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In the Middle of Nowhere

By , Orem, UT
The bus rumbled beneath me, making me bounce in my seat. My head leaned back against the headrest as I waited to get home. Suddenly the bus stopped. Looking out of the window, I saw a river twisting through a dry, grassy plain, eventually flowing into a dark forest. Mountains rose up in the distance.

"This is the last stop!" said the bus driver. "Everyone out!" No one got off. I looked around and realized that I was the only one left.

I stood up and hesitantly shuffled to the front of the vehicle. "Um, sir, this isn't my stop."

"This is the last stop," he repeated. "You have to get off. Sorry."

Confused, I stepped off the bus. The driver closed the doors, made a U-turn, and sped off. That was when the panic hit me. I had no idea where I was. There wasn't a house in sight and the light was quickly fading. I had no means of communication. I was completely and utterly lost; the only thing that gave me any sense of direction was the road that led into the forest a couple miles away.

"That road must lead somewhere," I said to myself. Going back the way I had come would take days. I hadn't seen any civilization for the whole two hours I had been on the bus. So I set off towards the forest.

Twenty minutes later I reached the edge of the forest. I'm not exactly the bravest person in the world, so it took every bit of my willpower to go on The trees' leaves were very dense, letting in less sunlight than there had been outside. In other words, it was almost pitch black. But I had no other choice than to keep going.

I had walked about a half mile when a change in the road made me stop. No, not a change in the road. The end of the road.
I bent over to examine where the road cut off to see if there was any other path leading from it. But in the minimal light I couldn't see anything.

"Now what!?" I said aloud.

The answer was nothing. I might as well wait for some kind of light before I tried to keep going. So I lay down and eventually fell asleep.

When I finally woke up, the sun had risen. The dense forest still didn't let in much light, but at least I could see. And that meant I could check out the road.

I soon came to realize that there was nothing else for me to follow. I started to think about going back, and that seemed like the only option. I walked back towards the edge of the forest. As I went, I realized how thirsty I was. But that would be all right. There was the river that I could drink from and.... the river! The river must pass a town! Ecstatic, I ran the rest of the way to open ground. Looking to my left, I could see the glint of sunlight on water. I veered to my left and plowed through the tall grass.

As soon as I reached the river, I realized I wouldn't just be able to walk along the banks. The trees grew too close and some areas looked very treacherous. But that would be okay. Floating down in a raft would be faster than walking anyway.

I found large sticks that I would be able to bind together. Remembering movies I had watched, I tied the logs together with vines I had found. It wasn't pretty, but when I set it in the water and climbed onto it, my hand-made raft served its purpose. I pushed off from the banks and got caught in the current. The first couple hundred meters were a bit scary, but I eventually got used to the bumping around. Leaning back on my raft, I let the river carry me downstream, hopefully towards civilization.

A couple hours later, noticed the noise of the river was getting louder. Then my raft started shaking a lot. With growing alarm, I sat up and looked downstream. Fifty meters away, rocks protruded from the river, water flowing violently around them. The water foamed white. Rapids. I tried to paddle myself toward the banks with my hands, but it was no use. The edge of the river was too far away. So I braced myself for the inevitable.

My raft dipped into the raging water and spun around. Everything was a blur. I couldn't tell what was going on amidst all the confusion. But somehow I stayed on my raft. Just as the end of the rapids were in view, the raft slammed into a huge rock, throwing me off and splitting my raft in two. I swam vigorously for the banks and somehow made it without drowning. I was alive, but my raft was gone. Looking around me, I realized that I had exited the trees and was now in a large plain similar to the one on the other side of the forest. And twenty yards from me was a trail.


toward the trail. Once I arrived and started following it, I noticed a dust cloud about a half mile away. Hope filled me, and I set off at a jog towards the dust.

Thirty minutes later, I reached a man riding in a wagon that was being pulled by two horses.

"Hello? Excuse me!" I called.

The man turned around in surprise. "Why, hello there!" he said.

"Is there a village up ahead?" I inquired.

"There is," the man responded.

I told him my story and asked him if I could ride with him. He happily obliged.

As I rode, I thought ahead to what I would do when we reached the village. I would find out where the heck I was and if there was any way back to where I lived. I would do whatever it took to get back home.





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