Read the beginning of one of my dark, hot and sweaty summer story… :-)

Excerpt from my book ‘The Window To The Pond’ , a good, poetic and gloomy sommer story… 

The Window To The Pond – Andréa Rayn

Layla was sitting by the roots of a great dead blackened tree trunk… nervously looking over her shoulder. She had been running nonstop, deeper and deeper, into the swampland, trotting into moist black soil with her pale sandals that were not fit to use for this terrain at all. Her light blue denim skirt and tight black cotton t-shirt were stained with mud… and blood, but this was of her least concerns right now.

She just needed to rest for a while and think… think hard of what to do next. Yet she was too confused and exhausted. The high pitched chirps and quacks from the insects and frogs around her in the muddy green bushes and waters distracted her greatly, the fear, the gross fear of creepy crawlies crawling up her arms and legs or flying into her long auburn locks of hair made it very hard to stay focused…

She thought back to what happened. She thought about her room … her cosy rose-hip coloured bedroom at the top floor with the one large window, softly framed by thin white curtains, that overlooked the large pond in the garden, which led straight into the swamplands. Her cosy sanctuary where she could be herself, where she could dream. It was all their fault really, why did they move us here – Layla was bitter.

Her family relocated here not that long ago… escaping the city and the crimes, they said, to live more safe and peaceful… had they only known that crime was not city bound, that indeed they carried the criminal with them… because what is within does not need any outer influence to be unleashed… or perhaps it was the outer influence that is responsible, the influence of the dreadful swamp. Indeed, the threatening silence and the constant quacks of the frogs, the swishing sound of the mosquitoes and flies made it all worse…  perhaps the hot moist air unleashes the great darkness within, the inability to care anymore. It made her listen to those morbid words within her head…

In fact, the city had rules and certain guidelines to follow. Had she been in the city right now she could just hide out somewhere or she could take the next night-bus out and escape to another city… anywhere. Eventually she might get caught and put into prison… but in that case, she would get an attorney to help her… she had legal rights after all. It was not like that out here… here they made up their own rules… and she had to run…

Why did she do it? She herself could not explain what came over her. The rage, the urge… the hate… she had to do it. It was unavoidable.

She was living in the large white villa with her parents and her two sisters, Mara and Ellen. All of them had their bedrooms on the first floor. It was only Layla that lived all by herself at the top beneath the roof, isolated from the others. Here she would sit on her beautiful white iron-framed bed and look out of the window over the pond with the green leaves upon it. She wondered often what was hidden beneath it, what was locked away beneath the stagnant liquid. Layla wondered what mysteries, and corpses, lay within… Nobody was allowed to swim within its dirty black waters… Mother said it was but a smelly health hazard. Even though it looked so beautiful and inviting from up here…

Yes, up here, she could be all alone and undisturbed. Nobody really cared what she did up here, and nobody ever bothered to check her room either… Here she could keep all her secrets safe…

Roy Conway was one of the secrets she kept. He was one of the youngest brothers that inhabited an isolated and terribly rundown farmhouse surrounded by old carcasses of cars and tractors 10 minutes walk from her house. Can’t choose your neighbours  – Dad had said in regards to the Conways. Five brothers they were altogether, a bunch of nauseating imbeciles, a pile of living trash… surely they were inbred for generations… There was something very strange, threatening and disturbing with that family… They were so uncanny that they indeed were entertaining… and they seemed to live by their own sub-human laws, evidently, they wouldn’t have the brain to live by civil social rules. Thus, the Conways were best avoided all together, something even the most common of the small town folks around here liked to do…

Roy however, was a little different. He certainly shared the looks of his brothers, this raw sinewy muscular tanned body that they all had. They knew how to work it and they were strong. He also had the short scruffy blond hair and those irregular tobacco stained teeth. Yet Roy was not all that dumb as the others were. He could be a cunning little weasel. Roy had been stalking her from the beginning… already the first day when they moved to the area, Layla saw him lurking in the bushes, curiously glancing at her.

A couple of days later, she walked down the main road to the nearest shop and noticed him following her on his bike. He would often follow her from the distance or hide in the bushes by her house, observing her when she stood by the bus stop. Not her sisters, just her. It was like he could smell her out, smell that she was the odd one out, the one that was the wounded animal of the family. She was the one in the family that was more or less left alone, left to be herself. It was like they had given up on her. Which suited her fine really, because before that she was just blamed for everything that went wrong in the household. It was always her fault, never her sisters. This is why she loved her room at the top. She could just be herself and live in her own world… or at least it was like that until Roy spoiled it all.

