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The Eyes In The Woods

Chapter Text

Nowles runs ahead of Lur with a bark and a big dog smile on her face, pulling from cheek to cheek. Her paws churn into the soft dirt and she leaps forward through the trees, as light as a leaf fluttering down to the ground. Lur smiles broadly in return but realizes her actions aren’t as innocent as they seem. Nowles ears pull back as far as they can go, and her entire body quivers. Her best friend isn't being just a dog; most careless in the world, she's protecting her. The young girl looks around her; suddenly weary, scanning the surrounding trees with goose bumps dancing on her skin. Nowles returns to Lur's side, her tail fluffed and the fur on her neck standing so tall that it is a wonder on how it didn't all pop out. Lur walks forward slowly, one hand tangled in Nowles' matted fur, protecting both of them.


Around them however, everything is normal. Wind pushes at the leaves and branches, creating a soft rustling sound. Sunlight drifts in between the cover, creating patches of warmth against the normally damp ground. The pair approaches a small pond surrounded by weeds and tall grass, the same one they've returned to everyday for years to sit and watch the sunset over the trees.


Today, however, Lur is still cautious and Nowles is pacing back and forth at her side, never wanting to stop moving and acting as if the entire world was pit to rage against them any moment. Lur takes one step, then another, until she reaches her favorite spot. Her heart acts as if it is going to explode in her chest and she nearly expects someone to burst out of the trees surrounding them and attack with fists swinging and weapons flashing in the setting sun. After a few minutes of gut-wrenching pacing, Nowles visibly relaxes, all of her fur lying flat against her skin once more. The tension melts away in a split second and she turns to look at Lur. The big dog falls into a trot around the pond, completing a ritual she does everyday. Lur watches the dog she has known for nearly her whole life and sighs in contentment, feeling much more secure than just a few minutes ago.


30 minutes pass and Lur can hardly remember her fear from earlier. She's completely calm and laying in the grass. Her dog is on a stick hunt, looking for the perfect one to drag around. She suddenly reappears from some brush and brambles, shaking her head in a lively manner with a stick lodged between her sharp teeth. Growling, she moves closer to Lur, nudging the branch sized stick into her hand, encouraging her owner to grab it and play. Lur grasps it tightly, pulling and moving it back and forth aggressively. Nowles follows her lead, leaping and bounding across the grass. Her tail wags at almost an impossible speed, and the young girl snorts in amusement.


She smiles, releasing the stick and letting Nowles sprint away happily. Lur leans back on the palms of her hands, staring up at the sky. She smiles as she remembers when she first got Nowles. She was 5 and she had been begging for a puppy for ages. Her parents decided to get her one and began secretly for a breeder. Lur overheard one night and burst into the room, screaming about how she wanted a shelter puppy. She wanted to 'save a puppy', so her parents accepted the easier route and took her to the pound. Lur searched and searched, practically crawling through all the kennels to see a dog she might like. Her mom wanted to get a little Chihuahua puppy that was a caramel color, and while Lur thought he was cute, she didn't want that dog. Her dad wanted to get a Yorkie; he said she was a little girl, so she needed a small, fluffy, dog. But Lur still shook her head. Then she found Nowles; a massive puppy that couldn't handle her own paws. As Lur watched her in the kennel, she scrambled towards her. She didn't bark, just jumped and her tail wagged like it was powered by a steam engine. Lur instantly knew that the spunky brindle pup was the one that she had to have. She pressed her hand against the linked cage, and it was decided from there.
When it came time to name the new puppy, her parents let her choose. They expected 'Sweetie' or 'Pink', something that a little kid would name their dog, a word they were likely comfortable with. But when Lur said 'Nowles', well, they were surprised to say the least, and even asked her many times if there was any chance she wanted to change the pup’s new name. Lur didn't know why she said Nowles, all she would say is that it felt right, and so, they went with it. Family members even asked her where she heard the name; no one could find out. Lur would just look at them and stare, stating again and again that it felt right. And so it was Lur and Nowles from then on. They were everyone's favorite pair. Family friends cooed over how close they were, how Nowles was so well behaved and surprisingly tolerant to a small child. Life was great and happiness was the only thing Lur felt in her life. Until it came time for Lur it start school. The first day she went, she came down with a fever. She was sent home after she passed out during recess. The whole day that Lur was away, Nowles was whining and stomping all over. She acted up, and kept trying to rush out of the house. But the moment Lur got home, they both were perfectly fine. Lur's fever vanished within minutes, and Nowles sat down at her side, resting her head in her lap.


