Marie and Sofia were in the woods yet again. It was something both of them enjoyed doing immeasurably. Ever since they were little kids, Marie's father(who basically was a nature freak, always wandering the woods for days at a time or when he had any free time really, and working at an animal sanctuary for living) had taken them camping and on hikes through the woods all the time.
"Hurry up, Sofia! You're lagging behind again! Don't they take care of you in that fancy medical school of yours or have you just gotten lazy?"
Marie laughed at her best friend from atop of the cliff they were currently climbing.
"How dare you, my good sir! I'll have you know that I'm at the peak of by physical health and I shall not have you spread such slander about me!" Sofia sneered, but amusement shone in her baby blue eyes.
She pulled herself up the last couple of meters and shoot a triumphant look at a grinning Marie. She then hit Marie's arm and started running deeper into the forest.
"Come on we're almost there!" Sofia yelled, her red hair gleaming in the sun like fire. Marie shook her head and ran after her idiot-of-a-friend.
They ran and ran, sprinting past trees and rocks, jumping over bushes and streams, laughing all the while, shoving and pulling each other in turn, trying to get past one-another. At some point Marie's braid flew open, letting her long silver-white hair loose, (she'd had dyed just the other week and was completely in love with her new hair) and Sofia lost her jacket when Marie grabbed it from behind trying to get ahead of her friend.
When they finally stopped on a clearing, they were both out of breath, and cuts and bruises littered their arms and legs, but both of them were still smiling and letting out tiny huffs of laughter.
"You, my dear, fight dirty" Marie said as she sat down to catch her breath.
"You fight just as dirty as me" Sofia quipped back and lay down next to Marie.
" Of course I do, I learned it all form you after all" she poked Sofia's side, her friend letting out a tiny squeak and shoving the hand away from her.
As they laid there in the sun for quite a while, catching their breath and just enjoying each others company, an eerie fog rolled into the clearing without the girls noticing at first. As the fog thickened and curled around the two, attracting their attention, clouds rolled over the sun, blocking any light from reaching the clearing and then the temperature dropped, filling the once warm summer air with a feeling of dread.
"You feel that?" Marie asked pushing herself up.
"Yeah... and I think we should leave"
Marie pulled Sofia onto her feet and the two of them started briskly walking, almost jogging, back towards the cliff. Sofia squeezed Marie's hand, feeling the all too familiar inky tendrils of panic seeping into her mind.
"It's okay Sosie, I'm here. There's nothing to be afraid of, just keep breathing and focus on me" Marie soothed Sofia, squeezing her friends hand back hard. She knew how prone her friend was to panic attacks, and she also knew that if her friend were to have one now, it would be bad.
The fog kept thickening and it became almost impossible to see. Then, out of nowhere a faint sound could be heard, it was like a hum... or maybe a song, and it was so quiet they almost didn't notice it in the first place. They slowed down, trying to hear where the sound was coming from, but could not pinpoint the source. It was like it was all around them.
Marie tugged Sofia's hand "Let's not linger here, I've got a bad feeling about this". Sofia just nodded, the growing panic like a stone lodged in her throat, and they sped up their walking once more. But as they proceeded, the song got louder and louder, and now they could distinguish what could only be words in the strange sound, but they could not recognize the language. Then suddenly Marie stepped over a ledge, her heart jumping into her throat and a scream escaping her lips. They had arrived to the cliff faster than should have been possible. As Marie started falling towards what could only be her certain death, she pulled a surprised Sofia with her as she was still holding Marie's hand in a death grip.
'This it it... this is where we die' Marie thought, squeezing her eyes shut, waiting for the impact with the hard ground, the sound of the odd song and their screaming ringing in her ears. And then...