Battle Scars

By , Temperance, MI

It was a peaceful day as I walk through the forest then, in a flash I was flung to the ground. Claws rake across my arm, tearing flesh off my body. Attacked by some unforeseen creature and I now lay on the ground bleeding. As I sit there I try to stop the bleeding, but it only causes me more pain. I cry for help to take away the pulsing pain in my arm. Help only comes when the bleeding has almost stopped and when my own blood is smeared crimson across my body.  My wound is then dressed and cleaned but the pain still lingers. “I’m fine”, I tell them, but I don’t believe the words that fall out of my mouth. Behind a closed door I slowly and painstakingly stitch myself back together. The needle pierces through my skin pulling myself back together. It is nowhere near the pain I experienced when my wound was inflicted but it still stings. Now on my skin is a faint mark, the only trace of what happened that day. 

 
After I recovered from my injuries I returned to the woods, curious to find any inkling of what attacked me. I always came up empty handed no matter how long or how hard I looked. As if the forest had consumed the creature, keeping its secrets.  After days and nights searching for hours upon hours I decided to stop searching for the creature. One day, as I meandered through the forest, I heard giggles?  That was unusual, hardly anyone came to the woods. Curious I stopped to try and figure out where the noise was coming from. I closed my eyes and tilted my head slightly to the left. The laughter rose and fell like the rolling of the ocean waves. However, it was not a cheerful laughter but a tormenting laughter. There was no happiness, joy, or fun to it; it embodied taunts and teases. A laughter that is only heard after insult. I opened my eyes and crept toward the echoing laughter. I crouched behind a tree and silently pulled a tree branch back so I could see. What I saw surprised me. My childhood friend Morgana and two girls I did not recognise were laughing together. They talked and I listened. My name frequently popped up in their conversation; I was the joke. I didn’t want to believe that my childhood friend would say these things, yet she did. She was not the Morgana I knew. Her mocha hair now a dull greasy brown. Her emerald eyes turned into a dark green pit that held no empathy. Her smile replaced with a sinful smirk. Her fingers were sharp and skinny like talons.  Not wanting to hear anymore I ran home as quickly as I could, everything blurring as tears formed in my eyes. The second I reached my room I slammed the door and started to bawl. I didn’t and couldn’t understand why Morgana would do that. We were no longer friends after that. And to this day I have the remains of our friendship, half a BFF necklace that matched my broken heart.


Losing a close friend hurt because no one ever expects it to happen.  But, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from making new friends. I decided to try volleyball as a way to make new friends. It was a good original plan, except that I feel in love with the game and making new friends took a backseat. I would practice as much as possible and until I was drenched in sweat, making sure that I was doing all everything to get myself to varsity. As prepared as I was, nothing could shake my nerves for tryouts my freshman year. Until the second day, when I felt more comfortable that allowed me to loosen up, improving my performance level. But, after less than two days of tryouts the coaches called girls into the locker room one by one telling them if they would make the cut this season. They called my name out and I entered their lair. They decided to cut me because and I quote “ too short to play in the front row”. That was utter bs as I had tried out for libero, a defensive specialist who stays in the back row. Later that day, when I got home I went for a run in the woods to help relieve my tension from volleyball. Running down the trail I spot a bright blue and white striped circle on the path. The closer I get to the object I can clearly see that it is a shiny new volleyball someone bought. I don’t know what made me do it perhaps it was my frustration but, the next thing I know I stop to pick it up and chuck it off into the woods. As the volleyball sailed through the forest it approached a spiny tree branch. The ball caught on the pointy branch effectively ending the volleyball’s usefulness. I was satisfied to hear the pop of the volleyball and leave the tension of that sport behind me; it’s not like I made many friends through volleyball anyways. 


