My sobs came out uncontrollably as I sat under the oak tree and let the day wither away around me. My vision was blurred and I was beginning to feel the pressure in my head from a long hard cry, not to mention the ache in my leg that was driving me nuts.
In the distance I thought I heard my name being called. Shelby, Shelby. At first I ignored it. There wasn’t anything there, but as the nose came closer and I was sure that my name was being called, I wiped the tears from my eyes and stumbled to my feet.
“Who’s there?” I called out into the forest hoping that whoever was coming could help me get Chris back to the road. “Is somebody there?”
The forest was quiet again. I listened for the sound of foot steps coming closer through the underbrush, but there was nothing. My name wasn’t being called anymore. The birds had stopped chirping and the wind no longer rustled the leaves in the canopy above. There was nothing, not even the sound of the river close by.
I turned around, looking for anything moving in the trees around me, my feet the only thing making sounds.
“Hello?” My voice was shaking and quiet.
“Shelby.” A familiar voice sounded behind me, startling me out of my skin. I turned around quickly nearly stumbling over my own feet to come face to face with my brother, Jarrod.
“What are you doing here? You’re dead.” My voice caught in my throat as I spoke the words. He had been gone for months now, but yet here he was standing in front of me.
“Shelby.” His words were calm and slow. “Are you going to let this young man die because you’re feeling sorry for yourself?”
A single tear rolled down my cheek as I glanced down at Chris who was still unconscious on the ground under the tree. He looked so pale already. “I don’t know what to do, Jarrod.”
Jarrod smiled at me, that knowing grin that he always gave me when he knew that I was holding back. “What happened to me was not your fault. You did the best you could to save me, but right now, you are letting this young man die when you have the strength to bring him to safety. You must save him Shelby.”
“But how?” I threw up my hands in defeat crouching down to check Chris’s breathing.
“You’ll find a way.” Jarrod’s words were distant and quiet. I turned back to look him in the eyes and he was gone, vanished into thin air like he was never there. I glanced around the small clearing trying to find him, but he was no where to be seen. He was gone.
As I looked back down at Chris’s unmoving body my mind suddenly cleared. He was going to die if I did nothing and I couldn’t just sit here and allow that. Thought started to form a plan, pieces of something that I had once been taught by my brother a long time ago. There was a way, but I would have to move quickly.
Now that Shelbyhas a new direction and a clear mind will she be able to get Chris back to the road before his injures take him. Find out next time on The Midnight Trail.