Walking proved itself a burden. Each step moved me slowly towards the darker center of the forest. I understood it was Time’s forest where no sunlight of redemption could fall. I had expected wolves,bears, and creatures of deep bites to follow me in. I had run through the tunnel of light promised to take me to clean death only to find the forest ahead. I had wanted death, not terror. I had wanted to find the ending, not the continuation.
My heart betrayed me with its loud beat. Even the trees were leaning in to hear its call. Even the comet stopped in the heavens overhead.
When he turned, unfolding out of a tree trunk, I stood still. Finally.
He asked me where I came from and why. I countered with the same. He smiled. He invited me into the tree.
“I don’t want to stay,” I said. “I want to go on.”
“Only Time goes on,” he answered.
“Then I want to go back,” I sighed.
“No back. Time goes straight through the tunnel of light, through the woods, through the hole in the universe, and starts again. You can hide in the tree. Time won’t find you there.”
“I found you there,” I laughed, suddenly running with the beats of my heart deeper and deeper until the big mouth at the end swallowed even my concept of flight.
This has been “Dark Wood” by Christine Emmert, the fourth piece in our “Lost In Time” Sleepless Stories series.
Christine Emmert is a writer, actress , director and educator. She lives at the edge of her own dark wood in Pennsylvania with her husband Richard and her amazing dog, Raja. Performing throughout the eastern half of USA her plays, poetry and prose writings have been seen throughout the English speaking world. Presently THE NUN’S DRAGON (a novella) is out on Amazon Kindle and her blog can be accessed at christineemmert.wordpress.com.