A Walk in the Woods

Her wanderings took her to a gentle forest where the breeze was pleasant and the air was filled with the sweet scents of pine trees, earth and other growing things. A few shade loving flowers grew along the path. In the distance, birds chirped happily.

She passed a fallen log, lying in a small clearing—a perfect place to sit and soak up the warming rays of the sun. But she could not sit, not even for a minute. She was compelled to continue on. A rest would have been welcomed but something within her urged her on.

Though no living creature was around her, fear began to gnaw at the back of her neck. Repeatedly she looked around her, watching for that vague something to manifest itself. The woods became foreboding, unwelcome, yet she had to continue on the path before her.

Each step deeper into the woods brought more darkness. Pine trees were replaced with gnarled, evil trees without leaves that somehow barred the sun from entering in. Gone were the lush ferns. In their place were the ragged branches of wicked bushes whose thorns’ sole purpose was to cause pain to any passerby.

Without warning the path ended. She had to go forward but knew not how or why. Which way would get her out of the bramble of dead branches and thorns? She turned around to retrace her steps on the path, but the path no longer existed. Confused, she tried to think how she even got to this point. Unwelcome tears began to roll down her cheeks. Determined to find her way out, she turned back around and forced herself through the weeds and thorns.

She’d taken no more than three steps into the brambly mess when she slipped and fell. Every effort to get up caused her to slide even further into the darkness of the forest. Soon all she could do was slide across the muddy, smelly goo in which the thorny branches thrived. There was nothing she could grasp to stop her descent. The branches reached out to her not to help, but to inflict even more pain.

Soon, there were no more tears, but only screams in hopes that there might be someone who would hear. “Help me! Help me!” But the darkness swallowed up her words and held on to her tighter still.

“No, Doctor, I don’t really hear voices in my head. I hear little ‘help me’s’. My brain feels slippery and I can’t grab it to hold it secure.” The Doctor nodded as if he understood, but I knew he didn’t. He just wrote a note to the nurse to adjust my meds.

“A little more rest here in the hospital will be helpful for you,” he said and left. He left me with my brain still sliding down a dark, slippery slope crying out for someone to help.

A Walk in the Woods


Joined February 2008

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