I awoke in a clearing in the forest. Whispers of the trees fluttered around me and I sat up, shaking my cloudy head. My temples throbbed as I looked about me. The ancient redwoods grew in a tight, even pattern all about me, this floor of leaves and needles underneath me only slightly larger than the spaces between the trees.

Slowly, I regained my feet.
I brushed off my dirty knees and hands, the ones I had fallen on from the blast behind me. The blast was all I could remember. One moment, I stood, looking at a ramshackle house, my ramshackle house, the next I was running, and this moment, the one I'm in right now, came right after that.

My instincts told me soon after that moment ended that I should be running. The rustling through the underbrush wasn't helping, and soon I could hold myself still no longer. I found my feet pounding the ground, my toes only slightly sticking in the soft earth as I ran. The creature finally emerged from the underbrush and I stopped to stare at it, right in the eyes.

I gasped.
I panted.
It was nothing but a small, white rabbit. I chuckled softly and silently for a half-second before regaining my bearings.

As I looked about me, I could see nothing but the forest in all directions. The canopy blocked out the sun and stars, leaving no landmarks of note that I could see. Even my tracks through the dense woodland were scarcely visible in the spongey grass and leaves. As night approached on swift wings, even they would be unable to help me.

My knees gave out and I crouched as the trees watched over me, monoliths, towering above me, as the wind carried their whispers back and forth.

There was no hope now. I was truly one of the lost.


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