The Fire Within

Kindle never thought she would see the day when she would gain freedom from her parents. Out of their constraining grip, she explores the world, learning new lessons that will blow her mind...

Chapter 1

The Forest - Part 1

Kindle. That's my name. I've always been under my parent's control - which isn't bad besides their constant worrying. If I climb a tree, it's too dangerous. If I visit my friend's house, they want me home before dark so no one mugs me. If I want to shop in town, they only give me the bare minimum so I won't overspend. Yeah, they were controlling. Which is why I was so happy when I turned sixteen and was able to leave the house.

"You've got all of your things?" Mom cried, tears falling down her already wet cheeks. She cried a lot. "Remember to stick to the marked paths, Kindle. You don't want to get lost in Dusk Forest on your first day." She sniffed and then took out a tissue and blew her nose.

Father was silent and his giant chest somehow moving gently, like a giant living boulder. His shoulders were squared and his face tight, so I knew he was upset. Father didn't like me going out for long periods of time, and this would be the first time that it would be probably years before I returned.

"Goodbye, Kindle." Mom sniffed, waving as I walked down the dirt path lined with daisies and lilacs which led to Dusk Forest. "Goodbye!" She called, her voice far and distant.

I reached the endless forest. Well, not quite endless. The forest stretched for about five hundred and seventy two miles long, but the part I was crossing was only three miles long. I would make it to the next town (considering my abnormally slow pace) by tomorrow.

The trees were a dark brown, almost black. Perhaps that was why it was called Dusk Forest. Or perhaps it was because the height of the trees made it seem perpetually twilight - a world between night and day, between the sunset and the rising of the moon. A world where the sunlight hides behind the mountains until the day it is ready to burst forth and adorn the world with its radiance.

The birds sang as they weaved through the branches of the trees above my head. The bees hummed as I passed their hive. The forest was alive with the sound of life. I could hear moles and badgers digging through the bare earth. I smelled the pines off in the distance, taunting me with their sweet, unattainable scent.

The pines were so far up the mountain, Death Mountain, that no one dared retrieve them. Death Mountain was a place of curses and tragic, unexplained accidents. It was rumored that a witch or vampire, or both, lived up in those mountains. There was never any evidence, but people stayed away from the mountain all the same, for there was an ominous aura.

I leapt over a fallen tree, where mushrooms and insects had decided to live. I momentarily paused to watch a centipede crawl through a hole in the tree. It seemed so small, yet so interesting. After it had crawled into the hole, I continued my journey through the woods.

Night fell and I was forced to make camp. I made a circle of stones, then started a fire with twigs and dead tree limbs. And matches. I blew gently on the fire, coaxing it onto a nearby twig. It caught fire and lit the night around me. Several creatures scattered into the bushes, making the leaves rustle.

I gazed at the stars and moon carving their paths through the sky and everything was at peace.

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