6 Chapter 6: Marathon in a Forest Maze

‘What?’ I exclaimed loudly. ‘What did you see next?’

I shrieked and dropped my things before running into the house, searching every room for Sally. But nobody was there. I stood towards the window and shouted her name, only for my hoarse voice to echo in that empty house and vacant place, scorning my helplessness.

I searched the complete house twice, running in every corner, but to no avail. Again I came back in downstairs where blood had started clot on the cold floor. There I noticed something odd.

A trace of red blood had started in front of the dining table; slowly making its way towards the exit door, gradually blackening. Whoever was injured, they dragged themselves out of the place instead of treating their wound.

Then it hit me.

What if…..?

Can this be…..

Sally??

“Dad, stop being so dramatic.” I snickered. Mom heaved a long sigh for the nth time and dad grinned guiltily.

'OK, ok. Just trying to give the vibes.'

‘I searched the entire house again and then went outside. So I followed the blood traces and that lead me to the big spooky forest.

I halted.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m really brave and not scared at all (*Mom-snorts*), not at all, but that forest had a terrible reputation. The locals called it ‘The portal of hell’. In their opinion, those who go inside of it don’t come back ever again. Nobody knows what happens to them.

Both Sally and I didn’t believe in the crap they said, thus we went there. Well, actually only Sally went, but she always came back.

But on that day she didn’t, and all the warnings those locals were giving us rung in my ears. What if Sally had lost her way in there?

Or worse, what if a hungry wolf appeared and dragged her out of the house….

I shook my head to clear up all the thoughts. I had to be positive. My only goal was finding Sally.

Dusk was breaking in the sky slowly. The pink-orange hue with gold yellow color of sky was gradually losing with the black clouds. As I took steps forward into the jungle, wind swooshed itself all over the place, cracking the peaceful silence. Tree leaves swayed and brushed against each other as if to say-DANGER AHEAD. GO LOSE YOUR HEAD OR GET BACK.

My throat had become impossibly dry, and I was simply tongue-tied, my mind blanking. I couldn’t think and just kept going ahead. Finally I stepped ahead of the entrance of the forest.

Rattling sound buzzed in my ears as black tree leaves fell on the ground endlessly, as if someone was shaking the trees with significant force. Wind swirled in more speed and I felt like someone was telling in my ear-’Go back! Don’t go inside and face your doom, human!’

I entered the forest.

All sounds stopped as soon as I stepped my foot in. It was pitch black in there. I struggled to keep going ahead only by relying on my other four senses, as I couldn’t see. Dead grasses rustled against my shoes, thick branches were all around. I kept moving.

How much time I had been walking, I didn’t know. But I tried and tried to go somewhere. After an hour, I stopped to rest a little. I stretched my hands only to find the chunky branches from entrance again. That’s when it drowned to me.

I’ve been repeating the same path again and again.

This forest is certainly a maze. The locals weren’t lying. That’s why nobody can get out from here. I had felt airy figures sweeping past me. They were creaking from time to time, roaming around. Now I had no doubts those figures were the shadows from the local’s story.

What to do now? I stood up. Immediately the shadows sweeping became more volant. I tried to calculate how I could pass this dangerous test.

I could vividly remember reading somewhere if you walk to the left side of a maze, you can get to the centre.

‘Why did you want to go to the center?’ my curious question.

‘Because, we always keep all the treasures of a maze in the centre.’

‘I can’t really recall what I did, or how the heck I reached at the centre. My mind blanked from there and it didn’t work until I found Sally in the maze. Your mom took my hand and went deeper into the forest. Like a person cast by a spell, I relentlessly followed her. I could feel myself talking, running, occasionally tripping; but I wasn’t really myself. I felt like my conscious and subconscious minds were parted with a thick veil, one couldn’t grasp another. The charm broke when I stopped in our house along with Sally and a crying baby throwing tantrums in my arms.'

This is where I learnt about formula.

You might question-What, formula? Are we going to dive into the depths of chemistry?

Nope, hold on. Let me describe it by myself, or, safe to say, try to make you understand. Cuz things are a bit, um, complicated in here…..

There are six seasons. Summer, Rainy, Autumn, Late Autumn, Winter, Spring. Well, technically many countries, especially European ones, don’t have that many seasons, but there are six of them. If you don’t understand, then Autumn is the season where white clouds float in crystal blue sky, the wind becomes clear and Kans grass writhes among the meadows. Late autumn is not very noticeable, but it has its own flows. Like, when it comes, your nose can easily pick up the scent of ripe crops, upcoming winter and discount Gucci bags. Moving on.

It is said that when the universe was created, a few things from the elements slipped out on their own. Like a little fireball from the sun, a flock of distracted clouds, a lone flower pollen etc. Luckily, those things had their own broken souls and as time passed by, they healed themselves and became proper souls. (How? I dunno, either.).

Six of the souls started controlling the seasons and added their supernatural-hyper-technology-original power on them. That’s why seasons can change one by one. The six seasons are known as the six formulas. So, when they settled down with their season and environmental business, they thought now was the time to hand over all the rest hard work to others. Fantastic, right? There’s more.

The six formulas had some temples of their own, built by some crazy tribes. Those ethnic people occasionally went there and sacrificed offerings to the seasons, especially at the time of harvest.

“Hey,” the formulas thought, “Let’s make creatures like human from these offerings (Yes, human were there, learning how to crawl) and make them work at our place! We’re genius!’

So they did. Vast amount of babies were created from the offerings the night those tribes left them at the temple. It must have really weird them out the next day when they saw some babies sucking their thumb at the place of rose petals.

The tribes distributed those babies among themselves. They raised the babies until one day…… BOOM! They turn 14 and were whisked out of their fake parents’ custody.

Legends say the children born on those temples are called ''The Eeries'' , also known as half-human, half-nature spirit dorks. When they turn 14, the formulas take them away and train the eeries in an unknown place. When they are fully ready, they spread across the globe to watch after seasons and give instant service when your grandma catches cold on summer noon. Super exciting, no?

Oh, you don’t like it? Tell the formulas. They will make you a slave of their temples instead! There you would have to babysit the baby Eeries and clean their poops.

And on that day, I, Julia Travis, came to know what I really am: an (duh) Eerie.

And also the fact that I had to travel all the way to America a few hours later, leaving my everything behind, including my fake parents.

Sigh. Life…..

avataravatar
Next chapter