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Hello my wonderful and faithful readers! The moment someone of you have been waiting on for years has finally come! The next installment of Field of Bloom’s: Revelation. Now if you are new to the series I’d like to extend a very warm welcome. My stories take on a more realistic point of view rather than the typical happy go lucky ones that are all over the place. All stories are a complete work of fiction and any likenesses to persons, places, or events are coincidental. All persons in the story are over the age of eighteen. I want to thank you all for being so patient with me as I worked through some horrible times life decided to throw at me. I promise the next chapter will not take as long to come out. Okay, now that I got all that out of the way. The moment y’all have been waiting for is here. Sit back relax, grab a nice drink or snack as I present you…Field of Blooms: Revelation!
It’s been two months since Eric’s accident; with the injury to his ankle fully healed, he was back in the game. The barbeques and pool parties of summer are now a distant memory as everyone is starting to think about the holidays that are fast approaching. Things have been quiet around town aside from the normal mindless gossip. People have almost forgotten the horrific attack that happened only a few short months ago. To be completely honest, Austin was happy that things have gone back to normal. He hadn’t seen or heard anything more from the detectives; the kids in school seemed to have moved onto other dramas.
It was the first week of November and everyone was talking about the winter formal next week. Students were already planning their outfits and talking about who their date was going to be. Austin, and of course Eric, would be going together. Since he bailed out on Homecoming, he was going to make sure they went to this one.
“So, have you picked out what you’re going to wear for the formal?” Austin asked Becka as he sat on the bed.
“I have an idea but I’d like for my best friend to come dress shopping with me.” She grinned at him.
“When would you like to go?”
“If you’re not doing anything this weekend, we could hit up a few of the outlets in Atlantic City.”
“That sounds like fun! I haven’t been there in a long time.” Austin smiled.
That Saturday Becka picked Austin up and they headed down to the outlet stores. As with most shore towns during the winter months it wasn’t as busy, so they easily found a parking spot near the stores. It was a brutally cold and windy day as the breeze was coming off the ocean; it was a lot different feeling than a few months ago. The two of them went in and out of a few stores looking at the different style clothing.
“What do you think of this one?” She said as she walked out of the dressing room.
She was wearing a beautiful light blue strapless evening gown that flowed out down towards her feet.
“Now that is the dress for you!” Austin remarked admiringly as he sipped his hot chocolate.
“You don’t think it’s too simple?” She asked as she looked in the mirror.
“Not at all. Honestly, I think it fits you perfectly. There is just something about a nice simple evening gown.”
“Then I’ll get it.” She smiled.
After paying for the dress, they decided to grab some lunch at the Rain Forest Café which was one of Becka’s favorite places to eat. They talked about mindless gossip while they waited for their food to arrive.
“I heard that Jennifer McCloud is really trying hard to get votes for Winter Formal Queen.” Becka remarked as she put down her phone.
“When is she not trying to be queen of something?” Austin rolled his eyes. “I still think you should’ve entered.”
“Eh, that type of stuff isn’t for me. Now if it was rodeo queen, I would have been all over that.” They both laughed together, but Austin’s smile quickly faded. “Austin, what’s wrong?”
“I’m a little worried about the dance. I still get nervous around large groups of people and I don’t want to mess this up for Eric.”
“Try not to think like that. The best thing to do is have fun and not worry about other people.” Becka reassured him.
“You’re right. Just, what if I have an episode in the middle of the dance floor?”
“Well, you’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out what triggers you so just keep that in mind. You know that Eric and I will be right there with you so if, god forbid something does happen, we will get you out of there quickly. Besides, you know Eric; he doesn’t care about what the others think.”
Becka was right, Eric is a phenomenal boyfriend Austin thought to himself as a warmth came over him. “I really can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for me.”
“Awe darlin, that’s what best friends are for.” She smiled at him.
After lunch they decided it would be a good idea to head back since the weather had warned of a possible snow storm. As they were driving home the first few flakes of winter started falling slowly covering the landscape. By the time they made it to Austin’s house there was a good two inches of snow. Austin thanked Becka and made Fatih Escort his way inside shaking the snow off of his jacket. He kicked off his boots, walked into the living room and started a fire in the woodstove. As he was working on getting the fire started, his phone rang.
