Day 3 of 100 Word Prompts: Sand
Evelyn Richardson watched Sam leave with his mother. She felt a weight in her chest that she hadn’t had in a while. Sam’s nightmares had returned, and he hadn’t told her. She thought back to the last time that she and Sam had been together, and remembered the wide-eyed, nearly desperate expression on his face as he professed his feelings for her. She could hear his words echoing through her mind as though it were yesterday.
“I love you, Evelyn,” Sam had said, holding her hand.
So many things had gone through her mind at that moment. The dream walking. The nightmares. The times they had nearly died to keep Draven out of his mind. She wasn’t sure that Sam really knew what he was saying. She wasn’t even sure if she knew how she felt.
“Are you going to say anything?” Sam had asked.
“I don’t know what to say,” she replied. As though a pane of glass had cracked, she had seen his heart break in his eyes. She wanted to tell him whatever it took to keep him happy, but the knot in her stomach had twisted. She cared for him deeply, but she didn’t think it was love. At least, not yet.
Evelyn cleaned the ice cream shop from top to bottom while she waited for closing time. Time dragged on when no customers came in, but it was still early in the season, and not enough tourists had come back to the area to keep her busy.
When six o’clock finally arrived, she was already in her street clothes, leaving her uniform in the locker in the back and raced out the door, double-checking that it was locked as she ran to her bike. It would take her twenty minutes to get to Sam’s house. She only hoped that he hadn’t done what she thought he would without her.
“Sam, your father called, he’s going to be late getting home with your sister. Do you want pizza for dinner?” Sam’s mother called up the stairs.
“I’m not hungry, Mom. I think I’m just going to go to bed,” he called back.
Sam heard his mother’s footsteps coming up the stairs. He sighed and shook his head.
“It’s only five-thirty,” she said, pushing his door open. “Are you sure you want to go to bed already?”
“I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I think an early bedtime might get me a little more sleep,” Sam lied. “I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow.”
“Okay, honey,” she replied, frowning at him. “I’ll keep it down downstairs, and make sure your sister doesn’t bug you when she gets home, okay?”
“Thanks, Mom,” Sam said, flashing a weak smile.
“And if you wake up in the middle of the night and want some food, I’ll make sure that there’s leftovers in there for you to heat up, okay?” she said.
“Okay,” Sam agreed, pulling his covers up to his chin in the dark room.
“Good night, my sweet baby boy,” his mother whispered before she shut the door.
Sam waited for the latch to catch before he began focusing. He closed his eyes and thought about where he wanted to go. He needed to go to Tessaway Hold in the fourth tier. A cold shiver went up his spine as he thought of the fourth tier—his least favorite.
Sam’s vision became flowing lights of amber and white. Like sparks, but dense enough to be confused for sand. He felt the awareness of his bedroom fade away as his feet softly landed on the moss-covered ground at the edge fo the fourth tier. He looked around at the willows that grew to enormous size, their branches and leaves drooping in large swaths as far as he could see.
Sam took a deep breath as he began walking. “Hopefully, Draven is home tonight,” he muttered as he walked down the familiar path.
Sam passed the old witch’s hovel that sat dark and abandoned. Evelyn had been with him when they fought her, and the witch had nearly killed them both with her curse. In the end, it was Evelyn that had overcome the witch’s power and killed her. He felt a stab of loneliness and sadness as he continued toward the dark marsh.
“Hello, Sam,” Draven’s shrill whisper of a voice said from right behind him. “You’re a fool to come here alone.”
Evelyn felt her lungs straining from the speed she maintained up the hills to Sam’s house. As she rounded the corner, she saw that Mrs. Hall’s car was in the driveway, but Sam’s father’s car wasn’t.
“Please be home and awake,” she panted as she slowed to enter the driveway.
Evelyn jumped off the bike, ran it to the side of the garage, and walked up to the front door. She knocked, hoping it didn’t sound too desperate despite her shaking hands.
“Evelyn, Sam’s already gone to bed. Sorry, dear,” Mrs. Hall said as she opened the doorway. “Maybe you could come by tomorrow and hang out with him.”
“It’s so early, though,” Evelyn said. “Maybe I could wake him up and get him to go to bed at a better time.”
“I’m sorry, honey, but Sam said he hasn’t been sleeping well again, so he wanted to try to get some extra time in tonight,” Mrs. Hall replied.
“That’s alright, I could hang out with Anna for a bit,” Evelyn said. “Is she home?”
“Not yet. David hasn’t come back with her yet. They spent the day out to get some father-daughter time,” Mrs. Hall said. “I’m sorry you wasted the trip out here. Do you want some water or something before you go home? You look like you’ve just run ten miles.”
“No, thank you, Mrs. Hall. I’ll be fine. Tell Sam I stopped by, though, will you?” Evelyn replied.
“I will,” she said with a smile as she closed the door.
Evelyn stepped off the porch and walked around the side of the building. Her heart pounded, not from the bike ride, but because she knew that Sam had gone without her.
“Why would you be so stupid?!” she said, kicking a rock as she looked up at his bedroom window above the trash cans where she had parked the bike. “Draven isn’t someone that you can fight head-on, Sam. You know that. Why didn’t you wait for me?”
Evelyn thought for a moment. If Sam had gone in alone, and Draven had found him, she would need more help to get to him. She pulled her cell phone from her pocket and dialed Joseph’s number.
“Evelyn?” Joseph asked as he answered the phone.
“Joe, I need you to get Finley and come to Sam’s house,” Evelyn said.
“What? Why? You haven’t been around Sam for a while now. He’s fine. Maybe you should leave him alone,” Joseph said.
“We don’t have time for this, Joseph. He went to Draven’s alone,” Evelyn said. There was silence on the other end for long enough that she checked to make sure she hadn’t lost the call, “Are you still there?”
“Finley and I will be there in ten minutes,” Joseph said before the call disconnected.
Evelyn took a deep breath. She didn’t like going in without Sam with her, but she had to do what she could to help him. She hid her bike in the bushes where the four of them used to play when they were kids and waited for the other two to show up. She felt her stomach turn at the thought of what Draven would do to Sam.