Oh, the peace and calm of twilight. The quiet. Almost too quiet, really. No birds flew overhead, no creatures scurried through the undergrowth. All was silent along the dirt road that cut through the woods. A low fog hung in the air, clinging to the ground, and there was a distinct stench of rot and decay lingering between the trees, just faintly. The only sound to be heard was the gentle rushing of the stream that lay to the left of the path, down the hill. The breeze picked up, ever so subtly, carrying whispers that were barely audible. Just faint brushes of song, travelling through the woods.
"He's got the whole wide world... in his hands..."
Mid-morning, and the Albino was hard at work on the farm. Name all of the plants and crops that were to be planted: vegetables, primarily, from squash to cucumbers and carrots. Today would bring about an expansion to this in the form of fruit. Trees were being added to this now. This has been, and will be, Reiko's site for conmunity service for the next two weeks as her way of contributing to the replacement of the fruits and vegetables that she had damaged during last month's freakish power evolution. Headband in place and secured, a wonder she didn't lose it before being saved from nearly drowning amidst a trio of sharks yesterday. Thank the Fates for someone being there to help her then, but it was decided by her overseer that there would be no more beach visits during the downtime given in the middle of the day.
Speaking of downtime, the Albino was thinking of skipping that today. She felt as if she might be starting to take advantage of that and would rather work like she was supposed to. At least, that was the plan. Her denim overalls and knees were dusty from tending to the growing crops, her gardening gloves on to guard her hands. It seemed like a typical day on the farm, right?
"Reiko!" There was the call of the kind woman from several metres away. Man, did she have the set of lungs that the Albino herself did not. Reiko looked up to see Mia waving her over and stopped, having just finished planting her gazillionth potato as it was. When close enough, "One of the goats has managed to escape and has run off into the woods somewhere yonder. Would you mind retrieving it, please?"
Great. I have to play hide and seek in the woods with a goat that already doesn't like people. Reiko pulled off her gardening gloves. "Yes, ma'am," she responded, jogging off on the path in the direction she was pointed in. She slowed when she reached the woods and started to look around, her eyes peeled for signs of said runaway goat.
That was when she heard the faint sounds of a song, one she recognised from her teenage years. Someone else was in the woods as well. Company? Maybe it was one of the other farmers who had seen the goat run off and was trying to bring it back as well.
"Now where'd you run off to..." As the Albino ventured deeper into the woods, the first thing she noticed was the wind blowing, the trees seeming to sway a little faster in the wind with a chill in the air. Odd. Today's forecast was supposed to call for a calm breeze; this was anything but calm. Of all the days for her to go goat-chasing, it had to be on a day that the meteorologist was more inaccurate in his weather prediction than usual. At least it wasn't raining, though. Whilst that would mean goat hooves to see in the mud, it would also mean having to find something to use as a shelter until it passed, or otherwise going back to borrow an umbrella from Mia.
What Reiko found odd as she continued to venture into the woods for her search was, the singing had stopped abruptly. Then it started again, only it sounded further away from the path now. It was as if she was listening to a moving forest choir, and the choristers were inviting her to find them. She had a goat to find, though, not a choir.
"He's got the whole wide world...in his hands..."
The singing seemed to be made up of many voices, each faint and distant, but sounding almost as though they were whispered in Reiko's ears at the same time. The fog thickened around her ankles. "Damnit..!" Reiko hissed as she noticed the fog becoming denser. Good thing she could still see! Dense fog stood little chance to her keen vision, a blessing in times like these. Suddenly, just as the fog became almost too uncomfortable to bear, that goat she was chasing strolled out into the path. Just as she was starting to puff her cheeks, there it was! It seemed to move towards her once it came into her path, and her eyes lit up. "There you are! Now come this way...slowly, now..."
It was clear that Reiko knew nothing about luring goats to return to the farm whatsoever, and that would soon become her undoing. For starters, she was ignoring the vacant look in its eyes, glassed over, and its movements were uncharacteristically calm. The animal paused, looked her dead in the eyes...then ran off, into the woods.
"...hey! Where are you going? Come back!" Her trying to call after it was futile with her voice not loud enough as it was, and she started to run after it. What is with this goat?! It looked so strange...like something-no. I can't think like that right now. Instead, she was letting her experience in running track kick in. Provided nothing could cause her to trip up, Reiko should have no trouble keeping up with the fleeing goat.
Running on the flat, even surface of a track was nothing like trying to run cross-country. It was starting to show with the changing terrains and the uneven surfaces. Yet that goat was simply not giving up on its game of Chase! It was safe to say that Reiko was in for a good bit of exercise today, even more than what she usually got from the last handful of days of tending to the farm. She was still working, technically, following her overseer's orders of trying to bring back that elusive goat. Trying to, what a joke that was...only one party was cooperating, the goat not being the cooperating party.