“Hey babe, how are you?” Austin asked as he fanned the small fire.
“I’m good. Did you guys have fun shopping?”
“Yeah we did and then we went to the Rain Forest café for lunch. How’s your day been going?”
“Eh, pretty boring besides practice for the Thanksgiving Day game. I was wondering if you’d like some company.”
Austin could hear the grin on Eric’s face. “Sure, I would love some.” He chuckled. “Mom and dad are working late tonight so it would be nice to have you here.”
“Okay, I’ll head over.”
“Please be careful, the roads are starting to get covered.”
“I will my superman. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Eric went over to his closet grabbing his lounge pants along with an old t-shirt and threw them in his bag. After cleaning the snow off the car, he headed towards Austin’s house. As he rounded a bend, he saw a car sitting on the side of the road right where Austin had been attacked. He noticed it wasn’t a detective car and thought it was odd that someone would stop there. Pulling up behind the car he noticed that it was James. His red hair and pale complexion really stood out in the falling snow. Eric grimaced noticing that James was standing in the exact spot that Austin had been found. James hadn’t even noticed that Eric had pulled up or that he was walking up behind him. It wasn’t until Eric spoke that he snapped out of his daze.
“James? Are you okay? What are you doing out here?” Eric asked.
“Oh, hey Eric. I was just looking at the woods all covered in snow.”
Something didn’t seem right about him, Eric thought to himself. “Are you sure you are okay?”
“Yeah, I just love the sound of falling snow in the woods. If you listen hard enough you can hear the trees whispering to each other, like they are telling secrets, secrets that only they know.”
That was a weird observation Eric thought. “Well, just be careful out here. They are saying this could be a bigger storm than first thought.”
Just as he turned to head back to his car James asked a question that really surprised him, “Hey how is Austin doing?”
He turned and looked at James, who was now looking back at him. “He has some bad days but he’s doing a lot better.”
With an oddly far away gaze, “I am sorry for what happened to him.” James said as he turned back towards the woods.
Now Eric was really confused. Until now James had never spoken a single word about Austin to him, positive or negative. Why now and why in the very spot that the attack had occurred? Thinking back, he realized that ever since the attack James had been acting differently around Austin or even whenever his name was brought up. And what was that look on James’s face? He never struck Eric as someone who was especially contemplative. As he drove towards Austin’s house, he tried to call Becka but she didn’t pick up. He decided that when he got to Austin’s he would shoot her a text, but before he even got there, she called him back. Quickly he explained what had just happened on the side of the road.
“Yeah I can see how strange that is. I mean of all places to stop and take in the sights; why that spot?”
“And he even asked how Austin was doing, something he has never done before.” Eric added.
“Hm, do you think he had something to do with the attack?”
“I really don’t know. He has never been the aggressive type, even on the field he’s not the one to take chances, much less takes charge. He has always been more of a follower than a leader.”
“People are full of secrets. Just because you think you know someone doesn’t mean they don’t have secrets.”
“You are right about that. I don’t know what to think about it. It doesn’t sit right with me though.”
“Look, I’m about to pull into Austin’s place. I’ll text you later, okay?”
“Okay that sounds good to me.”
When Eric walked in the living room, Austin could see that something was bothering him but when he asked, Eric said that everything was fine. He decided not to push whatever the issue was and just enjoy their time together.
“Did you hear the latest weather report?” Austin asked as he helped Eric take his jacket off.
“No, I didn’t. Is the storm going to dump more snow on us than they originally said?”
“Yeah, they just upped the totals. It looks like we could get up to twenty inches of snow.” Austin said with a smile on his face.
“You really do love the snow.” Eric laughed.
“Yes, I do. I love standing out in the field watching it fall and listening to the whispers.”
“The whispers?” Eric’s smile quickly faded away.
“Yeah the whispers. You’ve never noticed during a snow fall how it sounds like the wind is whispering? Like it’s sharing the secrets of the world.”
