My name is Katherine White, and I live in the boring little town of Everwood. Nothing interesting ever happens in Everwood, and that’s a calculated choice of the people. The founders of this town trekked out, as far into the deep dark woods as they could, and there they built their homes to keep out prying eyes. The founders of this town built a wall around the town to keep out the dangers of the woods. The founders of this town crafted locks and curtains and walls to keep each other out. Everwood is distant. Everwood is secretive. Everwood is lost in its own dark desire to be alone, and anyone who rejects those notions is rejected by Everwood.
I am among the outcasts, along with my sisters, Jezebel and Pricilla. We all reject the distant, loner mentality of the town we were born into. None of us cause enough trouble to earn banishment. None of us conform enough to be accepted. We’re all simply resented and shunned, and we all handle it in our own ways.
During the day, the three of us attempt to behave ourselves in a socially acceptable manner. We keep a tolerably impersonal channel of small talk open with our neighbors when we socialize in the market. We maintain our little log cabins, keeping them pristine, but never open, always closed off – closed windows, closed doors, closed curtains… closed… distant… lonely… boring… Everwood…
Weather… it’s always the weather with these people. The weather has been the same in this town for twenty years. Yes, it’s rainy season. I get it.
“Yes, the weather is terrible today… and a new moon too… It’s going to be dark early tonight…” I muttered my response to the little old woman who was managing the booth I was shopping at.
She nodded in response, her stoic face never faltering in the slightest. There was not even a hint of emotion on her face. It would have been unsettling if I wasn’t so used to it. Even the more open town’s people kept their guard up around me these days. Such is the life of an outcast, I suppose…
I moved away from her booth, and headed toward the tree that stood at the center of the town. The names of the town founders had all been carved into the side of the tree. Two names caught my eye, as they always did: Joseph and Anna White… my parents… They would be so disappointed if they could see me now.
It wasn’t a tear that rolled down my cheek. It was a drop of water that fell onto my face from the tree. It was the rain. I don’t cry for them. I don’t miss them. I’m not sorry that they wouldn’t have been proud of me. I am who I am, and I don’t regret a thing.
I turned away from the tree. I wiped the offending drop of water from my face. I spotted my sister watching me from across the square, and I decided to go talk to her. She retreated down the alley between the smithy and the bakery, and I followed her.
“Jezebel…” I whispered into the darkness when I didn’t see her standing there.
She stepped back around a stack of crates and motioned for me to follow. I glanced over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching, not that I would have cared if anyone had been. I sauntered down the alley, and disappeared behind the crates as well.
“There’s a storm coming.” Jezebel warned me.
“Perhaps you should stay in tonight.” I suggested to my older sister.
“Not that kind of storm…” Jezebel shook her head, there was a dark despair written in her warm brown eyes.
“What kind of storm?” I questioned, my brows drew together in concern.
“Something is going to happen… tonight… Don’t go out tonight…” she whispered to me.
I suddenly noticed how disheveled she looked, and how desperately she’d tried to hide it. Her fiery red hair was mess, but she’d attempted to hide that by pulling it back in a braid. Her deep brown eyes where bloodshot and punctuated with dark bags. Her dress was wrinkled. Her hands were shaking.
“Are you alright?” I questioned as I took in her tattered appearance.
“If you see Pricilla, tell her to stay in too.” She muttered, and the she quickly darted away.
She left me there… alone… stunned… My heart was pounding in my chest. Jezebel’s warning left me rattled and shaky. Panic surged in my chest. Something was coming…
If my parents had been alive, they’d have been disappointed in me, and I was only just getting started… I knew something was coming. I was going to be a part of it… But why did Jezebel know about it?