A conversation in the foggy forest.

By Nicole Renee

Clouds of white mists swirl around the giant dark green trees, rain pours down from the grey sky, and I finally see the dirt path appear. The entrance disappears and reappears in different parts of the land. It leads deep into untouched parts of the rain forest. It feels familiar, I've been here before but cannot recall any of the details. I enter and am instantly over come by thousands of insects, birds, and monkeys whizzing pass my face, all going in the same direction. Following their lead, I find myself at the bottom of a high hill. Taking one step up the hill makes my leg feel as though 50 pound weights are securing me to the ground. It's not just me that is moving slowly though, I can watch the colibri birds' wings move up and down. The butterflies are moving so slowly it's as if they are frozen. We're all stuck moving slowly in the same direction. The trees are unlike anything I've ever interacted with. Instead of green, the trees leaves are purple, blue and black. Balls of glass hang off of the trees like fruit and some even fall, creating piles of glass shards on the ground around them. Some trees have nests of flames resting on their branches but nothing burns. All the weird that grows up the hill seems to be indestructible. Shooting stars burst in the sky and turn into puddles of rain before my very slow moving feet. Looking down, I see apples growing from the ground up, various squashes line the road like stones, and a stream is flowing up the hill. No moon or sun is stationed in the timeless sky. I feel as though I've entered god's personal playground.

I feel a cold hand take my own. My eyes follow the hand, up the arm, to the neck, but every time I get to the face to try and figure out whose hand it is...the entire face disappears. The faceless entity can walk at a normal speed and pulls me up the hill. Looking behind me, I watch the few people, animals, and insects that are left behind. The figure pulls me into a dark mossy cave filled with spiders but I feel so at ease. The spiders weave their webs into intricate patterns that all intertwine with each other, creating a large blanket at the end of the cave. We sit on a few logs and watch the thousands of different species of spiders inventing new shapes. The figure starts quickly moving and I work to catch up with it. It slides underneath the webs and through a hole without disturbing any of the creations. The other side of the cave is the top of a volcano. Snakes slither all around the crater and sides of the volcano...somehow fanning the flames to make the fire larger. Suddenly the concept of time returns to my mind and I gasp for air. If I don't find a way out then I'll be stuck forever, won't I? The figure grabs my hand and pulls me down into the throat of the volcano and we end up floating around the magma reservoir. The comfortable magma river floats us under the volcano and from the bottom it looks like glass. I can see through it and watch the liquid pumping its way to the top. The river drops us off at a huge bed of clouds, I follow you through the cloud forest until we end up at the ocean. Jelly fish are floating in the air around. First you sit, then me, and from the vantage point we can see beautiful deer swimming in the water.

The faceless person takes a drink of the ocean and I instantly know who it is.

"But you're not alive."
"No, I'm not."
Buried words begin pouring out of the deepest parts of me. "Why'd do it? You didn't even say goodbye."
"I can't tell you why, just that I'm not coming back."
"I'm sorry I left you alone. I thought you'd out grow the sadness. We were supposed to get better as we got older. Come back, please. We all miss you and love you. I'm begging you. Their are so many things that no one but you understands about me."
"You can meet me here whenever you'd like."
"Dude, this is just my mind isn't it? You mean to tell me that you only live in my mind now?!
"..."
"When they said they went to your funeral, I knew you killed yourself before anyone told me. I'm sorry I left you there. We should have stayed together. Living with you was so much fun, I miss it...we always had fun. You should have told me.. I would have been there. Remember all the concerts we went to, the birthday parties, the strip club the night I was mad?"
"You'll have to go now. You're going to wake up in another country, in another time, and I won't be there. But I'll always be here."

And so I did wake up. I always do, no matter how tightly I try and hold on to you...when your face is clear, blurred, when you don't say a word, and when you talk to me through my dreams. I always wake up without you.

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