Originally written 01-02-07. Continuous write with prompts thrown in at random although I am not sure what the prompts were anymore.
The tall oaks reached into the golden sky rich with green shadows and brown metallic glistening shapes on branches. They were giants around me praising their god and father, begging for plentiful rain and moderate temperatures. The gnarled roots of ancient growth created bedsides and roosts for ground dwellers a cradles for children as they read of daydreamed.
A few ferns with wandering fronds settled among the rich soil while most of the forest had a dainty blanket of moss. Leaf-speckled pathways meandered between these roots out toward other lands but I settled peacefully among the ferns and roots, letting the forest hug me as I curled up to dream. The subtle nickers of deer and the chatter of squirrels and robins filled my ears. These soft sounds lulled me to sleep.
Shadows fell wider now upon the floor once littered with sunlight and I decided to return home before the darkness of night kept me from finding the correct path. The roots let me through the last corridors of sunlight while the rest of the forest dimmed beyond my eyes. The hoot of an owl took over the whispering deer as I gently placed my feet between roots, around rocks, over the colorful backs of newts. A song of wild nights tuned up and surrounded me and I began to speed up with those rhythms.
It proved to be darker than I expected when my foot snagged on a root and I fell on the moss, a good cushion for a short fall. I looked back at the insubordinate root but saw myself looking at a large vase that appeared navy in the dusky light. I turned and picked it up and moved it around it my hands. It was actually purple with a dark design of doves and lilies painted on it.
I looked up from this object that had not point or purpose that I could discern for it being here. At this same moment I noticed the night-song was quiet. As my eyes adjusted I gazed upon an old cottage. The stone masonry was crumbling around a rather stout chimney and a red painted door. There was a window on either side of it with white curtains that were gray from dusty window panes. The roof was wooden and appeared to be rotting. The steps were stone too, crumbling as well, but I noticed smoke in the chimney and movement inside.
I pressed the vase to my chest and approached the house. I had never seen it before and was unaware of who- or what- might be inside. I hopped over a few bobbles and pieces of scrap in the overgrown yard and carefully climbed the steps. The door swung open before I could knock. No one stood there but the fire did roar in the fireplace. The curtains were indeed white, once, but no were covered in the same dust that made the window grimy. The furniture inside was toppled over, a dark red chair and a few table tops ,the oak desk spilled out paper in a stream leading to the fireplace. The kitchen pots and pans were strewn everywhere.
And then I noticed I was not alone. Groveling in the corner of the kitchen was a mighty black bear eating biscuits from a tin. He snuffled angrily at the crumbs and took no notice of me standing at the threshold of the house, holding the vase against my rapidly beating heart. His left ear had a nick in it that made him appear tougher than the crying, hungry thing I saw before me. I backed up, not wanting to disturb the hungry animal and ran out of the yard, indifferent to the baubles and roots laid out across the forest.
The vase I still held in my hands as I ran. It was large but shaped easily enough to carry. Out of breath and room to run I stopped, panting at the edge of a small river, the edges lined in silver threads of mica and other minerals. The banks were muddy otherwise, falling into the slow moving water. The water reflected stars in the now night sky. I hugged the vase and started to think about crying.
I gazed up at the furiously bright full moon and the tops of the rugged oaks. I breathed in pine to calm down, hoping day would break and I could find my way home. I had taken the wrong path surely and no the magnificent trees were dark barriers, fences and mountains blocking my way. A noise brought me back to the river and my eyes wandered over the bank. There, beyond the bubbling river, was my house!
I quickly shuffled into the water, mud spilling into my shoes as they sunk into the bed of the river. It was no deeper than my chest but I held onto the vase to keep me above water. I climbed out of the bank and caught my breath on the other side as the warm summer air dried me off. I kept the case with me, it was a pretty thing after all, and trudged on home.
My mother was standing there, silhouetted against the light of the doorway. She called my name and I hurried up to her, soaked, muddy, and tired. I would know better now to keep track of the sun when I want wandering into the woods to daydream.
This work by Sarah Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.