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FREE WRITE!!! Here is my Awesome free write that I started at the beginning of the year. I haven’t had a chance to finish it yet… so… yeah! BTW, you don’t have to finish reading all of it!


Prologue The water rose higher and higher. Soon it was two yards tall, three feet in diameter, and sparkling like a thousand diamonds. I stared at it in wonder. I closed my eyes afraid of what would happen next. There was a small whoosh and tiny bell like tinkle as something hits the ground. When I looked up I saw something that was a legend to me minutes before. For before me now stood the most beautiful creature that I had ever seen. It’s hooves silver and tinkled like little bells whenever it moved. The horn spiraled until it ended in a sharp point. The mane rippled like liquid light as a breeze blew past. It was a… unicorn! It motioned for me to put my hand on it’s back. I hesitated a little; I didn’t want to harm such a delicate creature. The unicorn swished its tail in impatience. I reached my hand over and I realized that it was shaking slightly. The white beast tilted forward making my hand slide smoothly up to its head. Now my quaking hand rested quietly in between its ears. I finally gather enough courage to stroke its muzzle. After I did so I rested my hand in the same spot. The unicorn spoke two words to me when I did, “Help us.” Then galloped off into the night, soon beyond my sight. Chapter 1—The Chase “Diana, Diana, hurry get up, they’re coming!” Lizzie shakes Diana harder every second. “Diana, Diana,” Lizzie’s cries become more desperate. Her face has sweat coating it and her wavy mouse brown hair is quivering with fear. “Huh? What’s the matter?” Diana answers, getting up on her feet lightning fast, her strawberry-blond hair whips her face as she turns around. “They’re coming!!!” “Who?” “HUNTERS,” Diana spits, though there is some contempt, fear is what mostly shows. “Hurry, grab the bags, good thing we packed last night, planning to move at first light. Get up on Horse, let’s go!” “How close do you think they are?” “Judging by their foot steps, only about 100 yards… keep Horse going,” Diana says harshly handing Lizzie the reins, “I’m gonna see if I can get a better guess!” Dianna turns her body so that she is now sitting sidesaddle. Swiveling her head she stares long and hard at the dark ally where the

sounds of horses galloping fills the air. The crunching of trash and cans from underneath the horses hooves make it a lot more complex to hear, but some how she manages. After a while the rough shapes of men and horses appear, both drenched in sweat. “Hurry her on, they’re gaining-“ “I got her going as fast as possible.” “Shhhhhhhh,” Diana hushes Lizzie, and checks behind them again. “Alright, get off the horse.” “Wha-“ “You heard me, get off the horse!” “OOOOK, if you say so…” Lizzie and Diana jump off the horse and collapse on the soft green grass. Landing lightly they carefully look back at the city they escaped from. Diana motions for Lizzie to follow her and they run deeper through the waving grassy plain and soon make it to the edge of a woods. Quietly Lizzie puts her hand out and stops Diana, putting her finger lightly on her lips she cocks her head back from where they had come from. After a minute or so, she whispers, “I think they’ve passed.” They each let out a long slow breath and take a look at their surroundings. “We should go back and see if Horse stopped. If so, we can ride her through the woods and make up for the lost time,” Diana says. “Alright, alright, let’s just get out of this mess of a forest!” Lizzie says. “Shhhhhh, we still have to whisper even if they have possibly left us along. Thanks to you we might get caught now!” “Oh, sorry, now if you don’t mind, I’d like to know why you think the hunters are going to leave us alone if you get off the horse,” Lizzie states matter-a-factly. “Duh! If Horse is smart enough to keep going and pretends we are still on her, then the hunters will follow the horse. Once they catch up, it’ll be too late for them to turn back and find us easily!” “Now I see you reasoning, but how will we know when they have found Horse and are coming back?” Lizzie queries. “Wellllll, that’s the only draw back about my plan,” Diana says smiling sheepishly. “There’s nothing we can do now, Horse is probably gone, and the hunters have left also, we might as well just move deeper in to the forest and hope we don’t run into any of them!” “Alright, I agree, it is our only way to go… safely!” Little did either of them know that at that very moment the hunters were eavesdropping and hanging on every word. They were too smart to fall for such a small hoax. The next morning Diana and Lizzie woke up very early, just before the rising sun. Then gathering their belongings they set a quick pace

