Chapter 2; section 1 is ready!
Click here to read Chapter 1, part 1
Click here to read Chapter 1, part 2
The Bramblewood Tales
Chapter 2: A Discovery
With the sleepy sun drifting slowly on her way down, back to her bed behind the trees, the atmosphere of the woods was mysteriously eerie and the breeze was just so that made the forest fall silent in the fading light. The sun-rays touched the forest walls, creating a shiny, golden glow illuminating the girls’ winding path through the woodland jungle. As the girls walked farther along the crooked river, the trees towered over them like great skyscrapers that almost seemed to grow out of the sky instead of out of the ground. With the trees’ daunting presence, the girls began to feel a bit intimidated by the forest when only a little earlier, it was their imagination’s playground. Instead of being brave explorers, they felt like tiny pebbles being swallowed up by a powerful waterfall, plunging them into a world unknown. As the girls trudged on, the stream continued to steadily widen and seemed to get deeper with every step.
Though the girls were fully aware of this now raging river, something else was different. Both of the girls could feel it deep within their bones, and yet they didn’t utter a word to each other about it. Everything, though it was quite familiar, still looked different some how. It was as if they were looking at the same thing, but from a drastically different angle. Whatever it was, the girls couldn’t quite put their finger on it.
Then out of the blue, as Story led the way, she heard a noise behind her. “CLUFUMP!” She quickly looked back at her sister, who was starring back at Story in a small cloud of dust from the ground. Olive had tripped over something and was now sprawled out on her stomach like a pancake. “Are you alright? What happened?” asked Story. “I’m fine. I was trying to see the birds in the tops of trees, but they are too far away and I tripped. Silly me,” said Olive with a little embarrassment. “Well, get up so we can get to Grammy’s. Something about this forest is creeping me out. Look how big the trees have become. We must be in a very deep part of the forest because I have never seen trees this big before.” supposed Story as she tried to look up at the treetops as best she could. As Olive got onto her hands and knees, preparing to stand up, she realized what she had fallen onto and gasped, “Story, you need to look at this!”. “What is so urgent, you crazy girl?” asked Story with a nervous smile. “We might both be crazy, look what I’m laying on.” Olive stated in complete seriousness. As Story looked over, she first thought that Olive was lying in a bed of leaves, but then she realized that instead of many leaves it was only one leaf, and Olive completely fit inside of it as if it were a picnic blanket stretched out on the ground. “How can this be?” murmured Story who couldn’t help being skeptical. “I don’t know. But either everything got bigger or we got smaller,” said Olive matter of factly.
“Wait, did you hear that?” alerted Olive as she stopped in her tracks as she fully stood up. “Yah. I think it is just a helicopter.” said Story casually as she was still fascinated by the size of the trees. “It sounds like it is getting closer.” warned Olive, “my goodness… Look!” After looking where Olive was starring, Story gasped in disbelief as a typical honey bee, that was untypically half the size of Story herself, flew toward them! Frozen by a mixture of curiosity and fear, both girls gazed at the bee, unable to believe their own eyes. “How could an insect be almost the same size as a human child?” wondered Story. As the bee buzzed off, Story, thinking that Olive was right behind her, turned to comment on what they had just seen, but Olive was nowhere in sight. “Olive, where are you?” asked Story. “Come on, lets get out of here!” yelled Olive, who had already continued at a fast pace on their path that they hoped would lead them out of the wonderland. “Wait up! Lets not panic. Maybe it seems like everything has gotten bigger because it is getting dark out here.” said Story as she jogged up next to Olive. So the girls continued through the woods along the river, on their journey home, nervously joking about what if they were stuck in this bizarre place for the rest of the their lives. But they soon changed the subject because neither of them felt comfortable with that outrageous idea.
They began to notice everything, bugs, leaves, trees, plants, and animals had become monstrous in size and the girls began to wonder about their own safety as they made there way through this enormous world. As the light in the forest began to grow dimmer, Olive, in discomfort, sat down on a rock, demanding a break from walking. “Come on, Olive. The more we walk the closer we get to Grammy’s.” begged Story. “That is not even true” blurted Olive, “We act like everything is ok, but its not! We are lost and we don’t belong in this place. I don’t know what is going on, but something weird has happened. What are we going to do?” As Story opened her mouth to try to calm her sister down, she heard the swoosh of flapping wings, followed by a loud “Squawk!” that rang in her ears. As Story looked toward the sound, she locked eyes with a monster of an owl with long, brown, speckled wings, with a glare that said without words that he was determined to make Story and Olive his dinner. “Olive, get down!” demanded Story and Olive did just that as the razor sharp claws of the owl grazed through the tips of her curly hair. “Run as fast as you can and try to find something to hide in!” yelled Story, as both of the girls dashed through the trees, away from the river, seeking safety. Closely pursued by the owl, the girls scampered toward a patch of long grass that they hoped would hide them from the clutches of the enormous bird. After what seemed like hours of being hunted, but in reality was only a few seconds, the girls finally reached the grass and luckily their planned worked for the owl could not see them amongst the blades of green.
After hearing the bird eventually fly away, the girls tried to catch their breath. “Wow, that was close” Story said in relief. “I want to go home,” muttered Olive as her eyes filled up like pails of water and two large crocodile tears flooded over and ran down her cheeks. “Listen to me, Olive. I know this is all very strange. I’ve never been so scared in all my life. But at least we are together and are not going through this alone. You’ve been my best partner through all our adventures, and if there is one thing we have learned it’s that everything is good in the end, and if it’s not good, then it must not be the end. Plus we know that we aren’t to worry about anything, lets say a little prayer, and trust that we will get through this together. I need you to be brave, even when you are scared the most. Can you do that?” asked Story with an encouraging smile. “I think so” whispered Olive. “Good. Now come on. Lets keep walking until we find a better place to sleep if we don’t get home before the sun goes all the way down,” declared Story as if she had experienced this before, even though she was trembling inside.
Though the forest appeared dark, the sun still gleamed through the trees and everything seemed to stand still in the twilight. The girls walked and as they made their way through the woods, the beautiful melody of the forest started to sing at full volume, and the sweet smell of the forest floor draped around them like a pleasant dream. They decided to take a break beside a mossy oak tree that over looked a small ravine, trying to take comfort in each other’s presence, and not thinking about what would happen as the night crept on.
“What is that sound?” asked Story, trying hard to listen to a bustle of activity in the near distance. Without answering, Olive got up and peeked around the tree, looking down into the valley. One of the last rays of day light streamed through the trees and highlighted the entire valley on the other side of the tree. “Ahh” she whispered hastily as she ducked back behind the tree. “What is it” asked Story anxiously, and also in a whisper. “There is a village of people on the other side of this tree!” exclaimed Olive, and both girls smiled with excitement and relief.
To be continued…
This post is dedicated to my precious friend, Blair. Her encouragement and friendship has impacted me in so many ways. Thank you, friend!