I trampled through the woods, lost. The cold autumn wind slapped my face as I forced myself on ignoring the hunger that clawed at my stomach. The wind knocked me to the ground, for I was too weak to stand against the howling wind. Suddenly I was rolling downhill. Rocks pierced at my skin as the dirt flew in my face. Apparently, I had no more luck, because after that wild ride down the steep hill I landed in mud. I wiped the disgusting substance off my face and looked around me. I couldn’t see through the thick fog so I guessed there were more trees. Out of nowhere a shriek split the air, the sound echoed in the wood. I tripped as I ran to a huge oak and tried to climb. I could find nothing to use as a step, so I grabbed a long stick and pointed it the direction I heard the noise from.
I saw a paw step out from the fog. The paw approached slowly, making the arm visible. Then the rest of the body sprang out and the thing screeched. This thing was nothing like I have ever seen. Its skin was dark purple and the eyes were blood red. As it stared at me it came closer. Its thorn sharp claws dug into the earth and hissed at me. My eyes widened when I saw the inside of its mouth. It had hundreds, or maybe even thousands of sharp yellow teeth that were cracked. The spikes from its tail clung to the ground every time it hit the rock solid dirt. I held back a scream as the thing started running toward me.
As it got about a foot away, I ducked down and put my hands on my head. It went by all so fast I couldn’t even feel the pain. I held my arm as I ran, hoping it wouldn’t chase…but it did. I stopped at a tree and grabbed onto the lowest branch. I used all my strength to haul myself up and started to climb as high as I could. When I became too tired to climb anymore, I sat on a strong sturdy branch. I looked down to see where the creature was. It was on its hind legs and its paws were on the trunk. It hissed at me again revealing the teeth that made me shudder. It started to jump so I tucked in my legs and watched. Every time it got into the air it would snap.
Hours passed and it was still there. It was laying down looking straight at me. I tried to ignore it and looked at my arm. The bite wound was done bleeding. I removed the leaves that I pressed against it so it wouldn’t bleed and glanced down to see that it was heading back to wherever it came from. Good, I thought. I can finally get down…I started to climb down but didn’t get far. The thing ran back and growled. It lives here! I sighed and went back to where I was sitting those long hours.
After another long time period, it left once again. This time I wasn’t so sudden and waited a little while before climbing down. When everything seemed clear I climbed down. When I came to ground, I glanced at different places to see if the creature was waiting for me to pass so it can jump out at me. I walked slowly looking behind me every minute. I didn’t know what to do now… I looked at the fog that was gathered in the center of the wood. I decided to go in, since I had nothing else better to do. No, what if the monster is in there?? I gathered up my courage and entered. I was taken to a swamp.
Frogs crowded the place- some on moss covered rocks, quite a few hidden in the dew, and hardly any on large lily pads that floated in the water. Trees that roofed over the swamp had birds perched on branches and a couple on the ground looking for bugs. Wild flowers bordered the water; some of them were higher than others. I breathed in the air, and started to cough. I forgot how horrible swamps smelt! I wanted to run so the stench couldn’t reach my nose- but for some reason I felt safe and calm here. I sat down in an open spot and closed my eyes for the first time in days. I dozed off letting my imagination wander.
I blinked myself awake and yawned. I squinted at the ray of sunlight that was showing through the trees. I looked at the swamp, but my vision was still blurry from being so tired. I rubbed my eyes to make my site clearer. All the frogs were retreating, all hopping away. I was alone…again. Then I knew why they left. I froze like ice. The creature came out of the bush. It ignored me and went to a small hole by the rocks. I know I shouldn’t be scared but I was…it could turn on you any second. I wasn’t breathing and if I was every breath would be uneven. I rubbed my eyes and stared at it again. It…it…shrunk! It was the size of a shrew and squirmed inside the hole. Dust puffed out as it lied down. The hole was full of bird feathers and a couple of fresh green leaves. I stared at it with pure hatred. I knew hating it wouldn’t make things better, but there was nothing else I could do. It was staring back at me showing no emotion.
I was terribly hungry so I decided since it wasn’t springing out at me; I could finally look for some food. I searched everywhere until I came across a bush that had red berries. I gathered as much as I could and headed back to the swamp. The creature was normal size again but this time its skin was a pinkish-purplish. The thing is scaring me more and more… It was swimming in the nasty, shallow water. I went on the far end in the swamp, not wanting to be near the creature. I sat down and ate the first berry. I chewed and swallowed slowly, trying to savor it even though I had a bunch more. Every last drop of the juice tasted like perfection. I haven’t tasted something so sweet in my life. I stuffed my face with the berries to eager to wait. I had about maybe twenty before I started to eat, now I have only four left.
