The Enchanted Forest

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Four teenagers run away from their toxic families and find themselves next to an enchanted forest full of secrets even the creatures living inside it aren’t allowed to know. Will the main cast figure what is going on, and can they fix it?

Chapter One

Halloween Season

 

It was the start of October, a Monday, a school day. Inside a city called Elvern, there was Elvern High School where teenagers learned how to learn and teach. The students were supervised by teachers, but were allowed to teach their own classes, unless the supervisor found the topic to be inappropriate. That standard though changed through the supervisors and their own personal beliefs. Students would go to supervisors before or after school to address the topics they want to teach about, plan a date, and then hang a notice on the door. Although for the first two weeks of school students were given introductions to supervisors along with each supervisor's general rules for their room, and they participated in icebreaker activities planned by the supervisors. Students signed up for classes on each classroom's notice board and were expected to pay attention to time periods and keep track of their classes on their own. 

Janis a sixteen year old girl got up out of her bed at five thirty in the morning, walked out of her room and down the hall to the bathroom, she brushed her teeth and walked back out into the hallway. She stood there for a second just then starting to feel conscious and awake then went back to her room to sort through her homework and be sure it all ended up back in her school bag. Her school bag was covered in pins and stickers already but that morning she added one more, the lesbian pride flag. She then grabbed a pair of jeans that had clearly been worn down over the course of her owning them, a plain black T-shirt, a jean jacket, and a pair of pastel blue doc martens. The girl had dirty blond hair, light green eyes, freckles, and pale skin. She headed back to the bathroom and brushed through her hair, then she tied it back into a loose ponytail. She then went down the stairs to eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast, she saw her father on the couch and the TV was on the news channel, as it has been since she went to sleep the night before. 

“Good morning father.” Janis said as she walked past him and into the kitchen, but he did not respond. She soon noticed that her father was sleeping, he must have fallen asleep there on the couch last night. After she finished her breakfast, she went back upstairs, grabbed her bag, and then came back down and left the front door to go wait for the bus at the top of her driveway. She waits for the bus with a neighbor of hers who’s in middle school and is clearly going through the middle school stage of immaturity and hating the world because it's “cool” rather than hating it for all of the awful things the human race does. He makes her feel ashamed to have ever been in middle school. 

Allie, a girl at the age of sixteen woke up at five in the morning so she would have time to do her makeup, brush her teeth, blush and style her hair, find the perfect outfit, go through her checklist of all the things that need to be in her bag, and eat a small breakfast before heading off to school on her bus. Allie had long brown hair that she had been growing out since she was in fifth grade at the age of eleven, she braided her hair herself most mornings. She had dark blue eyes shaded above with the makeup she bought herself in a shade of light pink that grew darker as it went down her eyelids, she was also wearing pink lip gloss. Her skin was much tanner than Janis’ and for today she picked out a light purple dress she also bought herself. When Allie wanted anything girly she’d have to buy it herself with the money she earned from her part time job because despite the fact that she came out as trans in the sixth grade her parents were still very unaccepting. Nevertheless she was grateful they didn’t kick her out of the house. She waited alone at her bus stop to be picked up. 

Zan was a child at the age of sixteen as well, ze woke up at six fifty-one in the morning to catch Zirs bus at six fifty-five. Ze hurried to change into a black and grey flannel shirt, black pair of jeans, and a pair of mismatched socks, one black and one white and black striped. Ze then grabbed zirs frog hat, backpack, and black hightop converse sneakers and ran out the door in zirs socks, once ze was at the bust stop ze put zirs shoes on ze just managed to stand up when the bus arrived. Zan was a bit short for zir age, ze had tan skin, but not as tan as Allie’s, zirs hair was black and cut into a kind of fringe style, and ze had brown eyes that almost look black. 

Finally Zachery, also sixteen years old, woke up at seven fifteen that morning, he picked out a rainbow sweater and a pair of light green jeans then had fruit loops for breakfast before heading out the door and walking four buildings down the sidewalk to the school. The building was made of bricks and looked bare on the outside in the front, the sides weren’t interesting either in any way, although the back of the school had a garden the walls were still just as boring as the rest, from the outside. Inside the school was definitely not boring, the school walls were filled with posters, student art work, There were cubbies on the wall with school supplies in case someone didn’t have any, and there was a long list of books students wanted others to think about reading hanging next to the main offices door. Each book on the book list had a title, a short description, and a photo of the book's cover. 

