The Inner Wood (Pt. 1)

The girl was shouting at him now.

“Hurry!!! Come ON!!!”

I cant… I cant… he thought. And every thought word thumped harder on the drum which was his heart, banging.

“I’ve TRIED!” He shouted back. “I’ve tried….” he trailed “I…..can’t do it….” he moaned… “I can’t…. do ….” and he slumped down, releasing his frail and collapsing body onto the fence post, slithering down it like a 6-year-old melting into a warm puddle of miserable defeat in the middle of the forest.

Shit. SHIT. The Woman was worried.

She took a breath,  did something with her right hand. And with her other, which was holding the right of the little girl, she softly and reassuringly squeezed her little fingers with love and light.

NOW, she sent out. We need to GO. NOW. I am officially starting to panic. Where ARE you.

The howling in the forest. It suddenly grow louder. As if it was listening.

The girl’s voice yelled on in reply, louder herself. The brave little shit.  She heard their challenge and was screaming now.

“Just hop over it!” She raged. “GET up, and GET strong, and CLIMB. OVER.” She stomped at each word. a furry stance. each one. “GET. UP!”

She could her hear the sound of his crying.

Gah…. Poor kid… the Woman could feel it all.

“PLEASE!” the little girl shouted. “You can do it!”

No, the Woman vibrated. He can’t, Child. Nor can you. No child can.

The thumping in the boy’s chest wouldn’t stop. It felt like something was in there. Something not him. But like him. Or him exactly. Or, even, the same.

“I can’t….” He moaned to himself.

“I can’t…” he sniffled to the listening air. He even wondered if they were, still. Listening.

He focused at a spot in the ground – and let go. Released hearing. Feeling. Perceiving. And he felt the silence slowly wash in, like a high tide that feels the ears, right up to the top.

And the relief of feeling nothing (which was his name for anything other than this) washed over him. like a warm, dark blanket. 

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