I was to busy chomping down that I didn’t notice the thing was standing in the water licking its mouth while staring at my food. I grabbed the stick I had the other night and used it to push the berries closer to it. It came running out of the water immediately and ate the berry without even bothering to chew it once. I am not the only one starving. I picked up the third berry up and held it out in front of me. The thing approached slowly. It hesitated when I held it out a little farther letting it know it was okay. It came closer and closer and…it took the berry from my hand and sat down next to me. All my attention was drawn to it now. I took my left hand and touched the creature’s skin with my fingertips. It was smooth and ice-cold. I guess we were at truce now, because her slimy long blue tongue licked the bite she gave me.
I say she were a girl, she was neat and gentle. Since we were friends…now, I deiced I should give her a name. I thought and thought. Nothing seemed right until something sparked in my mind. “Ayomi…your name is Ayomi.” She nodded as in agreement while eating the rest of the berries. My mouth fell open into a big circle. She- she could understand?! All she could do was screech and growl…how can she understand me? I yawned putting it aside for now. She could see I was tired and got up and started to walk away. She signaled me to follow so I got up and paced after Ayomi. She led me to a cave that had lots of moss inside. I smiled and patted her on the head. She nodded and walked off. I assumed she was going to the hole to get some rest herself. I lied on the fresh moss. It was damp, but better than nothing. I tried to stay awake so I could think about Ayomi a bit more but my eyes drooped closed and my thoughts turned into dreams.
The dream had my mother, father, and three brothers. They welcomed Ayomi as is she was a dog. It was wonderful and never wanted to wake up until I dreamt about the night of my disappearance. Mother told me to watch the pig pen, so the fox wouldn’t come back and kill more pigs while we were at rest. I stayed out there till nightfall. A fox came out of the forest; his eyes were glowing in the darkness. I chased him until he escaped me. I didn’t know where I was and I was dumb enough to keep on walking. I could not see anything in the dark, the only thing I could see was a couple stars, but that was barely visible. When morning had come I was not even near my land.
A chill came into the air and I woke up instantly. I walked out of the cave and lifted my head up. Snowflakes fell from the sky. They covered my hair and my eye lashes. I blinked making them fall to the ground. I shivered and walked back to the swamp. The swamp’s water was already frozen and the reeds had icicles all over them. I went to her hole and peered inside. She wasn’t there. I searched all around, called her name even whistled a few times. Ayomi was nowhere to be found. I was walking back to the swamp, checking there again to if she had returned there from going somewhere, but something caught my eye. I kneeled down and studied them. Foot prints. Human Foot prints. Someone took Ayomi… I knew this because next to it about a couple of inches away there were trails that were jagged and what looked like spikes from her tail. I took my chances and followed them. “I will not be alone again.” I whispered to myself, trying to boost up my confidence; but it didn’t work.
I trudged on for ages and my stomach growled endlessly, asking for food it needed. I kept moving on, even if I saw an apple that was not covered in icicles like the reeds or a stream that flowed beside me not yet frozen. Wetness soaked up in my shoes making it uncomfortable. I wrapped by jacket around me more tightly blocking out as much cold as I could. I walked all day and didn’t stop once. My thirst got the best of me around sunset. The sky was pink and purple, making the white snow look beautiful. I kneeled down by the stream that followed me all this time and cupped my hands. I let the freezing water fill into my hands and sipped it making it last. The water quenched my thirst. Since my mouth was finally moist, I wiped off the remaining drops with my sleeve and hurried on. You could see birds returning to their nests…their home. I thought about my home for a while, trying to kill time that would not pass quickly enough. Now it was dark, but I didn’t even notice. I was gawking at the large factory that stood in front of me.
A hidden factory…now I feel like this is a fairytale. But this was no factory like the small ones back at home that had smoke coming out of the chimney. It had three large what seemed like metal chimneys, the smoke that came out disappeared when it reached a certain height in the air. There was a huge wooden door that looked like one to a castle. I walked to the door and put my right hand on it. I could sense Ayomi…but how?
