Copyright © 2019 Christopher Hiedeman. All Rights Reserved.

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Beatrix  Percival   Part  1

Genre: Supernatural Romance/Drama

Follow Beatrix as she plummets into a strange world full of mystical creatures and magic.

CHAPTER 1

 

Branches shattered, and the winds swirled.

The ground raced under her bare feet. Branches hit her and cracked under her as she raced through the forest. It was after her, and she knew it. Fear filled her heart. It was a dark, crisp autumn night. The moon flashed through the branches above, casting eerie shadows in the woods. Breathing heavy she kept running. She could hear it behind her, crashing through the woods like a giant. It was getting closer.

Her heart raced; it felt as if it was beating out of her chest. Clouds covered the moon, and the woods went dark. She could barely see where she was going, but she knew she could not stop. Suddenly, the ground gave way to air, and she was falling, weightless, into the abyss of darkness. A sensation filled her, one she had never felt before. Fear overwhelmed her, and she let out a scream that pierced through the night like lightning. A blinding flash of light filled the night air. The swirling world around her went still, and everything went dark.

This is the story of Beatrix Percival. Beatrix was a bright young woman. Head of her class, she would twirl her fingers around locks of her luminous blond hair as she solved the most difficult of math equations. She loved learning and aspired to someday be someone great. Beyond her skills of knowledge, Beatrix didn’t really have any talents. She couldn’t draw or sing. She watched other kids develop amazing talents. This sometimes left her feeling quite ordinary, but she thought, “Ordinary is OK.”

She was adored by her friends and family. The time she didn’t spend studying and reading, she spent cooking with her mom or hanging out with her friends. Her parents were anything but ordinary, though. Her dad, Maxwell, worked for a top-secret company that developed extraordinary products. Every once in a while, he would bring home an invention to test. The last one was a gadget that could catch houseflies. It would glide through the air chasing flies. One night, the whole family found out that the device wasn’t quite ready. During dinner, the flycatcher was in hot pursuit of a fly and accidentally shattered the living-room window.

Beatrix was never quite sure where her mom, Ella, worked; or even what she did. Ella was gone during the day, attending meetings of some sort. But Beatrix was used to the confidential nature of her parents’ jobs and spent her time with them conversing about life rather than work.

In her own life, Beatrix noticed small obscurities: seeing lights going on and off when she looked at them, finding items that she had thought were broken back in one piece again. One night, when she was camping in the woods with friends, she went out into the night with a flashlight in search of kindling. Her flashlight grew dim and suddenly went out. The night was pitch black. When her hope of finding her way back to camp started to fade, a firefly flashed in the woods. She walked toward it as it sailed and flashed through the night air. She followed it up a hill. As she neared the top, the camp lights came into view. Beatrix paused for a moment, wondering if the firefly had purposely helped her back to camp. She was so used to the oddities of her parents’ lives that she really didn’t give these occurrences much thought.

One of Beatrix’s favorite subjects of study was history, especially genealogy. The Percival family dated back hundreds of years. Though her family had much history, she had a hard time finding any truly specific information. Most of her research gave her bland and ordinary results. Before her grandmother, Etta, passed away, years ago, she would tell her stories at bedtime—tales of their family history. Beatrix knew her grandma embellished her stories due to their extraordinary nature. Nevertheless, she enjoyed them and loved escaping into that fantasy world her grandmother spoke of. Ever since she was a little girl, Beatrix was told her grandmother was not quite right “upstairs,” giving reason to her wildly, unbelievably fascinating stories. But Beatrix’s life was so ordinary, she hoped someday for something extraordinary to happen to her. And one day, it did.

CHAPTER 2

Beatrix awoke from a restful night’s sleep. The sun beamed through the window in her bedroom. She lay there for a second, looking at the ceiling. A small spider wandered into view. At first, Beatrix was startled. She watched as it meandered across the ceiling. It paused for a moment. Beatrix stared at the spider, and it almost seemed as if the spider was staring back! The spider sat there still. Beatrix and the spider sat there silently, mesmerized by each other’s presence, for a couple of minutes. The room was silent except for the sound of her mom making breakfast in the kitchen below. Suddenly the spider fell. Beatrix, frozen in place, felt the spider land on her arm. The room started spinning and went black as Beatrix fell into a dreamlike state.

She awoke in the woods. Sunlight washed the forest with a cozy amber hue. The sun felt warm on her shoulders. Beatrix heard a whisper in the distance. She decided to investigate. She followed the sound of the voice. Something was calling her name. “Beatrix…Beatrix…” The sound echoed in the air. Making her way through the woods, she followed the voice. The voice grew louder; she was getting closer. There, ahead of her, was an opening in the side of the hill. It looked like a cave. The sound echoed out the cave’s entrance. Beatrix contemplated whether to look inside or stay outside, where it was sunny. “This is a dream, and nothing can hurt you in your dreams,” she thought. Into the dark cave she ventured, following the voice. The darkness engulfed her. The air was cold and damp. The voice began to fade as she walked. Beatrix paused. How could the voice be getting quieter? She stood there in the darkness. The cave fell silent, except for the occasional “drip” and bat squeak.

