Submitted into Contest #90 in response to: Write about a community that worships Mother Nature.... view prompt


Adventure Horror

Aly had never felt like she was in the place, where I belong more than there. It is truly amazing how kind everyone was to her and, from what she has witnessed in the first few hours of being there, to one another. She absolutely adored the smell of fresh air, and seeing the majestic emerald tree crone was something she was looking for from that. She will be sharing a room with one other person, whom she hasn’t met yet, but she was hoping they would be marvelous. Alanna sincerely wanted to get along with them. She considered herself to be radiating happiness and positivity. They would be charged with, and we would become best friends. Unusually Aly, didn’t have and were not allowed to have watched in that place, or any technology, so this would have been a new different experience of not being dependent on time and looking at the blue screens. She quickly ran through her mind, considering possible difficulties, such as maintaining hygiene and cooking. But other people were more experienced as they have had been there longer, so she would be able to catch up with their help. However, her biggest issue was a rejection of fast food and meat. This week would have been very difficult to survive.

She was laying out her books, the only bits that were left of her small luggage to unpack when she heard a knock on the door frame. It was Matt, the leader of the Vespertilio group that Aly was now a part of, he was leaning on the door, peeking into her room. Their eyes met, she smiled very cheekily and thought to herself that she was lucky to meet him in the coffee shop she used to work in; he gave her a leaflet of his group, and it didn’t take long for her to join. The leaflet said that this group promotes healthy living standards, eco-friendly way of leading a lifestyle in the beautiful area with cozy wooden huts and campfires every night. She was naïve, so she signed up right after finishing her working hours. She squeaked when in half an hour she got a response from Matt himself saying that she was accepted. She started packing right away, then she got another message stating some simple rules about what to bring, which had to be ethically made clothes, hygiene products from sustainable brands, and a few items of preferred choice, such as books. Alanna packed everything that was suitable, and she was on her way to the life of, possibly, her dreams the next morning. Aly was there now, with Vespertilio leader himself smiling at her from the outside of her room.

‘Settling in okay?’ he asked, brushing his hair back with his fingers.

‘Yep, it’s perfect, thank you, Matthew,’ she smiled again and closed her bag and put it next to the bedside table.

‘I am very glad you are enjoying this; I will leave you for now. Ring the bell above the table if you need help or a company. If I’m not around, someone else will come to see you.’

‘Okay, fabulous. I’m loving it, I hope to see you soon.’

‘You certainly will do at dinner, bye-bye lovely.’

‘Matt, I’m sorry, but it’s Alanna, not Lily,’ whether she unintentionally misheard him or wanted to hold on to talk to him for a little longer, but it did grab his attention.

‘Oh, I said lovely, not Lily. It is because you are lovely, not Lily. My sincere apologies, miss,’ and he walked away, turning around when stepping off the stairs.

Aly came returned to her back to realise that there was nothing else for her to do because there was nothing left to unpack. She didn’t know where the dinner took place and anything else about this place, so she rang the bell. It was very loud, which made her jump. In a few minutes, a blonde girl approached Aly.

‘Hey, I’m Crissy, nice to meet you. I heard you needed help.’

‘Hi Crissy, Aly. Yes, could you please show me around, I don’t have much to do now.’

‘Yeah sure, let’s go.’

Cristiana showed Aly where all the paths went, including the dining area around a big campfire; the beautiful lake with crystal water, where naked members of the group were swimming; the reading area; and finally, the area of the sacrifice to Mother Nature called the Cubile. Alanna was told that she would experience the sacrifice on Friday, which was tomorrow. It wasn’t a long time of waiting, but the newbie was very nosy, so she just kept on asking unnecessary questions to her guide. It felt to Aly that Crissy didn’t want to share certain pieces of information with her, she was trying to keep the mystery there and not spoil the surprise. After a number of unanswered interests, Alanna gave up and started asking about the purpose and origin of Vespertilio.

