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The Forest: Chapter One

Alex has been a photographer since he was in grade school. He has a diploma in digital photography. He thoroughly enjoys various arts.


Thomas quickly opened up his reddened, vain bloated eyes. To be fair, only one of them was facing away from the ground. His heart began to beat, again, more rapidly than a group of rabbits can reproduce. He could taste the bile emerge from the recesses of his stomach and his mind.

"Where is he?", Thomas stammered out loud. If humans suspected that answers were more important than questions, then we would stop inventing new kinds of things to ask. Thomas' breathing stopped. The whole world seemed to stop with it. He listened carefully to the forest around his person. It was weird; all of the sounds seemed completely natural. There were the chirps of locusts and other insects, the call of a bird or two, and the distant sounds of flowing water. Thomas spit out the remaining soil in his mouth and hastily stood himself.

Once Thomas regained the foci of his body's primary functions and his perspectives cleared, he noted a large mound in the brush to his far right. Curiosity had become a necessity at this point; investigation was now key to his survival. He slowly and cautiously approached the small mystery hill. A sinking in his lower regions was increasing; his own intuition was far wiser than his "conscious" self. Thomas swallowed the collections of bile and spittle.

Thomas felt a sharp and collapsing pain as he looked down into the face of the pile. Mutilated human corpses. Tom swallowed a handful of vomit. It was a pile of human baby bodies. In the moment of his realization, Thomas suspected that they were less than a year old. However, this was a note that Tom was uncertain of in the future; he had no intention of experiencing the horror further.

Tom ran in the opposite direction with only the moonlight as his guide. He promptly changed his way of course, past the rotting babies, as he remembered what he had been attempting to escape before he had passed out completely. Fear, like its' brother hatred, consumes far too much energy to be very useful.

He ran for what was perceived to be hours, but Tom no longer trusted his experiences very much. Thomas couldn't hold on to much anyway, as neurons fired and received without any end to his current torment. He was a complete mess. And, so was the cabin that was in front of him. A cabin? Tom stopped and grasped his knees with the butts of his hands. It certainly looked like a cabin. A cabin in the woods may not seem too terribly odd, but Tom's day wasn't normal even when he had hoped it would be.

Thomas vomited again, this time not being able to hold it back. The great thing about the outdoors is that it cleans itself. A funny thought. Still, his whole situation was funny. The strange kind of funny that only the insane can laugh at.

Tom inhaled like air was an incredibly limited resource. He threw up again. The small house was a red flag, but it was also a shelter. Thomas steadily began to realize just how cold he was on this night, by himself, surrounded by nothing except the natural barriers of the forest and terrain. Tears flowed from his ever increasingly red eyes as he tried to bring his mind back down to earth. Tom had very little success.

After what Thomas thought may be an hour, he was calm enough to say to no one in general, "maybe". Maybe is a hope, and hope is in the moment momentarily. The problem with hope, sometimes, is that it is a long rope that may be attached to a tight knot, or to burning threads. Thomas took his chances and began to walk towards the house. "Why," was another word that escaped his mouth. He could yet experience the taste of dirt in his mouth. At this point, Thomas really didn't care; it was simply a mode to distract his mental state from less... one might say "tasteful" thoughts.

There were no lights on or in the cabin from what Tom could tell. In fact, the only item that allowed Thomas to understand this dark rise as a house was the ever fainter light of that white and yellow celestial sphere. He gripped the end of the door handle and turned it.

To Be Continued...


For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What is the name of the story's protagonist?
    • Luke
    • John
    • Thomas
    • Jude
    • Judas
    • Milky
  2. Where does Thomas wake up?
    • the forest
    • a boat
    • the mountains
    • his parents' home
    • the moon
    • a spaceship

Answer Key

  1. Thomas
  2. the forest

© 2019 Alexander James Guckenberger

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