The Forest of Death


A group of normally rowdy teenagers were patiently waiting the last day of school to end. They had moved far away from home, since a few years prior the school they were to attend was mysteriously burned down. They had all been sent to a new school that was funded by the government of Serikodo, and had provided a place for its students to live on campus. The clock was ticking away painfully slow, as even the teachers were staring it down. It had been a long year, too long in fact. As they continued to stare, somebody nudged a girl named Jill in the side, startling her. She jumped up, and turned to the perpetrator.

"Why'd you do that Leo? You scared the crap out of me!" she whispered. Leo just let out a cheeky grin.

"Well the others and I were wondering whether or not you're going with us after school. It is the last day after all" he then put on his infamous puppy eyes, to persuade her. "You know you want to."

"I know, but I really want to see my family first. I know I'm going to sound like a daddy's girl, but I really miss them all. We've been gone for the better part of the year attending this crummy school." Jill then scratched the back of her head.

"Exactly! So a day or two more isn't too much to ask for to wait. Come on, do it for us" he then quickly glanced to the back of the classroom to a boy who had his head down, presumably sleeping. "You know he's going too." Jill seemed uneasy at first. She then looked over to the said boy.

"Really? Arashi normally does care too much for what you all do" she looked at Arashi again, this time for what seemed to be a few minutes. "Fine, I'll go. Just promise me this isn't going to be something stupid again."

"Stupid!" exclaimed Leo. "I take great offense to that! When have I done anything stupid? Everything I've come up with has been nothing short of brilliant!"

"The time you decided it would be funny if you picked a fight with the kid with a black belt? Or the time you stuffed a bra with toilet paper and tried to get into the girls locker room? Or when you tried taking that one fat kid's lunch? Or the time when you were convinced that you had superpowers and could make grass grow?"

"You know other than the grass one, those were great ideas. Besides, I got some great views in the locker room, and I managed to get at least half of that sandwich."

"Well, what are we doing this time?" asked Jill, somewhat regretfully. Leo then got a sudden look of seriousness.

"Did you hear about those merchants that went missing between our home-village Bichi and Nami village? Well Arashi said he wanted to check it out. You know me, I'm always down to go do something ridiculously dangerous. I'm not sure about Gerald, Kasey or Alex, but I'm sure we can convince them to go." Just as Jill was about to begin talking, the bell rang, and an uproar of students and teachers, as they all ran out the door, leaving just Jill, Leo and Arashi whom just awoken from his deep slumber.

"Is it time to wake up already?" he asked drowsily, as he stretched his arms out. "Oh yea, school's out."

"Yea, you're kind of late on that" said Leo, as he twiddled his thumbs out of habit. The three of them then began to follow the crowd to freedom. "Oh I got Jill to go with us."

"Cool" replied Arashi, "I didn't think you'd want to come"

"Actually I'm not sure about it yet" she replied hesitantly. Leo gave her a confused look.

"What do you mean?" asked Leo, "you said you'd go." Jill then quickly said in a hushed tone, so Arashi didn't hear. He didn't seem to care, as the Jill and Leo were best friends and shared lots of things with each other.

"I didn't know that we would be going there! People who go there end up missing. I haven't heard of any instance where somebody went into that forest and come back out."

"Don't worry about it, I'm sure we'll be fine, besides there's going to be six of us, so we'll take care of each other." Leo seemed to be rather calm about it, but Jill was still worried. Leo then grabbed her by the shoulders and stared into her eyes. "Look, nothing is going to happen, and who knows, maybe you'll have fun. Trust me Jill."

"Fine, but only if everybody else goes too" she demanded quietly. She knew it was a bad idea, but Leo was right, there are six of them, what's the worst that can happen?

"You two done flirting?" teased Arashi. The three of them then met up with the others. Gerald greeted them first.

"Hey guys, what's happening?" He and Arashi bumped knuckles. "Are we going now, or are we going to eat something first? I'm starving."

"How about we go get some Italian? I seriously want a calzone right now" said Alex, rubbing her stomach.

"I'm good with that" replied Kasey, shrugging her shoulders. "You guys fine with that?"

"Hell yea they're alright with it" replied Leo, speaking for the Arashi and Jill. "Let's all pack up, then we'll meet back her in an hour." The group then split up, leaving Leo and Jill alone as they walked back to Jill's dorm. "Do you need any help with packing? I did it all last night."

"If you want to help, feel free. Just don't touch my clothes" she added quickly.