“Did you come out or just put the pin on your bag?” Allie asked Janis as Zachery walked over to the group. 

“I just put the pin on, I think they’ll notice when I walk back into the house after school today.” Janis repied 

“You mean after we find a club house?” Zan asked, ze had been pushing them to get a club house since April in their freshman year. 

“Actually, I think I already found us one.” Zachery joined the conversation. 

“Really!?” Zan was excited. 

“Yeah, it’s actually a tunnel I found on a walk, I’ve been checking back on for a few days now and I think it would make a great hang out..” He told his friends. 

“Yes! Thanks Zach, I can’t wait to check out this tunnel!” Zan exclaimed. 

“Alright, calm down Zan.” Janis told her crazy friend. 

“Sorry.” Zan replied calmly just before the bell rang for them all to head off to class. “I’m off to gardening, we’re meeting outside today,” Zan told their friends. 

“Alright, see ya, I’ll be in Miss Hemison’s room with Allie, I’m teaching sewing.” Janis waved to Zan as ze walked off. 

“I’m going to a painting class this morning, see you later!” Zach Waved his arm frantically in the air as he ran off down a hallway. By the end of the school day the four of them met up on the sidewalk outside the school building. “Ready?” Zach asked.

“I couldn’t be more ready, I’ve been waiting forever for this.” Zan replied. And Zach started their journey off to the tunnel they planned to make into a clubhouse. They walked for a solid 57 minutes before arriving at the tunnel. “Here we are!” Zach announced. 

“Why do you go on such long walks?” Allie asked, bent over with her hands on her knees. 

“You're exaggerating Allie.” Janis told her. 

“Gee thanks.” Allie replied, catching her breath. The place they were now was under a bridge facing a tunnel that was enclosed with bars except for the door, also made with dark grey metal bars, it was wide open and missing a lock. They were around the edge of the city, to their left was the beginning of a forest that was fenced off by a rusty metal fence and on the right were the suburbs containing the last 3 miles owned by Elvern City. They had just walked down the hill that made it so this tunnel had to be a thing. 

“Wow.” Zan’s gaw was dropped as ze was amazed by the view, “This is perfect!” ze screeched excitedly, “I love it! Thank you so much for finding this Zach!” Zan hugged zirs friend. “I wanna explore the tunnel!” Ze let go of Zachery and ran towards the tunnel door, inside was a long mostly empty tunnel but they could slightly hear the faint sound of subway trains from inside the tunnel. Along the tunnel just a little ways away from the exit was the hood of a car, it was rusted but still appeared to have belonged to a red car. The group found a room-like space that had a red plastic crate and a light brown cardboard box in it, and then continued to search through the tunnel, they found another room-like space that had a magazine from six or seven years ago and a crushed cardboard box. At the back of this ‘room’ was a grate in the ceiling and a stone staircase up out of the tunnel, the dull red grate also looked a tiny bit rusted and unlike the door was locked. 

“We’re going to need more decorations and furnishings than this.” Allie exclaimed. 

“That could not be any more true,” Janis agreed

“You're right.” Zan sighed. “Well, let’s go then, we’ll bring stuff with us tomorrow.” Ze smiled at the group. Then they all walked back to their houses. Janis saw her mothers car outside their house, I can’t be five o’clock already, can it? She asked herself while staring to the car. Her mother stepped out of the car, 

“You’re only getting back from school now?” Her mother asked. 

“I was hanging out with friends.” Janis replied. 

“Till four thirty?” Her mother stared at her, “Don’t you have homework to do?” She asked. 

“Wait, four thirty? Why are you home?” Janis responded with another question. 

“There wasn’t much to do today so I left early,” She explained. “Now go do your homework.” Her mother ordered. 

“Aright.” Janis walked past her mother and opened the front door, she stepped inside her father was sitting on the couch eating a bowl of cereal. “Good afternoon father.” She smiled, he turned his head in her direction. “How was your day?” Janis asked. 