through the unknown woodland. Unusually colored birds sing in the trees and beautiful flowers brighten up the dull brown leaves covering the floor. “Do you still want to get out of, ‘this mess of a woods,’” Diana inquires as they push on through the thick bushes and plants. “Hehe, not exactly, but I still would rather be in a warm bed and having something normal for breakfast instead of some unfamiliar plant that is possibly poisonous. “Hey, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to eat, and it doesn’t taste that bad!” “OK, I admit it, that flower didn’t taste as bad as I was expecting, but it could have been better!” “Wait a minute…” Diana silences Lizzie with one quick movement of her hand. “Shhhh, I think I just heard something from behind us.” The two sisters stand still and listen carefully, suddenly a twig snaps! “Was that you?” they ask each other in union. “I don’t think that was either of us. The sound came from that wa-“ Diana is silenced by Lizzie. “Shhhhhh! Let’s go have a look!” They quietly tip toe over to the area the sound came from, making their way in a small circle around they listen for any sign of humans. Getting nearer they suddenly are able to make out some whispering. “I thought I told you to stop, I just knew you were going to cause trouble! Why did she send you with us any way? You useless brat!” “Sorry Cap’n, I was just trying to be helpf-“ “You are no use if you don’t obey orders! One more wrong move and you are getting out of my sight forever!” “Si-sir, I think we can go now, they haven’t shown any sign of hearing us.” “That’s why we can’t go, they are probably sneaking around here at this very moment, so let’s just stay put until we hear them getting on the move and leaving this place! I wouldn’t mind leaving here myself, if it hadn’t been her who sent us. When she asks you to do something, she wants it done, and done quick.” Diana motions for Lizzie to follow her back through the forest. “I have a really good idea! They think we don’t know about them yet, so we could pretend we are-“ Lizzie cuts Diana off in her excitement. “That is exactly what I was thinking, let’s go get our stuff and have a really loud conversation about leaving and continuing our journey the-“ “Then one of us could go in the front and make a lot of noise so they would think it was both of us, and then one of us could go behind and find out what they are up to and how to get rid of them!” “Hey, that was my idea!” Lizzie exclaims!

“’Great minds think alike!’ Now come on, let’s get this job done!” Diana whispers. “Who do you think is best at making noise?” “Obviously me!” “Great, you go at the front and make enough noise for both of us, but not too much, because then they’ll become too suspicious! I’ll take the back and listen carefully. It’s good to know your enemy and their weaknesses before you attack!” Lizzie and Diana quietly separate and take their places. Diana raises one finger to her lips, then once she finds a good hiding spot, she brings it down, and Lizzie starts the commotion. “Alright Diana, let’s get moving, we don’t want the hunters to catch up and find our foot prints just because we are too lazy! I’ll take the bags so you can have free hands to pick up edible plants along the way. I tell you, I sure am hungry this morning!” Lizzie loudly picks up their packs and clumsily strolls forward. Meanwhile in the background quiet sniggering of the hunters are heard by Diana. “Hehe, see, I told you Cap’n! They don’t have a clue about us, and there’s no way they’ll be able to find out now that I know how and when to be quiet!” “If you really think so, then you would shut your mouth this very moment!” Cap’n mutters under his breath. “Eh, what was that Cap’n? I think my hearing’s getting worse!” “I said, let’s get moving before we loose them!” “Well, there’s no way we can, with all that racket they’re making!” Lizzie glances back at Diana making sure she’s making enough noise. Diana brings her finger down a little bit. Lizzie can tell that she thinks there is too much racket. She gives a small nod of her head and lowers the noise. There is such a small change that you would need very good ears in order to hear that. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the one called Cap’n had. “Did you hear that you scum bag?” “Huh? What Cap’n?” “Didn’t you notice that the noise level just got slightly quieter?” “Not exactly Cap-“ “Not exactly, not exactly? The answer to this question is either a yes or a no you idiot!” “Of course Cap’n! Sorry Sir! To be truthful, well…” “Spit it out!” “No!” “Gosh, what has gotten into you? I tell you one thing, we need to get closer and see what is really going on!” Lizzie looks back again and Diana makes the dead sign across her throat. Lizzie nods her head acknowledging knowing that Diana means if she doesn’t do something soon, they’ll get caught. The she starts up another long conversation.

“Oh, you think you saw something off that way? OK, you go ahead, keep walking though, then we will be able to meet near each other! See you soon!” Lizzie lowers the sound level quite a bit. Striding forward she pushes her way through the thick vegetation. Chapter 2—Lost “Ugh, why did I even think about running away? That is just about the stupidest idea I could ever think of!” I carefully pull my light blond hair out of my fair face and scan the horizon. “There’s not a tree for miles and miles and not a single well or drop of water in sight! How am I supposed to survive when my feet are about to drop off from exhaustion, my stomach is grumbling, and my lips are cracked and dry from the lack of water! It just isn’t fair!” I decide silently in my head. Trying to ignore my tiredness I carefully slide down the rocky slope I was standing on and try to find some way out of this misery. “Well, there is one way to leave, going back, but that won’t do much good. My parents are probably already worried sick and going back is just going to hurt me more than it already has! Only one problem, home is where I belong,” I state woefully. Having only one safe way to go, I continue my way feeling only sadder than when I began. When the sun reaches its peak point in the sky, I only begin to feel how hot it can really get in this devastating place many would call a desert. Only one problem, I can’t call it a desert because I can’t really tell where all the ice cream and brownies, cakes and all that other good stuff is. Sometimes life in vocabulary is very complex. I scan the horizon once again trying to find any small drop of water. Then, blue glittering diamonds catch my eye. I scramble down the rocky cliff side and jump down with my mouth hoping to get a mouthful of delicious, cool, blue, sweet tasting water, a taste I will never forget. Instead, I get a dry sand coating inside my mouth. Trying to hide my disappointment, I swallow slowly and make an effort to keep from crying. It’s no use; the tears come anyway. I run blindly back toward the stony overhang. Stumbling over closer to find a good area to climb, I stumble into a small cool cave I had not realized before. The relaxing coolness soothes my blistering skin, and the darkness makes it easier to let the tears come and go. Then I fall into a restless doze… I hurry along the small cave walls feeling my way slowly through the darkness trying to find a way out, anyway out! I check behind myself again, its still there. Its glowing red eyes are filled with fury, and its fangs are dripping with saliva. It lets out one loud long roar, the slithers nearer and nearer toward me. I take a quick glance around, but I can tell I am trapped, and there is no escape. I catch a glimpse of its long black tail following its body, whacking the walls of the cave making its whole foundation shake. I cry out in fear and shock, and it is at that moment rocks start to fall and the monster is upon me.

