Today I met someone. Despite the fear of getting lost I traveled farther in to the wood than I ever have before, until the canopy of branches made the forest floor dark as evening and until the tree trunks were so big that me and my brothers together couldn't reach around the entire thing. I was looking for the most perfect tree, or more specifically, the most perfect branch, to sit on and read my book; my book is about an underground prison.
I was pondering how terrible it would be to have to live underground for one's entire life, and to never see the stars or the sky, or breath fresh air, when I looked up and saw a boy sitting on a tree branch a ways away. He was crouched over with a staff in one hand. For a wild second I thought of saying hello, and then reality broke through and all the fears of being lost hit me all at once in a single instance, and with it, fear for this strange boy. I wondered if I could run home from here. Would I have to retrace my steps or could I sprint the whole way, hoping that my tree didn't catch on a tree root, or that I didn't get lost, or that he didn’t chase after me? The panic of all the possibilities of things that could possibly go wrong were knocking on my heart's door in the form of a pulse, beating at a faster tempo each moment that I let fearful thoughts flourish in my mind, until my worries vanished.
A closer look at the boy told me that he could not see me at all, his gaze was else ware. I knew I could escape in that moment. I would go home and never enter the wood again. My days of adventuring were over. I was climbing down the tree a minute later, which was a rather large tree by the way, thinking about how childish it was of me to come all the way out here in the first place, when the branch I had just trusted with my lower body weight snapped at the point where it met the tree trunk. There was not even a stump left for me to gain balance on. Luckily my hands still had a firm grasp on the branch above me. I clung to it as tight as I could and tried to climb up, but the jolt had left my arms weak.
I hung helplessly as I heard the broken branch hit it's brothers on it's way to the ground. Then, above me, by about 20 feet, I saw a girl. She looked a tad younger than me with a mess of hair and a dirt-covered face. I was not scared of her as I was of the boy. "Help me!" I shouted without a second thought, as I felt my fingers slowly losing grip. I don't quite know if she understood my words or she could just tell that I was falling, but either way, she expertly leapt from branch to branch down to me and rested, not on the branch above me, but the one below me. I felt small hands gently grasp my ankles as she slowly guided me feet to the nearest branch that could support my weight. Now that I recall, this was very smart of her, seeing that, because she was smaller than me, she probably couldn't have had the strength to pull me up onto the branch that I was holding onto.
When I am safe on the lower, sturdy branch I realized how scared I was of falling a moment before, and reached my arms as far around the tree trunk as they would go and didn’t open my eyes for a long while. When I opened them the girl was long-gone. I climbed very carefully down the rest of the tree and began the walk home. I knew even then that I would come back the next day.
I was later that same week that I came back to my reading tree. I trudged though the forest; the sound of my shoes breaking twigs wasthe loudest noise. I was not carrying a book this time. My one goal was to find the boy and girl that I had seen the last time. I walked through the forrest, but it seemed less mycsterious this time. I wasnt nurvious walking deeper into it this time, knowing that no matter I walked into it, I could always turn arround and find my way out.
I could not find the path I had taken before. Was it futher on? Did I pass it? What was I missing? There was no big trees this time. I wandered for hours; there was nothing. Defeated, I reluctantly returned home