Alexa Baron awoke with a start. She gasped and made a heaving sound as her lungs drew in Oxygen from the air around her. Her neck which was bent at an unnatural angle snapped itself back into place, as did the rest of her body.
She kicked the front windshield of her overturned car in a bid to get out of the carnage and her eyes widened in surprise. The entire section that used to be the front of her Nissan Maxima flew off like a paper kite in the wind.
“What the fuck?” She thought.
She got out of the car and observed the wreckage. It was bad. Her car was standing on its roof and three of her tires were nowhere to be found. She instinctively touched herself to see if she had sustained any injuries and was surprised to find out there wasn’t even a scratch on her body.
“That’s weird.” She thought.
There was too much blood around the car for her to have made it out without injuries. If the blood wasn’t hers, she had no idea whose. She was alone in the car when the crash happened.
“Is my body dead and I’m just a ghost standing here?”
She knew her thought was a morbid one but it was a valid one. There was only one way to know the truth and that was to look inside the car for any sign of her body. There wasn’t.
The first crazy thing happened when she got close to the blood around the car. It pulled her towards it. It smelled like cold strawberry ice cream served soft on a hot summer afternoon. That was one thing she could never resist. By the time she caught herself, she had knelt on the ground and dipped her finger into the blood soaked debris.
“What the hell?” She screamed, getting on her feet and walking away from the blood.
The farther she went, the more the craving increased. Her throat was so dry and parched that it felt like it was going to melt in on itself. She had to drink something, preferably water.
All of a sudden, the blood behind her felt like fresh water from a spring. It called her to it. She turned around to look in its direction and was shocked at how clearly she could see it. She had run so far away from it now. There was no way she could still see it that clearly – but she could.
“Something’s definitely up with me.” She thought.
It made no sense. She couldn’t remember anything that happened before the crash. Her last memory was from three days ago when she moved into her new apartment. Everything else was blank.
At the moment, her biggest worry was the thirst. She had to find water somehow and she had to find it fast. She didn’t feel like she could survive much longer without it. She knew she had to find her way out of the woods. Her chances of finding the water she so desperately needed were slim to none if she remained in there.
It turned out her analysis was wrong. She spotted a water tank a few meters ahead. With a sigh of relief, she dashed off in its direction. The strength she felt when she kicked off the windshield of her car was gone now. She had to will her body to keep moving. It was her only hope of getting to the water before passing out.
It was a colossal disappointment to discover that the water tank she had spotted was a tree branch curved in the shape of a cylinder. There was no water anywhere close by, neither was there a clear path out of the woods.
“It doesn’t get any worse than this.” She concluded.
“Alexa…” A voice called softly.
She turned sharply in the direction the sound had come. There was no one there. It was all darkness and tree trunks. Regardless of the evidence in front of her, she walked in the direction of the voice.
It was not like she had a choice. She felt like a puppet being drawn by its master. The voice called her to itself and she had to go to it. It didn’t matter if she didn’t know where she was being called from.
“Alexa…” The voice called again.
“Who’s there?” She asked.
There was silence. No one responded. She turned back around to make her way in the other direction, assuming the voice must have been from her head.
That was when she noticed the movement around her. It was too fast for her to fully grasp but it was there. A middle aged man with icy blue eyes appeared in front of her, handing her a bottle of red ‘raspberry juice’.
Under normal circumstances she would have asked questions like how he got there, who he was or how he knew she was thirsty, but there was nothing normal about the circumstance she found herself. Her throat was threatening to catch fire from dryness and her entire body felt like it would collapse without the drink. She was so thirsty she could smell the raspberry juice from within the bottle.
She snatched the bottle from the man with icy blue eyes and gulped its contents down.
“What the fuck?” She spat.
She was sure what she smelled was raspberry juice but what she tasted was something completely different.
She tasted blood, but it was different. It was cool, refreshing and delicious. Something about drinking it made her feel so damn good. It was like an instant addiction. She needed more… a whole lot more.