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I want to follow him. I really really want to follow him. But he said to say. And I trust him. He also said I love you. And that makes me want to follow him more.
But I stay. I stay because what if I somehow endanger him from following.
What if I endanger by not following? What if he needs my help?
I let out a loud groan and start pacing. I review a bunch of pros and cons because I can’t think of any other way to go about this. I continue pacing and I swear the clearing is getting smaller around me, pressing tight. The trees whisper and I stick up my middle finger because what else am I supposed to de, their trees. I let out another yell because besides the whispers… there’s nothing. Just rotting silence.
“Trees are stupid!” I yell then sit down on the floor. Oh my gosh… I’m already going insane. And it’s been like 15 minutes. “Yea okay,” I say to myself… and maybe to the trees, “It’s time to go.”
I get up and start following where Erlik disappeared. I walk quickly but it’s dark and roots keep appearing out of nowhere. The trees get closer and soon I can barely get through them. Vines reach out and branches swoop low. I push at the trees as if it would make some difference but they don’t budge.
“Erlik!” I yell, I lost their path. I have no clue where they went. “Erlik! Where are you!”
I start rushing through the forest, I need to find him.
My heart is racing.
I’m starting to sweat.
I feel like I’m going to throw up.
I try to run but the trees stop me. Stupid trees. Stupid forest. I can’t.
The trees open just barely. I frantically pick up the pace, pushing for a foothold.
But a root catches my ankles and I fall. I start to get up but I feel something around my leg.
Something soft and wet and-
I let out a scream as I’m dragged backward. “ERLIK! HELP ME!”
* * *
A shiver passes through the trees. A few leaves fall onto my shoulders. I watch the forest girl as she places a hand on a trunk of a blue tree. Her eyes widen and she shakes her head.
“Naughty girl,” I freeze, a sense dread filling my stomach. “Someone should’ve stayed put…”
“What did you do to her,” I ask, grabbing the girl by the wrist. She tries to yank it away but I don’t let go. She bristles up at me.
“I didn’t do a thing…” She tries to pull away again but I just tighten my grip, she scowls at me, “The trees did. She didn’t listen.”
“Where is she?” I ask, pulling her roughly so that she’s inches away from my face. Her expression doesn’t change, just stoney annoyance, “Where is Persephone?”
“Where ever the trees feel like she should be,” The girl shrugs and I let go of her wrist.
I’ve made a mistake. I didn’t do the right thing. I made a mistake. The small dark feeling that had planted in my stomach earlier is now spreading to the rest of me.
I’ve made a mistake…