Japanese woman in the forest
The Japanese woman was in the forest, lost. She had been hiking for hours and had become hopelessly disoriented.
She wasn't sure she would find her way out before night fell, when the wild animals would come out to hunt. She couldn't even remember which direction she had come from, let alone how to get back.
The forest was quiet except for the sounds of birds flitting through the trees overhead and squirrels scurrying between branches. The Japanese woman had never seen so many trees in her life—the forest stretched on as far as she could see, both left and right.
She felt tears welling up in her eyes as she thought about how long it would take her to walk through this dense undergrowth, with no idea where she was going or if there was any way out at all.
As she struggled through the thick brush, pushing aside branches that seemed to be reaching out to grab at her sleeves and hair, something caught her eye: a narrow trail leading off into the distance. It looked like it might lead somewhere! Excitedly, she followed it until it ended at a clearing with a small wooden structure built into one corner of it.
I was walking through the forest, and I found a Japanese woman. She was sitting on the ground with her eyes closed, and she looked like she was meditating. I figured it was just another day in the woods, so I kept walking—but then she opened her eyes and stared at me!
It made me really uncomfortable. I felt like she could see right into my soul or something. But that's not possible—right?
The forest stretched out in every direction, a sea of green and brown. The air was thick with the scent of petrichor, the earthiness that comes when rain falls on dry earth. She took a deep breath, smelling the familiar scent of home.
She had grown up in this forest and knew it like the back of her hand. She could tell you where each tree would be at any given time of day, which ones were good for climbing and which ones would snap under your weight. She knew which berries were ripe for picking and which ones would leave you with a stomach ache for days if you ate them in their unripe state.
She began walking through the trees, trying to find her way back to camp before nightfall hit. It had been an especially hard day of training with her sensei, so she didn't want to get lost while trying to navigate through unfamiliar territory on her own—and she certainly didn't want him coming after her!
The woman had been walking for hours, and her feet were starting to hurt. She was worried about getting lost in the forest, but she wasn't sure what to do. She took off her shoes and started rubbing her feet, hoping that would help. She looked up at the sun shining through the trees and smiled; it would be okay.
She stood up and started walking again, but she kept looking back at her shoes lying on the ground. It felt weird not having them on—they were so comfortable! But they were also heavy, and she didn't want to carry them around with her all day just in case she needed them later. She could hear birds singing in the distance, which helped keep her spirits up as she walked along.
Suddenly, a loud noise came from right behind her: a branch falling off of one of the trees! The woman jumped and turned around quickly—there was no one there! She took a deep breath to calm herself down before continuing on down the path again with renewed determination (and without her shoes).
It was the middle of the night, and I was in a forest.
I was walking through the trees, looking for a way out. It was dark, but I could feel my way through the woods. I had already been walking for hours—maybe days? I didn’t know how long I’d been in this place.
It felt like every step took me farther away from what I knew as home. But then again, maybe this was home now. Maybe this forest was my new home—the place where I would live out the rest of my days.
I wasn’t sure if it was possible to get out of here; there were no signs of life anywhere around me—not even animals scurrying through underbrush or birds flying overhead. It seemed like everything had been abandoned long ago… maybe even before humans ever lived on Earth at all!
I walked through the darkness for several more minutes before coming upon a clearing in the woods. There was something strange about it: an unnatural circle with no plants growing on its edges and no animals living within it either. It looked like an empty space carved out of nature itself—as if someone had cut open.