"I know, I know. Listen if you need anything, just let me know. Oh, and I hear that Alex is bringing his little sister. She traveled all the way from Midori Town to see him today."

"Are you serious?" asked Jill, as she dropped the keys to her dorm. "are you sure that's a good idea?" Leo picked up the keys, and found the right one.

"All those stories are just myths, don't be all superstitious. I'm sure that forest isn't any worse than the school's garden, it's just a bunch of urban legends." The two of them walked into the dorm, as Jill grabbed her suitcase.

"I guess you're right. I guess I'm just anxious to go back home. So what exactly are we going to do there anyway?"

"Well I got my camping gear, and I'm pretty sure that Gerald said he was in the boy scouts a few years back. We'll just do what he says. We were just going to spend one night there, just for old time's sake. You know, sit around a campfire, tell scary stories, make S'mores, fish for food and that crap; nothing big, unless you want to spend some time with Arashi before the summer."

"That could be fun then," replied Jill as she laughed to herself. "I really need to stop being so paranoid. I'll try to enjoy myself as much as I can."

"That's the spirit! Now where do you want these?"

"Just put them in the bottom of the suitcase." About 45 minutes passed, before the room was back to the bareness it began with. "Alright, I guess we should go meet the others now."

"Alright, I'll go get my stuff, and I'll see you there." Jill nodded, as he dashed across campus to the male side of the dorms. Jill unzipped a pocket on a red suitcase, and there was a small wrapped present she planned to give to Leo, for being her best friend all year long. She still remembered the day she met him, although she didn't really get to thank him.


(Flashback)

The first few days of school Jill was so nervous she skipped breakfast to get to her class on time, but ended up getting lost, AND being late. As she entered the class, the teacher had already assigned a pop quiz, to see where his students stood on the academic level. Jill apologized as she scurried off to find an empty seat. Once she sat down, she began on the test, and Leo was next to her. As the class continued, she adjusted in her seat to get comfortable, but it let out a loud sound that sounded all too similar to a certain body function. The entire class burst out in laughter, as they looked in her direction. In a pathetic attempt to hide herself Jill covered her face, but Leo scratched his head with a smile, and announced loudly, "Sorry about that, guys. Don't eat the breakfast burritos here, they go south quick. May I be excused?"

"Alright," replied the teacher, as he laughed to himself. "After you get that out of your system, get back here immediately." Leo then walked down the stairs, completely ignoring the snickers and points he was getting, and walked out the door.

"Well, you heard him, don't try the burritos!" joked the teacher, "Now, back to work."

(End)


She smiled to herself again, and put it back in her suitcase. Looking at the time, she grabbed her things, and left. She was glad that she got most of her suitcases with wheels, since they were heavy. Jill made her way down the halls, along with the rest of the students who walked the same direction like a human river. Most of them stopped after the gate, waiting for somebody to arrive for them. There were a lot of escort carriages for the students who wanted to head straight home. Just as Jill got to the end of the gate, she found Alex with his little sister. She was only about ten, maybe less.

"Hey Jill!" greeted Alex looking up. "This is my sis, Karen."

"Hi there Karen!" said Jill, squatting down to her level.

"Hiya!" she greeted cheerfully. "Are you my brother's girlfriend?"

"What?" asked Alex and Jill in unison, "No, we're just friends"

"But you're so pretty" she exclaimed.

"Not every pretty girl is my girlfriend, Karen. That would be, um, weird."

"Ok," she said still happy. "Are we going home now?" Alex looked at her, and smiled.

"No, first we wanted to take you on an adventure! How's that sound?" Karen jumped in joy, and hugged her brother. Just then, Gerald, Kasey and Arashi arrived.

"Hey guys, what's going on?" asked Gerald, seeing the bouncing girl.

"I'm going on an adventure! I'm going on an adventure" chanted Karen.

"Oh, so I guess you told her?" asked Kasey. The two of them nodded, as Arashi started playing with Karen, throwing her up into the air, chanting with her. Karen laughed each time.

"I didn't know he was a kid person" noted Alex as his sister laughed and laughed. Leo then arrived, unnoticed to everybody.

"I HAVE ARRIVED!" he announced, scaring everybody. "hold the applause, please."

"I guess we're all here, let's go" said Gerald, laughing it off. "where are we going to put all of our stuff?"

