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The Forest This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   He was not an uneducated boy. Jed liked to teach himself at 3 a.m. on large books of philosophy. He believed that one's brain was properly softened by the late hour. Therefore, entire books would seep easily into his mind.

It was not unusual for him to receive only three or four hours of sleep. Subsequently, he would stumble through school in a bit of a daze. People were often accusing him of being on drugs, and his dark hooded eyes did not ease their suspicions. His grades suffered, except in English where he came alive. Jed once got so excited over A Catcher In The Rye that even his gray and aging teacher felt a bit of life returning to him.

Jed was well read,enough to know the pollster's opinion that pink plastic is what America is all about. That idea did not sit well with him. The junk, the com-merciality of it all bothered him. After school, he often went to the mall with his friends. While they were reveling in their parent's money, he would sit in a booth at Friendly's, dreaming and wishing he was somewhere else.

His was a world of wonder. High school is not generally a wondrous place.

Jed always sat by the window at school. While his teacher droned on about the value of X, he would gaze out at the surrounding forest. He lived in a small, albeit developed town. Much of the woods had been chopped down to make black, spidery roads. People were constantly telling him to stay on the road, to get to safety. There was a great fear of the woods in Tarrytown. No violent crimes had ever been committed in them, but the townspeople believed that they only increased the chances of something awful happening.

Jed was fascinated by them. They were shadowy and majestic,. mysterious, in a town bathed in neon. However, he was also afraid of them. He knew that he belonged in those woods, not in some plastic booth in a fast food chain. They frightened him, they reminded him that he did not belong.

Gradually, he started avoiding the forest. He would purposely take the main roads, as it caused him too much pain to see their beauty, and feel that he was the only one who saw it. He had almost forgotten the lovely aching in his throat, the longing for enlightenment. Almost, until one day in late March. The snow was melting away, and the crocuses were just poking their heads above ground. He usually felt a great deal of hope during this time of year, when everything was yet to come. Now however, he felt only a deadening of the spirit, a knowledge of the routine.

Every day after school now, he would hop into one of his friend's cars, and zoom off to the mall. He didn't enjoy it, but it was painless. They usually took the highway, so he avoided the woods quite nicely,until one day. There was no particular reason that they decided to go the other way, but they did. As they drove past the forest, Jed tried to turn the other cheek, but something made him look. He didn't know what, but it was nothing that he could control. He turned around, and could not believe what he saw. There was a girl, somewhere around his age standing timidly by the edge of the grand old forest. She stood in the harsh cold sun, and looked into the darkness with eyes that did not match her fragile posture. She was starting to turn away when Jed com-manded his friend, "Stop the car!" in a voice that was not his own.

His friend was startled, but did as he was told. Jed clambered out of the car, took a brief look at the woods and then took a deep breath. "Wait!" he cried, desperately. "I understand!"

She walked toward him, as if talking to strangers was perfectly natural. She smiled, and held out her hand. He took it, and together they walked into the forest.n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Made_Of_Greed said...
Nov. 27, 2014 at 6:40 pm
I personally like it. 
 
wwjdfollower14 said...
Aug. 11, 2009 at 1:55 am
I agree with Ipg77 the ending was very confusing.
 
lpg77 said...
Jan. 23, 2009 at 9:44 pm
i must say straight away, it didn't do much for me. the writing was too predictable and easy, and the topic has been "done before." Also, the ending is confusing. don't rush things...
 
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