Aiden: Searching For... Tree Sap??

Great; for all we know, we could be in the forest for hours - even days - before we find the next map. We set off towards the forest and were about to walk in to start, when I had a brainwave.

"Ro! I've got some string in my bag. We can tie it to a tree so we can always find out way back!" I said, slinging the bag off my shoulder and digging out the ball of string.

"Nice thinking. For once you're not being the idiot you usually are." Rosie replied, a playful smile on her face.


"I'm only kidding! You're not that bad... For a boy." She repeated the well-known phrase.

"Why thank you. You're not too bad for a girl either. At least you're not one of the ones who has to 'redo my makeup every 30 seconds'!" I imatated the last part in a girly voice, and Rosie laughed, thanking me. After tieing the string to a strong tree trunk, we set off, me with the string and Rosie with the key. After a while of wandering through the forest with all the trees looking exactly the same, I realised what the first step was.

"Hey, Ro? Do we actually know what we're looking for?"

"Not particularly. But I guess we're looking for a small keyhole in the middle of a tree." She said, the put her hand in her pocket and dug around, her face getting more and more desperate.

"I definitely had the key, right?"

"Rosie! Now you're the idiot! You lost the key!" I said, almost as a statment, not a question, but Ro nodded anyway.

"Well, it's a good job you thought of the string idea, eh? Come on." She said, and turned back the way we came. After following the string for what felt like hours, I finally came across it, buried deep in the grass.

"Rosie! I've found it!" I picked it up as she came running over. I put in my pocket with a dramatic movement - making sure it was clear that I was keeping hold of it - and Rosie rolled her eyes, grinning. With the key in my zipped pocket and the ball of string in my hand, we set off. For the second time. We we walking quite slowy, this time checking all the trees for secret keyholes. We thought we'd come across it many times, but, to our dismay, the key wouldn't fit.

Then, when the sun was just setting, we came across a different tree. It's trunk was a kind of golden brown, with the branches leaning off it perfectly. The leaves were a bright green, very lively compared to the khaki green of the rest of the forest. It almost had a glow, or and aura, around it. We looked at it, gaping, then glanced at each other and thought the same thing. This is the one! We ran up to it, as I pulled out the key. We frantically searched it and finally Rosie came across it, hidden within the bark.

"Aiden! I've found it! Aiden! Come here!" She shouted, as I sprinted over. I saw a keyhole made of brass or gold, outlined in silver. Praying to myself, I slot the key into the keyhole and turned it. I nearly stopped breathing, as did Ro.

The golden brown bark slid down silently, whilst the keyhole with the key inside it moved upwards. Together they revealed... darkness. A dark hole.

"Well... That was unexpected." Rosie said.

"Yeah well, look back at what's got us here. You shouldn't be that surprised." I said, although I couldn't exactly relate to my words. I looked at her, then lay on the grass on my stomach, and hesitantly reach in.

Please don't let there be anything bad. Only a map, only a map!

I felt something hard and cold, but it was only a wall of some sort. I felt my way around the wall, and noticed it was a circular shape. Then I realised - it was a tunnel!

"Uhh... Ro? It's a tunnel."

"What? A tunnel? That can't be right - let me try." She put emphasis on the "me" as though she can do so much better just because she's a girl. I rolled my eyes at her and reluctantly moved. Rosie came in my place in the same position and reached in. I wasn't worried or anything, just a bit... nervous. In case she found something else. I gazed around and looked up to a clear sunset. It was mezmerizing.

"Yeah, it is and tunnel." Ro said, putting me out of my daydream.

"Huh? Oh yeah, told you so! Anyway, it's getting late, so shall we camp out for tonight and go down tomorrow?"

"Yeah, lets. You do have two tents, right?" She asked, climbing back up.

"Two? No! I guessed you'd bring your own!"

"Aarghh, well, I'm not sleeping with you."

"Ditto." I agreed. After a silence I had an idea.

"How about one of us has the tent, and the other one makes a bivouac. Take your pick." I said.

"I'll have the bivouac! I love those!" She said, surprising me. I took the key from the tree and watched it slide back down. Of course, Ro had already started on her bivouac, and she doing a fine job of it, too! I quickly put up my one-man-tent, then went to collect firewood. When I'd got a decent amount to last us the night, I trampled back, to find Rosie in the bushes, pulling out some loose sticks and leaves. I made a rough stand for the food to balance on over the top of where the fire was going to be, then lit it.

I  pulled out my food supplies and chose some sausages, bacon, beans and eggs. Luckily, it was all still fresh.I pulled off some relatively clean sticks from the tree and skewered on the sausages and bacon, then balanced them against the stand.

"Hey Ro! You got a pan?" I called, and got a muffled yes for an answer. I grabbed Ro's bag a rumaged through it, but luckily the pan was near the top. I got the oil from my bag (yes, I had oil) and poured a bit in. I cracked the eggs in and stood the pan up on the stand. I lay down on the grass and stared up into the night sky, getting mesmerized all over again. Man, I was tired.

The End

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