I have been so frustrated with sports and trying to find new friends that I found myself visiting the forest regularly. The woods had a calming effect on me, helping me think and release all tension I have. I visited the woods so often now I hardly looked at the signs anymore; I just knew where I was and where I was headed. During one of my hikes I was lead astray by a swift black blur. I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I had lost sight of the black blur as I chased it toward a clearing. I was just about to head back when I heard a rustle in a nearby bush. I turned around to see two paws tipped white emerge from the tangles of the bush, followed by the bulky head of a wolf. As the wolf emerged his sleek black coat glimmered in the sunlight. He had soft amber eyes and wet black nose. My eyes were transfixed onto him; I had never seen anything quite like him in my life. The moment was ended when the wolf collapsed in a heap on the forest floor, which is when I noticed the puddle of blood. I never had to think about helping the wolf at all; He needed help and  I was there to help. I approached quickly, dropped my backpack and ripped the backpack open. I peered inside and saw a small first aid kit that I could use to treat the wolf. When my hand got near the wolf he picked up his head up, opened his jaws and clamped down on my hand. I don’t remember the bite or the pain that should have come with it. All I remember is that the wolf was afraid and hurting. At some point the wolf had stopped trying to bite me, his head dropped in what seemed to be defeat. That was my opening to help him. I cleaned and bandaged his wounds ,then left a small portion of food ,from my backpack, for him. I had left the area hoping that the wolf would be alright. About a week later I saw a swiftly moving black blur in the forest. I didn’t think it was the same wolf but it was. Except, he was different this time, he wasn’t afraid of me. I approached with caution this time. Slowly creeping forward with my hand extended above his head. He ducked away and whimpered, as if he thought I was going to hit him. I then realized that he had been abused in his life. I didn’t understand how such an magnificent creature could have been harmed. My heart hurt for him so I decided to give him space. I sat in a grassy patch about four feet away. I started nibble on a granola bar from my backpack, which allowed the wolf to come to as apposed to me spooking him. He slowly put one paw in front of the other putting his nose in the air, sniffing the food I had. I offered him a small piece of my granola bar as a peace offering of sorts. And he accepted it. From that day on when I ventured into the woods he accompanied me on my hikes as my personal body guard. I found a friend in the most unlikely place I could imagine. And because he was my friend he needed a name; I decided to name him Lance after Sir Lancelot, because he was my knight in shining armor.

 

Time passed and it became normal for Lance and I to hike up and down the trails, going off on our own little adventures. During one of our many hikes Lance started to act strange; he was barking frantically, running around in circles, and pawing at the ground. I continued to watch him do this over and over again until I realized that he was only doing this in one particular spot. I walked closer to this spot noticing a patch of dirt poking out of the ground. There was this sort of stick that poked out of that patch, someone had buried something in the dirt. But, what was someone trying to cover up or get rid of. I grabbed the stick with both hands and heaved it out of the dirt. What I uncovered was a bit odd it was a stick but it had a curved basket at one end and a smooth handle at the other. I didn’t know what the object was but it felt right in my hands. I took it home cleaned to clean it off and research what it was. It was a lacrosse stick. I had heard of lacrosse before but I didn’t know a ton about it so I did more research.  It looked like a fun game and it was different than any other sport I played. I loved it the moment I started playing. The wind blowing my hair, my cleats pounding the dirt, my family cheering for me. I felt that this was where I belonged. All thanks to my guardian.


All of these experiences are so different but, couldn't be more alike. All these events scarred me. To me, a scar is an event that makes a lasting impression. It is not always good or bad I just remember it, all the emotion and the messages they carry. I learned that not everyone is who them seem to be, from losing a close friend. From volleyball, I was taught working hard won’t get me everywhere in life. I learned that others have gone through similar situations as myself with Lance. Finally, I learned that everything happens for a reason. The person who taught me that is Fate. She is the cause for all of my scars. She does not try to harm me but she sees no other way to help me learn. Most people will despise her for the pain she causes; the only thing it has done to me has made me curious about her. Fate is a teacher of the world and I hold no resent toward her. In the end, it is better that everything happened the way it did no matter how much it hurt me at the time. Fate has given me a story to tell by giving me these scars. This story will never truly end until Fate herself is dead.






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