Invader In The Woods — Short Fiction

 

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The diner illuminated to neon lights effect, in pitch black night with tiny strobes of stars twinkling. Isolated with pine trees at a stretch of distance, that led into the woods.

The stranger sat next to the window, remained ominously quiet. His hands together, underneath the table. Fidgeting. His breath unsettled. His eyes disturbed. A hint of dark melancholic flashed intermittently as he glanced towards his hands. His thoughts seemed bloated by weight. 

The younger waitress working at the diner, approached him with a warm smile. Her dark eyes, twinkled with gentleness and welcoming. 

Before any word left her lips, she sensed an unease of air surrounded the man in a breath.

That gentleness in her eyes dissipated to concern and curiosity. 

Her eyes, registered irregular breathing. His disturbed eyes troubled her the most as he slowly set his eyes on her and stared. He knew who she was, and couldn't come to forget her face. 

"I raped you back in high school..." He whispered, as his eyes lowered with remorse.

She inhaled. Making sense of the words that left his mouth. Her eyes shifted with dreadful realisation. Her brows twitched, her mouth opened little. She couldn't bring to her mind his face, if ever she had met him before. But the fact that she had been raped when she was a teenager, conjured up. 

She leaned a little closer, that is when she glanced towards his fidgeting hands, hidden away underneath the table.

She noticed something, the sight of which caused her eyes to dilate. Widened with surprise. She drew away only slightly. And then her body was as if hponotised by temporary paralysis. The shock of it kept her feet glued to the ground. 

She held her breath as the stranger pulled out the object fidgeting in his hands and aimed it at her, without setting his eyes on her. Her eyes grew teary with glint. 

His finger still deciding as it intermittently rested and removed off the trigger of a revolver. 

His hands were trembling. 

If any sudden sound expect silence interrupted him now, he'd act by panic and pull the trigger, from reflex. 

The old man, who owned the diner, turned and noticed the waitress remain stood. Suspicion flashed in his eyes. She turned her head slightly to her right, her eye rolled as she registered the old man. He noticed her dark eyes shone with glint. 

Then his eyes lowered slowly and set at the startling sight of the revolver. 

Her eyes returned to the man pointing the revolver at her. 

The old man's hand tried to reach for his shotgun, but watched as the stranger's finger rested over the trigger, slowly leaned back. The stranger turned towards him and throw a hostile stare, brows arched intimidatingly, as if sensed this intention. 

The old man returned his hand away from the shotgun. 

Raised his hands in surrender. 

Any further attempt would most likely jeopardise the young girl's life. And yet, his emotions underneath the surface of his skin, bristled with tension. His breath gradually grew unsettled. He couldn't simply watch helplessly if something terrifying happened in front of his eyes. 

The old man tried to reason by psychological means for the stranger to question his actions. 

"She's done no wrong to anyone..." His voice quivered as he spoke slowly for the words to settle in. 

"She testified..." The stranger whispered, without setting his eyes at the old man.

The old man's brows twitched. 

Curiosity, trepidation and disbelief flashed in his wide eyes. 

Before he could investigate, interrogate what the stranger meant by this, his eyes shifted and setted onto the waitress.

She raised her trembling hand at him. 

Indirectly, signaled for him to speak no more. Then returned her hand by her side. Whether she cried or pleaded, a look of fatalism, darkened her glinting eyes. 

The sight of her teary eyes left the old man's heart heavy.

His stomach churned. 

Even if he tried to reach for his shotgun or approach the stranger, anything could happen in a split second. The consequences of either which, would be irreplaceably catastrophic. 

In the occurrence of a near-death experience, claimed that your life flashed before your eyes, the image of her mother flashed in the waitress's mind. Her eyes grew to a brim, blinking in denial, struggling to comprehend her current position it still seemed. 

Awkward silence filled the spaces between the distance that separated them.

Anxiety lingered in the air.

A tear trickled down her cheek, and with her trembling hand, she wiped it away. Her throat had grown excruciatingly heavy.

The stranger blinked with both eyes. As if awoken from hypnosis, a mental cloud of haze had cleared. 

His brows knitted together as his eyes slowly settled at the revolver. Questioning it's presence. 

He registered that the intention to stretch out his gun and take aim at the waitress, wasn't actually his own. 

His eyes flashed a state of confusion as they climbed up like taking steps on a ladder, acknowledging the waitress stood with temporarily paralysis in front of the pointed end of the revolver.

His pupils widened with some sense of sudden realisation. 

Absorbing her presence and her current state of emotion. 

His confused eyes leveled with hers.

Her twinkling eyes made contact with his, and she sensed something had changed in an instant. Unpredictably. Even the old man sensed this too but any sudden actions especially at his standing distance, seemed futile. 

But the revolver continued to point at her. 

The stranger returned his troubled eyes back at the gun, he intended to remove it away from her now. 

But his hand began to tremble. Refusing to obey his true intention. 

Perspiration released through the surface of his skin made his grip around the revolver wet. 

His face bristled with tension as he tried harder, but something had invaded his hand that held the revolver. He could feel it as it had grown stiff like a rock.

Numb and cold. 

With a magnetic-like pull.

The waitress's brows arched and her lips parted with curiosity. She studied his bristled face, and registered a startling response that evidently separated his intentions from his actions. 

They seemed to not coordinate as one. 

He slapped his palm against the glass next to him, fingers spaced out, as he tried to brace himself. Trepidation traveled through his body like a pandemic. 

His finger over the trigger remained jammed yet continued to push back towards him. 

As he predicted with his eyes that the probability that he would pull the trigger, without his consent, he swiftly swiped the revolver at the glass with such extreme effort. 

The revolver went off. 

The waitress jumped at the explosive, deafening sound of it. 

An instant pang of panic shot through the old man, as he blinked flinchingly.

The only bullet that sat in the chamber.

The stranger quickly dropped the revolver onto the table in front, away from him. He had managed to save her life, miraculously.

But the bullet which had discharged, hasn't pierced through the glass. 

It seemed to touch against the glass but remained suspended in thin air, like some kind of a magic trick. 

Mind control mojo.

The waitress and the old man had carefully registered the bullet afloat like a space satellite, as their eyes had shifted away from the stranger, and were set onto this surreal moment. 

The stranger stared unflinchingly as the bullet stopped levitating and dropped away. 

He diverted away from the bullet, and refocused his attention onto the surface of the glass, checking for even a subtle splinter. 

Not even the tiniest of scratch was found. 

But his eyes widened with alert as he noticed something present pass the glass, outside a stretch of distance. Stood outside further into the woods, near the pine trees, as a lamppost illuminated with fluorescence like the organs of a butterfly over this figure, only for it to grow dim.

The stranger jumped back with jolt, as his heart jumped with pang of fright.

The waitress's lips parted with dread. 

The old man's dreadful eyes widened to a bulge. 

The invader stood with a human-like shell but an entity with such supernaturally intimidating presence. You couldn't make out its tenebrous face, lips, eyes and nose, except it's head seemed similar to a beehive. The startlingly frightening sight of a cluster of bees flew around its head like orbiting satellites, attracted to it like a honeycomb. 

But it—the invader—seemed to be watching them. It's head pointed at there direction.

The humming sounds that the bees made, which at such distance would fall mute, now were heard with such sinisterly unsettling undertones. As if it came from within the diner.

As they watched incredulously with trepidation, two strobes of yellow light beamed onto the invader's face, as if these were it's eyes. 

These strobes of light began to whirl like a flashing beacon. 

Dilating and undilating as a set of pupils.

Communicating, telepathically. 

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