Mirror in the Forest: Book One

BOOK: Mirror in the Forest: Book One
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Mirror in the Forest

(Mirror in the Forest Series)

Book One

Written By:

B. Groves

 

 

In Loving Memory of My Mom

The greatest lady I ever knew

 

Acknowledgements:

I want to first and foremost thank my husband. He is my rock, while being my biggest fan, and my harshest critic.

Also, all my family and friends who have supported me through this writing process. Without all of you, none of this would have ever happened.

Another huge thanks to Brenda Star from Flickr. Your art is amazing.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Prologue

 

The figure smiled while he watched the young girl exit the school bus at the edge of the street. He hid at the edge of the forest so she would not catch a glimpse of him.

The girl bowed her head, while her eyes were glued to the pavement beneath her feet as she quickly walked towards her home. Not once did she even acknowledge the other children who had gotten off at the stop with her. From what he surmised she was soft-spoken, even awkward from the way she carried herself.

She was perfect for what he needed. She would be easy to mold, easy to persuade, and once he started showering her with gifts she never even dreamed of, she would do anything that was asked of her.

The figure inside of the edge of the woods smiled again. She had not been his first choice. There had been another, but since those had been loyal to him came to him suggesting this girl, how could he resist? She was everything that he needed and much more.

              Yes, she was perfect. He wondered how he had missed her when he came back to town seeking what he needed, but he was happy to have found her.

              The figure gazed as the girl turned to enter her home. She was now out of school for the summer. He would watch and wait. Those that were loyal to him said that she was also very stubborn, and could be hard to break at first. So, he knew he would have to approach her differently, even delicately.

              But, he knew. He knew once he was able to convince of her he only had good intentions of her; everything would fall into place from there.

              This town was his. He had so much power over the town, even though it was still his curse.

              The figure turned and walked deeper into the woods once the girl was out of sight. He was happy those loyal to him had made him change his mind.

 

              She would do nicely.

Chapter 1

 

Late summer 1984

 

Leon’s Crossing, WA

 

Jessica Winters sighed when she first heard the voice calling to her. She had been so engrossed in her book that she didn’t hear her mother call for her the first time around. This time, she heard the footsteps starting up the stairs, and her mother called for her again.

                          “Jessica!”

 

Jessica rolled her eyes, and yelled back, “What?”

 

“Dinner is ready!” Her mother hollered from the middle of the steps. Jessica heard her mother descend the stairs, as Jessica got up from the bed and made sure she put her bookmark in the right spot in her book.

 

“Alright, alright,” Jessica mumbled setting the book on her small wooden desk, then changing from her pajamas into shorts and a T-shirt. She kiddingly blew a kiss to her favorite poster of Prince above her twin bed, and smiled at her own joke.

 

She pulled her dark blonde hair back into a ponytail, and went downstairs barefoot.

 

She never understood why their family had to always eat together when all of them were home, but her mother insisted. Her mother always said she did not want them sitting around the television. Jessica would much rather be doing other things while she ate, like keep her nose buried in her book.

 

Her mother eyed her for a moment, and put out her cigarette in her ashtray and began to stir the stew she was making.

 

Jessica had to admit that her mouth began to water as the smell of her mom’s pork stew began to permeate her nostrils. The woman could cook circles around anyone.

 

“Set the table, please,” her mother ordered while she tasted the stew.  

 

Jessica nodded, coughing from the cigarette smoke wafting through the air almost circling Jessica’s head. Jessica would do that because she always thought that the cigarette smell took away from the wonderful smells of her mother’s cooking, and the fact that it was bad for her.

 

“Very funny,” her mother mumbled.

 

Jessica smirked as she went into the drawers and removed the forks and knives. She grabbed the package of napkins and set out the plates on the small table in their smaller dining room.

 

“Where’s Dad?” Jessica asked, looking up from her designated chore.

 

Her mom put down the spoon she was using on the counter and turned to wipe her hands on a towel.

 

She looked up at the clock on the kitchen wall and said, “He should be home any minute.”

 

Mary Winters, dressed in her nurses uniform, was waiting for Don to get home before she left for work. She worked a few nights a week at the local hospital, and Jessica’s dad, Donald Winters, became a local contractor after coming home from college.  

 

“So, are you excited for school this year?” Mary asked, getting glasses from one of the cupboards.

 

Jessica shrugged her shoulders when she finished setting the table. “I’m just glad it’s my last year.”

 

Mary smiled as she set the glasses down on the counter for Jessica to pick up.

 

“I’m hoping you have a good year, and get involved a little more at school,” she commented. “You need to prepare better for college.”

 

Jessica sighed, turning her eyes skyward, asking for patience as she dealt with her mother’s constant questioning into Jessica’s personal life.

 

This was every year since Jessica entered high school. Her parents were voted the most popular kids to ever attend Leon’s Crossing High School. Jessica had to endure every day of seeing her parent’s photos all over the school.

 

Leon’s Crossing High School loved to keep the traditions going and her parents had been a huge part of it.

 

Jessica was nowhere near the level her parents had been during their school years, and had been made known to Jessica many times from older teachers and administrators.

