The sun glimmered, shining through a gap in the trees. I rubbed my eyes blearily as I tried to gather my thoughts. My mind seemed to dissolve. I couldn't think. I shook my head and stood up. Pain. It shot through my legs and I tumbled back to the hard stone ground. "Whats going on?" My voice croaked. My voice croaked... I was not thirsty. What was happening? I dragged myself along the cave floor, moaning in a low voice. Everything I did seemed to take twice the effort as usual. At last I was out of the cave. The wet grass felt soft and nice. I looked up a bit and saw the river. I crawled over to it and gazed into it. A face was staring at me. Not my own. Not my face. I screamed.

I woke up, a cold sweat breaking on my forehead. I glanced at my hands. Fine. I stood up. Easy. I sighed in relief, but just to be sure went down to the river. I stood by it, hesitating for a second, and then stared at my reflection. It was me. Not the horrible wrinkled face I had seen in my dream. "Just a dream." I told myself, my voice was my own, "Just a dream..." and then I had a strange thought. What if it wasn't a dream. What if it was a vision. Was I going to spend the rest of my life in the forest? I thought of my mum. MY heart ached. How I missed her. She must be so sad. Her son and husband gone. A tear sreaked down my cheek. I flicked it away angrily. "I'm getting out of here!" A yelled to no one in particular. "Just try and stop me!" I started my way back to the cave. As soon as I was inside, my sudden burst of anger and determination was lost as quickly as it had come. If I left here I couldn't come back. I might not find home the night I left, I might have no shelter. There would be no cooked fish. ONly what I managed to find on the way. The other dangers of the forest. Suddenly my brain errupted into a huge argument. "NO! Stay here where your safe!"

"What about your mother! She misses you so much!"

"Would your mother want you to risk your life?"

"Your only getting older..." That last one stopped my right in my tracks. This was a huge forest. Any search parties would give in fairly soon and asume me dead. The only way out was by myself. And as the days went by I only grew weaker. Then I made up my mind. I would go tomorrow morning. There was only one way out of this forest and I was taking it.

That night I feasted. I ate as much fish as I could, making the most of the little comfort items I could have, soon to be gone. After eating I got down on my hands and knees and prayed. I wasn't sure what would happen. Would I get out? Would it help? Was he listening or did he even care? Was he even out there? I didn't have the answers, so I just prayed. "Dear lord Jesus," I spoke, hands clasped together, head bowed eyes closed, "If you're out there I need you. I have to get out of here. I have to see my mother, find my father." It was at that point I realised I had all but forgotten my father. I was sure he'd be all right. Look what I'd accomplished, and I'm just a kid. "I just pray a simple prayer, lord. Get me out of here. Please. Maybe I'm crazy, maybe I'm praying to no one. But maybe I am praying to an all powerful, loving God. And if thats the case please here my prayer. Get me out of here." Silence enveloped the cave for a minute. "Amen." I finshed.

Morning dawned all to quickly. I wasn't ready. I wanted to stay here, where I was safe, where I was comfortable. But I had to go. So I did. I trudged through the dirt, and the wet grass. My feet practically bare from my worn out shoes. I shivered as an early morning breeze ruffled through my hair. My clothes were old and hanging by a thread. My plan was to walk in one direction until I found and exit. Should work, though I had no idea where I'd come out. It took hours. The forest was huge, bigger than I had imagined and feared. I had to stop from time to time to satisfy my hunger. But there was nothing for my thirst. And as the day grew older, the sun came out and my mouth became dry. My pace slowed down. My head hung low, staring eternally at my tired feet. Blisters came next, making every step painful. My throat scorched from hunger, my lips parched and cracking. I had found no exit. I trudged on again, pain growing, pace slowing. Ha ha. I just made a rhyme. After another hour or so of walking I began to feel a bit crazy. If I did not find an exit soon I would probably die. In a small part of my brain I realised that I'd probably changed course, and could even be walking in circles. But I was too hungry for it to properly register. I dragged my feet again desperate now. I knew I had little left in me. Then I would collapse and the wolves would drag me away withou a fight. And then I saw it. I wasn't sure what it was, but it didn't look like something from a forest. It was brown. Like wood. Something grey and sloped. A house... I thought. My pace grew faster as I used up the tiny amount of energy I had stored in me in one go. I got closer. I could make out of big sign: Harry Bulders Fishing Store. A shop I was saved! I stumbled out of the last bit of dense forest and into the parking lot. "I'm out." I whispered to myself, brain hadrly registering it. And then I collapsed.

I woke up to white. Was this death? All I could see was white. I pure soft sheet of white, enveloped around me. A voice came in. It was kind of godly, but it was female. "Honey" I could make out the words now. "Honey relax, your safe. Don't open your eyes, but I'm here. So is your father." Mum! Dad! They were here! Did that mean they were dead? I hoped not. I swung my head over to try see them. There they were, sitting on a seat just away from whereI lay. Mum smiled a small smile, her eyes red from crying. "Just rest honey, we're here, and we won't leave."

"Are we dead?" My voice rasped.

"No, no honey. Your in Tauranga hospital. You're going to be fine, just rest. We can talk when your stronger."

"But theres so much to say..." I whispered, trying to fight the blackness that was coming over me. Not sleep. Not now.

"We'll always be here honey, I promise." Mum soothed.

"Always." Dad spoke for the first time. I felt relieved. It was going to be okay. I closed my eyes and let sleep wash over me like a tide. A smile touched my face and then sleep took over and I slipped into a wonderful safe place where it was just me, mum and dad.

The end.

Authors note: (Lol, I finally get to say that!)

I'm happy to write a brief afterward if I get some feedback for the idea. Hope you enoyed reading it, Kiwiman.