Feb 14
Lorr's picture

Woodland girl

I’m walking through the woods perusal on a beautiful day like this.I’m wandering around playing with my knife when I come across a set of footprints.I decide on a whim to follow them,I’m home alone so it’s not necessarily a good decision to come out in the woods. But when have I ever made good decisions. So I follow the prints,they’re normal human prints, but relatively small i’d say it’s a woman's foot. The prints keep going for a long time, at one point i go in a loop.

It was absolutely quite outside all you could hear where the birds and soft summer whistling winds.Suddenly the footprints stop in a cluster of trees. I look up in all the trees and see nothing. There’s a pine tree that looks extra thick in the middle. So I climb the tree,high up I sit on a thick branch trying to find the mysterious woman. I’m about to climb down the tree when I get the feeling that something or someone is watching me. I continue to sit on the branch acting like I don’t feel its eyes on me. For a while im just sitting there waiting for something to happen, the feeling still lingering as a watch the sunset. Suddenly I hear a stick snap and I look in the direction I heard it from almost immediately. But there’s nothing there so in the fleeting light of the sun I take a piece of paper and one of the pencils I use for sketching animals and plants I see. I write on the paper” Hello, my name is Rose” I take my knife and put the paper against the tree and stab it into the bark of the tree with my knife. I put the pencil close by in a small nook and climb down the tree.

I walk home in the dark, which isn’t easy but not that hard. When i get home I make a quick meal, take a shower, and go to bed eager to see if the mysterious girl wrote back. My alarm wakes me up at 6 to get ready for the day. I take my small bag and put my notebook and pencils in it along with some food and water. After I eat breakfast I quickly run to my room and find two knives to take with me. I took a simple knife but also find my thigh sheath for my Damascus Sgian Dubh knife. I leave my house around 7:30 and head back to the woods. I jog into the forest and to the trail where the footprints were. Eventually I break into a sprint to get there faster. I get to the trees and climb up the pine tree fast. I sit back down on the branch and look over to see the paper in the tree. Written in very bad handwriting” Hello Rose, my name is Leticia.” I smile to myself, happy that I know the name of the mysterious girl.I take my pencil and write back on the paper “Leticia, what a pretty name. Why are you in the woods alone?” After that I eat a small lunch, it’s still early so I walk around in this new part of the woods. Eventually I go back to my house tired from all the walking. My parents are away somewhere with my sister. They left two days ago,and won’t be back for a month. This isn’t the first time i’ve been home alone so i'm used to the peacefulness.

The most interesting thing about the footprints to me is that i’ve spent hours and hours in the woods and i’ve never seen footprints. I even taught myself how to track and walk quietly through the woods. I’m usually quiet in the woods paying attention to small marks. So why now do I see these footprints. These are the last thoughts I have before I fall into a deep slumber. I repeat everything I did the yesterday morning. But this time I walk into the woods and down the path. I climb the big pine tree and sit on the branch looking at the surrounding trees before I look at the trunk of the tree with the paper. It says on it in the same scratchy almost unreadable handwriting.” thank you,i’m not alone, at least not yet.” I almost fall out of the tree when I read the last part. “What do you mean by not yet?” I respond and stick the paper back to the tree. I decide to draw the cluster of trees in front of me. While i’m drawing the sensation of having eyes on me is back, but I simply ignore it. I don’t try to see who it is, Im guessing it’s just Leticia trying to see what i’m doing. I shift my position so that the notebook can be seen by the person behind me. After about an hour of drawing I climb down the tree and go back home. This time when I go home it’s still light out so I decide to work out and go on a run. I’m eager to fall asleep again so that I can see if Leticia wrote back. I do my morning routine and head out to the woods. When I get to the tree the paper is lying on the ground in front or the trunk, the knife is also gone. I pick up the paper and it says”turn around and walk forward.” I do as the message tells me to do and I walk forward.

I walk for about half a mile, following footprints yet again. When i’m walking I come across a thick tree carved into it is a big arrow pointing upwards. I look up into the tree and see nothing. I continue to look at it for a couple minutes when I see what looks to kind of be a tree house. You couldn’t tell it was there unless you were actually looking for something to be there. I climb up the tree, it’s pretty difficult, the tree is large but doesn’t have very many branches. I manage to get all the way up and I sit on a limb near the tree house looking mass. After about ten minutes a section of the tree comes out and someone walks out behind me. I hear this person, it’s probably Leticia, the mysterious girl. I get nervous, am I really ready to meet this girl. I’m deep in my thoughts when I hear a soft but commanding voice say

”I know you heard me walk out, why haven’t you turned around.” I jump at the sudden voice and hear a giggle,

”I-I don’t know, I guess i’m a little scared,” I manage to stutter out. I still haven’t turned around to see her face and she hasn’t moved since talking either.