They've been inseparable ever since. Lur has been home schooled now, and no other problem has arisen. If Lur has to leave for a few days, she spends weeks attached to the hip to Nowles, if it’s even possible for them to be any closer. She talks to her and explains that she has to go for a little while, and she tells her, fully detailed where she has to go, but she tells her that it is okay because she will be back soon. That she needs to be good while she is gone. And it has worked every time. Lur doesn't get sick, like they have found out she does when she is away, and Nowles is perfectly fine. They've been better than best friends.


Lur shakes herself out of her head, smiling broadly as Nowles sprints back towards her from the pond. She has another stick this time, much bigger. One end drags on the ground as she lugs it around, dropping the other end in Lur's hand. Curling her fingers around it, she grabs and tugs backwards into her chest, a goofy grin plastered on her face.


A blinding light flashes from across the pond and blue, white and gold seem to blend and stir together until it's a brilliant beam of something that would remind someone of soaring winds and clear skies. Nowles raises her head and drops the stick, curling in front of Lur with a sharp glance. Lur's mouth opens in awe, but every muscle in her body was tense. Two eyes, the same color of that blinding light, glow from the edge of the pond across the way. They blink once, then twice, and no more.
The whole forest seems to fall silent around them. Tension is dancing between the girl and her dog, and the mysterious eyes that glow brighter than the sky at noon. Lur and Nowles prepare for a conflict, or at least an impact if they cannot fight back. And it almost seems like the eyes expect the same thing, they are tense and almost squinting. But instead something small and dark colored is thrown at a considerable speed towards them. Lur covers her face with her hands, expecting it to hit her. Instead, a bubble appears, with the object inside. It continues to float there, a translucent bubble with a distinct green tint. Nowles approaches it and sniffs until Lur is sure her lungs will implode. Distracted by this new shock, the pair almost misses the second flash of light. The same color as when the eyes appeared made a second beam and a moment later the eyes are gone.

 


Lur continues to look in confusion from where the eyes were; to the object floating. Her green eyes focus narrowly back on the bubble lying in front of her and Nowles. The aggravated dog walks up to it, her tail raised straight up. She sniffs at it once more but then she shakes her head from side to side, almost as if she's startled by the smell. Leaping into the air a second later the mutt storms over to Lur and releases a low bark. Mud flings in all directions as Nowles shoves Lur to her feet with her nose. She yips and nuzzles her head into Lur's back, walking forward slowly until Lur gets the hint. Lur reaches a hand out to the bubble, Nowles continuing to push the backs of her legs.
Her hand makes contact with the pulsing, glowing orb; and it pops. It shatters into minuscule fragments of pieces, and they seem to fly in every direction imaginable. But they don't touch anything; they glide through Lur and Nowles without a trace, and continue until they simply disappear from sight. Inside of what used to be the bead of translucent green glass, was a necklace. It was a simple chain, appearing to be silver, and had one pendant, that of which was a carving of a tree, made of some stone.
The instant the bubble popped, the necklace that resided inside started to rise. It was slow and gradual but enough time had passed of both Lur and Nowles looking at the orb shards soaring through and through that when Lur's eyes registered and locked back onto the necklace, it was 10 feet into the air. It stops, soon after, still in sight, but out of reach. Curiosity gets the best of Lur and she sits down, watching it. Nowles barks in a very low tone a few times before circling on the ground and dropping with a thud. She looks at Lur with a curious glance, seems to shake her head, and closes her eyes to sleep, sensing they would be there for a while.


