The forest is cold.
The sun does not shine brightly here, it’s cold light only creates the shadows. Shadows that dance wickedly upon the forest floor, and up the trees. The sun gives off no warmth, no warmth I can feel. This cold is a dead cold, it pierces me and freezes my soul. There is no escape, from this unforgiving cold.
The forest is quiet.
There is no rustling of leaves, no cracking of twigs or branches in the distance. The only sound I hear is that of my raspy breath. Each step I take is in utter silence. with each footfall, I feel the leaves break beneath my feet. But the sound does not carry. It is absent. There is no escape from this tormenting silence.
The forest is dead.
Devoid of all life, save mine. But, my time is short, and soon I will fade into nothing. The trees are withered and petrified. Though nothing grows, the leaves still fall endlessly. Leaves and ash. The ground is like rust, and the trees dull and grey. There is no hope here, only death. There is no escape from this dark forest.
Searching in vain for an escape, as my time runs out. The forest is a maze of twisted trees, shadows, and death. Eyes stare from the darkness, yellow and hungry. They are unliving, unblinking. They stalk me, watching. They cannot come near until my last breath leaves my body. I feel the life escaping my body slowly, as I fade away in the forest.
Without hope, without reason or motivation, I stop searching. I am tired. I come to a clearing and look up at the sky. The sky is dark red, and filled with ash. The sun’s rays shine down on me, but they are cold. There is no warmth. I feel nothing. My body starts to fade, the shadows growing, moving closer. The eyes follow, ready to devour me.
A voice pierces the silent cold air. A voice so beautiful, it brings me warmth. Like a kindled flame inside of my heart, hope comes back to me. Rising up, the shadows retreat, and the eyes disappear. The voice grows louder, singing, the song melancholy. I must find the one who sings this song. I move again, searching with reason, with newfound motivation.
As I make my way through the tangled maze of trees, my body aches. My limbs are numb from the cold, but my heart is warm. The fire inside grows as I get closer. I cannot understand the words, yet the song is hypnotic, drawing me in, both beautiful and sad. The voice so sweet, is indescribable. It is like cool water to my parched throat.
In the distance, I see a bright white light. The trees form a tunnel, the shadows darkest here. The eyes return. Thousands staring out at me. This is the final path, with the light at the end. I start forward, slowly at first. That’s when I hear the whispers. They tell me to walk into the shadow, to look away from the light. I feel myself being pulled into the darkness.
I make my way towards the light, without looking away. My body is tired, exhausted. But the fire inside burns, and keeps me going. I feel the lurking beasts reach out and try to grab me, tearing my flesh. The song is deafening now, and pulls me forward. Tears stream down my face, from the pain, the exertion. I cannot stop now, I must carry on.
It’s what’s keeping me going. The light grows and grows, until I’m surrounded by it. The shadows and beasts are far behind. Ahead there is a fog, the source of the song just beyond. The light spills out, blinding me. My body is broken, but I will not stop. I must leave this place. Without looking back, I step through the fog, and escape this wretched forest.
Beyond the fog, there is darkness. Where is the light? The song has stopped and I no longer hear her voice. The warmth is gone. Instead, there is a cold empty void. Exhausted, and tired, I drop to my knees. The ground cracks audibly. My hope is all but gone, when I see a faint glow in the distance ahead. It grows as it approaches, casting a pale light on the ground ahead of me.
The pale light reveals a sea of death, the skeletal remains of the unfortunate souls who ventured here before me. The dead trees are also here. I am still in this forest, and there is only death. A feeling of sickness overcomes me as I look up at the approaching glow. It is a woman, with her head down. Walking towards me, the glow emits from her beautiful naked body. What little hope I had left flees as she looks up at me. Her eyes! Her eyes are gone!
Instead of eyes, there are two black pits so dark, they swallow the darkness around. The glow she emits is sucked into the voids where her eyes should be. Those pits gaze into my soul, and I cannot look away, I cannot move. I try to scream, but no sound comes out. She stands in front of me, still staring, smiling. Helpless, I cannot stop her when she reaches out with both hands to my face, and pulls out my eyes.
The darkness is infinite now. I can feel my blood trickle down my face, cold like a stream of ice. Still paralyzed, I hear her laugh. It is a soft chuckle, that sounds like thunder inside my head. The ground below me shifts, as I am pulled down, the flesh being torn from my body. I cannot see, cannot move. But I can scream now. The pain is excruciating, and I scream until only hoarse groans escape me. Her laughter fades away, and all is quiet again.
The forest is dark. It is unforgiving, and cruel. There is only death here. Hope? It has fled. Warmth? An illusion Love? A lie. These do not exist here. As my pain turns into numbness, I feel myself slipping away, into the void. There is but one escape from this forest.
I could not see it before, but it is the only way out. I laugh, as my last breath leaves my body, the irony of my attempt to escape. There is no escape from death. Death is the escape. With death, the pain is gone. The forest is gone. I slip away into nothingness, and leave the forest behind. I smile as death takes me.
The forest is cold.
I wake suddenly, as if from a dream. How did I get here? I cannot remember. Where is here? I look around. The sky is a dark red, and the light cold. The cold is unforgiving.
The forest is quiet.
The trees are dead, with leaves and ash that fall endlessly. The only sound I hear is that of my own breathing. Everything else is silent. The silence is tormenting.
The forest is dead.
I am surrounded by the dull, grey trees. Darkness engulfs them, and reaches out to me. There is no hope here. Even death cannot escape this forest.
I wrote this about 2 and a half years ago. Originally, it ended with entering the light. It didn’t sit right with me, so the next day I added the second half. It’s been tweaked a few times, and will likely be tweaked a few more. What do you think?
I’ve been quite busy in these last few weeks, so my posts have been less frequent. I hope to continue to post regularly, but chances are it won’t be at often as I’d like.
Lastly, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! It’s a bit late, but we should always be thankful for what we do have.