• Alexia Acosta

Laws of the Forest

The wind was blowing so hard that the leaves created their own little hurricanes. The birds made their own little patterns in the sky. The rabbits had long hidden into their holes, and the deer didn't come to the clearing anymore. The overcast set deeper into the sky as if they were getting ready for a storm. The air was charged with electricity.

Then it all broke.

It wasn’t the wind that had broken the tension, something had intruded into the clearing. Something had disturbed the sacredness of the silence, the vow that the birds, wind, and sky tried to keep. The panting broke even the silence of the wind. A girl was running towards the clearing at breakneck speeds. Hair streaming, she ran down past the forest. Though calling it, a forest would be very generous. This forest was a collection of wood stumps; no leaves or trunks could be seen. It was a hollow forest with the whispers of what it used to be.

The winds howled in delight and laughed at her futile effort, no longer needing to be quiet. The brown grass was crunchy to the step. Her thoughts were focused on one thing, running. The shadows seemed to reach out and touch her as she went by. The sun had hidden behind the clouds long ago. Then another ran into the clearing, clearly chasing the first and with it, the sound of the song. The song further broke the silence of the clearing, and all the birds flew out of the clearing. Then, like the color washing from the artist’s ruin painting, the birds went to join the blue sky where another painting was being completed.

She tripped over a rock and looked behind her with unmistakable tension. The songs of her pursuiter were as clear as air, and she knew that she had lost. She lost all her vigor and waited for her pursuer to get to her. There was no point; they had caught up to her the moment she fell. As the pursuer reached for her, hesitating to see if she had any tricks up her sleeves. Pleased that she had none, the hand reached out and touched her on the shoulder. The yells of the pursuiter echoed through the valley like the echo of the forest’s whispers. The joy of the pursuer was clearly written on their face as if they had won a battle. The pursuer's hand jerked back as if she had infected them with poison. The pursuer turned into prey, and the prey turned into the pursuer. She rose and ran after the running prey as she continued to play the seemingly never-ending game of tag. She followed her brother back home to where he was running.