Aran's New Life

Aran's New Life Aran's New Life

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fantasy

Summary

I left the city for the slower pace of living in the quiet North Woods of Wisconsin, but I guess life has a way of turning things around. An odd discovery in the woods will ensure my life is never the same.

Summary

I left the city for the slower pace of living in the quiet North Woods of Wisconsin, but I guess life has a way of turning things around. An odd discovery in the woods will ensure my life is never the same.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Aran's New Life

Author Chapter Note

I left the city for the slower pace of living in the quiet North Woods of Wisconsin, but I guess life has a way of turning things around. An odd discovery in the woods will ensure my life is never the same.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: March 22, 2012

Reads: 535

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Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: March 22, 2012

A A A

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I stepped outside and shivered slightly, coughing as I took my first breaths of the bone-chillingly cold morning air. I glanced up at the clear sky and then over at the old mercury thermometer that hung near the door and saw the red hovering at -10 F. Why did I decide to move here in the winter? This thought entered my head every time I left the warmth of my little cabin to brave the snow frosted wonderland that was The North Woods. I loved the tranquility and isolation of living here but the biting cold was something I could do without. I pulled my hat on and tugged my gloves to make sure they were snug before setting out; today I had work to do and I couldn't let the cold stop me.

Like many houses in the forested areas of northern Wisconsin, my cabin had a wood stove as the main source of heat; where it differed was the fact that it had no secondary gas furnace in case I ran out of wood. When I bought the place I didn't see it as a huge problem figuring I'd be able to easily get firewood whenever I needed it, considering you know... I'd be living in the woods. What I didn't necessarily consider was what a job it would be to get that wood when the temperatures were below zero and there was a foot of snow on the ground. Now I was running low and to get more that's exactly the situation I found myself in.

At the very least I'd had the foresight to purchase a large sled for hauling the equipment I needed as well as small loads of firewood. At about three feet deep, five feet long and three feet wide it wasn't something you'd expect to see kids sliding down hills with but it suited my needs just fine. I loaded up my chainsaw, ax, protective gear and a few tarps before grabbing the tow rope and beginning my plodding journey through the snow.

Snow crunching beneath my feet, I followed a small trail that led from my yard deeper into the woods. I'd walked the trail once before just after moving in. I knew it eventually led to a creek which it followed for a time before moving away and that a small clearing was just a bit farther from there. I'd noticed several dead trees that would make perfect firewood around the edge of that clearing the last time I was there. I could cut and stack a large amount of it and then haul it home as I needed it, I knew it wasn't the best solution but it was a lot better than having to cut more daily until winter ended.

As I walked I began to heat up, the movement getting my blood flowing and warming my body. The sounds of the creatures that inhabited the forest even during the winter accompanied me and I felt better about the chore even as I trudged through snow that was halfway to my knees. I was a little surprised to not see any tracks, before when I'd been on trail there had been sign from deer and rabbits everywhere. It looked to me as if not one living thing had tread here here since the snow storm a few days ago, though it was obvious from the birdsong I heard that animals were in the area. I shrugged the observation off as unimportant and continued on my way, soon enough I came to where the path met the creek.

Even in the dead of winter the creek flowed merrily through it's ice-rimed bed and I stopped for a moment to appreciate the sound. After a few moments of listening to the running water I noticed that the other sounds in the area had gotten quieter. The birds had mostly fallen silent and I no longer heard the rustling of small things scurrying through the snow; even the wind was silent and still. I found the silence eerie, it set me on edge and I decided to leave the creek and continue for the clearing. As I walked the silence continued and deepened as the sound from the flowing water receded the further I got from the creek bed.

The ongoing silence unnerved me and I took off my hat as I found myself beginning to sweat, to my surprise the air didn't feel as cold on my forehead as I expected. It was a clear sunny day, but in actuality those tended to be the coldest in Wisconsin and as cold as it was when I left it shouldn't have warmed up that much yet. Plodding on I began to sink less in the snow as it compacted beneath my feet. None of this felt right; the uninterrupted silence and the unseasonable warmth when just before it had been bitingly cold. However for some reason I found myself unable to stop. I continued pulling the sled through the snow and the silence began to dissolve as I heard melting snow falling all around me. I went farther as the snow beneath my feet turned to slush and began to seep into my boots, the ice cold water sending a shock through me. This wasn't right! I saw the entrance to the clearing a few yards ahead and as I drew closer I saw green through the gaps in the trees.

I dropped the tug rope as the sled slowed me down in the slush and pushed on, entranced with the view of the clearing and unmindful of the wrongness of the situation. Upon finally entering the clearing I was staggered by the sudden rise in temperature. Gone was any hint of winter, rather, it felt like the dog days of summer and if it was under 90 I'd have been amazed. Instead of skeletal things frosted with snow the edge of the clearing was lined with trees clad in lush, green foliage. Grass, as green as could be, made a soft carpet of the ground and everywhere were wild flowers of all kinds in full bloom. In the very center of the clearing was what looked to be a near perfect circle of grass, unmarred by other flora, in the middle of this circle something lay on the ground but I couldn't quite make it out. Waves of heated air blurred my sight and made it impossible to tell what it was from where I stood at the edge of the clearing.

I took off my coat and other winter accessories, uncomfortably warm in the freakish heat wave that seemed to be affecting the glade. Starting to walk toward the clearing's center, curiosity getting the better of my common sense, I noticed it getting marginally warmer the closer I got to whatever was laying there. About halfway there I finally realized what the thing was, a person, more specifically a young woman. Startled, I rushed to where she lay, the air growing warmer and warmer around me as I got closer to her. Suddenly it occurred to me; the heat was coming from her. It seemed I could almost feel it pouring from her in waves and as I reached her side my skin felt tight, as if I were standing a little to close to a great bonfire. Fascination overtaking me I knelt on the ground at her side.

Now, in front of me, lay the young woman I had seen from across the glade; though really she was hardly more than a girl, she couldn't have been older than 20. Looking closer my heart began to race as I saw her beauty. Flowing locks of exceedingly silky black hair were spread on the ground around her and over her shoulders. Her face was slightly flushed which all but hid a few light freckles on the otherwise pale, flawless skin of her face. She wore what looked like a simple black nightgown and her hands were folded just below the swell of her breasts, startlingly white against the dark cloth. I reached to brush a strand of hair from her face and when my hand touched her skin suddenly the heat intensified. It rushed up my arm and spread from there through my entire being and consumed me, not in pain, but in indescribable pleasure. A female voice filled my head and spoke a single word. Aran. My last thought before I blacked out was: How did she know my name?


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