“Boring. As usual.” Her father responded. 

“Well if you got yourself a job, or at least a hobby and didn’t just sit on that couch all day then maybe your life would be less boring.” Her mother put a lot of emphasis on the word ‘maybe’ as she walked through the door holding a paper bag. “Janis, Molly, my coworker gave me this for you, I forgot about it while we were outside.” 

“Oh, what is it?” Janis asked as she placed her bag down on the floor against the wall by the stairs, the lesbian pride flag pin facing her fathers direction. 

“It’s a hat.” Her mother took out a red baseball cap from the bag. 

“Oh well tell her thean-” Janis tried to ask her mother to thank her coworker for her. 

“What is that?!” Her father pointed at the pin on Janis’ bag. 

“Oh, thats the lesbian pride flag, I meant to tell you.” Janis smiled. 

“You are not a lesbian.” Her father told her in a stern voice. 

“People don’t control love, this isn’t my choice and it’s even less yours.” Janis told her father angrily. “And I’ve actually known this for four years now, I had a crush on this girl named Marleigh during the seventh grade.” Janis explained. 

“I will not being having a lesbian living in my house!” The man yelled at his daughter. 

“Your house!?” Her mother yelled, “I pay the bills for this house, so if it’s any specific person’s, rather than our families home than it’s mine, Robert Handerson!” Janis took her bag and ran up the stairs. She didn’t want to listen to her parents argue again, so she tried to drown out their voices with some music. Meanwhile Allie made it back to her place at four fifty seven completely out of breath, she opened the door, closed it behind her and then bent over again trying very hard to catch her breath once more. 

“Adian, why are you back so late?” Her mother asked her. 

“I was… hanging out with… friends and… it’s Allie, not Adian.” Allie tried to speak through her heavy breathing. 

“Did you run back or is your physical strength just that useless?” Her father entered the room from around the corner. 

“Useless.” Her mother replied instantly without a second thought. 

“Should have guessed.” Her father rolled his eyes. 

“Right, well dinner will be ready in about half an hour, I invited Uncle William, Aunt Jenessa, and your cousin Helmway.” Her mother informed her. Allie walked out of the room to go to her own and then sat on her bed to finish catching her breath. Meanwhile Zachery arrived back at his house at exactly four fifteen, he came back to an empty driveway and went straight to his room to start on his homework. Zachery made himself mac n cheese for dinner shortly after seven o’clock. Zan had got back to zirs house at six forty, twenty minutes before zirs curfew

“You're not supposed to be back till seven.” Zan’s father sounded angry, “Leave and come back in twenty minutes.” He finished. Zan sighed and then left the house again, ze headed back to the library across the street where ze was beforehand working on zirs homework. Zirs house was the closest to the tunnel, in fact the two places were only twenty minutes apart. So ze got to the library around three fifty and ze didn’t have much homework so ze finished it by five o’clock and ze was getting bored so ze thought they might as well go back to zirs house, but that was clearly a bad idea. 

The next day at school Zan spent the whole morning talking about what kinds of things should be moved into their new club house. Ze listed bean bags for seating, a coffee for some table space, a cooler to keep drinks in,  an abundance of paper for writing, drawing, and painting, a desk to keep the paper and art supplies in, and maybe some seeds to plant flowers outside the forest fence. 

“Yeah and don’t forget three truck loads of tape so we can tape all Allie’s poems and Zach’s paintings up on the wall.” Janis laughed. 

“That's a great idea, I’ll start collecting tape.” Zan replied with a smile. 

“Jan, don’t ever give Zan any ideas.” Allie said blankly. 

“Yeah, should have guessed ze’d agree with that.” Janis half smiled. 

“Well, I’m going to try and get to my second day of painting a bit early, there are only three days and I need to make the most of it.” Zach waved to his friends. 

“You should teach a painting class sometime!” Janis yelled to him as he ran down the hall. 

“It’s too bad your sewing class was only one day.” Allie sighed, “I have gymnastics today.” Allie told Janis and Zan. 

“You need to go to at least seven classes of physical activity in order to graduate.” Janis told Alllie as she partially mocked their principal. 

