"What do you mean by that, Milly." Mr Del queried on. Milly just stood fidgeting without words.
"Are you sure you've checked everywhere?" He added and she nodded in response. Her mind running wild, overwhelmed with fear.
"When was the last time you saw her ?" He continued so to be sure where to start the search from.
Milly stared thoughtfully with a blank look as she reflected on their tour. Mr Del and the rest gazed expectantly at her.
"Yes –yes, at the entrance to the forest before we returned here ." She instinctively stuttered, completing her words in a single breath. The few students who had also noticed her earlier on broke in harmonious chatters in approval of what Milly had just said. .
"Great, then we'll start from there, then." Mrs Ann's voice echoed. "The rest of the students should move back to their rooms. Mr. Del and I with the forest guides will go in search of her while the rest of the teachers stay with the students." She hastily added.
Mr Del and Mrs Ann quickly trod off. The place was thrown into rumpus afterwards. With the kids mumbling over the incident with panic.
"Calm down, kids. Everything will be alright, no need to panic – Come on, let's move back to our rooms." One of the teacher's voice eluded.
They calmly followed the teachers as they lead the way.
It was almost 6pm when Mr Del, together with Mrs Ann, Miss Bambie and the rest of the tour guide arrived at the entrance of the forest. The woods seemed a bit denser, enveloped with an unexpected fog and coupled with the gloomy/ granite sky and its threatening clouds. The wind rustling through the trees and the frosty air emitting from the woods sent unforgiving and bone- chilling cold through the atmosphere; sending an unforgettable chill down one's spine, giving off a sense of goosebumps drifting through the air.
They shivered, letting out a faint chilled breath as they struggled to overcome the numbing cold piercing into their bones.
"The woods seems unexpectedly cold today." Miss Bambie expressed, her breath shivering as she rubbed her hands over her arms. "Alright, so let do it this way– we'll be in two groups so the search will be much easier and faster. Mr. Del and I with two of the other guides will go this way." She explained, pointing to a route at the right leading through the forest. "And Mrs Ann and the three of you, Mr. Nash, Gabby and Celine will take the left route. Any group which finds her first should just blow the whistle, the rest will join in. Hope we're all good."
She queried and they all nodded their approval.
"Great, let's move it now. It's getting darker," she eluded, leading the way as she flashed her flash light through the woods. Mr. Del slowly followed suit with the other two guides. Mrs Ann and her group also took their route.
Back in the deep woods, Irianda's eight years old little mind could no longer comprehend what was going on. Though the woods were getting colder and colder, she wasn't feeling it. The only thing she felt was the strange feeling in her body which was unusual. From nowhere, she could hear wild noises from miles away and sense the smell of other creatures from far apart. Everything was happening so fast and suddenly.
Confused and scared of what was going on, she instinctively crouched beneath one of the trees, covering her ears with her hands whiles her heart thumped faster. She didn't even notice when the bright full moon crept out from the clouds, shedding it's light through the woods.
From nowhere, she heard a loud howling sound of a wolf which sent shivers down her spin. She instinctively closed her eyes, covering her ears tighter with her hands while she bowed her head downward.
Instantly, she felt a very strong aura around her. She slowly opened her eyes to see a blue glowing light like fireflies frozen around her in the entire forest like there was no presence of gravity.
Irianda stared in awe as she slowly got to her feet. At that moment, her chestnut colored eyes instantly turned blue.
Before she knew what was going on, her jeans trousers coupled with a tank top and a jacket wrapped around her waist transformed into a white knee level straight dress then from nowhere, nine white tails sprouted from her back. "Wh–what's happening to me?" She grumbled mentally to herself.
Subconsciously, Irianda wished she could stop what was happening to her but there was no way she could do that. "Why am I like this?" She seek answers but couldn't get any.
Suddenly, she could hear the woods talking to her. The leaves, flowers and all other creatures all talking at a go, causing quiet a rumpus.
She swiftly lurked around, nothing was adding up. Out of panic, she let out a loud cry which filled the woods then she blacked out.
From a distance, the search teams heard her cry. It was quite strange though. "Did you hear that?" Mr. Del muttered.
"I think it's from that direction." Miss Bambie pointed out.
"Come on, let's go." Mr. Del uttered and they dashed off through the woods.
After few distance of running, they found Irianda lying motionless in the middle of the woods, back to her former self. "Irianda?" Miss Bambie muttered and they rushed over to her. Soon, the other team also joined them.
Mr. Del hurriedly wrapped her in his arms and they rushed off.
In a modern but simple decorated and furnished room was a chestnut young lady in her mid thirties, shuffling to and fro with a phone glued to her ear.
She looked quite edged with agitation written all over her face. "What did I even do? How could I forget something like this?" She muttered to herself.
She was still with her thoughts when a voice called from behind. "Mandy, any news from them." Lisa, Mandy's good friend questioned as she neared her.
"Not yet." She answered. "I just hope my daughter is fine. Just look," She rushed over to the table seated in the center of the room, picking up a calendar. "I monitored everything so well. How could I just forget on the last day? Today is a full moon and Irianda's eighth birthday. Everything will start developing Lisa. My daughter might be feeling scared and devastated right now." She cried.
They were still talking when a call came in. Mandy hastily answered without checking the caller, knowing perfectly whom it might be from.
"Alright, I will be there soon." She uttered after few seconds of being on the phone and hanged up. "I need to go now." She said to Lisa.
"I'm coming with you." Lisa said and they rushed out of he house.