Lur relentlessly stares up into the air, watching and waiting for the mysterious necklace to fall or float back down. She isn't really sure that it will, but she is always hopeful, and this experience has certainly gotten her attached to it. She must see it to the end. Soon however, the sun starts to set. Mosquitoes appear seemingly out of thin air, and start to buzz around; much to the annoyance of Nowles, who has awoken and keeps flicking them out of the way with her ears. The sun glares brightly in Lur's eyes and she squints, but her head is still raised high, determined to look at the necklace until it comes down.


Lur's unceasing watch is soon to reward her, and just a little while after the sun has set well below the horizon, the pendant begins to sink. It was the exact opposite of how it rose; the necklace shot down from the air quickly enough that when it hit the ground, a small puff of dirt floated into the air around it. Nowles jumps with her ears perked straight up, startled and she snarls for a while before stomping to stand in front of Lur, between her and the object that had laid inside of the orb. Regardless of her previous behavior, this was once again a strange object and her duty was to protect Lur. She leans forward and ruffles the fur on Nowles' head, much to the objection of her beloved dog.


The young girl steps forward and something within her stirs and whirls quickly, almost like a sandstorm. If you asked her later, she wouldn't know how to explain it; she would sheepishly say it was just a feeling of the moment. But it was not. Her heart starts to race at an uncountable speed; her breathing quickens as if she had just run a marathon. It was as if a lost link that her body had accepted she would never find had just appeared, and it was the ultimate joy. Lur breaks into a sprint, Nowles so close on her heel that she could feel the hot breath on her leg. They approach the site where the necklace fell, and Lur drops to her knees. She feels a pull to it; but it was more than a pull, it was a yank, a tug, as if chains were linked up to her heart and the necklace was ever so slowly reeling it in.


She feels that if she doesn't reach out in this exact moment to grab the necklace, she will die, she will burst into flames, she will fall apart at the very seams if she does not get her hands on this wonderful object. With shaking hands, she reaches down as slowly as a mother would as she grabbed for her child the first time. While Lur is in absolute awe, something within her is also in fear. There is no telltale voice asking her not to do it; but a raw, pure emotion. It doesn't want to stop her, simply warn. It is like overcoming a fear. Telling the truth. Something so right, but so powerful it could hurt you in an instant.


And then she touches the necklace.


It was as if her eyes had been opened, as they had never been opened before. Her senses burst open, working at 500%. Everything seemed sharper, she could hear birds scratching in trees, animals burrowing and digging into the soft ground around them. Even Nowles panting out short breaths from the run; but it wasn't just that; she could hear her tail whip through the air, her paws moving tiny jerks in the ground. It was as if the world was anew again; everything in the ground was the perfect example for life.


Then she was thrown. It happened on the spot in a dramatic, sudden change. In just a second she was holding the necklace, feeling as if she could hear the entire world if she wanted to, then she was being thrown through the air at the speed of light. She's flipped over onto her stomach as she slices through the air. Oddly enough, she misses the trees; she curls and whips and turns to avoid every object that could hurt her. As quickly as it happened, was as quickly as it stopped. She was at her house. She slammed into the ground, coughing and choking.


She panics and looks for Nowles, jumping up and getting ready to dart back into the woods she just came from to find her dog. But Nowles appears, right by her side as if she had never left, her tail wagging, her tongue lolling, and moving her body in every direction. Lur opens her hands that were both closed into fists tight enough to be considered a death grip; and notices the necklace is still there. She studies it for a moment, then another; running her fingers over the rough edges. It was made out of some sort of stone, but it was smooth, and etched enough that anyone could distinguish that it was a tree; enough that Lur could even see little leaves.
Lur shakes her head as she looks up. She scans the trees, in awe and shock from the events today. Yet oddly, she is calm. Like it is normal for this to be happening, to fly, a necklace to pop from a glowing bubble, for unnatural eyes to glow at her from a shadowed part of the forest. She seems to feel as if nothing was out of the ordinary.


And right as she starts to think so she notices the eyes again. They are the same from before, an unnerving blue, cold and obvious. They glow with a strange, bright light. And again, they blink once, then twice, and vanish without a trace. A shiver goes down the young girl's spine and she turns to head inside, Nowles hot on her heels, both simply exhausted.