Roy was fascinating her in a sinister way. His stalking and strange advances were a turn on, and yet, a repulsive turn off at the same time. She knew that he was creeping around in the bushes to watch her. She knew that he was sneakily lurking beneath her window at night, like a hungry dog, trying to catch a glimp of her, and nobody in her family saw him or even noticed his hideous audience. But she could sense his presence… it made her paranoid to think that he could always be around out there to investigate her, to sniff her out.

This game went on for weeks until Roy decided to move closer and approach her. She was walking down the forest path that eventually would lead to the town center, when she spotted him by a tree near by, hanging around as usual. He quickly came over to walk beside her, making small, and juvenile, conversation with Layla. From that day, he would often stop her on her way to or from town… being quite a persistent pest, with frequent and clumsy attempts to touch her body, yet Layla did nothing to interfere with his moves. She still wasn’t sure if she just didn’t care or didn’t mind… she tolerated his presence, playing with him, teasing his primitive being…

That following Friday evening she went out with her sister Ellen to the local bar in town. Around midnight they were riding back home on their bicycles. As they were riding through the humid and sweet smelling night air, laughing and giggling, Layla was quite sure that Roy was lurking about somewhere, yet she would have never told Ellen that. It would have worried her, with reason. The girls were not allowed to consort with the crazy Conway brothers after all. They are nothing but trouble and we must stay well clear of those people, Dad said.

The sisters arrived home safely and parked their bicycles in the front garden. After a little snack orgy in their spacious kitchen, they turned off the lights and went upstairs to their bedrooms. But Layla was restless and remained only a short while in her room. She tiptoed down the stairs and sneaked out of the house again. Quietly she entered the garden and walked around the pond and into the night.

The air was moist and heavy, the sound of the insects and frogs was so penetrating that it was almost trance inducing. She was about to turn to walk back home when she recognized a shadow coming forth from the dim-lit road… Roy was hanging about as usual, smoking a cigarette, and now he quickly came walking her way. She should have been rushing into the house and go to bed. Instead, her own shameful nature allowed her to simply stand there, flirting and teasing the desperate boy… and finally giving in to his ravenous demands out there by the trees in the humid nocturnal hazes. And she could not hide her exhilaration for what she did. She knew that this had to remain a very forbidden secret. Nobody could find out about this scandalous deed of hers. Yet the fact that she had just invited trouble, by associating with a Conway, was just too much of a thrill. She couldn’t resist.

Silently she slipped back into the house and to the safety of her bedroom. After a quick shower, the attempt to wash away Roy Conway, she lay in bed, wide awake. She felt dirty and disobedient… she felt the way she was supposed to feel, the way she deserved to feel. According to her family, she was a reckless girl after all. Giving in to the likes of Roy Conway thus felt right to her.

From now on, he would pursue her more fervently… calling her down from beneath her window in the middle of the night to lie with him out there in the bushes by the end of the pond… And eventually, a resilient little bug as he was, he was able to climb up the balcony beneath her window and thus let himself in, sneaking into her bedroom and joining her in her bed. Nobody else in the house noticed. Unaware, they all slept soundly on the first floor. Nobody heard the sighs and exhausted moans that came from Layla’s room in the middle of the night… Roy’s nightly visits both allured and disgusted her. She became drained, she became passive and lethargic… she started to hate him… hate his sweaty presence near her and yet she gave in each time…

And every time, the dark water outside was witness to her shame and her forbidden desire. It whispered to her, with sweet voices that told her that she was not alone, that it was ok, that they understood. The pond tempted her, it comforted her. It told her that the answers were lying within its deep waters. And each time Roy crept to her bedside or hungrily crawled all over her in the bushes outside…  the voices of the pond called stronger ’you belong with us… let him go’…

Yet, driven between sheer lust and disgust she would wait for him every night, embracing his primitive body in her arms, knowing one of these days it would be the last time. It gave her power to decide when the time was right, when she finally would be sick enough of him, when she would be tired enough by his crude presence… It was her call to say ’Roy, no more… this was the last time’. Yes, it felt good.

Only the pond knew her thoughts. The black waters had a secret within as well, she was sure of that. It was deep, it was dark, it stank and yet she felt a magical presence within. It shared her sentiments towards Roy… sharing her loathing and yet her pleasure of playing with this commonplace boy… But for now, she was content with the bad feeling it gave her… ]

(c) Andréa Rayn 2012 – The novel ‘The Window To The Pond’ is out on Kindle

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