I shudder, then wake. My stomach is grumbling like crazy and my head feels all swirly and weird. I try to take slow, long breaths, but they still come in short gasps. “Wha-what hahas happe ened? I fee feel re ally we weir d,” I manage. I make slow progress as I crawl toward the back of the cave in search of water. My search is not in vain. A slow trickle of muddy water reaches my lips and I sigh with relief. My dry, cracked lips are now moist and my sore throat is cooled by this wet gift. I drink more and more. Soon all the water I can hold has entered my stomach and sleep takes over once more… “Why did you leave us, why? We are your parents, your only family left, and you leave us!” My mother crawls her way along a pitch-black tunnel trying to find a way out of her despair. I watch from above, wishing with all my heart to come down and help her up and out of the tunnel, but something is holding me back. I want to cry out and tell her everything is going to be OK. But, it doesn’t come, my mouth won’t open, my arms won’t move, and my legs are as solid as stone. Me not being able to move is not the only thing making it impossible to express my feelings, it’s… me. “Oh Helen, why can’t you just stay with us, and enjoy the time we have together? Why is it so difficult to do that?” She lifts her hands in aguish, then falls back to the floor sobbing like there’s no tomorrow. I try to say something once more, but nothing can come, and nothing can go. It all is staying up in my head, where no one but me will see it, no one, no one, but me. I move my finger, then my wrist. I think it’s working! I move my arm to help my mom. That is when it stops. It stops. Stops working. Stops moving. Stops, turns to stone. That’s when I realize it. It’s not the dream that is making it hard to reach out to my mother… it is, me. I want to cry and tell mom it’s all going to be OK, that I’ll come home. But no words flow. I cry. “Oh, Mom. I never realized how much this would affect you! I’m so sorry. Don’t worry, I’ll come home now!” My face is now wet with tears and my hands are shaking. I look around and see my surroundings for the first time. Damp, dark moss covers the walls entirely, and a small puddle of clear, cool water. Following its source up along the walls I now see the gross and disgusting water I had swallowed before. Being so faint and thirsty I had not noticed the clear water that the trickle ended in, so instead of getting the pure water I had hoped I got the revolting dirty liquid. My eyes continue to follow the water up and up until I finally see a small circle of light pouring down with the river. Judging by how much mud comes with it and by how little flows down, I guess that it is rainwater. I let my head drop and drink my fill once more. Slurping up the cool

water makes me realize that my stomach is talking to me. In other words, I am HUNGRY. “Oh gosh, I really wish I never even thought about running away. Now that I know what can happen, I know not to do it again!” I try to go back to where I had come from, but since there were about five tunnels leading away, I had a little bit of trouble deciding which way to go. At last I choose on the tunnel straight in front of me and begin the slow crawl back. The tunnel ceiling is so low in some places that I have to army crawl. The tunnel seems damper than the one I went through and at places the moss thick enough to stop my progress for at least a minute because I have to clear a path. As I go along I meet a fork in the path. “Now what? It took me forever to choose which way to go back there at five tunnels, and now I have to choose another way between two tunnels that both look exactly the same. Let me think and use some logic. I was able to crawl my way to that clearing on a straight path and didn’t have to turn. Since the tunnel on the left is kind of a sharp turn, it wouldn’t be possible to crawl straight and still make it. How ever, the one in front of me is right in front of me and looks to be a lot drier than the one to the left. I came from a dry area, and that means that if I go straight on, it may just continue to get waterless until I reach the cave opening and head back into the blinding sunlight. Oh, but then again, I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going and if I was turning so its possible I did turn and didn’t realize it. This is much more confusing than I thought!” I slowly lower my head into my hands and sigh a deep, confused sigh. As I pull my head back up and look at my hands I realize how dirty I am. “Well, I can’t turn back now. I don’t even know the way back. These tunnels are just too confusing. I just wish some one would find me and take me out of this place!” I curl up into a small, tight ball and slowly rock back and forth. The slow rocking soothes me and before I know it I am asleep once more. Chapter 3—Dreams “Home work, home work, home work, is that all life is about?” I shudder at the thought of doing it. “Alright class, you all know what your home work is and I expect it back tomorrow. The math I will give you two days to do, because of the amount, but otherwise all of it has to be completed. Jackson?” “W-what?” “Would you please tell me how long you have to do your math.” “Of course! Three hundred, sixty-five days!” “Jackson, I’m serious.” “Uuuuhhhh… “That’s what I thought. I will repeat this once again, but no more. All the homework is due tomorrow…”

