"The world outside had its own rules, and those rules were not human"
Michel Houellebecq , The Elementary Particles
The crevice in the forest floor seemingly insignificant began to brume with an odorous stench of sulfur that permeated the air. Thick fog slowly climbed out of the opening in the ground and seeped into the air...reaching its long tentacles across the forest floor...intent on escape. The peace in the serene forest was interrupted by a long, painful growl from deep within. A raven perched on a pine branch that stretched high above the crevice began screeching a desperate warning call to the forest inhabitants. There was a sudden and anxious scurry of squirrels, rabbits, and other rodents. The sky was aflutter with birds flocking in every direction. The wild forest animals were in a full blown panic!
Thunder exploded with a commanding declaration of rage as lightening lit up the gray skies of Stygian Cove. Drew awoke with a jolt. She had been up late last night unpacking her things, but still didn't feel settled. This wasn't her home and it never would be. Home was a long ways away in Jasper, Alabama. Drew felt a pang in the pit of her stomach as she thought about how difficult it was going to be to start over. This was her senior year in high school... supposedly the best time of a teenager's life, but it felt more like a punishment. It felt like her life was falling apart at the very point it should be all coming together. She felt like crying, but was too angry...angry at her mother for making a rash and unfair decision, at her father who was nothing more than a sperm donor, and at her current circumstances. She glanced out her bedroom window and couldn't help think that the melancholy weather was the perfect expression of how she was feeling.
She looked at her alarm clock and realized that her mom was working by now, so she knew it was safe to go downstairs to get something to eat for breakfast. She was glad that her mother was already gone because she didn't want to have another argument over this move. She struggled with the way her mom just randomly announced to her that they were moving after seventeen years in Jasper, when all of her life her mother included her in every decision whether it was significant or not...they were always a team. Her mother justified the move by using the fact she had been offered a position as Deputy Sherriff of Stygian Cove, and that the job would give them both a better life. Drew's dad had never been a part of her life, never paid a dime of support, was living who knows where, so she and her mother always had to make each dollar stretch as far as it could go. Her mom reassured her that the move and her new job were going to be the positive changes they both needed in their lives right now. It came with a house for them to live in, paid relocation expenses, health insurance, and a salary that would provide for them to live quite comfortably. Regardless, Drew still felt she should have been included in this decision. She was, after all, going to be eighteen and a high school senior...she wasn't a child anymore. Drew wondered why this had to happen now, just as she was about to start her last year in high school. Now she was faced with her senior year in a school full of kids she didn't know, in a town slapped in the middle of nowhere, on an island surrounded by a creepy forest. She wondered how she would get through this. She felt alone, isolated, and frustrated.
She went down stairs to go look for something to eat. As she entered the kitchen, she stretched, let out an invigorating yawn, and walked over to the counter where she spied a white piece of paper sitting out. She picked it up and read it.
Left for work, didn't want to wake you. Have a muffin
for breakfast! Try to finish getting your room unpacked .