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The year is 2015. Two weeks ago, a boy walked into the forest. He crossed a stream,crawled into a cave, and saw a women. He looked into her eyes and never returned.

THE BOY
Never go into the woods. Never cross a stream; never crawl into a cave. Never look into her eyes. They can see all your secrets. When I looked into the icy depths of her eyes, I knew, right then, that would be it for me. I feel into the icy whirlpool of her bright, ultramarine eyes burn into his skin, with a wave of recognition his story and his pain flowed out straight from his heart through his veins through his eyes and into her mind. They were one, one mind, one heart, one soul, bonded together. Bonded through his pain ,his suffering, his experiences. They breathed, they moved, they flowed as one. They were intertwined in a state of togetherness that made the boy’s head spin as if he was falling, falling, spinning and constantly tumbling down into an endless void. He was Alice, falling into Wonderland, and his fall seemed to take days, hours, weeks, and minutes all in one. The boy was in a sudden perpetual state of falling, tumbling, until he was not.

The boy woke up a time later in a distant place he had never seen before. He had never experienced any place like this before. Maybe it was his Wonderland, his own special place that he could have amazing adventures with outlandish characters that never ceased to amaze. Regardless, the heat there was stifling. It crept through his mouth into his veins, into his bones. It was as if part of his body had a weight on it, a searing hot metal chain dragging it down, down onto the hot limestone. All around him there were sheets of hot red limestone rock, shooting up into the sky, unclimbable, unappeasable, impassable. It was everywhere.

As the boy wandered among the red-hot rocks, the heat of the day seemed to sink into his brain, and he could not think or eat or talk. His throat became dry and cracked, his hands flushed pink. All the sudden the loneliness seemed to fall on him like a two-ton weight that he couldn’t carry. He wandered through the red hot rocks as the loneliness twisted around his heart. There it would always reside, there it would always be, this dark, black, horror, snaking its way around his heart and threatening to asphyxiate until there was nothing left. There was no escape. He wandered and wandered. His throat got drier and drier.

There was no way the boy could get out of this maze. He was stuck, perpetually wandering, perpetually fading into the background of the red-hot rock. He was stuck in this place and what seemed possible before now seemed unreachable. He couldn’t fathom life outside the oppressive heat of these limitless limestone walls. Everywhere he looked, in every direction all there was was limestone, red-hot and blazing. He couldn’t get out.

THE MOTHER
200 miles away, the boy’s mom wandered into the forest. She called out for her son, anxious and afraid for his safety. They lived in the middle of the wood, just the two of them, with no other house for miles. She never thought that it could be a disadvantage until now, and all she could think about was how easy it would be to kidnap her son while he was hiking alone in the wood. No one would hear him, no one would save him. He was alone in the middle of the wood with no  one to call out to for help, and no one to direct him if he got lost. He could've been anywhere.

The boy’s mother did not know how far he had gone. There was no way she could have comprehended it when it happened, no way she could have imagined it happening. She frantically searched about the wood for her son while he was searching about the red-hot rocks for a way out. She searched and searched and cried out, sobbing for the boy until the moon was at its peak. She gazed up at the stars and gave one last hopeful yell. She gave one last hopeful shout, putting all the hope, all the grief, and all the anger she had into one last desperate call for her son. She got no response. 

Despite all her efforts, there was nothing the boy’s mother could to in order to reunite herself with her son. She searched and searched, she called the police, she filed a report. She cried and she cried, sobbing for her lost son in hopes it would make him return; it never worked. After two weeks of hoping and praying and combing through the wood, she did not know what to do. She had looked everywhere for her child; he seemed to have vanished without a trace. There was nothing she could do.
?THE BOY
The boy was hungry, thirsty, and dying slowly. Every second he spent searching for a way out of this maze of rock made the limestone formations look more like columns of fire blocking his way, standing guard over the path like a Rottweiler guarding its bone, impassable and dangerous. Every moment he spent out in the desert labyrinth made, his body grew weaker, his vision more blurry, his hands even drier, even more red with blisters, and even more stained with blood that leaked from the dry cracks in his skin. Every minute he spent out in the heat was another minute he was closer to the oppressing heat smothering him, engulfing him so that he could never breath again. The desert would soon be his death.