It’s not my fault I have problem with focusing when my teacher is trying to have a very important conversation with me, it’s just how I work. Then I begin to daydream… “Jackson, Jackson, I’m sorry for the way I treated you in school… will you forgive me and give me mercy?” “All right, but, you still will get a 365 week jail sentence at the bottom of my castle,” I reply. “Nooooooooo. Jackson, I’m sorry, truly sorry! Have pity on your poor teacher.” “You should have been sorry a long time ago. And now you will pay for it!” “Jackson please…” “Guards take her away to the deepest and darkest cell, I want her to be given moldy bread and water only once a week. Now go!” “Jackson… Jackson… Jackson…” “Jackson, do you hear me?” “W-w-what?” “I asked if you heard me!” “Uuhh, yep!” “Could you tell me when the math home wo-“ Brrrriiiiing! “OK, everyone line up and we’ll go out to the bus!” “Yes, saved by the bell again,” Jackson murmurs. “Jackson, you aren’t going to get away this time! Come here sweetie, we need to have a talk.” “Ugh, not again. I thought we were done with these. I have been trying to get better; you know that right? I really have!” Jackson starts, “Actually, I haven’t really been trying, but I can still say that!” He thinks just to himself. “Honey, I do know that you are trying your hardest to make improvements, but that is just not the way you work. I’ve set up a plan with the principal, a plan that might help you get better at focusing…” “Her plan isn’t really working!” I decide quietly, and slip back into another daydream, but this time it is very different than all the others I have ever had. A small girl was crying as though the world would end, and I can guarantee I had nothing to do with it. But something was pulling me toward her, some force that was like one I had never felt before; I just did what it wanted me to do. “Hello?” She looks up like she is seeing a ghost, and she stares straight through me. “What?” “I said hello.” “Who are you?” “Me, I’m Jackson!”

“Jackson? Why are you see through and all hazy like?” “I-I don’t know.” “Well, I’m Autumn.” “Is this real? Like real real, it looks real, but for me, well-” “What, yeah, of course! This is my story. Autumn’s Story “Once there lived a friendly couple who were favored by the royalty that they survived under. Soon the royalty grew old and they had not yet had a child of their own. Knowing that there was little life left for them. They decided to give up their place and pass it down to the couple. A little while after that the wife expected a daughter who would possibly rule after they passed away. The daughter was born healthy and strong and grew up knowing her place. That daughter was me. I enjoyed the garden where I could be in peace and quiet without anyone coming up to me to ask if I wanted tea or something to play with. I liked the quiet best of all. My parents somehow blew that off and gave me eleven servants of my own to do what I wanted with. They never pleased me enough. As I got older I began hating palace life more and more. My parents loved it and treasured it. They loved it so much that they forgot about me, their own daughter, and began making crazy rules and orders all over the countryside. Before long, our land was a mess. Wanting to get away from it as soon as possible I packed up all of my favorite belongings and things I might need along with food for three months and water for one. My water supply drained when I made my way through the desert. Then I tumbled into a cave while searching for water. I found water, but go lost. “So now I am stuck here until someone finds me and helps me, which is very unlikely. What’s your story?” “What, oh, mine, well, I guess I’m just a normal kid who goes to school at Willow Elementary. I always get in trouble for daydreaming during class; so my teacher started talking to me. As you probably guessed, I started dreaming once again, this is my dream. That is possibly why you can’t really see me clearly!” “I guess that would make sense…” “Yep.” “So, Jackson, Jackson, Jackson, save me, do not forget about me I need help please. But beware of the…” “So, Jackson, this is my plan and I really hope it works. I have spent a long time carefully planning it out perfectly so it would have a good effect on you. Anyway, you better hurry to your bus, and don’t miss it!” “Yes ma’am, see you tomorrow!” “This is really weird, first I somehow don’t get away when the bell rings for just this certain day, and then I have a totally bizarre dream about some girl who needs help. This is super peculiar problem that will need a quiet thinking place and a lot of concentration… The library!”

