling, the events on the bus all but forgotten.

The forest seemed to come out of nowhere.

One moment, she was enjoying the sun, fields stretching out to either side of her, the next, dark trees reared up around her, leaving her dipped in shade and frowning again. The air was suddenly rich with the scents of damp earth and decaying leaves.

Amber glanced over her shoulder. Music still blasted in her ears and she stared at the road, where the shadows converged on the light.

It was probably a protected forest; the road might have been built through it centuries ago, but that would prevent any modern developments beyond paving it to provide access to the village. She shrugged and walked on.

Still, things felt different under the shadow of the trees. She’d been walking for an hour and, in the shade, the sweat on her skin cooled, left her feeling almost clammy. Amber shivered. Goosebumps spread over her arms and she felt a prickle on the back of her neck like she was being watched.

She stopped, music still going, an upbeat contrast to the dread shuddering down her spine. Amber pulled out her headphones. She heard nothing. Not a footstep, not a breath.

Not a bird in the trees.

Fear gripped her heart, made it race. Her grip on her suitcase tightened. Something was behind her. She knew it was. She could feel it standing there, looking at her.

Was it the bus driver?

She let out a small sound, almost a whimper, and, excruciatingly slowly, turned her head to look back.

There was nothing there.

Amber let out the breath she was holding, her body going lax in relief, and then flushed, embarrassed at the terror she’d felt. There was no one out here. And even if there was—she was walking down a road, through a forest. What was going to happen?

She stuffed her headphones in her pocket, though, when she started walking again. Better to be alert. A few feet along the road, a rustle in the trees to her left made her jump. “Pull yourself together, Fenn,” she muttered to herself, and the solid sound of her voice in the silence immediately made her feel stronger.

Another rustle, this one a few feet ahead. Amber idly amused herself by wondering what it could be. A rat, most likely, though she wouldn’t mind seeing a fox out in the wild instead of rooting through bins for a change.

A twig cracked and Amber quickened her pace. Not a rat, then. She glanced at her phone; she’d been walking for almost an hour and a half now. Still no signal. The village had to be close. Another twig cracked and the leaves up ahead rustled at the same time.

Amber stopped. She stared at the trees, looking for any sign of movement in the dark forest. For a long time, nothing happened, and Amber’s breathing slowed, her mind calmed and she shook her head. It was probably just her overactive imagination. The road was creepy, and she’d been scared by the driver and his tales…

She laughed aloud. The guy had got into her head, she realised, and with that thought, she started walking again, ignoring the prickling of her skin. When the trees rustled again, she didn’t so much as turn her head.

A few feet further and she heard something else.

Someone giggled somewhere behind her.

Amber whipped around, her fear immediately transforming to fury, heart hammering madly against her ribs. Her hands shook and she almost lost her grip on her suitcase.

“Who’s there?” she shouted, mouth dry. More twigs cracked, more rustling, like someone was running away, but Amber still felt eyes on her skin.

Hesitantly, she turned back. This time, there was a figure standing in the road in front of her.
Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 7/12/2017 12:48:04 PM
  • Syd Meeker commented on :
    7/13/2017 9:18:01 PM
    I like how you do your chapter titles! It sets your mood well. :) I'm pleasantly spooked and looking forward to finding out what happens next! I hope she doesn't get too messed up!
  • Andre Clemons commented on :
    7/12/2017 3:23:20 PM
    I'm just as scared as Amber at this point...the suspense deepens...