Intermediate. Years 7/8/9

Beyond the woods

By Aimee Le Prevost, year 9, St Sampson’s School

No one steps beyond the woods and lives to tell the tale

No armies, no soldiers or knights can prevail

So when one boy did it aroused suspicion

No better way to gossip than through silly superstition

Beyond the woods lies mystery and wonder

So many questions to ask, so much to ponder

One boy knows the truth

beyond the woods lies the fountain of youth...

Elvira 1687

Underwater nobody can bother you, underwater no body can follow you, underwater you were safe. As Damon swam dangerously down; towards the depths of the lake, all he could think about was getting away from everything and everyone. His chestnut hair floated around his face like murky eels. He hit the bottom. The water was tantalizing; it was as if the water had swallowed a universe. He was in paradise , exactly where he wanted to be. He was a king.

After what felt like hours, he pushed up off the floor as if he was a kite, taking off into the wind. The water guided him up protectively whilst life-forms of all colours and shapes swam past him; sending beautiful bubbles rippling up to the surface. Did sea creatures ever want to swap worlds and live on the shore, just as he wanted to stay bellow its sparkling surface?

Brushing the blurriness from his topaz eyes, Damon gazed up at an orange sun shifting higher, higher, higher. The skies were aflame with the rising sun, its bright reflection gleaming on the lake. Damon took in his surroundings, the same old...

A foreign forest sprouted out of the earth's soppy ground. The vines were snakes slithering up the forest’s trunks. Damon lunged forward like a lion to a kill, desperately searching for a way back home to his village. He cursed to himself as he realised this was what he had wished for – to be alone. But he didn’t mean it. He didn’t mean it!

He clambered through the woods, having given up searching for a way home years ago. Smack! Pain zapped through his body like a lightning strike. He had smashed face first into a-a-a- water fountain? His aching throat throbbed. When had been the last time he drank? Thirst overcame him and he precariously drank the water.

A resonant growl escaped the vast forest shadows, echoing off each and every tree. A pair of eyes as black as a crow’s pierced through the already sombre forest. A bear? A wolf? Two hands shot out next as they gnarled into claws. Damon ran. He ran faster then any bear or wolf could.

Muffled voices sounded from the end of the forest. Run, run, run! Damon stumbled out of a bush and into some young children.

“Owww!” yelped a young beautifully blonde girl clutching her arm.

“I’m so sorry.”

After stating his apologies Damon stumbled to the front of his home a wave of relief finally crashing over him.

“Mum? Dad? Im sorry I sneaked out, I got lost in the woods.”

Overhead a crescent moon hung in an ice blue sky; guilt soon replaced relief as he realised he must have been gone for at least seven hours.

The door clicked open and an old lady (around 70) pocked her frail face through the gap. Confused, he studied the woman. Who was she? His heart skipped a beat when he noticed a pair of familiar, shimmering topaz eyes staring back at him. That’s impossible, she can't have aged 40 years... 40 years? I’ve been gone for 40 years?

“Mum...?”

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