Once I lived in a beautiful young forest.
Lush and green and teeming with life and possibility, the forest was a lovely place to be, and I was happy there. But as the days passed, the forest grew in ways I did not expect. Strange trees grew too tall and eventually, they blocked out the sun. I could no longer feel its warmth on my skin, which made me sad.
Then, the bushes and undergrowth started to become overgrown and no matter how I tried to cut them back, soon I was unable to move around the forest by my usual paths.
Eventually I was confined to a small, dark corner of the forest. And strange vines crept towards me, inches further every time I opened my eyes. The oppressive weight of the darkness and the forest itself became too much to bear, and I struggled, but the vines had thorns pierced my skin when I tried to push them away.
In fear, I closed my eyes and hid.
But when I opened them, I was still trapped. And one day, I simply ran out of room. The vines were upon me, and they had wrapped around me in my sleep, entangling my arms and legs. I woke up to the feeling of them upon me, thorns delving deeper into my flesh as I struggled, the vines inching towards my mouth, trying to completely take me over.
And panic welled up inside me and I screamed. And into that scream, I put all of the fear and helplessness of the past years. But also, in went all of my rage and anger at having been denied the beautiful forest I had once known.
And every where my scream touched, the forest burned. Fire erupted in all directions, and the vines crackled as the flames engulfed them. I shouted in glee at that, but then realized the flames were burning parts of me as well.
Having no escape, I dug myself deep into the earth and waited.
Days passed, and it was if time was moving sideways instead of forward. I raised my head from the earth and watched, still nursing my burns.
All around me was silence and death. The trees were almost completely gone, reduced to charred stumps in most places. One large plant remained intact in front of me, but for the fact that it was completely black, and I freed an arm and cautiously reached out to it, but as I did, it disintegrated, crumbling to ashes and dust, joining most everything else in the forest.
Frightened, I buried myself once more and let the earth heal my wounds. The next time I looked out, I saw something strange. Small tendrils of green were appearing. New life was growing somehow in this desolate wasteland. And then I realized that the sun could once again see me. I arose completely from my hole, and basked in the warmth, laying in the ashes of the ruined forest, I let the sun feel my skin, let it warm my wounds which were slowly becoming scars instead.
I don’t know how much time passed like that, perhaps years. Around me, things grew as inside me, things healed. I was shocked to see that the plants that formed from the bits of green were different. Not at all like the forest I’d lost. New trees and vines and bushes made their way up towards the sun. the new growth surrounded the burned remains of the old almost completely, but I could still sometimes see the charred outline of a tree peeking out from underneath the vines.
As the forest I grew, I began to fear that it would, once again, take over and try to consume me, but these trees were different, they let the light filter through so the sun could still reach me. They kept my paths clear, and gave me new ones to explore. I was safe here.