"Looking at old photos of smiling people, my heart was silenced by your last breath. Our memories, fading. Lost in the wind was my innocence, as were you. The dusty attic has signs that you were alive and with me, long ago. This hollowed hole of a house all I have left. Tears drip form my pale face; not because you are lost, but because I can't tell which person you are in these photos. Your face is a blur. A beautiful blur of absence. So lost… So long since I saw you smile; so long since you held me in you arms. Your voice was sweet, so soft and lost within the moment. Your lullabies. How could I forget your lullabies? "Don't cry dear, your journey's just begun. And I will avenge you, for you are my loved one. Hush now and sleep now, my darling of dreams. And hope that your life shall not contain screams. One day I'll leave you and you'll be alone. But know that someday I will come home." But when? You never said when you are coming home. And somewhere in my heart I almost thought that maybe home was heaven. Father has found a replacement for you. But this replacement doesn't sing me lullabies, or hold me when I cry. This replacement was for my father. And the lullabies she sings him at night aren't as nice as yours. I try to remember the things we did, but my head is clouded… I can't remember. Mother, I am a reject, and I want you know, that if you can hear me, there's no need to come home. I'll come to you."
Ashton set down the old photographs of people drinking glasses of wine and laughing. She stood up, wiped the tears from her face, and crept down the attic stairs. Looking at her father in the living room with Ashley made her sadder. She had realized that there was no place for her mother in father's heart anymore. But that didn't even dent her dream of finding mother. In fact, it enhanced it. She went to her room to plan. Father, nor anyone else knew where Ashton's mother had gone. Except her. A foggy memory, blended with emotions. But she remembered looking outside in the dark of night five years ago to see a shadowy figure walking to the forest. But why would mother go into the forest? It was said to be haunted; purged with lost souls and creatures that no human eye could see. Ashton only cared about this for her mother's sake, not for hers. She really had nothing to lose, besides a bum of a father, a ho-bag stepmother, a shack of a house, and her cat Felix. But she planned to take Felix with her. Ashton never really had any friends, either, so her life was revolved around doing chores that no one cared about. Why did she wait until that Thursday to search for her mother? She was waiting for mother to come home. The day her mother left she had swore to herself to wait exactly five years and then go search for her mother if she hadn't returned.
When it was eleven at night, Ashton and Felix sneaked out of the house. As brave as Ashton was, she wasn't very good at being quiet, and with such an old house the floorboards squeaked very loudly. She would have most definitely been caught if her father and Ashley weren't busy making noises of their own. The travelers walked under the crescent moon. If Ashton wasn't so determined to find her mother, she probably would've stopped and looked at the orange moon, smiling down on her. Ashton and Felix looked at the main entrance to the forest. The trail was only about as half as tread as other trails, Ashton deduced it was probably because most of the people who had gone into the forest had never come out again, only taking the path once instead of twice. While Ashton was ready to go in, Felix was less ready. He looked at her with his big, green eyes that said, "You sure 'bout this? This place gives me the creeps. I'm a house cat, not a tiger, you know…" Ashton just smiled and looked down, (probably scaring poor Felix even more) and she lifted her head up high, took a deep breath, and entered the forest.