Austin was tending to the fire so Fatih Escort Bayan he didn’t see the look that came across Eric’s face when he said that. Now Eric’s brain cells were really firing off. Ever since the attack he’d been trying to piece the puzzle together, and now with James and Austin both talking about whispers of the wind, more pieces seemed to be fitting together. Eric had always wondered about James. He never had a girlfriend or even showed much interest towards females in general. There had been a few times in the locker room where he even thought he’d caught James looking at his junk. James wasn’t flamboyant but he also wasn’t dripping masculinity either. He wondered if there could be some type of connection between the two of them. He had an uneasy feeling about it all and he didn’t like it one bit.
“I have a great idea, let’s go take a walk and then you will see what I’m talking about.” Austin smiled.
“Okay, we can do that.” Eric responded not looking at Austin.
After putting on their winter clothes, they headed out the door, down the driveway and crossed the road into the woods. After walking for about five minutes Austin stopped and held Eric’s hand.
“Now, close your eyes and listen.” Austin said in a soft, wistful voice.
After a few moments Eric could hear what Austin was talking about. Between the light wind and the falling snow, he could hear the whispers in the forest.
“Doesn’t that sound like the forest is telling its secrets?”
“Yeah it does.” Eric said in a colder tone than he expected.
“Is everything okay?” Austin asked taking notice of the tone of voice.
“It’s just weird…”
“And beautiful.” Austin interrupted, smiling serenely.
“… until today, I have never heard anyone talk about whispering trees or snow. But now I have gotten it from two different people, two people in fact, who have nothing in common or even interact with each other.”
“What are you talking about?” Austin, clearly confused, questioned as he let go of Eric’s hand.
“It’s funny, I ran into James on the way over and he said something about the trees whispering during the snow, and now here you are saying almost the same thing word for word. Is there something you want to tell me Austin?” Eric glared.
Austin looked down at the freshly fallen snow, “Please don’t get mad.”
“I don’t think I like where this is headed.” Eric suddenly sounding gruff.
“Just promise this will stay between us. I made a promise that I would never tell anyone.”
Austin looked up at Eric but Eric didn’t speak, he just stared back with a raised eye brow.
“James and I dated for a little last school year…” Austin was cut off.
“Are you fucking serious?!” Eric’s voice was slightly muffled by the wind and falling snow.
“Yes I am. It started in August but we broke it off six months later, well I broke it off because he was too possessive.”
A few moments passed before Eric spoke up, “Wait a fucking second. If you broke up with him after six months that was right around the time we started dating. Were you fucking sleeping with the both of us?!”
“What? Oh my god no! We never slept together.”
“Yeah right Austin. You’re telling me that in six months you guys never fucked around. It was our second week dating and I was already inside you!”
“I’m telling you the truth, we never fucked, messed around yes but never fucked.” Austin said trying to calm Eric. “You were truly my first time. Really Eric, that was over well before you!”
“How am I supposed to believe that when you kept this secret from me?!” Eric yelled throwing his hands up.
“I made him a promise that I would never tell anyone he’s gay, just like I did for you.”
“You really didn’t just say that to me! It was your fucking choice! I didn’t hold a gun to your head and make you do that! So, don’t you ever fucking compare me to him!” Eric bellowed.
“Eric, please just calm down and let me …”
“I will not calm down Austin! Who else have you dated that I don’t know about?!”
“Eric please just let me…” Austin walked towards Eric.
Eric gripped him by the collar of his jacket, pushed him hard against a tree causing Austin to hit his head and snow to fall from the top. “Shut your lying mouth!”
“Eric you’re hurting me!” Austin gasped for air as he tried to break away.
Eric gripped harder before throwing Austin to the ground, “Let me fucking tell you something. We are DONE! From this moment on I want nothing to do with you! Don’t call, don’t text, don’t even breathe in my direction!”
Austin laid on the ground shaking as tears started to form in his eyes. His mind was spinning, his heart was racing, his vision blurred as the world around him changed. The snow changed to pine needles, dark gray sky turned into a star filled night and the cold air melted into a warmbreeze blowing past him. As his eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, he could see that he was standing in the middle of a forest.
