Spirit of the Forest- part one This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

June 6, 2010
Some people say my forest is haunted. But those people also say that black cats are bad luck and spirits rise from graveyards. My forest is not haunted by anything other than me. My name is Owl and I am the spirit of the forest. There are legends about me, some say I look like a little girl who lures people off cliffs, some say I am a unicorn who save people from the wolves and some say I am the voice that sings the soft songs of the wind through he trees and the harsh cry of the storms. But I am more than that; I am the forest. I may appear differently but I am actually the soul of all the creatures and trees and plants and stones and bones of every lost traveler in side my forest. Sometimes I look like a young girl, but other times I look like a white raven or a sleek ivory wolf. Inside these pages is my story, the one that changed my life forever.

I love the springtime; it is my favorite season by far. I love to feel the softness of the grass and moss as it first emerges from the soil and the whisper and warmth of the breeze through the feathery new birch leaves. The sun was lying lazily in the sky like a huge golden egg in a nest of sky blue. However I lay on the small clearing in the center of the forest. Around me was the circle of stones that people have placed there over years. The legend goes that if you put a stone in the circle the spirit of the forest will grant your deepest wish. Whoever came up with that nonsense did not know the truth about the spirit of the forest, me. I only grant wishes when I feel the wisher deserves them. And only once in a while do I actually meet a person. The last time I spoke to another person it was three summers ago when I help lead a lost woman and her goat from the depth of my forest. Since then I have been alone with just the trees, the stones and the animals. The sunlight reaching down through the tender green leaves above my head fell like golden rain up on my skin. It felt good to have sun again. I let myself listen to the familiar sound if the forest around me. In a moment I stood and danced over the small brook that lay, cozily bubbling between the huge roots of two enormous trees.

The rock that lay in this stream had gold in them and sometimes I would give a piece of it to a passing traveler.
I looked in to the water and saw my reflection looking back at me. I saw the long gold-silver hair, like starlight, falling around my face and wide green eyes staring back at me. I turned my face away to pick up one of the little frogs sitting on the side of the streambed. I stood up and flitted up in to my tree. My tree had huge beautiful branches that swept out to the sides like embracing arms. I looked off into the horizon and gazed at the far off mountains and villages and even farer than that, the sea. I always wondered what beautiful was, maybe I was beautiful, I did not know, but I did know that nothing in the world could compare to the beauty of my forest and my world. Because I am a spirit I can do anything I want which includes flying. So I dove right off the highest branch and swooped like a skylark down over the moss coated forest floor. Instantly I felt as a bird, the wind flowing through my invisible wings that reached like huge diamond beams of wintery sunlight over the warm air. I felt the power in my own shoulders and arms as I carried my self far over the cities of stones and rocks and small plants and wildlife. I loved the feeling of total freedom, which enveloped me then. In my own world I would spend hours reveling in the glorious freedom of flight. I opened my mouth and let out the song for flight. It sounds like a million birds calling to each other in high harmonious voices that whistled and sang through the corners of my forest. Around me I felt the wings of my flock beat, each it own flutter beating out the heart beat of one. Millions of starling, grackles, owls, crows, sparrows, swifts, larks every bird one could name swirled about me like a snowstorm of feathers and bird song. Through the thicket of feathers I spied my tree, the tallest, oldest biggest oak tree in the whole forest. I flapped my invisible wings harder and soared up to the very to of my tree. As I neared the summit all my fellow bird friends branched off to the high up land in the trees below me, which was their leafy domain. At the top of my tree the air was thinner, like breathing it took effort, but it was refreshing, like diving in to a cold stream.
‘Owl, you have retuned to my branches’ spoke the tree, its booming voice sounding of thunder over the foggy treetops.
“Tree, may I ask you a question?” I would ask him the meaning of beauty, it was after all a question I could not no the answer to.
‘You may ask, I may not have an answer but I will try.’
“What is beauty?” the question sounded strange out loud, it sounded lonely. The tree thought for a long time. I watched the mists swirl like little clouds of breath through the tall trees, disturbing the needled peak of the trees. The smell of mist mixed with pine and growing plants from below crown level made me sleepy as I sat in the clutches of that huge tree.
‘I am afraid I cannot answer your question, Owl. I believe beauty to be a matter of opinion, I find the wind and the rain and the sun to be beautiful. Many find it not to be. I do not know how to describe what is beauty.’ The voice was deep and intelligent and wise as it flowed over the sky. I kept silent, quite wrapped up in my own thoughts. I let my gaze wander over the cloud-covered horizon, only interrupted by the soft bristles of the pins and the oaks and the birches. Suddenly the cloud above my head split open revealing a golden beam of sunlight. It fell out of the sky like a song from the beak of a morning dove, the golden notes caressing the air with warm tendrils of light. As it fell over the mists it fractured into a million crystal rainbows, which scattered them selves over my forests.
“If this isn’t beauty I don’t know what is,” I say to my tree, nearly at a loss of words. Both of us sat noiselessly above a noiseless forest with silent rainbows lighting up the sky.