The air temperature seemed to be dropping rapidly. Beatrix wrapped her arms around herself in an attempt to keep warm. Without warning, she heard the voice loud and clear, screaming her name: “Beatrix! Beatrix! Help me!” A chill ran down her spine. It was her mother’s voice. The room abruptly fell silent. She couldn’t even hear the bats. Beatrix stomped her feet on the ground, but no sound came. She fell to the ground and closed her eyes. “It’s just a dream, it’s just a dream!” she screamed in her head. She opened her eyes to see a mysterious green orb drifting through the cave toward her. The orb floated very elegantly through the cave, illuminating the walls as it went. A sense of calm washed over her. Beatrix stood up. The orb drifted closer and closer until it came to a halt right in front of her. She stared into the hovering ball of green light. She somehow felt safe. Beatrix slowly raised her hand to touch it. Suddenly a blood-curdling growl shook the walls. The green orb suddenly vanished, and the cave went dark. Beatrix turned to run but tripped on her shoelace. She slammed into the cold hard floor.

Beatrix sat up to realize she was back in her room. Her heart raced and raced. She glanced down at the bed to notice the little spider wandering away. She sat there stiff. “What just happened?” she wondered. “Was it just a dream?” It didn’t feel like a dream to her, and something told her it was much more than a dream. It was a warning, a glimpse into what was yet to come. She looked down to reveal a bruise on her knee and scratches on her elbows. Her heart began to race once more. It wasn’t a dream.

CHAPTER 3

The days went by. Beatrix tried making sense of the vision the spider had shown her. She kept her eyes open for the spider, hoping for its return so she could ask it what happened. “Ask it?” she thought. “Spiders can’t talk…but maybe this one can?” Days went by, and the spider hadn’t returned. Beatrix wanted to talk to her parents about her experience but felt she couldn’t, in fear they wouldn’t believe her. She decided to put it out of her mind. So, Beatrix went back to her usual schedule of breakfast, school, studying, and family time.

One beautiful autumn day, Beatrix was walking home from school. The trees were vibrant with color, and the air was cool and crisp. A slight breeze shuffled the branches, causing orange and crimson hues to cascade down to the earth all around her. Her house was a little walk from school, but on days like today, Beatrix didn’t mind the walk. She gazed down at the sidewalk and began counting the cracks. She came to a screeching halt. There it was again—the mysterious spider! Beatrix crouched down, paused for a moment, and stared right into the eyes of the little spider. Its eyes gleamed in the glowing sunlight. Beatrix’s eyes grew with fascination. She held out her hand, resting her fingers on the pavement. The spider looked up at her and then scurried onto her hand. Beatrix braced herself for another vision, but nothing happened. “Maybe this wasn’t the same spider,” she thought.

Out of nowhere, she began to hear a small voice. “Beatrix! Beatrix! Hi, Beatrix!” Beatrix looked at the spider to see if it was the one talking to her, but no sound came from it. Charley, her friend, walked past her. “Hi, Charley!” Beatrix exclaimed, thinking the voice might have come from him.

Charley looked back and said, “Hi…um, did you want something?” he asked.

“I thought I heard you call my name,” Beatrix replied.

“Nope, wasn’t me. See you later,” he said as he walked on.

Beatrix looked back down at the little spider again and said, “Was that you?”

The spider took a step forward, and a voice rang out, “Yes, it was me!”

Beatrix stumbled backward, almost dropping the spider onto the ground. Its voice seemed to be coming from all around, not from the spider itself. “Ho-how are you doing that?” Beatrix exclaimed.

 

“How c-can I hear you?” she asked, perplexed.

“We are having an inner conversation,” the spider said. “You are not physically hearing a sound; I am speaking to you through thought. It is safer this way…for both of us.” Beatrix stared at the spider in awe as it continued, “There are great evils hidden in this world. Some, as you would expect, live deep in the shadows. But the most fearsome, the most atrocious, live right in plain sight.” The little spider started scurrying around slowly in a circle on her hand. The spider paused and stood stiff. “It’s coming,” he said. What had been a beautiful sunny day started clouding over. Tiny raindrops began to spatter on the concrete. Beatrix set the spider on the grass for a second to adjust her backpack, and when she looked back, it was gone.

The sky grew an eerie dark-blue color. The rain began to pour now. Beatrix put her hood up and sprinted home. Up the porch steps she raced. The front door was half open, so she ran into the house. She dropped her backpack to the floor as she gazed at the destruction around her. “Mom…Dad!” she called out, worried. No one answered. Apart from the sound of the rain, which had now turned into a small storm, the house was eerily silent. Beatrix ran up the stairs and checked each room. No one was up there. She ran back down the stairs and saw the spider poised at the bottom. Beatrix tried her hardest to stop but slipped and tumbled down the stairs onto the living-room floor.

Beatrix arose slowly and looked behind her. There, the spider sat on the railing. “Get up,” he said. “There is much to do.”