I hurry off to the library with my brain whizzing about like a hamster on the wheel. I finally reach the library entrance just before closing time. “Oh, Mr. Jackson, I’m sorry, but the library is now closing. You know the hours 9AM in the morning to 9PM at night. You can come back tomorrow. Good day and good bye!” “No, please, Mrs. Berkins, this is important. I need to go in now, if I don’t it might be too late. Please…” “Alright, but just this once. Just this once.” “Thank you so much!!!!” “Yes, yes.” Mrs. Berkins turns the key and reopens the library door. Motioning me in with her withered hand, she smiles sweetly and follows me in. She switches on the lights. Then she nods in my direction and chooses a cushy chair in the corner. I smile back. Searching the library in the chapter book section I finally find one of my favorite books, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I settle into my preferred chair, with the blue stripes on white, I begin to read. The magic of the novel takes over my thoughts and calms me. Once I get to page 134--one of the best parts when Harry is about to have a hearing for using his magic not in school as an under-aged wizard--I stop and look up. That is when I realize I have been here for more than an hour. I take a look over at Mrs. Berkins; she is dozing away. “Sweet, a whole hour gone and another one to go, I hope!” I relax back into the chair and start reading once again. I’m only able to get to page 256--the boring part where Harry is in a class and getting a lecture about the O.W.L tests--before Mrs. Berkins wakes up and hurriedly walks over to me with a bounce in her step. “Honey, I’m so sorry I lost track of time. Your mother is probably worried sick. Oh dear, oh dear. Hurry, hurry, it’s very late. The library was supposed to be closed two hours and forty-five minutes ago. I’m sorry. Oh, would you like to check that book out?” “Um, yes please, if it’s OK after library hours.” “Yes, yes, of course. Anything that involves books is important enough to do at any time of the day. Come, come, just over here.” I follow Mrs. Berkins over and wait patently as she turns on the computer. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting. Tick-tock, tick-tock, ticktock. Finally it’s all ready. “Alright, where’s you book?” I hand her my book and begin waiting all over again. “Here you are. Would you like a ride home?” “Uumm, no, I think I’m alright. I can walk from here. See you tomorrow!” “Alright, see you soon!” I follow her out of the library and into the freezing air outside. A cold blast of wind greets me and I shiver, but not from the cold; from

the thought of that poor girl in the cave with nothing to eat and no blanket to keep her warm. “Are you sure you don’t want a ride home? You’re shivering and you’ll get even colder when you get farther out.” “Oh no, I don’t want to bother you. After all, you’ve already kept the library open longer than normal. See ya!” I pull my thin, cotton jacket tighter around my shoulders and begin slow progress through the darkening streets. Chapter 4—The Cavern I awake suddenly when bright light fills the room. Uncurling myself from my small circle I stare hard at that one spot. After about five minutes I begin to see something, or someone. “Hello?” It says. “W-what?” “I said hello,” It replies. “W-who are you?” “Me, I’m Jackson.” “Jackson, why are you all see through and hazy like?” “I-I don’t know.” “Well, I’m Autumn,” I say back. “Is this real? Like real real, it looks real, but for me, well-“ “What, yeah, of course! You see well, I decided to run away from home…” I begin to tell my story, hoping that this ‘Jackson’ might take pity on me and somehow try to help. “…So now I’m stuck here until someone finds me and helps me, which is very unlikely. What’s your story?” I thought it might be good if I heard his story, knowing about him might make it easier to find his weakness and make him want to help me. “What, oh, mine, well, I guess I’m just a normal kid who goes to school at Willow Elementary. I always get in trouble for daydreaming during class; so my teacher started talking to me. As you probably guessed, I started dreaming once again, this is my dream. That is possibly why you can’t really see me clearly!” “I guess that would make sense…” “Yep!” By now he was getting fainter and fainter and I could tell I didn’t have very much time left to convince him. “So, Jackson, Jackson, Jackson, save me, do not forget about me, I need help, please. But beware of the da-“ The last part of my sentence is lost in the bright flash of light and the disappearance of Jackson. “Now what? Someone knows about me, so all I have to do is wait. But I do hate feeling useless. ‘Great’!” I look slowly around the cavern and try to find something that might be helpful for when my savior comes and gets me away from this retched place. Nothing presents it’s self.

The moss on the wall makes a relaxing dripping sound and every now and then a couple of rocks tumble down from their place, lodged into the jagged walls. I try to find a way out by listening carefully. From the left tunnel the dripping makes a hollow sound, like it is coming from a large cathedral just after a rainstorm. However, the passage on the right is just like the one I am in. Because it is so near, I can see it quite easily. The moss creates a coating even thicker than the one I am in, so the water is never able to touch the ground. Therefore, hardly any noise generates from that one place. “Wellllll, it will definitely be more comfortable if I am able to stand up and stretch. I’ll be near this spot so I can know when they do appear. This, is great!” I scramble out of my cramped place against the cushiest wall I could find and slowly army crawl over. The painfully cold ground scrapes my stomach through my thin T-shirt and before I know it I have a bunch of tiny holes covering me, not an actual shirt. Thankfully I have jeans on instead of sweat pants. Jeans are stronger and better for this kind of moving. The tunnel grows smaller and smaller, making it so I have to turn sideways to fit through. Squeezing my shoulders up to my neck I inch my way along one mile an hour. The moss grows thinner and the tunnel grows lighter. I begin to think I made the right choice. Soon, I enter the most sacred place that could ever be found in a cave like this one. “Wow!” Sunlight streams in from a small hole at the top. Flowing through the millions of drops it creates a large web of rainbows around the room. I walk around stroking the solid walls and staring upwards trying to find out if it would be possible for me to somehow escape and enter the world above once again. Suddenly I hear a loud noise behind me that awakens me from my foolish dreams. I turn around, only to find a small sparrow pecking at the ground. “Heh, I wonder how that frail thing could make a noise that big!” I think out loud. “What was that?” “Did you talk? I thought it was impossible for animals to, I mean, well…” “I just spoke didn’t I?” The small birds voice was very high pitched and when it spoke, its feet clacked nervously on the hard rocky ground. “What do you want?” “Me, oh, call me Sparro! S-P-A-R-R-O!” “Aren’t you misspelling it?” “What, oh no! You humans think you know everything! No, that’s just how my name is! Actually, I have two names…” He chirped