“Gardening counts as math and science, you two should join me sometime.” Zan smiled brightly at the fact that the garden was open until it snowed and then reopened the moment the snow melted and was taught by a teacher if no one volunteered to teach, which very rarely ever happened since there was three kids who always wanted to teach gardening, Zan being one of them and zirs turn was the very next day. 

“Where are you getting your gym credits from?” Janis asked Zan. 

“Mowing lawns after school on fridays, I’ve actually been around the tunnel a lot and never realized it, I mow lawns on the other side of the bridge after all.” Zan explained. 

“Oh. Well I got mine from playing soccer in freshman and sophomore years, so I exceeded the required and never had to deal with an actual class taking up my precious time to learn everything in the fashion world” Janis replied triumphantly and Allie giggled. “Oh right, I made you a new shirt Allie,” Janis pulled out a light pink shirt with bright pink gemstones all around the seams and the number five also made out of those same bright pink gemstones. 

“That’s amazing, thanks Janny!” Allie shouted as she hugged her friend. 

“Janny?” Janis questioned. 

“Can I call you Janny?” Allie asked. 

“Uh, sure, I guess.” Janis told her just as the bell rang and they all left for their classes. Another class that counted towards math credits was baking, Allie and Zachery had baking together that afternoon. There were also clubs and sports that counted towards students' class credits. For example the Book Club would pick a book they were interested in, and then talk about it as they read, this counted towards english credit. The Puzzle Club counted towards either math or science, but not enough to graduate with, since it empathizes skills kids would need for both math and science but it wasn’t actually math or science. In the Puzzle Club students would work together to put together puzzles over 2500 pieces. Students were also required to teach at least one class throughout the entire time they were in this school's program, this was meant to teach the students leadership skills. 

By October sixth, a Saturday, the tunnel’s first room-like space had a blue cooler, a coffee table, and a few chair cushions to sit on, but no chairs. The second room had four bean bags, one light purple for Allie, one red for Zackery, one blue for Janis, and one black for Zan. There was also a small table and shelf thing that would usually be used at the end of a bed or couch in the corner of that room holding a few books, pieces of paper, and a pencil bag filled with colored pencils. On this Saturday Zan was told that zirs curfew had been moved to eight o’clock so that zirs family could have friends over without zirs unwelcome presence. By the time Zan was allowed back into the house after spending hours in the library, zirs little sister told zir, 

“Mommy and daddy don’t like you.” In a teasy voice with a happy tone. 

“I’m quite aware.” Ze mumbled under zirs breath. Janis’s parents were still arguing about how she likes girls. Zackery’s mom came back to his and her house three times since that so far this week and didn’t come back till two in the morning even when she was somber. And Allie’s parents were still not accepting her for being trans. The following Monday after school Zan mowed three lawns, earned twenty dollars, and then everyone met up in the tunnel. 

“Should we get a carpet for in here?” Zachery asked. 

“Sounds good to me.” Janis replied, as she adjusted her bean bag. 

“Round or rectangular?” Allie asked. 

“Definitely an ovol, I’ll buy it with the money I just earned.” Zan answered. 

“Perfect,” Zachery smiled triumphantly. That Wednesday Zan and Janis lugged the rug that Zan bought into the space and rearranged the bean bags around the edge line of the rug. “Home sweet home” Zachery plopped down on his red beanbag. 

“Yeah, home sweet home,” Zan smiled brightly. 

“It’d be a cosier and friendlier home than the one I have.” Janis mumbled as she plopped down in her bean bag. 

“That for sure.” Allie agreed. 

“What if this was our home?” Zan suggested. 

“Do you think it’d be warm enough to stay here during the winter?” Janis asked. 

“Pile up on blankets, it’s better than what we’ve got.” Zachery agreed with Zan. 

“What about school?” Janis asked. “We can’t go if we get reported missing.”

“I’ll be set in a gardening career once I turn eighteen, we’d only have to miss two years and then use what we already know to live in the world afterwards. We’re no longer runaways after eighteen.” Zan explained, “Besides, we’ll always have each other.” 