” Why would you be scared?” the angelic voice replies.

“I’m not sure,i’ve never been good at talking to new people.”

“Well you shouldn't worry Rose,you’re one of the first people i’ve ever talked to. May I sit next to you?” I nod my head not trusting my voice at the time, I move over toward the trunk of the tree so i’m up against it. I pull my bag off and pull out two apples. I feel someone and on the branch as I put the bag back on my back. I glance over to my right and see a girl with muscular arms and was wearing what looked like animal furs and pelts as clothes. Her shoes appear to be made of leather. I hand her the other apple and she bows her head as a thank you.I nod back as a reply. I start up conversation again by saying,

“Are you alone?”

“Yes, well no. My mother is sick and stuck in there” gesturing towards where she just came out of. I look to where she pointed.

“Can I take a look at her?, I don’t know much about medicine but I’ll take a look anyway. Do you know how old she is?”

“You can take a look at her, I don’t know how old she is but my whole family and more used to live around here.” she leads me up the tree more to where she came from and pulls on a thick vine and part of the tree opens up to lead inside it. There are candles lit all over the place maybe too many candles. But lying on a of bed and bear fur is an old woman, a sleep. I go over and check her pulse it’s there but very weak. It’s a good sign, but I can’t tell what wrong. I turn to Leticia and tell her

“I'm not sure what wrong, her pulse is weak. Has she had food and water?”

“I’ve been hunting and finding berries and things and I found a stream, I’ve drank from it as well and been fine.” I think for a minute trying to think of something that might be wrong with her besides the fact that she’s old.

“Wait, did you get the water directly from the stream to give to her?”

“Yes, is that wrong?”

“Well, you'll be fine but your mother is old and her immune system is weak and cannot fight off infection like yours can, so she’s sick if she is to live she needs to go to a hospital.” Leticia’s face shows her sadness and anger for a second until she masked her emotions.

“I’m not taking her to one of those places, she’s from these woods if she will not live she will die here.” She says this with so much force and anger that I simply nod in fear.

“I don’t know what I can do to help, we could make a stretcher and bring her to my house if you want.”

“No, she will stay here but this house you speak of, show me it” I nod and walk out the door with Leticia close behind me.

“We need to run to get there before dark” she nods and we both start jogging through the woods. We reach the end of the woods and a slow to a walk.

“Why have we slowed down?” andrea asks.

“We have arrived” i say while pointing to my large house that’s sitting in a small clearing in the middle of the woods.

“This house is huge for one person”

“I’m not the only one who lives here I have a sister and parents.

“Oh, I think I should go I don’t want others to see me”

“No, I’m the only one here right now the others are away for a while”

“Why would they leave such a beautiful girl alone?” Leticia says that more to herself then to me so I ignore it and continue walking towards my house. We arrive and I open the door for us to enter. I take off and I think Leticia gets the message and takes off her boots. We walk upstairs from the mud room and I ask

“What do you want to eat?” Leticia looks at me confused for a minute before answering,

“Don’t we have to go hunting?” I laugh at her a little before I remember that she’s never been in a house. I shake my head before saying,

“No, I have food here. Ever heard of Macaroni and cheese?”

“What is that? I haven’t heard of any either of those things.”

“Well i’m gonna make it for you then” I grab my laptop and turn it on. I go to Youtube and start playing music. Leticia sits at the kitchen counter watching me. I noticed that she does that a lot not very secretive about it either. I make the pasta while singing and dancing around the kitchen like the dork I am. I look at Leticia and shes simply watching me with a soft smile on her face. I point finger guns at her and she giggles at me. The current song finishes and a slow song starts to play that i don’t know the name of starts. I slowly walk over to Leticia and grab her hands pulling her up. She’s a little bit taller then me so her arms are around my neck. I put my arms around her waist and we sway to the song.  I look up into her eyes and for the first time she doesn't care about the emotion she showing me. In her eyes I see love, and happiness but I also see pain and struggle. We share this silent moment together it seems like it lasted for a short period of time, like we were only dancing for a second. When in reality we were standing there dancing, with light smiles on our faces looking deeply into eachothers eyes. Getting lost in her cold yet soft eyes for five minutes. When the song ends Leticia pulls away and turns around, her arm goes up to her face to wipe a tear from her eye that she didn’t want me to see.

