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I am Forest
Her flame-like strands of hair danced in the wind as she sat deep within her forest on a moss covered limb of a drooped tree. Her bare, dirt coated feet hung in the air underneath the limb, just barely brushing the surface of the emerald water below. Her head was back, resting in a small ray of yellow that found its way through the leaves. Skin so pale it was almost translucent in the yellow beam; it had a greenish tint to it as if moss were growing underneath. Her nose was small and thin and her lips were petite and pale. Out of her fire red hair poked her ears. They looked as if they were pulled and stretched out, and then curved into little delicate swirls. The dress she wore was just as soft and delicate as she and was the murkiest shade of green as if it was made out of the water below her and the leaves above. She hummed a dark tune that resonated through the trees as she made small ripples in the murky pool of water below.
The dark tune stopped and her eyelids snapped open suddenly revealing the lightest shade of blue eyes paired with vertically slit pupils. They glowed like the rays of yellow did in the dark, creating an ominous beacon for the lost ones. Her head fell forward limply, her bright hair creating a wall around her face, and her mouth split into a wide grin as she looked at the water expectantly. Then orange flashed at the surface. She giggled; even her laugh was mesmerizing and utterly entrancing.
Two orange koi came to the surface to keep her company. They swam in a circle, one following the other as they always have and always will. She wished a yellow beam was on them so that their orange scales would glitter and shine.
She resumed the dark melody she was humming before and followed the koi with her toe, making circles on the surface of the dark green water. Red fire hair spilled across her shoulders as she leaned her head to the side, her eyes fluttering shut. She let the sound of the orange koi swimming and the circling motions of her feet lull her into a trance.
The koi disappeared quickly with a bubble of water and her soft smile deepened into a frown. Her head snapped up and her eyes were narrowed and alert. A low growl rumbled in the back of her throat when her sharp ears picked up a noise just beyond the trees.
Someone was in her forest.
There was another rustle of branches much closer than the last one was and she jumped up and crouched defensively on the tree limb she had been sitting on. She crept further on the log as the rustling grew louder and closer. Her hearts were pumping furiously with anticipation and adrenaline and she bared her teeth as another growl rumbled.
The rustling suddenly stopped as the being that was making such a raucous made it to the edge of the trees and saw her crouched dangerously on the tree limb.
“Who are you,” called a cautious voice.
She hissed, gnashing her teeth in its direction as an attempt to scare him away. More rustling and the being came closer out into the light. Her gaze sharpened and she snarled at it while she backed away slowly.
A boy with light sandy hair and soft brown eyes full of curiosity walked into the yellow light. The boy gave her a warm smile and her fierce snarl softened for a fraction of a second, but she forced herself to keep her guard up.
“Hello,” he said, his voice licked with a foreign accent. “How are you?” Instead of backing away she charged forward a few steps on the tree limb, lashing out at him. He only laughed and then held his hand out to her as if he was offering her something. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he whispered quietly. The clemency in his voice made her snarl soften and she furrowed her brow in confusion. He didn’t want to hurt her? She tilted her head to the side and made a sudden decision. With a nod she jumped off the tree limb and landed in front of the boy in a crouch. She looked up at him suspiciously and slowly stood up.
“Who?” She asked in a soft, angelic voice that seemed to vibrate in the forest air. Her eyes were narrowed as she cocked her head to the side, waiting his answer.
The boy, momentarily stunned by the beauty of her hypnotizing voice, cleared his throat. “I am Casen,” he announced as he put is palm to his chest.
“Casen?” the girl repeated, her brow furrowing further in curiosity.
“Yes,” he beamed cheerfully. “Yes, I am Casen. And you are?” He put his hand out towards her once again, his palm facing up glittering in the rays of yellow that found their way through the thick canopy.
Confused, she put her palm to her chest as he had. “Yes, yes,” the boy exclaimed. “Who are you?
“I am…” The girl, confused as to what she was, looked around for a way to explain. She looked at the trees that surrounded her, the trees whom she considered family. Then she looked at the water, where she spent long hours of the day sitting and singing. She looked at the soft, wet ground underneath her feet that squished itself between her toes. The listened to the wind that danced through her trees and carried her sweet, melodic voice throughout her forest. Finally, she looked at the mysterious yellow beams; how they fought their way through the leaves and how she loved their warmth. However, as to where they came from, she did not have the slightest clue.
She looked at the boy and smiled once she had her answer. She opened to slim, pale arms wide and said, “I am forest.”
“Pardon me,” he coughed for he thought he heard the mysterious girl wrong.
“I am tree,” she laughed as she gestured toward the trees around them. “I am water!” The girl cackled gleefully as she jumped up high into the air and dived backwards into the murky emerald water, disturbing the waters once still surface. She climbed out of the water, liquid glistening on her skin.
“I am wind,” She sang just as the breeze pushed through the trees. The breeze pulled on her damp hair and blew water droplets of her delicate skin. “Ground, too.” She looked down and giggled at her frail, dirty feet as her toes dug into the watery dirt.
Her smile softened as she turned away from the boy to look at the nearest beam of yellow. Thoughtfully, she eased her hand into the warm light as if she was mindful of it. She turned her hand over, letting the light touch every inch of her hand. “I am light,” she whispered softly. She lost herself in a trance, coaxed into it by the warmth of the ray of yellow, but she soon shook her head and turned to face the curious boy who called himself Casen.
“I am forest,” she said in all finality.
The brown eyed boy stared at her in complete astonishment. His eyes were fill with wonder and his mouth hung open in awe. His mouth moved as if he meant to say something, but all that came out were incoherent sounds. Finally, he shook his head and blinked.
“So this whole forest,” he said, putting his hand up to his head, “is…”
She put her palm on her chest and smile. “Mine.”
“Oh my god.” Suddenly, the boy laughed, loudly and manically. He spun around with both hands on top of his head. “Oh my god,” he whispered to himself.
He turned back around, dropping his hands to his sides. He smiled at her sweetly and ran his fingers through his light hair.
“Well I hope you don’t mind, milady,” he laughed, “if I call you Forest.”
Battle Creek, Michigan
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Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?