The Forest

For one of the first times in her life, Emily felt sick; not stomach bug sick, just in general, sick. She didn’t want the burden of knowing that, inevitably, she was going to find out things that she really didn’t want to. She didn’t want to see Michael at school. Or anywhere else to be quite honest. She didn’t even want to see Sally. All she wanted was for her Mother to give her one of those hugs that make everything alright. No matter how big or small the problem, Emily’s Mother’s hugs fixed it.


She knew that she couldn’t escape Michael, and the fact that she felt intrigued by secrets that on the surface she didn’t want to find out, scared her. Maybe that was why when Michael walked in the classroom, her mind screamed profanities at him, but her posture was turned towards him. She would let him tell her things; she decided and let the chips fall where they may.

How bad could things possibly get? What was the worst that could happen?


“Hi,” She glanced up at him. “I didn’t realise, no of course.” She put her Blackberry mobile back in her school bag.

“Hi. Who was that?” He wanted to know, his mood suddenly shifting to a black one.

“Nothing for nosies” She turned her back on him.

“I have to know.” He gritted his teeth.

“Erm, well, erm… He’s called Trevor.” She stuttered because frankly, Michael was scaring her.

“Tell him you have no need of his services.” Surely there was some hidden meaning here? Something that Michael wasn’t going to tell Emily.

She didn’t see why she should, seeing as Trevor had been nothing but lovely towards her since Year Seven. Unless it was a plot. No! Now she was starting to think like Michael. This was bad news.


She sat in silence, pondering what Michael might know, or, have theories about, for the rest of the lesson. She thought that she had Michael pretty much summed up (trouble, full stop), but it turned out that he went a lot deeper than that, as Emily was about to find out.

She continued the silent treatment through second period, until curiosity got the better of her.

He had to tell her. The whole truth. Today. Nothing else ran through his mind as much in that second period than that, and especially when he was supposed to be concentrating on vital things like not burning his fingers off with a Bunsen burner.


He led her out to the forest again, through the rain-soaked grass, to where the leaves seemed to form a canopy overhead.

“I want you to tell me if you believe me or not. But I don’t want you to run away, screaming, either.” He looked her dead in the eye.

“Okay.” She agreed, not knowing what this would entail.

“You know when Eve broke her leg last term?” He smiled, wryly.

“Everyone thought you pushed her, but she fell.” She emphasised the last word.

“Yes; hold on to that thought.” He chuckled, somewhat hysterically.

“Okay, be bold. Don’t lead up to it. Just say what you have to.” Emily tried to be patient.

“Here it is: I’m not human.” He looked at his hands, giving Emily time to compose her face.

“Actually, I believe you. It feels like I already knew. You don’t seem normal. You never did. You never seemed real, either.” She grimaced, admitting the truth, which he appreciated.


He’d never said what he was, just that he wasn’t human. He might even be a Martian. That would explain the bright light in her Mother’s room that night.

This was when she passed out. It was true that she had forgotten to take her insulin supplements that morning, but the stress and relief all combined made her lose consciousness. And it was all Michael’s fault, and did he know it!


Michael didn’t know what to do. He thought he should go and seek a teacher’s help but that would mean bother of them getting punished for truancy. He then thought about seeking help from a higher source, but decided against it for two reasons: a) he would get into trouble for being alone with her, which was strictly forbidden, and b) he didn’t doubt that they already knew and were watching his every move. They were, after all, omniscient.


The End

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