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Mysteries of the Forest
My long dress ripped at the edge as I scrambled through weeds and briars to my secret garden. Shoot! Mother was going to kill me.
I wandered through the forest, not even a mile away from the castle in which I dwelled. It had taken much conning and trickery to get away from my princess duties, and to escape to the forest, but I had succeeded.
I loved exploring the forest, its ancient trees hiding the secrets of so many people, most of which have only been heard of in the stories of old. Most people, including my mother, considered those stories rubbish, but I believed in them with all my heart.
For a brief moment, I wondered if I had gone the wrong way; but then I saw the strange shaped willow tree that marked the entrance to my beautiful garden of fantasy. Ducking under the tree and its swaying branches, I stepped into a mystical garden full of moss covered willows and large, twisting vines that had dancing flowers sprouting from them in the most curious of ways.
This garden was where I could feel all of the magic of the forest flowing through the branches and petals. I knew that if I just stayed there long enough, something magical, like fairies, pixies, goblins, or elves would come prancing out of the cover of the trees and make the incredible magic of each of them known to me.
I settled down on my favorite log and closed my eyes, breathing in the scent of wildlife and clean, fresh air.
A twig cracked as weight was pressed onto it. My eyes popped open. I glanced around for any sign of the disturbance that cut through the peacefulness of the quiet forest like a knife slicing a loaf of bread.
Directly in front of me was a tall, extremely handsome boy. He looked to be around my age – seventeen or eighteen – and had dark brown, wavy hair. He had electric blue eyes that seemed to pierce through my gaze, seeing into my head, hearing my thoughts. There was something different about him. I didn't get the typical feeling of annoyance or disturbance I always did when I looked at boys back in the kingdom. He didn't make me feel afraid, despite the fact he had appeared out of nowhere, in a garden only I knew about; or so I had thought. Peacefulness drifted off of him like a sweet aroma drifts off of a dessert. He was clad in boots, brown trousers, and a billowy white shirt with a deep v-neck.
He was staring at me, an amused look on his face. He stepped towards me and asked, "May I ask you a question, fair lady?"
His proper speech shocked me. I almost snickered as I thought about how the boys at home would react to his way of speaking. I found it rather pleasant; a nice change to the perverse way I was so accustomed to.
"Of course," I responded.
"Then tell me, would you like to see the wonders of this forest?"
I stared at him, a disbelieving look on my face. Had he read my mind?
“How did you know what I was thinking?” I asked suspiciously.
A pleased look of even deeper amusement settled on his handsome features, “So I guessed correctly?” A broad smile spread across his face. “I could tell by the expression you are wearing. You always appear in this garden with the same look of wonder. So, I am correct? You would enjoy seeing more of the forest, would you not?” His hand was still stretched towards me, like he knew what my answer would be. He did. I hesitantly stood and slipped my fingers into his outstretched hand.
An even broader grin appeared on his face as our skin touched. His hand was incredibly smooth, I noted.
I glanced up into his eyes, once again getting the feeling that he could read exactly what was in my head.
Something he had said suddenly clicked in my brain. “Wait, you said I always come into the garden with the same look on my face. That means you’ve been watching me,” I accused, squinting into his eyes.
To my frustration, he chuckled, “Well, what do you suggest I do? One day, you just come walking into the forest, trampling plants, and settling down on a log in my favorite place to pass time. What would you have done in my situation?” He had a point. If someone I didn’t know had come waltzing into my bedroom or a place I considered my own, I would have been curious too.
I sighed in defeat and allowed him to lead me into the leafy depths of the mysteriously lovely forest.