nervously and hopped from one foot to another. “You know, I really have to get going-“ “Really, I have three names! My first name is Autumn my middle name is Anna and my last name is… My last name is, well, let’s forget that!” “Can I please go! I’m late for my meeting at the Grandfather Oak already and the council leader, Liserd, L-I-S-E-R-D, doesn’t like having to delay the meeting.” “This council of yours, do you meet in here?” “No, of course not! Like I just said, ‘I’m late for my meeting at the Grandfather Oak.’ I was just coming down here to look for some small bugs in the moss!” “I suppose that would explain things… If you have the council up there,” I say gesturing up towards the opening, “Then would it be possible for you to somehow help me get up there?” “That might be possible…” “Oh please! I’ve been waiting here hoping someone might accidentally stumble upon me and save-“ “No one just stumbles upon these tunnels. Everyone who enters, enters for a reason,” Sparro said gravely. “I… well…” “The person may not always know the reason, sometimes the reason is the reason.” “That makes no sense at all!” “It may not now, but it soon will. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a VIM, very important meeting, to get to.” “Will you bring help? To get me out of here I mean,” I ask desperately. Then closing my eyes slowly I await the answer. “No.” “No?” “No. If you were put in here, you were put in here for a reason; that means you will only be able to get out if you were destined to. Fiddling with destinies is not a good idea, and not my sport, for sure.” “But, but…” Before I could finish my sentence he was gone just, like, that. I look around me, the walls covered with soaking wet moss stare back. In the stony silence my brain begins to whir. “Moss. Walls. Water. Moss. Walls. Moss. Moss. Moss!” I grab a handful of moss from a rock nearby and hold it in my hand slowly squeezing the water out. “It might work…” I grab a handful of thick moss on one wall and tug at it hard. It doesn’t come off. I put my full body weight on it; it still doesn’t come off. I begin pulling myself up bit by bit. Before I know it I have reached the top. Using all my strength I heave myself up and out into the sunshine. I lay there a while soaking up the rays of light when a question hits me out of nowhere.

“Why did I even want to get out of there in the first place? Of course I just wanted to get out, but there must have been some reason!” Then it comes back to me. I wanted to get out so I could find my way home again. Reunite with my parents and tell them how sorry I was for running away from them. I glance around at my surroundings and try to find something familiar, but nothing rings a bell. NOTHING! I notice a small tree towards the center of the forest. “That must be the ‘Grandfather Oak’ Sparro was talking about! It sure looks like it.” Deciding my goal is to get to that exact place turn so I am directly in front of it and begin to push my way through the undergrowth. Dead leaves crunch underneath my feet and branches grab out at me. Before I know it I am lying on the leaf-covered ground with millions of vines covering my body. I’m only able to make out the two words, “HELP ME!!!!” Before another one is stuffed into my mouth. Footsteps heading in my way are coming from my right and I can’t help but try and scream at the sight of the horrid beast that now takes its place before me. Getting closer and closer. Closer. Closer… Chapter 5—Forest of the Wandering Trees The hunters creep silently closer and closer to where Lizzie stands; Cap’n in the lead. Lizzie and Diana share one more look that clearly states they can’t keep their secret any longer. Diana holds up one hand. Three. Two. One. Lizzie turns around suddenly and slaps Cap’n in the face. “That’s for you and you stupid friends. You’re gonna have to try a whole lot harder if you really want to catch us!” Lizzie screams in Cap’n’s ears. “Yeaaaaaaaah!” Diana jumps out from behind the surprised group and starts punching both of them on the head. “Get away from us and leave us alone! You don’t belong here!” Diana exclaims. “Come on Lizzie, let’s get away from here! What business do we have with them?” “Nothing!” “Great! I can see the end of the wood just ahead. Let’s get out of here before dark!” “Deal.” With that the two sisters leave the hunters grumbling and groaning on the forest floor barely able to move. Lizzie skips along behind Diana with a new spring in her step. The birds above are silent. And though Lizzie tries her best to brighten Diana’s spirits, nothing seems to work. “Something isn’t right here…”