"The forest is on the way to Luigi's. Let's find a good area, and leave it there." suggested Kasey. Jill wasn't sure but Leo gave her a look, that screamed 'don't make this harder than it actually is'. She sighed to herself, and followed as the group left. They walked, talking and joking the whole way, until they found the edge of the legendary forest.

"Wasn't this place fenced off before?" asked Jill.

"Was it?" asked Gerald. "Doesn't look like it is anymore."

"Maybe the authorities took it down, after they figured it was just a myth" said Kasey.

"Yea, after people went in, they probably thought there wasn't any point in keeping it up," added Leo, running in, "besides, less work for us. Let's go!"

"Wait!" shouted Jill, as the others ran after him. 'stop being so paranoid!' she told herself, as she entered the forest. Leo didn't really get in very far, but it was deep enough you couldn't see outside the forest anymore. They all put their stuff in a neat circle, and accounted for everybody.

"So who wants to keep charge of the stuff?" asked Alex. "The rest of us will go to Luigi's and bring back the food."

"I'll stay, it was my idea anyway." said Kasey. "Just hurry back, I'm starving."

"Alright, we won't be long" said Arashi, as the rest of the group left. "So what are we getting? Let's decide now, to be quicker." Their voices got softer and softer as they left the forest. Kasey sat on her suitcase, and thought to herself. 'I should probably set up camp at the very least just to do something while I wait.' She then got Leo's bag labeled 'tent' and took out the contents. It looked rather simple, but it required two people. 'figures. Oh well, I might as well try.' It was really quiet in the forest, and all she heard was the clattering of the materials she was using. However, that too, would be silenced.


"Oh my god that line was ridiculously long" complained Alex, as he gave Karen a piggyback ride. "and the service was slow as hell. Hopefully Kasey won't be too mad at us."

"Nah, she probably went off to find somewhere to swim. You know how that girl loves her water" said Gerald carrying bags of food. "You think she set up camp?"

"We were gone for like two hours. I'm sure she did something while we were gone" pointed out Leo. Arashi and Jill were further back, talking. Leo smiled as he saw them both laugh at something one of them said. Soon the trees were in sight, but the sun began to set. "Look like we only got about an hour of sunlight left."

"Yea, we better hurry back, and find Kasey before we get lost" said Gerald, rushing in, as Leo and Alex followed.

"Yo, Jill and company, hurry up!" shouted Leo. "It's going to be dark soon."

"Crap" said Arashi, as he too noticed the sun. "Let's go Jill."

In the front, Gerald was looking for any signs of Kasey or there things, but nothing was in sight. The place he could swear they left their things was empty. "KASEY! WHERE'D YOU GO?" shouted Gerald. He turned to Alex. "You think she went further in?"

"If she found a lake or something she probably did" he replied, "Maybe she took our stuff too. Or she's trying to scare us."

"Yea, she was always the one for a practical joke in these kinds of situations. Remember what she did to you during your night practices?" asked Gerald. Alex visibly paled.

"I'd rather not…" he whispered. "KASEY I SWEAR TO GOD IF YOU ARE TRYING TO SCARE US I'LL FREAKING KILL YOU!"

"Was it really that bad?" asked Gerald behind a laugh. "Well we better find her soon."

"Hey where's all of our stuff?" asked Leo. "I thought we left it further back."

"Yea we think Kasey moved it next to a lake or something" explained Gerald, as Alex was searching for Kasey visibly paranoid.

"I see." Leo looked back to the other two behind him. "HURRY UP GUYS GEEZ!"

"Sorry, we're coming!" shouted Jill.

"I DIDN'T NEED TO KNOW THAT! COME ON THERE'S A CHILD PRESENT!" he replied as he began to laugh. Gerald also heard Arashi laughing as he and Jill arrived. Jill had a deep blush, yet had a angry look.

"Leo!" she whispered viciously. "Don't do this to me now!"

"I had to, it was just so perfect" he said, as his laughter died down. "Anyways, were looking for Kasey, just so you know." the six of them then began to search deeper and deeper, until Karen found something that excited her.

"look, look!" she exclaimed. She pointed to a sign that seemed to be ages old, and worn out. She then read it out loud. "Forest of Gah-ah "

"It says Forest of Gaia" corrected Alex. "I've never heard of it before. Everybody calls it the Forest of Death now." He noticed the look on his sister's face. "It's just a story, don't worry, I'll make sure nothing hurts you. Now let's find Kasey." His sister nodded, and quietly followed him.