    After me singing and dancing like a fool while Leticia sits there laughing at me the pasta is done. I pull out two bowls and grab two forks, I fill the bowls with mac and cheese. I hand one bowl to Leticia and put one down for myself. Leticia looks at it, and then me, I don’t really understand why she’s confused but I slowly start to eat the food that I made. Soon after I start eating Leticia picks up her fork and starts to eat with me.

Leticia lets out a low almost inaudible moan as the cheesy goodness that is mac and cheese. I lightly giggle at the noise she makes.

“Woah this is amazing, I can’t believe i’ve never had this. My mother needs to have some of this before she leaves us.”

“We can take it to her tomorrow if that’s okay with you, I would say we could go now but it’s dark out and I don’t know if i’d be able to get us there without attracting animals.”

“Tomorrow is fine.” We continue to eat in quite only hearing our breaths and low music ringing in the air. I look up at the watch to check the time and see that it’s getting late.

“Umm so it’s getting rather late, we should head to bed” Leticia nods, I lead us upstairs to my room before I open the door I turn and face Leticia.

“So do you want to sleep in the same room or seperate ones? I have two beds so we won’t have to sleep in the same bed”

“The same room is fine with me, I would just like to sleep so that we can go see my mother soon.” I nod and turn back around, I hand Leticia one of my muscle shirts and a pair of shorts and tell her to change into them. I grab the same thing for myself and tell Leticia I’m going in my closet to change. After I change I knock on the closet door and ask Leticia if shes done changing yet she says yes so I open the door. I say a quick good night to her and then go to bed.

The next morning I wake up at first light and head down stairs. Grab a container to put macaroni and cheese in it for Leticia’s mom making a mental note to heat it up before we leave. I make a cup of coffee and start making scrambled eggs for Leticia and I. When the eggs are done I put them on plates and pour two cups of juice and grab forks. Just as I finish setting down the food Leticia comes down the stairs silently, dressed in her leather armor looking clothes. We both eat, again in silence but faster both of us eager to get outside. After I finish I run upstairs and quickly get dressed grabbing my Damascus Sgian Dubh knife and thigh sheath again. Along with my bag, I get to my kitchen and throw a few apples, other fruits and a water bottle. I heat up the pasta from the other night and then we leave. We walk to the edge of the woods and then we break into a fast jog. When we get to Leticia’s treehouse Leticia goes up the tree first with me following close behind. When we get inside I check her mother’s pulse again and it’s even weaker than last time. Leticia and I help her mother sit up, lauren starts talking to her softly in a language I don’t recognise. Leticia takes the pasta from my bag along with the water. She gives her mother water first and after that she hands her the pasta. She looks at my asking me with her eyes what is. I gesture to Leticia and she tells her mother what is. Leticia’s mother nods and takes a bite of the food, she has the same reaction as Leticia did. After she is done eating her and Leticia start talking to each other. Leticia nods her head and turns to me and says “Help me take her outside, that is where she’d like to pass, looking at the blue skies.” I nod my head and walk over to Leticia and her mother. We slowly get her up and out of the tree. Leticia leads us to what looks like a graveyard for her people. We lay her mother down on the ground. We walk away and I can feel Leticia’s sadness, it’s thick and lingering in the air. I hesitantly put my arm around her shoulder and say,

“Death is not the end Leticia” She nods and leans into me. “What are you going to do now? I don’t want you to live out here alone, there is a spare room in my house.”

“ I would be intruding, I can’t stay there and eat your food and take up space in your home.”

“Food and space don’t matter we have plenty of both and for food we can go hunting together, you’d be working for your place.” Leticia nods,

“ i guess that would be okay, I don’t like being alone anyway.” We walk back to the tree house hand in hand and grab all of her things. She looks sad to leave her home so I tell her that we can come back anytime we wants. She carries her furs all the way out of the woods and into the spare room and throws them on the bed. I take my bag and hand her all of her things from inside it.

“Make yourself at home I’ll make some food’ I say as I walk out out of the room.

From this day on Leticia stay together, talk to each other. We go on adventures together exploring the woods. We even went camping somewhere for a month and lived in the woods. I convinced her to attend school and we did homework together. Even though she hasn’t ever actually had any schooling she understands some of this stuff more than me.