The Forest


Lucia found herself sitting in the forest, clutching her traveller's clothing in her arms and thinking that the spell the old woman had recited had been structured terribly, if you were looking at the grammar.

Then she realized that she was cold, and immediately struggled into the clothes, pulling the chainmail vest on with surprising ease. It had looked a bit hard to get into, but once she pulled it on it was easy for her. Did she wear it often? Why didn't she have a weapon if she had chainmail? Could she even use a weapon?

Lucia reached into the pockets of her clothes, and found a small purse filled with gold, silver and red coins. Well, she had means to stay somewhere. But where was she? Lucia looked around the forest, hoping to see something familiar, but saw nothing but trees and the occiasional bird or squirrel.

Walk northwest for twenty minutes, and you will find a great city.

Those had been the words of the old woman. . . .Yacama, if Lucia remembered correctly. She sighed as she asked yet another question: which way was northwest? And what would this great city be like?

An odd sound, hollow sound forced her to turn around, and she gasped.

A rock was floating in the air, as if it were weightless.

Lucia blinked, rubbed her eyes, then looked again. It was a rock. . . .and a weirdly-shaped one at that. Desperately hoping that she wasn't crazy, Lucia crossed the short distance to where the rock hovered, and gently poked it, nudging it away from her.  The rock moved forward a few inches, so that it was in the same place it had been before, at the height of her shoulder. Lucia pushed it aside and stepped forward, and jumped as the rock bumped her shoulder.

"Strange." she said, staring at the floating rock. "What's holding you up, I wonder?"

The rock moved up so that it was level with her ear, then dropped back to it's original position.

Lucia shook her head. This had to be a weird dream. On instinct, she decided to test something.

"Move up for yes and down for no, and side to side for maybe. Did you just move up to seconds ago?" she demanded, mentally kicking herself for talking to a floating rock.

After a small pause, the rock moved up to Lucia's eye level, then back down.

"Are you floating on your own?"

The rock moved down so it was in line with her elbow, then back up to her shoulder.

"Is there something or someone keeping you up?"

The rock moved up to her eye level, then back down.

Lucia waved her hand above the rock, ruling out some form of invisible string. "Can you show me how you're floating?"

The rock moved up to her eye level, then back down.

"Will you?"

The rock moved from side to side a few times.

"There's a city about twenty minutes northwest from here. Will you take me there?"

The rock moved up to here eye level, then back down.

There was one more question. Lucia took a deep breath, then asked the rock:

"Did I run into you by accident?"

There was a pause, then the rock moved up to here eye level and back down.

The End

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