Growing up, Arabella was quite the playful child. She always loved being the centre of attention - being the only child that she was. She was doted upon by all of her aunts and uncles - seven aunts and four uncles, and that was just from her mother's side. Her childhood was a typical but spectacular time. The tickle of her fathers stubble against her forehead when he kissed her good night, bouncing on her mother's hip - because they were dancing - and her cousins. She felt like she had hundreds of cousins that she would always play with after school, stay up all night with, all the standard child stuff. Her grandfather had a cabin out in the woods - perfect setting for a horror film, of course - and she always remembered having ghost hunts with them, not being able to sleep for weeks after.
It wasn't until she was about ten that things got... weirder. And scarier. Definitely scarier. One day, she was out playing with her cousins - as per usual - when they got to a place where they shouldn't have been staying. Her mother always warned her about being careful around ledges. She was playing hide and seek, found the greatest hiding spot - because she only settled for the greatest - and stayed there hiding. She noticed the group coming her way, looking but not finding. A huge grin on her face, she bit her lip to stop the giggles from bubbling out and moved out towards the end of the branch. She didn't realise until too late that the branch was fragile, unstable.
She didn't realise until too late that it snapped.
She could tell you exactly what she was feeling, how the weather was, what the smells were like, everything. She fell and she could hear screams - she couldn't tell if they were her screams or her cousins screams, but she could see them looking her way; terrified. First a single tear slid down her face, then a second and a third. Her breathing had slowed almost to a stop and she closed her eyes, wishing that time would stop; awaiting the ground that would...