My story today is the second story inspired by the photos of
Nick Brennan Photography.
Nick has agreed to provide me, and whichever members of our writing group wish to take part, with a regular photo update for inspiration.
As soon as I saw this one I had an idea where my story was going to go.
Once you’ve had a read please leave me some feedback. Thanks
Alice was ready, she was so ready. This morning her mum had sat her down and talked to her very seriously about something she felt she had always known about anyway.
“Alice,” her mum had started. She was wearing her adult serious face. The last time her mum had worn that face for Alice was when she had wanted to talk about the birds and bees; another thing Alice already knew about. Had her mum not heard of ‘Google’? She had wondered at the time.
“Alice,” her mum repeated.
Alice smiled and nodded as she placed her hands in her lap and leaned forward, showing she was listening intently.
“You are old enough to know this now,” her mum said. “But I don’t want you to be frightened.”
Alice nodded again and whispered, “ok,” She had a good idea that she knew what was coming.
“I think you already know our family are special, and maybe a bit different. “
Alice nodded again but said nothing as she didn’t want to slow down her mum’s explanation any more. It seemed like her mum was really dragging this one out.
“Well this afternoon we are going to be going into the forest at the end of the garden, the garden we have always told you to stay out of before today.” Her mum grabbed Alice’s hand, and looked into her eyes.
“Ok,” Alice replied. She wasn’t going to tell her mum that she and her older brother, Sammy had been going into the forest for over a year by this point. She wouldn’t be frightened this time, although she had been a little scared the first time she had gone there with Sammy.
“The forest is known around here as the Forest of the Lost Souls, I’m sure you’ve heard that,” her mum continued.
Alice nodded again, as her mum squeezed her hand.
“That name is far from correct. It was made up by foolish people who know no better. Liike I said our family is different and we know the truth. The forest is not one of Lost souls but of special souls.”
“I know,” Alice finally said, although she didn’t elaborate on what bits she knew.
“Good, then you know not to be scared.” Her mum didn’t question what Alice knew exactly, for which Alice was grateful.
“I won’t be mum,” Alice promised.
“Then after lunch we will go,” her mum had concluded the conversation leaving Alice with her thoughts as she went off to prepare their lunch.
Straight after lunch, after stacking the dishes Alice’s mum told her seriously that it ‘was time’. She grabbed her bag and Alice’s hand and they headed out to the bottom of the garden. She led Alice through what she said was a secret passageway into the woods, but that Alice already knew about. Big brothers were good for something she decided.
“When we first go in you’ll probably feel the energy of the forest. It’s very strong, but again I have to repeat; it’s nothing to be scared of.”
Alice squeezed her mum’s hand, acknowledging whet she had said.
As they came out of the leafy overgrown passageway Alice felt that familiar feeling again. It wasn’t alien to her anymore. She knew the forest meant her no harm. She knew exactly what her mum was about to say too.
“We, our family, are the guardians of this sacred forest. Although the men of the family with the same bloodline understand the forest they do not take over the guardianship. When it is my time…” her mum left a pause. “You will be the Forest Guardian and you will be expected to pass the knowledge onto your children to maintain this as a safe space for all the special souls that went before us.”
Alice suddenly felt the weight of what her mum had just told her settle on her shoulders. “IT’s ok mum, I know, and I will do the job well, as you and gran have done before you.”
“I know you will darling.” Her mum crouched down and gently wiped aside the hairs that had fallen over Alice’s face. “But for now, enjoy the forest and all it bestows on you, and accept the knowledge from those that reside within in it. So, my darling now is your time to fly.”
Alice knew what her mum meant. She let go of her mum’s hand and started to run into the forest, her blond hair creating a heavenly halo around her head as she ran. Already she could see her grandmother’s shadow in the distance. Her Grandmother had joined the forest long before Alice was born. Alice knew she would be pleased to see her again.