There was nowhere he could go, and he was starting to panic. It seemed as if every part of his body were gasping, straining, crying out for water, for something moist and soft and wet. There was no way he could survive without water, he knew his days were numbered and there was nothing he could do about it. He was stuck in this miserable pace that was killing him slowly by the minute, trapped in this hole surrounded on all sides by death and fear. The smell of heat and sweat surrounded him on all sides, no matter how he tried to get away from it, it followed him like a puppy begging for scraps. He wasn't sure if he would make it out alive, and if he did, he would surely never be the same. The desert was in his blood.

The hot sun shone down on the boys face and back and chest; there was no part of his body that was not kissed by freckles and turning cranberry red. The heat seeped into his bones and made him lethargic and heavy. The blistering heat seemed to drain all the energy out of him. HE could not walk, he could not make a fire, he did not even have energy enough to sleep. His hands had spiderwebs of cracks, a network that engulfed his hand and covered it in brown bloodstains. They split into a criss-crossing of lines, all interconnected in a web of sweat and leaking blood. He could taste blood in his mouth.

THE MOTHER
She was unwaveringly, resolutely, irreplaceably sad. The police had searched everywhere for her little boy, and he was nowhere to be found. She followed his footprints to the Colorado River, every day searching for a new sign of tracks on the other side. She crossed the river, wading to her waist in icy cold water. Where had her son gone? She could not find a sign of human life anywhere for miles. In her heart of hearts she knew that it was getting to late to use her son’s tracks to try and find him, but she searched every day for the two weeks.  She was devastated.

All she could hear was the pounding of rain on her roof. It came down in buckets and torrents and seemed to never end. She watched the endless water cascade down the side of her house and fall from the sky without ending for hours.  She continued watching the rain fall in torrents, rushing down the leaves of trees and splattering to the forest floor. There was no stop to the endless rain, the continuous, compounding, persistent drum and rumble of never-ending seas of water as it feel from the heavens, high high up above the house, hiding someplace full of light and warmth and love Margot longed to go to, as it swirled and swished in the air, being carried on the currents of wind like the small, like wonderful dreams she had of again seeing her son. She could see no end to it.

The only thing she had to find her son was disappearing before her eyes. She realized this as she watched the rain fall, and ran out into the torrent to do one last search for her son. She ran along the soaking path to river, past fading footprints that got less and less distinct the more time she spent outside. Water was in her hair, her toes, he clothes, and even her eyes. She ran sobbing to the river, getting down on her hands and knees, clawing at the ground and willing it to give her some sign of where her son was. A large gust of wind swept her off her knees and she pitched over the edge of the bank. The icy cold of the water cut into her veins and made them burn with an icy flame. She tumbled down the river and the water got into her shirt, her mouth, her ears and even chilled her heart. She couldn’t take the cold anymore. Everything went black.

THE BOY?The boy struggled to free himself from the shackles of the cruel rock maze. He walked every day past more and more sheets of fiery hot rock that glowed red like flames.  Every night he cried himself to sleep. He walked and cried and walked and cried for what seemed like an entire year, He couldn’t find his way out of this maze. It haunted him in his dreams and drove him insane during the day. All he could see was rocks, hard and tall, impassable, immoveable. Every day his stomach growled louder. He needed water.

After days and nights of walking and crying, the boy reached the edge of the fiery maze. Over a hill ahead, he spied a river and staggered towards it, crying. He was finally free of that horrid maze and had water to keep him alive. He painfully crawled and staggered up to the river, and when he got there, gulped down handfuls of ice-cold water and sobbing because he was finally free. He drank and drank until his body could not consume any more water. He heard a cry for help.

In the distance, the boy could hear someone yelling and crying, their voice muffled, their cry unheard by anyone else. He craned his neck to see down the river and saw a blob floating towards him, nearer and nearer every second. His mind froze. How could he save this person? What could he do when they finally reached him? He watched the figure get closer and closer and sat ready to grab them by the shirt and yank them out of the water. The person grew closer, and the boy looked into his mother’s eyes.




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