Instead of knocking I let myself in. I glanced around, but saw no sign of life. I ran in not bothering to close the door. I crept into a narrow hallway. It was mostly hollow, except the statues that bordered the walls. I could hear nothing but my footsteps. Finally, but barely visible, was another large wooden door. I bound to the door and opened it. Sound flooded the hallway. You could hear birds chirp, dogs bark, and cats meow. Even lions roar! There was an assortment of animals in the humongous room…as well as machines. I jumped as somebody put their hand on my shoulder. It was a big man with a grey uniform. I didn’t know what to say, the man was three times bigger than me! “I…I...” I stammered but couldn’t get a peep from me. “You aren’t supposed to be here. You will see Dr. Ronald at once.” His voice was low and firm.
He pulled me to a small room. It contained millions of books and a desk in the far corner with papers scattered all over it. In the chair of the desk was a man. He had grey hair with round glasses. To my surprise he had no wrinkles, even though he looked rather old. “Who is this?” he demanded pointing to me glaring at the guy in the uniform. “I found her roaming around the factory, uninvited, so I escorted her here.” The doctor looked half please and half cross. “And you are still here…why?” The man in the uniform had his face turn a bright red and he walked out. “Go on and sit down.” He pointed to the back of his room. I hadn’t noticed a conference table when I first walked in. I sat down on one side and he sat on the other.
He studied me and then said very loudly, “Why are you here, girl?” I didn’t know where to start. “I lost something and I know it came here.” He rubbed his head, started muttering something to himself and then looked back at me. “What is it this time? A dog or a cat?” There was a hint of irritation in his voice, which made me really mad. He had to know what I was talking about. “Nothing close to a dog or cat.”, I said quietly. He nodded in understanding. “Ohh…” he looked at a cupboard- though it looked like a mini closet. It was silent for a little bit, but then he went to his desk and grabbed a loaf of bread. He cut a piece, put it on a glass plate, and brought it to the table. He probably saw the hunger in my eyes. He slid the plate across the table. I stretched out for it and took the bread off the plate. I didn’t want to seem eager, so I nibbled at it. “I am keeping it.”, he said. He grabbed a remote and pressed a big red button on it.
The cupboard opened. Ayomi was in a cage squirming around. He was trying to butter me up! I put the bread down at once. There were tiny holes in the cage, tinier then the one she slept in. They most know about her shrinking ability. I breathed in a deep breath and said as calmly as I could, “No, you are not.”
He glared at me with shock and anger painted on his face. I stood up straight letting him know I was serious. “Did you just say no to me!?” I nodded trying not to show a pinch of fear that welled inside of me. Dr. Ronald went on a rampage. As he called security, I ran to the closet and opened the cage. It had no lock on it, how stupid can they get? Ayomi slithered out of the rusty thing. “SHRINK!” I screamed when Dr Ronald’s guards came running toward us. She did as I said, and I picked her up, shoved her into my jacket pocket, and streaked out the door. I ran through knocking down men and women in white clothes. I opened the wooden door that led to the hallway and slammed it shut. I got halfway down the hall when the door was pushed open. I started to run even faster…faster than my legs could carry me. I fell down and Ayomi tumbled out of my pocket. I didn’t have time to get up; the men were only a few feet away. I knew it was the end of me, until a miracle happened.
Ayomi grew back her normal size and stood in front of me. She closed her eyes tight and a light blue wall formed in front of us. All the guards ran into it, falling to the ground. I touched it and felt like screaming. A little touch hurts you so much, and all of these men rammed into it. Even one had a nose bleed! But that didn’t matter now, only I and Ayomi getting out of here did. We escaped the building and ran the entire way pass the swamp to the cave I slept in last night. We both panted from running non-stop. I hugged Ayomi and didn’t let go. We were both alive and safe.
Four months later…
The fire crackled making ashes. Flowers covered all of the swamp now and moonlight shined. Stars spread across the sky making countless constellations. Ayomi and I were looking up at the sky pointing out shapes the stars made. I grabbed the cup of water and let it rush down my throat. I found a rusty pocket knife with the word, Roberts engraved on the handle. Roberts was a crafting store that was down the street from my house, and some hikers must have dropped it a long time ago. I used it to carve things such as large cups and plates for me…Ayomi drank right out from the stream and didn’t mind having her food on dirt while she ate it.
The warm spring breeze blew through my hair making it fly out of my face. Ayomi and I have been out here for months, surviving on meat she had caught and water from the stream. We also had lots of things to entertain ourselves with. We loved looking for things around the woods that people have dropped long time ago, and at night Ayomi was fascinated with the fireflies I caught. This was the life, if you knew how to live it, which I did. Ayomi and I spent endless days in the woods, having a breathtaking adventure each day.
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