The reindeer beside me was tall and lean, her muscles as fine as any wild animal. She ran her legs reaching out and her neck stretched forward. I ran beside her and her child and mate, laughing with glee. The small fawn beside me hoped as it ran, bouncing like sound off a caves wall. When we came to a clearing we stopped just before a tall pile of vines. As I giggled with glee and tried to catch my breath the little deer walked over to the pile of green vine and began sniffing curiously at the object the creeper hade over taken. Suddenly the mother deer stiffened her whole body tensing up and she dashed over to nudge her little one away from the pile of vines. I looked into the deer’s mind and I could hear her mind saying,
‘Don’t go there Owl, it isn’t safe. It’s Her…not safe…it’s Her! Run!’ her eyes where white inside their fringe of long black lashes. What isn’t safe? I thought, and who is She?
“There’s nothing wrong, look.” I put my hand out and I pulled the huge sheet of vines down from what appeared to be the mouth of a cave. It was made of black granite and was open like a wide black mouth about to suck the whole forest in to its huge gaping jaws.” see its just a cave,” I say to the deer but when I turn the whole family has fled. The sunlight that had a second ago bathed the cleared was suddenly covered by a dark cloud. I felt a chill down my back and I felt the little white hairs down my spine stand up like a scared cats. When I looked back at the cave its entrance seemed to have gotten darker and little silver shapes were flinging out of it like snowflakes. When they landed on the forest floor the grass below them burned into little black designs. My breath was coming in short gasps of horror as I saw what was in side the darkness of the cave. Two huge yellow eyes stared back at
Me; I could feel their stair pierce me like a spear made of ice. The huge eyes had coloring like cat eyes as they glared down at me except that their pupils were but a tiny black dot in the center of the green-gold iris, like mine. I tried to cry out but my mouth couldn’t open and no sound could reach up my dry throat. Instead I fell to my knees where I lay shivering as the eyes continued to hanging the black air and scorching little ruins rained down, burning in to my skin like hot ashes. I had never though of dyeing until that moment, spirits are supposed to live on forever but in the terrible, horrible moment I considered what happens when a spirit dies. I didn’t think there was a way out, I thought that those terrible eyes would stair at me until I turned into cold, hard stone and crumbled to become part of my beloved forest. But then a cloud of my friends, the crows, swooped down and lifted me by my dress, my hair any part of me they could hold onto in to the air and up through the cloud bank. I was so frightened of the thing in the cave I could not feel the joy of flying through the moist clouds, instead felt great shivering shudders rock through me as we mountain the peaks of the clouds.

The birds lay me to rest in the great leafy crown of my tall friend, the oak tree.
I cried wordlessly into my huddled knees and the tree swayed back and forth, its colossal way of trying to calm a terrified young spirit girl. When I had my self under control and the sun had again reach down to warm my clammy skin I said to the tree,
“What was that thing in the cave? The reindeer call it ‘She’” I felt my skin warming a little under the warmth and light of the sun on my limbs.
‘That is the creature from which I have tried to protect you from. It is another spirit; it is the spirit of all spirits. It is the spirit of the darkness and death. It feeds off of other spirits power by frightening them and sucking away all their joy and happiness.’ The thunderous voice sounded comfortingly in my chilled mind.
“How is it you never told me of this spirit sucker before?” I ask,
‘ I wished to protect you from this spirit. Many young spirits have lost their selves to the spirit-sucker because of the legend. It says that the truest of spirit can vanquish it and rid the land of fear. But the beast has consumed all of them. The stones that lie beneath my roots are the stone bodies of the many lost souls of the spirits that have been taken by the spirit-sucker. I wanted to protect you, as your friends and guardian I wanted to keep you from tying to win over this horrible creature.’ I could see now the truth in what he said and how my fear had not been imagined.
“How is it I still live now and the spirit-sucker had not taken away my soul?” I now ask of my friend, the tree.
‘Owl, it is all in thanks to you many friends here in the forest. The birds I sent saved you from the soul-sucker’ I nestled closer in the crook of the branches and said,
“The birds did not save me friend, you did.”
A sweet lullaby began coming like a rainstorm to cover me from the tree, and I could hear the smile in his voice.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

mimatip said...
Jun. 28, 2010 at 6:25 am

Hi Elsie,

Thanks for sharing this link:)  This first chapter is exciting and full of great fantasty images--I hope you keep working on it; I want to know more about Owl and what she will face.   

pirate girl said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 8:55 am
that was WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!
Queen of Hearts said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 8:42 am
How did you learn to write like that? It's beautiful.  Please keep working hard at what you love...you and your writing is a treasure.  Thank you for sharing it with us.
queenofclubs said...
Jun. 11, 2010 at 8:57 pm

I LOVE it else. they are all really good.  U should make this story really lonnnnggggggggg. ugggg your writing is so creative im jealose




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