Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
I was running.
It was such a normal day.
Where was she?
I took my seat and pulled out my book.
No way would I make it out of here.
The teacher droned on and I let my eyes close as her voice faded into background noise.
The forest will swallow me up.
I was called on during my nap and stumbled through my answer. I could tell my teacher hated me.
The Secret Gardener would get me sooner or later.
I waited for the bell to ring so I could rush home. I was hungry. Mom wasn’t home. I made a sandwich and went out for a walk. As I sat by a tree in my front yard and munched on my sandwich, I brushed through my hair and tied it up high so it didn’t drag along the ground. I broke up the extra crust and tossed it all around for the birds.
A Large blue bird grabbed a piece and flew into the tree above me. I watched her land and break it up for her babies. As she turned, her tail feathers nocked a baby from the tree. It flapped its wings but it was too weak to fly. The baby landed right in front of me. I reached for it, but it hopped away. It was edging closer to the woods. “Come back!” I called but it disappeared into the brush.
I’m not aloud in the woods. Oh well, I thought as I stood up, pulled my socks up high, adjusted my skirt and pushed through anyway. The bird needed to go home. I was afraid it would get lost. I tried to do a bird call, but it was a waste of time. Out of the corner of my eye there was movement. The bird! I inched closer. I could see the bright blue color through the greenery. It was still. It did not move even when I picked it up. It was dead.
I dropped the bird and took a step back. The ground was soft. I looked down to seethe body of an orange and white kitten. I jumped away. Then the smell hit. It was a bad smell, a gross smell. Dead animals surrounded my feet. As if I was on a trail paved with the deceased. I looked behind me but couldn’t see where I had entered. I followed the smelly, dead path. The further I traveled, the larger the animals were. Out of no where, animals faded into a path of faces. Human faces. Some were happy and some sad. There were other variations of different emotions, too. I kept walking because as I took steps the path disappeared behind me. I was afraid if I strayed from the path, it would escape me all together and I would have no idea where I was.
The path abruptly ended with a puddle of blood. I stepped into the blood. I could hear faint singing. I think it was ‘Pop Goes the Weasel” but I’m not sure. The longer I stood there, frozen in fear and confusion, the louder the song got. Before my very eyes, I watched another girl fade into view, sitting at the edge of the puddle. She looked exactly like me in everyway. The only difference was that she was naked and lacked reproductive organs and had no bellybutton. She looked human but something just didn’t seem right about her. Her toes flicked the blood at me as her fingers twirled in her hair that floated around her feet, soaking up the puddle. “Who are you?” I whispered.
“I am all.” She replied.
“Where am I?” I could barely croak out.
“You are in my garden.” She smiled and it sent shivers up my spine. She had no pupils.
The girl stood up. “Yes. I plant secrets. My garden is difficult to tend. Would you like to know your secret?” I shook my head. She even had my voice. “You wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t your time to know.” I shook my head again as I took a step back. I looked down at the path of faces. The eyes rolled to look at me. “It is your time,” she stated again as she stepped closer. She reached down, into the puddle of blood and submerged her hands in it. She pulled out a wooden box. I began to run. I ran as far and as long as I could. She opened the box.
I could hear her sing:
Inside the forest
Of forgotten secrets
Lies a box
Of forgotten lives.
Lives that dissipate
Into forgotten screams,
Screams of love and
Screams of lies.
Along the forest floor,
Hidden beneath the flowers,
Covered with the petals
Of dead and dying beauty
Is a trail paved with life,
Speckled with personality,
And halted by blood.
Tiny feet play in the liquid,
Tiny hands tangle in thin hair.
Giggles and laughter
Light up the forest,
The Forest of Forgotten Secrets.
The child, the girl, the light of the forgotten,
The forgotten has her own secret,
A secret of evil and a secret of death.
The forest is her secret garden,
To keep her secretive secret:
That she no longer lives
And neither do you.
Credit To: HiddenHikari