The hunter in the tangled thicket looked out through bloodshot eyes at the forest clearing before he ran toward his prey. He felt his anger boiling up from his cauldron of festering rage. Why did his father dislike him so much that his only childhood memories were of beatings and scathing remarks? He still had the scars that his father had inflicted. Even his mother hadn’t wanted him. Sometimes, she even sent him to bed without supper for no reason at all. Now that he was no longer a child, he could finally get back at all those who had caused him grief. His world was a dark, foreboding place as he tried to keep his escalating insanity in check.
A young woman was kneeling on the yellowed grass in the open space, picking wild strawberries and humming a little melody. Why should she be happy when he was so miserable? He took careful aim with his rifle, imagining she was a rabbit, and shot her in the back. She moaned as she flailed her limbs, trying to survive as she gasped her last breath.
The huntsman smiled to himself as he pondered his name, Chase. It was such an appropriate name for one who preyed on others. Running over to his young victim, he prodded her with his rifle but she didn’t budge. He wiped the saliva from his toothless mouth, slung her over his back, and headed back into the forest to the little dingy cabin where he lived.
“Ma! Pa!” he yelled, still trying to attain their approval after all this time. “Here’s another one for the barbie! Stoke up the grill!”
Day and Night
The forest is, and always has been a mysterious and mystical place. However this may change with the position of the sun or the phases of the moon.
In the day, when the sun is at it's highest, light peeks through the treetops and the air is warm and comforting. Wind greets all with a welcoming presence, the plants feel inviting, animals may hide or scurry away but it is all well in the kingdom of day. There is always a faint hum of life brought with the sun, and even any dangers seem calmed by it's soothing rays.
However when the night invades the kingdom, all things change. When the sun stops peering through trees, instead making way for the soft moonlight barely illuminating whatever path one may be taking, all becomes quiet. Oh so quiet. Too quiet to be peaceful. The kind of silence that makes it so every gust of chilling wind and every footstep of either human or creature is heard. Deafening silence. The harmless become threatening, the dangerous become deadly. And only the moon bears witness to the danger between the trees.
The forest as I’ll pick your own adventure
This is a game, and in this game no one lies. Close your eyes, ignore the sounds of your neighbour through the wall, of the cosmopolitan passer-by sailing past your street. You are alone now. All you have is my voice guiding you. Let it.
There are trees around you, rising tall, ferns at your feet. The trees are evergreen, you cannot see where they end and the sky begins. You hear the whisper of the wind through pine needles and the crunch of your boots on the path. Even your breath is quiet. Do not make another sound, lest you feel that split-second terror as you realise the forest might be an anechoic chamber.
You feel the ground sloping upwards, and you pass what looks like the entry to an old minefield. A door surrounded by bluish slate, which moss has begun to prowl through. The incline grows steeper, and the path becomes nothing more than roots and nettles.
It is path made by the broken bramble bushes pushed back by hordes of deer. Be careful not to step too close, they will catch and tear your clothes.
Don't be afraid of that, though. There are wild boars in this forest. The only thing to do should you come face to face with one is take a gentle step back. If you run, the boar could catch you, if you threaten, the boar will kill you. It has happened before, to others who did not follow my voice well enough.
You notice bushes of gooseberries in the distance, still gleaming with morning dew. The land is deep green, rich and wet. Life can thrive here. On your left is freshly dug earth, where boars have scavenged mushrooms and grass.
At the top of the path that was not a path, you meet a mother boar. She has her young by her side and she looks at you with fear and fury. What do you do?
Back down through the bramble bushes, and you hear her trotters pounding the earth behind you—or is that just the sound of your own weak heart? Keep running. There is a stone and you are not running carefully enough not to catch your ankle on it. This is a game, and in this game, everyone dies.
cool, lush and green.
where the wild things grow and the free things run.
the wind rushing through the trees, and the air whishing past ears ever alert and ready for any sound to reach them.
there is peace in the unknown, calm and collected.
silence rushes over everything like a thick blanket, with the occasional rush of the wind piercing it sharply, but it soon settles again. back into the silent covering that rests above the trees.
the holes of light slipping through the leaves, spilling out onto the ground.
illuminating the floor, covered with sticks, and dirt.
the birds chirping up above singing a chorus of the beauty of the wood, causing one to look up, only to see the sun spilling out over the leaves once again