“What do you mean? The leaves are falling in the most beautiful colors and the sky matches perfectly! What could be wrong?” “It’s the birds. Ever since this morning they have been silent. And ever since this morning we have entered a totally different part of the forest. Something is bothering me. I don’t think we should go any farther tonight until we know what it is.” “What do you mean ‘we’? I’m not part of that ‘we’ I hope. I haven’t noticed anything wrong and I see no reason to stop and wait just for something you have observed that might not even be true. The farther we get tonight, the better. It’ll make it more complex for the hunters to follow us once we get out of this forest. I don’t care what you have to say, I’m continuing!” “Lizzie, would you rather have the hunters catch us and go back to where we came from or die a slow and painful death just because you didn’t trust your sister?” “Well… I suppose I would rather go back to where we came from, but how do I even know you’re speaking the truth?” “You don’t, so please, trust me!” While talking they make it closer and closer to the opening in the woods. Just then a frightened scream sounds from straight in front of them; only two words with a big meaning. The words ‘Help Me.’ Forgetting about everything they hurry towards the sound to investigate. They’re too late. Over the body of a golden haired girl crouches a beast. It’s fangs are dripping with saliva and it’s beady red eyes are focused one her. Two thin, leathery, bat-like wings sprout from where arms should be and two rabbit ears peak out from the top of the head. A deep gruff voice coming from behind the beast says something like, “Batty, what do you think you’re doing to a poor lost girl. I bet you scared her crazy! Back up a bit will and let me have a look!” The soft padding of cat footsteps is heard and through the undergrowth pushes another interesting animal. It has the head and tail of a lizard and the body and legs of a cat. “You must be Autumn. Sparro has told me much about you at the council. I am Liserd. The leader of the council held at the Grandfather Oak. You just ran into the Wandering Trees. They’re a certain kind of tree that surround the Grandfather Oak and protect it from intruders. They obviously thought you were an invader. Anyway…” “Where’s Sparro?” the blond girl asks. “Oh, he should be nearby. I’ll call him! Sparro! Someone’s here to see you!” Horse hooves on leaves reach the ears of the expecting group. Bursting through the Wandering Trees, Sparro returns. “Thi-this isn’t Sparro. I want Sparro, not another one of you weird beasts!” the girl bursts into tears.

Diana and Lizzie watch all of this in silence; but when the last comment is said, they erupt from the bushes. “We’ve seen everything from our hiding place and now I think it is time for you,” Diana said gesturing to the beasts, “to tell us where we are and what you want with us… BTW I’m Diana and this is my sister Lizzie.” “Well said young one,” Liserd says. Sparro walks up and stands next to Liserd. “Autumn, remember how when we were in the cave together and we were talking about names?” “Yes… I do remember that. Sparro said he had two names, but that he wouldn’t tell me right now.” “That’s right. Not only does Sparro have two names, he has two forms. Right now Sparro, me, is in his second form and has his second name. Not the name to call me by, the name of my kind.” “That is extremely confusing,” Lizzie exclaims. “So, you, all of you, have two names and you can take two forms, but no matter what form you are in you are still called by the same name.” “But we still don’t know where we are and what you want with us!” Diana interferes with everyone’s thinking by bringing up her question once more. “You and your friends are now in the Forest of the Wandering Trees; under the care of the animals that inhabit the area. Everyone here is friendly enough to provide a safe passage and a place to rest. The only thing to be wary about in this forest is the trees.” “Why the trees? What have they got to do with all of this anyway?” The blond haired girl who claims to be Autumn says. “That is a long story my dear; very long indeed.” “I have time for a long story, what about you two?” Autumn answers pointing towards Diana and Lizzie. “I think we have time…” Lizzie begins. “Then I will begin…” The story of Forest of the Wandering Trees Long before any animals came to occupy the land there lived a small, kind woman who took care of a small garden of trees near her house. Each and every day they grew and grew. Before long it had turned into a forest. Wanting to keep the trees safe she cast a spell over them so that if any danger came, the trees could move to escape it. If not able to outrun the danger they could attack with their branches and vines that cover their bark. The years passed by quickly and soon the old lady died. The trees mourned over their lost mother. Their leaves fell and the branches drooped. The forest was no longer alive; it had to reason to be. Animals found comfort in the twigs and many made their home in the enchanted forest; but nothing could brighten the trees spirit. When spring came the no new leaves sprouted, they just stayed on the ground. Then a new old lady came to live, but she was not like the other one. She had plans for the forest,

but not all were good. The trees noticed this long before she began and tried with all their might to stop her, it worked, but because of the trees she placed a curse over the woods that any animal, excluding humans, that entered that property would immediately be transformed into part of another inhabitant and part of themselves. The animals still could take their normal form if needed, but not for very long. Soon the trees came alive and the animals learned about the spell. Using their knowledge as protection they told the trees to attack anyone who dared enter the woods so that further damage would be prevented. The trees still follow that command, but not with the same enthusiasm as before. That is how the trees move, the animals are switched, and why you almost got killed. “That, is an interesting story…” Autumn murmurs. “Why do we have to be wary of the trees though? You never told us in the story,” Lizzie says. “Ah, yes. The trees know when something isn’t right, when something that does not belong is here. It is then that they will begin the move, then that they will leave their resting place where they have stayed for thousands of years. When the trees begin to move, something is wrong.” Liserd whispers. Just then one of the trees near Liserd begins to move forward, others around it do the same. Before long, the whole entire forest is moving. Trees run past the surprised group faster and faster. Squirrels and birds cling to the branches with all their might so as not to fall off and get lost in the maze. A small light appears at the back. It grows larger and larger. “That’s the end,” Sparro cries above the ruckus, “hurry, grab onto one of the trees and hang on for dear life. They’re leaving, we’re leaving!” With that Sparro, Liserd, and Batty transform into their old shape and hurry up a tree. The humans share a glance, then do the same. Swinging from branch to branch Lizzie and Diana make it higher and higher up. Autumn rests on a tree quite near them and smiles with delight. “It’s actually quite fun to ride on a moving tree!” She declares. “I agree!” Lizzie and Diana say at the same time. Leaves fall off the tree and get crushed by other trees before they reach the ground. Just ahead, the animals watch something with wild eyes somewhere behind their friends. Lizzie, Diana, and Autumn look long and hard trying to figure out what is so interesting. Then it hits them. Every single tree is moving away; ever single tree, but one. The largest tree in the group is still. Either it doesn’t want to move or something is preventing it. “We’re going to have to jump it. Whatever the Grandfather Oak is waiting for must be that important,” Liserd gravely reports. “Agreed!” Sparro replies.