 

“I’m not sure Mom. I just want to get into a good school,” Jessica said slowly, trying not to lose her temper again on Mary. This was not the first time they’ve had this conversation.

 

Mary nodded ignoring Jessica’s rising anger, like she always did. “I know, but I was hoping you would at least go to homecoming and prom, and maybe go on a few dates.”

 

Her parents worried more about her social life than her academic one, and that is where Jessica was the opposite.

 

She could only hope that she would be accepted into New York University, and could get out of Washington.

 

Her parents had both gone to Washington State University, and her mother became a nurse. Her dad had wanted to become a football player, but injuries had stopped him from ever proceeding into a professional career or being drafted to fight in Vietnam.

 

Donald had graduated along with Mary, and both had come home to start their family.

 

Jessica was born right away, but because of complications Mary was never able to conceive again.

 

Jessica knew Mary had wanted to have lots of kids, but that never happened. Jessica remembered reading about those aspirations in her mother’s yearbook.

 

Now at forty years old her mother still looked very young for her age despite her smoking habit. Her blonde hair was thinning a little, but was still smooth and shiny. She was still thin, and always kept up her image with her make up always perfect. She always wore tight clothes to show off her perfect body, making men drool over her.

 

She had very little lines around her ice blue eyes, and full lips.

 

She stood there smoking her latest cigarette listening to some sixties music, and Jessica could tell she was caught up in her memories of her younger days when a smile began to touch her lips.

 

Her parents told stories of high school constantly that would drive Jessica up the wall. She wondered if they would ever get over high school, but knew they wouldn’t.

 

“I doubt that is going to happen,” Jessica answered after a few moments.

 

Her mother shook her blonde head in frustration at her daughter. “With an attitude like that, it won’t.”

 

Jessica was about to retort with a snide remark, when her father’s voice came booming from the front door.

 

“I’m home!”

 

Jessica smiled when her dad walked into the kitchen. That meant the conversation between her and her mother would be forgotten for right now. Even though Jessica knew her social life would be the subjected to more scrutiny in the near future.

 

Donald Winters was tall, and built….well….like a football player.

 

His wavy brown hair was just starting to go gray, but his brown eyes were still bright, and youthful.

 

He smiled widely as he spotted both women in the kitchen and said, “How are my two favorite girls?”

 

“Hi Dad,” Jessica said smiling.

 

Don gave Mary a kiss and said, “There’s my sunshine! Guess what girls, I have great news!”

 

Jessica’s dad was always cheerful no matter what. The man was incapable of a bad mood, but Jessica surmised it was the nightly beers that helped, and the occasional weed that they tried to hide from her, but Jessica could smell it every so often.

 

“What’s that?” Mary asked, smiling up at her husband.

 

Don looked between his wife and his daughter with a grin that could have lit up the whole street.

 

“We just scored a huge contract for housing in Spokane. It has been approved and we start development as soon as possible!”

 

Mary cheered and the couple embraced. Jessica smiled, however, she always felt awkward around her parents’ affection.  

 

Mary turned to Jessica and said, “Isn’t that great honey?”

 

Jessica smiled again. “That’s great Dad! I’m happy for you.”

 

Don walked over to Jessica giving her a huge bear hug, making Jessica uncomfortable, but she really was sincerely happy for her dad.

 

“Yes, it is, and will bring us more money, and maybe that car you’ve been asking for….” He smiled teasing Jessica.

 

Jessica pulled out of his embrace shocked. “Are you serious?” She asked, gazing up at him with hopeful eyes.

 

“Don? Can we afford it?” Mary wondered with equal surprise.  

 

“Anything for my little girl,” Don answered, pulling Jessica back into a hug.

 

“Wow! I don’t know what to say. Thanks Dad!” Jessica said, pulling away smiling.

 

Jessica loved her parents dearly. She really did. She just wished they would be more concerned about her academic achievements, and not her social life. Conversations about it were often repeated over and over again until Jessica would practically sit in a chair drooling from boredom. 

 

Don looked down at her and feigned seriousness. “As long as you keep those grades up.”

 

Jessica knew he wasn’t serious about her school grades. He wanted to get her a car to make her go out more, and hopefully make more friends. There was always a different intention to what he said. He was never as outright as her mother about Jessica’s lack of social skills, but he would drop subtle hints from time to time.

 

He would try to tell her mother that she was just a late bloomer whenever Mary brought it up as Jessica would overhear them talking about it.

 

“I will, I promise,” Jessica answered already knowing she would keep her promise. Her bedroom was decorated with numerous awards, and trophies from her academic achievements over the years. Jessica almost won the state spelling bee championships twice in a row when she was in middle school.

 

Mary looked at the clock, and began to walk around the dining and kitchen area, making sure everything was set up correctly for dinner.

 

“We better eat. I have to get to work,” Mary said.

 

Jessica and her parents sat down at the table to eat. Jessica could feel the excitement at the prospect of getting a car. That made the chances of her getting out of Leon’s Crossing and going to NYU much greater than before.

BOOK: Mirror in the Forest: Book One
4.78Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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