“And food? If we can’t go to school we can’t go to the store either. Plus you can’t keep earning money off of mowing lawns because someone might see a report about you being missing. 

“I’ve already saved one hundred and fifty-two dollars from mowing lawns and I can wear a hood in the grocery store if needed. I’m also sure there’s food in the forest and I can grow some food for us.” Zan explained. 

“But what if we’re mistaken and our parents do care about us? We’d make them worry so much.” Janis continued to protest. 

“I can promise you my parents won’t worry for even a second, they lock me out of the house all the time.” Zan replied. 

“My mother is barely ever even around me, she might not even notice I’m gone.” Zachery agreed with Zan again. 

“I’ll write mine a note, and explain why I’m leaving. If they wanted me to stick around then they should have shown that they care about me, but they didn’t.” Allie responded. 

“Okay, I’ll write a note to my mom, and I’ll give her a place to leave letters if she wants to, because she does care about me. I just really need to get away from my father, and I’ll make sure to tell her that in my note.” Janis agreed with her friends. 

“We’ll be out by Friday then, pack everything you think you need.” Zan told them all. Zan started zirs garden that evening and made sure to water it Thursday and Friday after school, Ze also left five gallons of water in the tunnel. Ze had packed two bags, ze brought one on thursday and the second one came to school with zir on friday morning. Ze had packed a flashlight, two thick blankets, a pillow, an old watch, a compas, a map of the city, some more paper, three mechanical pencils, two containers of extra led, sticky notes, fifteen plastic cups, a spool of yarn, scissors, a pocket knife, ribbon, three rolls of duct tape, four sets of extra clothes, one hoodie, one collared jacket, gloves, extra seed packets incase they need more plants or for when the other ones die, and all one hundred and fifty-two dollars. 

Janis packed two bags as well, bringing both of them on thursday and then her guitar to school on friday. She was thinking that it might be helpful to play for tips if it was ever needed. She packed a guitar tuner, five sets of extra clothes, a sewing needle, bandaids, bandages, a bottle of ibuprofen, pieces of cloth, five pieces of old clothing that doesn’t even fit her anymore, winter gloves, a hoodie, an oversized jacket, a box of granola bars, two cans of bug spray, four spools of thread, one ball of yarn, knitting needles, a scarf, a hat, a really thick blanket, a pillow, and extra paper just in case they run out. She wrote a three page letter to her mom and left it on her bed with her phone before going to school. And she wore her red baseball hat to school that morning. 

Allie packed three bags, two were brought to the tunnel on thursday and one of them to school along with her school bag. She packed 6 outfits, five accessories including her favorite scarlet headband, a flashlight, a pack of batteries, a pillow, two blankets, two small dolls, a notebook, extra paper, six pencils, a box of colored pencils, ten plastic bottles of water, colorful ribbons, sixty dollars she’d earned while babysitting, a pair of scissors, an extra flashlight just in case, a ten paper cups, five paper bags for storage, a winter hat, winter gloves, a scarf, her toothbrush and toothpaste, three extra unused toothbrushes because she knew her friends would forget, two more tubes of toothpaste, a comb, a hair brush, and a three in one shampoo, conditioner, and body wash to use if they ever found a public shower or something. 

Finally Zachery packed two bags that he brought both on thursday. He had packed a toothbrush, one tube of toothpaste, dry shampoo, a pair of scissors, a pocket knife, winter gloves, a hat, sticky notes, ten feet of rope, a pillow, a thin blanket, two thick blankets, two extra outfits, a hoodie, extra paper just in case, a few pink ribbons usually used to mark property lines, a full water bottle, a bouncy ball and six plastic cups just for something to do, a bag of chips, a package of granola bars, a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter that they should be able to finish before it goes bad. He also brought a cardboard box for storage just in case they ended up needing it. 

The four believed they were prepared for everything life could throw at them as they went through all the stuff they brought. There were a few ‘I can’t believe I didn’t think to bring that’ but over all they believed they did pretty well with their packing process. What could they have possibly forgotten after all? As far as they were concerned they had everything they could possibly need. What could go wrong? Nothing. 

... Right?


Submitted: January 04, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Relghie. All rights reserved.

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