Just a Few Yards From the Forest's Edge...

October 18, 2007
By Steve Maring, Palatine, IL

Just a few yards from the forest’s edge I watched as a husky, young boy open his tent with some difficulty and stumble out. Squinting from the morning sun hitting his eyes, he meandered over to a group of boys who looked to be the same age. As they laughed and shared stories of the past night, I felt a strange feeling of insecurity. I just didn’t feel safe. The group of campers ate a breakfast consisting of golden brown pancakes, crispy bacon, and juice. I was overjoyed to see that there were no vegetables on the table (being one myself). I couldn’t bear to see one of my cousins being eaten. As the campers finish up their morning meal, I watched everyone walk up the trail and away from the campsite to proceed with their afternoon activities.

A bald, middle aged man did not leave the campsite. There was something not right about this man, I could tell. He cleaned up what was left of that morning’s meal, and just as I thought he was about to leave he began walking to the forest edge, knocking branches and leaves out of his way as he fell though the forest’s barrier. Making his way around trees and shrubs he scanned the forest floor in search of something. I wasn’t sure what he was looking for but I kept a close “spore” on this mysterious man. I was anxious, scared, and a little humored as I watched the man stumble around the forest in search of his mystery object. After a half an hour he looked discouraged saying things like, “I know I saw one around here” and “were is it.” He was about the exit the forest when he stopped, gave a wide grin, and began walking my direction. I panicked! My squishy body could only watch in fear and distress as he walked closer and closer. But, having no legs, I was trapped. He bent down and ripped me from my soft, damp, rotten home. My white, gentle skin was crushed by the man’s
grip as he crashed back through the forests edge to the camp site. Were he set me down on the cold metal tray. Many different feelings came to my “mind” if you want to call it that. Feelings of
, anger, fright, and arousing questions like “What are they going to do with me?” went streaming through my mind. Just then, all of the campers started arriving, and panic flooded my sponge like body again. It was late afternoon and they were all hungry.

Everyone gathered around me asking things like, “What is it?” and “Were did it come from?” The fat, bald man explained that he found me in the forest. The children asked more questions like, “Is it poisonous?” and “Are you going to eat that?” The man took out a large knife and began to cut into my moist skin. I could feel the cold blade slicing me up with unparalleled precision. When I was still alive, but in many thin slices, he took me and slapped me down on the grill. The flames ripped and tore at my skin as it boiled and hissed over the open flame. He sprinkles me with seasoning as I roasted waiting for my demise. “Done!”, the fat man declared as he removed me from the grill and put me on a platter. Piece by piece the savage cannibals ate me while declaring how delicious I was. Just like that, there was only a fragment of my existence left. One measly piece was left of my beautiful white, round self. There I sat on the platter (well at least what was left of me), a chubby boy eyeing me down. He was the only one who had not agreed to eat me earlier saying, “I don’t want to eat fungus!” But in time he caved in and he ate me. My last threads were sliding down the throat of a ten year old boy. Well, at least they thought I tasted good……..Gone!

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