Meanwhile Gerald was off by himself, searching. "KASEY! WE GOT YOU LASAGNA!" he shouted. " damn it where did you go off to?" He looked around, and then saw somebody standing in between two trees. As he approached, he realized it was Kasey, looking down. "Kasey! God, we have been looking for you for the last hour almost." He noticed that there things were wrecked, and ripped open. "What happened here? Are you ok?" he asked, putting a hand on her shoulder. Suddenly, she fell back. Gerald then screamed, as he saw her mutilated body. Half of her face had been ripped off, and there was several wooden stakes stabbed into her body. He scrambled to his feet, to tell the others, when he tripped on branch that stuck out of the ground.


"AHHH!" was all that was heard from where Arashi and Jill were. They shook their heads, thinking Kasey had scared Gerald. Judging by the bloodcurdling shriek, she scared him really well. The two of them then ran to the source. As they searched, all they found were the bags of food carelessly thrown on the ground.

"Come on Gerald! What the hell! Now the food is going to be all ugly when we eat it" he said picking up the food. Jill laughed, as she helped him. There was no trace of Gerald anywhere.

"Gerald! Where are you?" shouted Jill. The sun was gone, and the darkness had set in. Jill then grabbed Arashi's arm holding him close. She wasn't too happy that Kasey is probably chasing Gerald off somewhere, but at least she got to spend some time with her crush. She just hoped that Leo wouldn't ruin the moment, like he was notorious for doing.


Alex, his sister and Leo had all decided to gather whatever firewood they could find in the dark, and build a fire. So far, no luck. What's worse, was that Karen wanted to eat already, and Gerald had the food. "We'll eat once he comes back alright Karen? Please just calm down while we get something to keep warm."

"Why would she take our stuff? I mean we weren't going to take very long, even though we did. How far could she have gone, I mean that was a ton of bags and luggage to take alone." Leo was shivering, since he had given up his jacket for Karen. "I hope they come back soon, I'm cold."

"Well once we make a fire, we'll be easier to see" replied Alex, rubbing two sticks together. "God it looks so much easier in the movies."

"Let's just relax for a while, alright?" said Leo. Suddenly there was a loud snap off in the trees somewhere. "I'll go check it out, since you got your sis." Alex nodded, as Leo went in. He turned around several trees, but he had no luck. He unbeknownst got too far away when he found the source of the sound. It was a rather thick branch that broke off. "Hey guys! It was just a branch!" Leo laughed to himself for letting himself get so scared. 'I guess I'm too far for them to hear me" H\he thought to himself. He casually walked back to the sight, but he couldn't find it. It was strange, he'd gone straight, how could he have gotten lost? He remained calm as he continued to search, but decided to call out again. "HEY GUYS WHERE ARE YOU AT?" He expected to hear Alex, or maybe Karen, but the voice was neither of them, in fact he didn't recognize it at all.

"Here I am," said a hollow feminine voice. "Come in a bit closer, so I can see you."

"Who are you?" he asked, as he walked on closer. "Are you camping here too?"

"I don't think I am," it replied. Leo pushed some branches from his face, and found the source of the voice. It was a young woman, maybe in her early twenties. She was sickly and pale, and had torn clothes that made it appear that she had been hurt or abused. The woman had long jet black hair that flowed down messily passed her shoulder blades. "Why are you here?"

"I'm just here with a few friends; we're camping here just for old times sake. You look kind of sick, are you alright?" Leo asked his voice full of concern.

"I don't know" she said. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. "Where am I? this place appears so… familiar."

"People call this place the Forest of Death. You know, superstition an whatnot. Do you want to join us? We're looking for our friend Kasey at the moment, and we're getting really worried." The pale woman grabbed her head in pain. Leo then approached her, and put his hand on her shoulder. "I think you need some help." Suddenly his hand was caught in a green lasso that seemed to have appeared from nowhere. "What the- what is this?" he ripped it off his hand, and the woman jerked her head up the second he did. Her eyes went from a dark brown color to a piercing pale blue color.

"How DARE you" she bellowed, as she grabbed Leo by the collar, lifting him in the air.

"What did I do? I'm sorry!" he shouted as the woman's hand grasped a shard-like branch. Leo's eyes were full of terror as she brought it down on his chest repeatedly. He tried to break free and call for help, but soon his voice died down, his arms failed him, and his eye rolled to the back of his head.


"Where did they all go?" asked Jill, as she and Arashi made their way back to camp. Arashi shrugged, and yawned.