The group exits their ride one by one. Liserd and Sparro get off first and start heading in the direction of the Grandfather Oak. Lizzie, Diana, and Autumn are a little more reluctant to move. “I suppose we have to,” Lizzie points out. “Without our guides, we’ll be totally lost and not know what to do.” “Guess so,” Diana says. “Well, what are we waiting for? They’re probably already waiting for us over there! Let’s go!” Autumn exclaims. Autumn closes her eyes and waits for Diana to yell clear before she jumps. Because of all the trees they decided that idea was good enough. A shout barely heard above the racket is heard and Autumn jumps. Landing on her butt in a small nest of leaves she hears Lizzie telling her to get up and hold on. Knowing that that might be a little hard she nods her head and waits. Diana and Lizzie jump at the same time and crash into each other on the way down; both coming out with a bruised head. “We need to hurry. None of us know the direction of the Grandfather Oak and where the others went. If we don’t get started soon we’re dead meat for sure!” Autumn says. “OK.” Running as fast as their legs will take them they run down a small slope towards a looming shadow in the distance. As they near, they realize their mistake. Chapter 6—??? The moon is high in the sky by the time I reach home and my mother is overjoyed to see me. “Oh Jackson! I thought something had gotten you for sure! Don't you ever do that again, your father and I were worried sick! Well don’t just stand there shivering in the cold. Come in! Your dinner is on the stove, I kept it heated up just incase! I’ll make you some hot coco and get you a blanket! It’s a wonder you didn’t catch pneumonia out in those streets!” Mom begins fussing over me like I just came back from the North Pole with only and T-shirt and shorts. I get hurried along into the kitchen and given some of my mom’s well-known soup, Mushroom. My ‘favorite’! Then right after that she places a cup of boiling hot coco in front of me. I can see my dad in the background watching me curiously with an expression I can’t quite describe. I know there is something Dad is holding back from me, something that I need to know. Something that might affect the future, something extremely important. “I don’t know what I was thinking! Letting my son go outside with only a thin sweat jacket to warm him!” I hear Mom mumbling under her breath. “Mom, I’m going upstairs. See you in the morning!” I yell over the din of banging pots and pans in the kitchen.

Without waiting for a reply I run up the stairs and into my bed. I check my clock, 11:45. Later than I wanted, but not bad! I pull out my writing journal and begin to write about all the things that happened today. It looks kind of like this: November 17

Today I had some interesting things happen to me during class. While my

teacher was talking I started daydreaming like usual. It’s the dreams that are

unusual. In one of my dream there’s a girl who is trapped in a cave and can’t get

out. She starts asking me to help her and things get really weird. I go to the library to relax my mind before doing some real thinking. The crazy old librarian, Mrs.

Berkins, falls asleep and makes me two hours late to get home. I really don’t mind though. I’ve had plenty of time to think things through and I truly believe that the

whole thing was just like any other daydream, normal and full of action! Anyway, if there really was a girl in the cave how could she speak to me through a dream?

When I got home mom started going crazy over me and tried to make me sit forever in front of the fire eating my soup and sitting in all the blankets in the house. No

way man! I escaped before she could do anything that would make my blood boil.

Here she comes now, suppose she’s gonna make me go straight to bed like normal! Back to life in the real world now! That dream was totally normal! I bet I won’t

have another one of those! Uh oh, Mom is at the door, I bet she saw I was writing.

Now she going to ask me billions of questions better put this away. “Jackson, may I see what you’re writing?” she asks in a hopeful voice “Sorry Mom, but I’m really tired, maybe tomorrow,” I reply with an exaggerated fake yawn. “Alright, if you say so dear.” Mom comes up to my bed and kisses me on the forehead. “See you in the morning,” she says. Then she gets up to leave. When she gets to the door she closes it slowly and tries to disguise her actions. I know that she is really watching me and wishing that she knew more about her sons complex life. I sleep for what seems like five minutes, then my alarm rings. Time to go to school, another day of torture. I drag myself out of bead and prepare for the long day ahead of me. From my dresser drawer I pull out a green T-shirt and some jeans.

Free Write  

This is a freewrite story

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