I let out a huge yawn as I let the weight of my body fall onto my bed. My stomach protested to its emptiness and I patted sadly. "I know belly..." I flopped around until I got a good view of my window and I could see all the people walking around. There were less of them than usual most likely because of the power outage and I couldn't help the weird sense of glee that filled me.
I did that.
A soft knock at my other window facing the alley interrupted my sudden thoughts and I twisted around to see Gertrude crouched bare foot on her tippy-toes against the window sill. She lower on the glass with the tip of her finger. She looked perfectly fine balanced on the small sliver of concrete ledge that was my window sill. Part of me wanted to see how long she could stand there but I also knew that she would just get annoyed of waiting for me, so I tumbled out of bed, unlocked the window where Gertrude shuffled out of the way and I jumped down to the ground where I felt the ripple of force through my bones and up my spine.
Gertrude landed softly next to me and pulled me next to her which stabilized me more. "We'll go this way... Away from people..." she whispered low in my ear. Grabbing the wrist of my hand Gertrude tugged me along the back alley and twisted along a way I hadn't really taken before mainly because of the dark crevices and shadows that made their home against the winding walls.
Finally, we broke free of the passage and it just.... Stopped. Concrete sidewalk twisted into a great tall forest, but I could see the cracks in the concrete where weather had chipped away at it or a root had forcibly plunged its way to the surface. Grass and weeds had sprung up around the small rifts.
"It's like they tried to expand the town, but I guess after a really short while just stopped." Gertrude sighed then turned to look at me. I was still taking it all in and Gertrude chuckled. "Come on or do you want to stand under the sun for the rest of the day?"
I snapped out of gazing to look at the sky only to stare straight at the sun, I yelped and shut my eyes in my pain. "Ouch, ouch, ouch!"
Gertrude just giggled, "Why did you look at the sun." She laughed. "Alright lets just go into the shade."
We walked into the forest where the grass grew higher and tickled my skin. The leafy branches of the trees seemed interwoven with each other and it was like entering another secret world. When the sun's light did get through it shone through the gaps between the leaves and dappled the forest floor in a beautiful pattern that moved with the sway of the wind. Orange capped mushrooms nestled between the cracks of stumps and fallen logs. Wildflowers grew taller than the grass, their fluffy petals coming in all colors.
We continued to walk further, and I saw a familiar flower growing in clumps in the ground. It was the spiky magenta flower that I had seen in the library. I could smell patches of lengthy lavender growing around them. But soon another smell emerged as well. Blood. I stopped walking as a gust of wind carried the scent of carrion and old gore.
By this point Gertrude stopped moving. "Well something died."
"No shit Sherlock." I replied trying to rid my nose of the smell of rotting flesh by picking some of the surrounding lavender. Gertrude glared before commenting "Why don't we go see what it is." I stopped picking lavender and glanced up at the green-eyed lady who was staring off in the direction the smell was coming from.
"Why should we go in the direction of something dead."
"Well it deserves a proper send off and if I'm right that humans don't want to come in the forest then whatever was killed was killed by something else."
"Exactly why we should stay away from it!" I tried to persuade her, but she clearly wasn't budging. "It probably died from old age, don't worry..." Gertrude patted me on the head and I swatted her hand away; when she began moving again, I followed her anyway.
We waded through tall grass, through brambles that clung to our clothes; all the while the smell of flesh getting stronger and more pungent. I gagged a tried to drag a bit more behind, but Gertrude tugged on my wrist to keep me moving.
Eventually we came across trampled grass and a small clearing where there lay a small rotting deer. Slash wounds opened up its side and trailed from the base of the small mammal's neck to down to Its hind legs. Large bite marks were ripped out of the deer's body leaving mangled fur and flesh. Tons of flies buzzed around the dead animal some landing on its glassy eye that showed the fear before it died.
"It wasn't killed by a wild animal..." Gertrude suddenly spoke up. I glanced over to her and the green-eyed female's eyes were glazed over in thought. "Haven't you ever wondered why human food tasted so disgusting for you?"
I nodded, "Well yeah."
"Demon's can't eat human food... The only thing we can eat is raw meat and I guess a couple other berries, but they don't really fill you up." My gaze slid back to the rotting deer and I felt my stomach churn; that didn't look appetizing at all.
"We actually have a story for it."
"Like a myth or something." I didn't look away from the poor deer. "Yeah, I can tell it to you, but let's just get away from the dead deer, okay." Gertrude patted my shoulder and we began to steer away from the corpse of the animal. I kept a mental picture of our movements in my head so that we wouldn't get lost.