"I think we should make our way back to Alex and his sister. Kasey and Gerald can handle themselves."

"I guess you're right, I mean Gerald was a boy scout right? And Kasey has never been afraid to get her hands dirty."

"Exactly, and they probably found each other already, and just want some 'alone' time, if you know what I mean. With Karen around, I doubt they wanted her to hear, and ask Alex questions about -"

"I GET IT!" snapped Jill in a scarlet red blush. "Can we just find them so we can eat?" Arashi looked at her strangely, and shrugged it off.

"Sure, but isn't that them right there?" He pointed to a clearing that had a pile of small pebbles, a dead log and a bunch of long holes on the ground. The trees facing it were covered in healed scars. "looks like somebody carved their names here a while ago" he said, inspecting the closest tree.

"Yea, it looks like somebody camped here really often," she noted, pointing to the log that faced the center of the clearing.

"Yep, so there really isn't anything wrong with this forest, just a bunch of hype." Jill nodded, and walked over to Arashi. He wrapped his arm around her as they sat on the log. "Should we camp here for tonight?"

"I guess, I mean I have not a single clue as to where we came from, and going anywhere will get us further lost, until we can actually see where we are going."

"Yea" she said sleepily, as she subconsciously placed her head on his chest. "You're right. But we don't have any of our sleeping bags or blankets."

"We'll I guess we'll keep warm like this" he replied, pulling her on his lap, and wrapping his arm around her. Her cheeks burned as her ability to breathe suddenly vanished.

"O-Ok" she said dumbly, through her smile. Jill hugged him back, but something caught her eye that scared her. She yelped, and jumped to her feet.

"What's wrong?" asked Arashi, before he saw what she saw. A half transparent figure was watching them the whole time. It was a simple shape of a person, and by the curves of it, it was a young woman, the same Leo had seen earlier. "What is that?"

"What are you looking for?" asked the hollow voice. This time it was angry. It continued to look away, as it petted a torn vine in its hand.

"Um, we are looking for our friends, but we're just going to camp her for the night," replied Arashi. He was going to step forward, but Jill held him back. "what are you doing here?" The figure laughed, yet it sounded like she was crying as well.

"This is MY forest! Who are you to ask what I do in my own home!" she shouted. He voice echoed, and Arashi and Jill felt their bones vibrating. "You two are going to end up like the rest of them." Instantly the two turned to run off, trying to put as much space in between them and the ghostly apparition as possible. Jill eventually had to stop to catch her breath, and turned back to see nothing.

"I told you this place was dangerous!" she screamed at Arashi. "Why didn't you guys believe me!" She turned to look at Arashi, but he wasn't there. Terrified, she looked back at where she ran from. "ARASHI!" she cried through her sobs. She sat there for a long while, until she her head cleared a bit. "I got to tell the others, whoever is left."


"Where is everybody?" asked Karen, as she threw rocks aimlessly. "I'm hungry, and I wanna go home."

"They'll be back, I promise" replied Alex. He was hungry too, and whatever was taking his friends started to worry him. What if there is a psychopath loose in the woods? Or what if there is a pack of wolves out there? He hoped they just got lost, but something in his stomach told him otherwise. Or maybe that was just him being hungry. "Do you want me to sing your lullaby?"

"No! I wanna eat!" she whined. Karen then stood up, and ran off into the woods. "WHERE IS EVERYBODY?"

"Karen! Come back!" shouted Alex, scrambling to his feet to follow his sister. About a minute later, Jill showed up to the campsite.

"We were supposed to wait here! Oh god, what if that thing got them? I better find a way out of here as fast as I can." Jill then sprinted off to where she thought was the exit, or at least closer to the exit. Alex eventually lost where his little sister had run off to. She was very fast for a ten year old. On top of that, she could fit in smaller places. Alex, however was winded, and stopped to catch his breath.

"Karen!" he tried to shout. "Come back! It's dangerous out here!"

"Yes, you're right" said the spooky voice. Alex jumped up in terror. The same woman showed herself, only this time she was completely solid, still pale, but solid. She had long black hair, and wore long black robes that made her look even paler. She had a smile on her face that only innocent and shy could be used to describe it. "A lot of things have happened here. Unspeakable things. You shouldn't have come here."

