Lost Alone

By
Waking up to the morning sun glistening on the stream, I heard far off blue jays singing to each other. Skimming through the woods to pick ramps, or onions, and fruit would be necessary. In just two days my brother, Jason, and I will be selling some of the ramps for pocket change.

Nudging my younger brother to get up, he started the fire while I started to gather some food for breakfast. Rising quickly to another day, I realized that this was year five of being the orphan, Sophie. Our parents died when I was just ten years old with Jason only three years younger. Now I am fifteen years old and living in a makeshift home in the forest near the town of Tulgiwoods. By my side, Jason ate in silence with me. The breakfast consisted of wild berries, raw onions with a tiny portion of rabbit meat.
“Today I will chop more wood for the fire and maybe catch a rabbit if I can,” Jason explained to me while gathering a monstrous knife.

“Should I be picking more ramps and fruit? Most likely I should, we need a bit more money if we want to have warmth for the winter. I will also try to bathe in the river today and I will clean the rabbit if you can catch one. And if anyone can catch a rabbit, you can. We are running low on meat from our last rabbit anyway,” I answered. “The skins from prior rabbits are not quite enough for what we will need for winter.” Simultaneously, a chilling breeze let my exceedingly long golden hair dance as if reiterating my statement.

“That is a smart plan. How many more do we need?” Jason questioned me.

“Lets see.” I paused to do the math in my head. “It is the middle of fall, in 1982. We will probably need twenty more by the middle of winter. Already, we have two full-body blankets, but we need more than just the door covered. Just in case we have any terrible storms. It would
always be warmer on the inside if we cover the whole house,” I responded to his question.

“I’ll try to capture three this week, then. That will bring us down to seventeen or eighteen. Plus I will gather what I can of fruits and vegetables so we can earn a bit more pocket change for a new burlap sack. For mine has a hole that is enlarging every time I use it.” At that, he disappeared through the plethora of trees with his empty burlap sack with a hole the size of a baseball.

At dusk, Jason started coughing quite a lot so there was more silence than usual. Arising quickly, I let Jason sleep in and started the fire. For when Jason woke up, I left berries and fresh water. Also, I placed my blanket atop his since he looked entirely chilled.

I scurried out to bathe in the river so I felt refreshed for another day to sell. When I returned to the camp, I gathered the food to ensure the meat was uncontaminated and the berries were clean. Jason was gone but I thought nothing of it. He is probably feeling a little better and
decided to hunt and gather, I thought to myself.

So I strolled through the forest, again, back to the river with the foods. Swiftly and quietly, I moved throughout the abundance of trees and shrubs. I washed the meat, fruits, and vegetables quickly and thoroughly. Onions were shining pearl, berries shining rose, magenta, and a jumping lime green.

Planning on skinning one of the rabbits, I ran back to our miniature camp. Sewing the skins to the makeshift home, I did the math in my head again. The home had a multitude of colors. There was white, gray, brown, and black all spotting the sides of the home. The skins were already covering the whole ceiling, the door, and half of two of the sides.

About two hours later, Jason approached quietly. Not even startled I faced him and noticed that his burlap sack was empty even though he was gone for hours…

“Sophie, there is a kind man that I would like you to meet,” Jason explained for his absence. As soon as he finished, it seemed like his scratches were amplified. It seemed like I could see much sharper and I was prepared to scream.

“Who did you bring? How did you get him to come? Why did you bring him, anyway? He might take us to the orphanage!” I demanded of him while he just stood there in silence as if he were a deaf man waiting until I calmed for him to explain.

“Mr. Ross Scott, why don’t you join us in the clearing,” Jason stated calmly. Faltering two steps back, I recognized my own last name. A man, mid-forties with deep-set mahogany eyes, stepped out from behind an old knotted oak tree and slowly strolled towards me. My eyes started sparkling with crystal tears. With my mouth ajar, I stood in shock as our father, whom I presumed dead, approached me. Jason glided to my side as our father stood only a few yards ahead.
“Sophie, Jason, I mourned your supposed death for five never-ending years now, and I want you to continue in my life as a family joined together,” our father explained with tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat.
I did not know what to do. I did the pro’s and con’s of the idea. Finally, I could not take the suspense any longer. “Yes!” I ran the short distance between us, threw my arms around his waist, and sobbed. He hugged me tightly and soon after I felt my brother’s arms squeezing us even closer.
“Lets go home,” my father calmly stated. We walked back to the road, which was a one hour hike.
My brother and I fit into our new routine marvelously. Starting to attend school, I learned delightful manners such as how to walk, talk, and eat like a lady. No one could ever know how I really felt.
Three long years later, Jason grew extremely ill with mononucleosis…





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