Short Story – The White Forest

The White Forest

 

I was 19 when I moved out of my parent’s house.  I had just graduated from high school, and I had a bright future ahead of me.  Except I didn’t know which way I wanted to go; I felt lost between my two worlds.  I never seemed to be able to fuse them together, and I hated the thought of having to give up one.

            It was a problem ever since my freshman year of high school.  At the time it didn’t seem that bad, I just told myself “wait until your senior year, and then figure it out”.  Except that didn’t work for me at all, it always gnawed at me, because I knew day by day, year by year, the day I had to choose would come. The only comfort I had was the fact that my parents supported either decision I wanted to make. 

            My two roads are so very different, but both made up who I am.  One was music.  Ever since a young age I had liked almost every genre of music because they all had one thing in common: drums.  I started playing drums at age 12, and since then I was not able to go a day without them.  I would practice for at least an hour every day, knowing one day this would amount to much more.  I had been in many bands, with genres ranging throughout, and somehow I was okay with every one of them.  At an early age my parents were doubtful that it would amount to anything, because you have to have some sense of luck to be able to “make it big.” My other road was baseball.  I had played baseball for as long as I could remember.  I loved every aspect of it.  My dad had the same amount of love for the sport as I had.  He was my coach for many years up until 8th grade.  Every year I could feel myself getting better, and I became more confident.  I could see myself doing these things as an adult, but not both.

            Now, these don’t relate to each other at all, do they? No, they didn’t seem like it to me either.  I was driven to an edge of sanity where you almost have none left.  After graduating high school I knew there was no more procrastinating, it was now or never.  After high school, I did have plans for college, but I was not in a sense for more school, leading a blind life not knowing what I was going to do.  This question eventually took over everything I had, I became so obsessed with it, and I still didn’t know what to do.  I eventually lost all communication with friends, because I thought their opinions would just confuse me even more and make it more difficult.  I was still very tight with my family, and as many times as I talked to them about it, they didn’t know what to tell me either.

  1. I had bought a cabin in a forest, called The White Forest.   Why is it called the white forest?  I am not entirely sure, but I hope to find out.  After I made myself at home, brought in all my belongings and arranged it to my liking, it was a new life experience; after high school, a home in the forest was the ultimate escape and a perfect place for thinking.

 

  1. But this is where this story takes its turn.

I take a 5 mile run every day, which I had done for my entire high school career, in cross country.  But one run was not like any of the other ones, it was right after I had gone to watch the sunrise, and I was running along a small creek, a beautiful sight, and I heard a voice bellow out, like an opera singer, the most thunderous voice I had ever heard, it soaring across the forest like a swarm of bees, it engulfed every creature and everything else.  I could not tell where it came from, but it did not seem to be far from where I was.  Shortly after I heard the voice, I heard what seemed like the falling of a big tree hitting the forest floor.  It was a weird experience, and it left me in wonder and awe.  I didn’t think of it again until that night after dinner.  I wondered, it was such a coincidence that the tree fell right after the man’s voice had come to a stop, but there was no way that his voice was the reason that a great 50 foot tree fell to the ground?

After this unique day, I was curious throughout the next couple days of where I could stumble upon this man, and experience the event I had witnessed a couple days prior.  It was another week or two until I heard his voice again on my morning run, but this time, it seemed closer than before, but louder, clearer.  I heard another tree fall to the ground, loud and clearer.  I had a better idea of what direction it was coming from this time. So the next day I made the effort to start my run a little earlier than usual, and I planned on it being a long one.  I ran up alongside my small creek like every other day, expecting to find a cut-out area, with a huge lumberjack bellowing out angelic notes knocking down all the trees so he doesn’t have to use his axe.  But to my surprise, I didn’t find anything like this; I did not find anything out of the ordinary, no sign of any other humans around.  As disappointed as I was, I knew I would have to wait a couple more days for something to happen.  So for the next couple days, I did the same thing, getting up a little earlier, running a little further down the creek. Despite the fact that I got my body to an extreme tone and shape, I was still disappointed at the fact I was doing this day after day, for nothing.  This made me wonder if those two unique days might ever happen again, that I had missed my chance to find him, or wherever that voice came from.

I felt discouraged after two weeks of my effort and curiosity, of where this man might be, I was drained of all the energy from trying so hard.  I did not run further up the creek for a while after that, feeling I was just chasing a lost cause. I tried not to think about it, or anything at that.

It had been 3 weeks since I heard the man’s voice bellow across The White forest.  I was surprised at how interested I was in this. Who knows, it could’ve just been another man in the forest yelling to warn others of the tree he cut down.  I decided I would try one more week, during which I would go further than I’ve gone before. 

I started on a Monday; I stretched as I watched the sunrise, preparing myself for anything, even another day of let-down.  I packed a small bag of food and supplies, so I could walk around and see the forest.  For the four months or so I’ve been here, there was still a part of the forest I had not checked out yet, and that part happened to be the part where I heard the voice from.  As I ran further down the tree, there seemed to be more trees, packed together. Luckily I was able to make my way around them and still be able to listen for anything out of the ordinary.