Then, from behind him, he heard faint voices. He turned Escort Fatih around and made his way through the darkness until he could see a bright beam of light. As he got closer a nightmare started to unfold before his eyes. He saw himself on the side of the road facing four dark figures. He tried to run towards himself but an invisible force stopped him in his tracks. Watching in horror as the three larger figures moved in and started attacking him. He could feel every punch, kick and bone break as if he had returned to that specific moment in time. The screams echoed loudly through the forest; he felt the soreness of his throat from those screams.
Then, in a single moment, everything went dark. Time passed but he had no clue if twenty seconds or twenty minutes had gone by.
“You broke my heart…”
Austin tried to look but no one was there.
“You fucking broke my heart, you heartless son of a bitch. I loved you so much…” The voice trailed off.
He was left alone in the darkness. The invisible force released its grip on him as he felt the air turn cold, the snow returned and the world turned fromtotal blackness to dusk light. Slowly sitting up he noticed that the sky was nowhad grown dark and a lot more whitepowder blanketed the ground. Even though he was covered in snow his entire body was sweating. Carefully, he stood up as his head was spinning and his knees were weak; he felt drained.
Slowly trudging through the deep snow, he finally reached the edge of the woods. Looking up the driveway he saw that Eric’s car was gone and by the lack of tracks, it had obviously been awhile. Finally, making it to the safety of the house, he collapsed on the couch and tried to control his breathing.
Looking over at the clock he saw that it was well past five. They had gone for the walk around three so he had been laying out in the brutal cold for at least two hours. Thechill invaded his body as he felt every joint and muscle aching. He stripped completely out of his wet clothes, grabbed a blanket and made his way to the fireplace. Thankfully, it was an old, cast iron, wood stove that kept the heat well. He was relieved to see there was still a small fire going. After throwing on a few logs, he laid down in front of it to help fight off hypothermia.
The soft glow of the fire and the whistling wind outside carried him off to sleep. He slept for a few hours until a log popped inside the fireplace waking him up. Standing up, he wrapped the blanket tightly around him and made his way to the bathroom. When he flicked the bathroom light switch nothing happened. Looking around the dark he took notice that nothing was on, the power had gone out. Pulling the blanket closer he looked out the window and could see the blowing snow. The soft whispers had now turned into a cold roar.
Making it to the kitchen, he rummaged around in the junk drawer until he found a flashlight. Flicking it on, the beam was dim and weak. Well it’s better than nothing, he thought to himself as he made his way to his room. After putting on warmer clothes he went back down stairs and picked up his cell phone. Thankfully, he had left it on the charger so it had a full charge when the power went out. For a moment he thought about calling Eric but then he remembered what Eric had said told him.
He noticed that he had a new text message from his mom. She told him that the storm was now a Nor’easter and up to four feet was expected, they were going to stay at a local motel. He sent her a quick reply saying that he loved them and to be safe. He thought it was better not to mention the power outage, no need for them to worry and risk coming home. Not knowing how long the power was going to be out, he decided that he better get prepared the best he could. He knew it was going to be a long, cold, lonely night.
It was a long slow night for the people of Upper Deerfield. The storm had knocked out power to the majority of the homes and businesses. All over people where trying to keep warm as the nor’easter ravaged the area, tree limbs broke under the weight of the heavy snow, the wind piled up massive drifts that blocked the plows from getting through. By the next morning the snow showed no signs of stopping, and Austin was starting to get worried. He had so hoped that the wood he had in the house would outlast the storm. During the night the wind had blown the snow against the storm door preventing it from opening. The only room with some type of heat was the living room; the rest of the house was stone cold. Even the fireplace was having a hard time keeping the extreme arctic temperature at bay. He knew, if the fire went out, he would be in real trouble. There was no way of getting out for help. He just hoped and prayed that the storm would be over soon. Every hour he would turn his cell phone on for a few minutes to see if any new messages came through; by this point, the phone was at thirty percent. He turned it off, placed it back on the table and huddled closer to the fire. Looking at the eight logs he had left he knew that they were not going to last through the night. He shivered in realization that he had no choice but to find a way to force open the storm door, brave the elements and get more. The wood pile was nearly a hundred feet from the back door, behind the shed under a tarp. Not so far that he worried he couldn’t make it, but a bitter thought none the less.
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