I stood staring at the place I had once loved the most. The stream, its crystal clear water, it oval-shaped flat rocks, the lively fishes swimming tirelessly in it, the birds circling the sky, the mysterious green mist of the forest.
The mysterious green mist, I thought bitterly. The shadows of the forest which had once fascinated me had seemed to have gobbled up three pieces of my precious life.There was a feeling of incompleteness, emptiness and ennui.
I was going inside the forest to come back with my three friends. But if I don’t find them in the forest, I will never come back again. I will eat some poisonous plant and die.
So, my plan was pretty fixed, I took a deep breath and started walking among the trees. The forest was pretty clear at the start but it got dense and mushy as it had rained last night.
I spent a few hours searching for Dave, Cody and Miranda. I called out their names but it were the birds who replied in squawks.
But then I came across something which made me skip a heartbeat. It was Miranda’s bracelet. I had given it to her some time ago. It had ‘Best Friends’ engraved on it. But I couldn’t see the engraving any longer. The bracelet was heavily scarred and scratched and it even had blood on it!
I clutched the bracelet tightly until my palms hurt. What was Miranda’s bracelet doing here in the middle of the forest? Whose blood was smeared on it? Was it Miranda’s?
With every passing second, I grew more frantic. I ran still deeper into the forest, calling out Miranda’s name wildly. I didn’t care about Cody anymore. I didn’t care about Dave anymore. I was just worried about Miranda.
The forest didn’t prove to be beautiful and fascinating like it had been before. Soon my jeans and shirt were torn in places, I had banged my knees several times and I had big thorns in my bleeding feet.
I grew exhausted as slowly dusk took over daylight.
I won’t give up, I told myself. I had lost the directions and was wandering aimlessly in the forest. Crying and tired, I slumped onto the forest floor.
As I lay there, several thoughts crossed my exhausted mind. I hadn’t informed anyone that I was going to the forest. No one will have the slightest idea where I am.But I was feeling very thirsty and was longing for food. There were no streams in the forest, only one at the edge of it, the one I knew.
I secretly wished someone would come in a helicopter and pick me up but I wasn’t going to go without Miranda.
I staggered to my feet, fighting into consciousness. But the energy I had left drained and I fell down hard on the floor incapacitated and I fell asleep.
When I woke up, I was in a small, dingy, raw, concrete structure. There was no light there, just complete darkness. I felt something move beside me.
“Who is there?” I asked my voice cracking.
“Welcome here, Rikki.” The voice replied sarcastically.