I had finished the distance I wanted to run there and so I sat down for a quick stretch and break. The further I got into the middle of the forest, it was darker. From all the trees, not very much sun got through all the branches and leaves.  It was fascinating, but somewhat bone-chilling at the same time, there was not as many signs of wildlife in the area I was anymore.  I finished stretching and continued on walking through the maze of trees.  I had walked for about a mile with no luck.

 

 

Right as I was thinking about turning back, I heard it again.  The same bellowing voice I had heard three weeks ago.  I could tell I was right where he was, I started a jog in the direction I thought he was at.  Adrenaline rushed through me; I was quite surprised that I had any sort of energy left after the long run here.  As I was running it came to a stop, and just like the time before, I heard the tree collapse.  I stopped dead in my tracks, not saying a word; I had seen which tree fell.  I sprinted to the tree; it was about a third of a mile from where I was.  Once I got close, I kept down behind some bushes, and approached the fallen tree.  Once I thought for sure there was no one around, I made my way towards the tree.  I went to the base of it, and it did not look like it had been cut down, but sort of pushed over by some natural force.  I looked around and examined the area, no man to be found, but then I heard a rustling, so I dashed behind a bush, and waited.  Out from behind the bushes came something I did not expect.

 A small man came out from behind the brush.  He was about 4 and half feet tall with a long white heard.  He did not look very old, maybe 50.  But what really shocked me was that he had goat legs, his whole lower body was covered in white fur, with two goat hooves to match.  “Hello?” he called out.  I didn’t know if I wanted to answer him, and blow my cover.  He did not look harmful, but you never know. I decided to be brave and stand up from behind the bush. “Hello!” I said, trying to sound welcoming and friendly.  “Who are you? I’ve never seen you before!”. “I’m Caden, I live about 4 miles from here” I still tried to sound friendly, as he gave me a look of curiosity and fear. He took a step forward, as if he was now interested. “I had no idea other creatures lived so close!  Well, I was just knocking down some wood for my fire tonight”.  “So, you’re what the loud voice was coming from? That was knocking down the trees?”  “yep, it sure was, I hope I did not disturb you, I’ve been doing it for so long I just assumed no one was bothered by it”.  I was so shocked by the fact that he was the one the enormous, beautiful voice was coming from, it took me a while to respond to him.  “Oh no, it’s not a problem, I just kept hearing it and I wondered if there was another…human out here.”  I hoped that he was not offended by my statement, which he seemed not to be thankfully.  “Would you care to help me carry some wood back to my house?  I am quite small and it usually takes me all day.”  “Yeah, of course I will, what did you say your name was?”  I forgot to ask him his name when he asked me mine.  “Oh I’m sorry my boy, my name is Troy.”

After I had helped him carry the wood back to his home, which was nothing but a small cave in the corner of a tree-filled area, which was very well hidden.  That he invited me to stay for dinner, and I agreed.  He brought home two rabbits, and I did not argue, I thought it would be just too rude.  Later while we were eating, I told him about how I had just graduated and moved out here to decide what I wanted to do.  “Well, I admire your decision; I don’t think anyone would see that as an easy decision.  This forest was a wise place to come; it really clears your head, almost like there’s nothing wrong anymore.”

We had talked for some time, by the time the sun was setting, I decided to head back, I had learned a lot of things about him, and he was a very interesting person.  He had lived out here for 45 years, and he was the last of his kind.  He seemed to have no emotion when he explained that to me, that he had been all alone for several years, but it was as if he had sobbed and cried over it so much, he had no tear ducts.

I jogged back to my house, feeling very exhausted after the interesting day I had.  I went to bed early, hoping I wouldn’t be extremely sore tomorrow morning.

But just as I had predicted, I could barely move the next morning, so after the sunrise, I decided to stay home that day.  Troy helped me out a lot with my growing problem.  He said that if I liked doing both as equally as I did the other one, it shouldn’t affect me as much as I thought it would.  It was clever but simple, and I hadn’t thought of it that way before. 

After my day off, I ran up to the same place I met troy, and as I predicted, he was there.  “Hello my boy!! Where were you yesterday?”  “I was so soar I didn’t have the strength to get up here”.  “Oh it’s quite alright, would you care to help me with the wood again? I’ve got to knock down a tree first, hold on”  and at that he stood back, inhaled and stood up straight, he then let out an enormous noise, the same voice I had heard all of the other times before.  After a couple seconds, the tree started to bend, and slowly fall to the ground, shaking the earth.  I was amazed at the sight and was speechless for a moment.  “I’ve been doing this ever since I was young, I was considered special in my hometown for being able to do so” He told me.  After the tree had fallen I helped it cut up the tree and bring it to his house.  This cycle repeated every couple of days for the next 6 months.

 Troy and I had many heart-to-heart talks, about anything and everything.  He said he would guide me through m decision-making until I thought I was ready. 

  1. As for my decision, I have made one, and it was time for me to do it…           
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Published on May 13, 2009 at 6:06 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. very good! there was a few places were you put tree intstead of creek and soar instead of sore. I like the goat man part, it made me laugh

  2. Is this finished? Sorry, I just didn’t know if you wanted to leave it hanging like that or not. I thought you did a really good job thinking of a story, and I enjoyed it in it’s originality. Just a few grammer things I noticed. for example, the question mark at the end of the seventh paragraph. Also, on your dialog, start a new paragraph when the person talking switches. That would improve it, I think. But really good story! Good job! 😀


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