Crissy told her the most touching story she has ever heard. Vespertilio was started by Matthew’s brother, Alexus. He was one of the first activists, who got creative about his work on bringing attention to the issues concerning the planet decaying. He tried a lot of things to make himself visible. He painted on the biggest world squares pictures of people killing the earth. He was a magnificent artist, he put his heart and soul into his work. All the paintings were very graphic, which brought attention to the media. His most popular action was covering himself in red paint, writing earth on his chest, and nailing his luxurious long braid to the stone surface of one of the squares. He did raise awareness of the issue but did not see any action being taken by ordinary people – there were no riots, no public confusion, or rage. The government did not even acknowledge his actions. He wanted to completely isolate himself from the cruel world, his severe disappointment in everything around him led him to the idea of creating a group. This was supposed to be the place, where everyone would pay attention to the earth and show how much they loved their planet. The group was blooming when Alex suspiciously died, his body was never found. This was when Matt took over Vespertilio.

The long walk was so exciting, it became tiring. Aly excused herself and went back to her room. She was overwhelmed by this whole new experience. New knowledge would always cause hunger in her, but it would take so long before everyone would have had dinner. She laid on her bed, slowly getting lost in her thoughts about the unfamiliar setting and fascinating story. She didn’t notice how she fell asleep. She was awoken only in the morning; it was still quite dim. Crissy was patting her on her head.

‘Wake up, sunny, or you will miss another meal.’

‘Did I miss dinner?’

‘Yes, we wanted to wake you up then, but you were sleeping so peacefully.’

‘This is so sweet of you, but, honestly, I am starving.’

‘I would expect that, not going to lie. Come on, let’s go. You have a big day today.’

They went to the dining area, there were fruits laid out on gorgeous wooden dishes. She sat down on one of the stumps, which surrounded the campfire. She was starving – she ate her breakfast too fast and started hiccuping. Others had agreed that it was adorable, so no one laughed at her. After having a snack, Matt took Aly aside and told her that she has to help in the garden until the sun rises into noon. Next, she was supposed to wash in the lake with gel that would be given to her by Crissy; braid her hair and go to the female hut, this was the place for her to be prepared for initiation.

The morning slowly became afternoon, the cultivation of the majestic trees came to an end. Crissy gave Aly that promised gel and watched the newbie walk to the lake. This mixture smelled fresh and burnt a little when she was washing. Alanna found it soothing and very much needed after a sweaty time she had in the garden. After bathing in the virgin waters, she braided her hair and went to the hut. There, the women of Vespertilio dressed her in a long white gown and tied her hand and eyes with the same colour cloth. They walked her to some other place.

When they arrived, there was a lot of chattering around. ‘The dining area? The garden? Oh my god, I am at the sacrifice area!’ she became very excited about the honour she was about to experience. They led her up the steps onto the wide stage. They stepped away, Crissy was walking away last, then she whispered, ‘You mean a lot to the group.’ Aly felt heavy steps walk up to her and stand behind her.

‘Members of Vespertilio, your leader is speaking. We are forever thankful to Mother Nature for proving us with Alanna. She is a beautiful gift from above. You mean a lot to the group, Aly,’ he said and turned herself towards him. He took off the cloth from her eyes and took her by the chin, looking right into her ocean blue eyes. He smiled at her and laid his hands onto her shoulders, slightly grabbing. She smiled back with the most innocence a person could have had. This was the moment when Crissy pierced Aly’s head with a sharp stake. Blood started streaming from the wound down onto the clean gown. Matt let go off her.

‘Brothers and sisters, we thank Mother Nature for the gifts we receive as food and sun. We give Alanna back to Mother Nature to show our tremendous respect. Now, deal with the remains,’ he stepped over the lifeless body and walked off the stage.

All members of the group ran to the stage, everyone wanted a piece of the fresh flash. She was the first meal they had in a week apart from fruits grown in the garden. A long time ago, members of Vespertilio got tired of eating greens, but they could have interacted with the outside world, this was when Alexus became their first victim. After this, the saga of murders began in the group, they would hunt innocent young people down and eat them. As long as it wasn’t harmed by the heat, or it wasn’t an animal, it was allowed to eat.

She wasn’t the first victim, and she definitely will not be the last. No one will look for her, and even if someone will, they won’t look for too long. Some circumstances will definitely get in the way.

April 22, 2021 19:36

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