"What happened here? Is my sister alright? Listen you have to help me, she's only ten!" he explained desperately. The woman simply tilted her head, still smiling. Alex backed away

"What's the matter? Aren't I pretty enough for you?" she asked sadly. Alex stuttered, but she continued. "It doesn't matter. I'll be sure to find your sister. You should, just rest…" Suddenly Alex couldn't move his body. Branches from the trees wrapped around his limps, and around his throat. they began to pull, and soon gave one final jerk that dismembered him. "In pieces."


Jill started to see the edge of the forest. She quietly thanked whatever cosmic being allowed her to find freedom, until the same woman appeared in front of her. The light pierced through the woman's body, as if she was just an illusion. Jill's eyes widened in horror and she turned to run from the demonic woman. The second Jill was looking the other way, the ghostly figure was standing only inches away from her already in front of her.

"Why are you leaving?" asked the strange woman with guilt in her voice. She then began to stroke Jill's face gently. As if paralyzed, Jill stared in horror, body rigid. "You have such soft beautiful skin. I just want to-" suddenly the pale woman passionately kissed Jill, moaning a little. "Oops, I just had to do that, before..." she laughed with a visible blush. Jill was confused, at this situation. What was going on? Why did she kiss her? Before what? She then felt two icy hands creep up and wrapped around her neck. Before she knew it, she was starving for breath, her vision blurred, and she couldn't feel her body. Her body fell to the ground, with not a single trace of the woman.


Karen had long since fallen asleep in a bush. She wanted to find everybody, but it was as if she was alone. She even turned back to find Alex, but he was nowhere to be found. After about an hour, she couldn't keep her eyes open any longer. As she blissfully slept, a cold figure stood over her, staring. Was this the boy's little sister. She barely looked anything like him. A jagged branch was dangling over the young girl, but the woman just couldn't do it. This girl, she reminded her of somebody. But how is this possible? She didn't know anybody. She barely remembers her own name. She drops the branch, making the girl wake up.

"Alex! Is that you?" she asked sleepily. She turned to the woman. "Wow you're pretty" exclaimed Karen. She then noticed the woman was crying. "What's the matter? Why are you crying?"

"I…I don't know. This has never happened to me before" replied the woman. "What is your name?"

"I'm Karen. I was looking for my brother and his friends, but I couldn't find them. Have you seen them?" Guilt. That's all woman felt as she stared at the girl. Her eyes began to water again, only this time it was accompanied with sobbing and wailing, a truly frightening wail, in fact. It brought shivers to any woodland creature that heard it, every bird flew away, and even the bears and wolves were silenced. Karen, however, just stared, wide-eyed. "Are you ok?"

"I don't know, I'm so sorry. Please don't look at me like that, I didn't mean to, it was just…natural… I can't explain it. You don't understand, it wasn't me. Please forgive me."

"What are you talking about?" asked Karen. "I'm scared."

"Your brother, his friends, everybody; they're all dead. I tried to stop them, but I couldn't"

"They're…dead?" whispered Karen. "They can't be..."

"It wasn't my fault! I don't know what came over me! Run! I don't want to kill you too." The woman was on her knees now, sobbing. Karen got up to run, but a vine wrapped around her ankles.

"Let me go! Leave me alone!" she shouted. "I don't want to die!" The pale woman saw as a large trunk of a tree was dangling over the girl, already falling. She looked in horror, and shouted in a distorted voice,

"STOP!" As if a password was said, the log stopped midflight, and was tossed aside harmlessly. Karen stared wide-eyed at the incredible feat. The vines were gone too. The woman clutched her head, screaming in pain, until she collapsed on the ground, still struggling to breathe. Karen crawled over to her. something had came over her that moment that she would never be able to explain. She felt responsible for this poor woman. Karen put her hand on her head. Instantly, her breathing stabilized. "Why are you still here? I don't want to hurt you."

"I don't want you to hurt yourself" was her reply. She then hugged her, rubbing her back. "I'll be here with you forever." The woman sat up, wiping her eyes.

"Th…thanks, Karen" she said.

"Hey," said Karen, helping the woman up. "What is your name?"

"People call me Gaia's Ghost, but I once had a different name. It's all I can remember of my past."

"What was it?" she asked, as the two held hands, walking into the forest. The pale raven then looked at the young girl, who for the strangest of all reasons decided to trust her. she opened her mouth, and whispered in to her ear, as if it was a secret.

"It was…Erica."


A/N

Well, here is another story. i was going to post this on my first day of summer, but i got summer school, so screw it here it is. Thanks, and don't forget to review.