part three is out! (please let this through, mods. i don't wanna have to spend half an hour copying & pasting and fixing the format)
Forrest’s little Corner of the Woods
Motioning to a rock with a cushion on it, Forrest said, “Please sit down while I get a fire going.” As Jack settled in, Forrest brought over some dry wood from a pile of neatly stacked logs in the corner of the cavern and placed them inside a medium-sized circle of stones. Four cushioned rocks were reasonably close to the firepit, one of which was the cushioned rock Jack was presently sitting on. While his host tried to create a spark with two rocks on the logs, Jack let his eyes take in his surroundings. He had entered what seemed to be the main chamber of the cave [or something, I’ll work on the wording later eventually]. Off to the side was a corridor that seemed to lead to a few other areas further down in the cave.
If Forrest eats at least some cooked meals, this could also possibly be his kitchen, but I bet that it isn’t. If it was, there would probably be some makeshift bowls or something like that in a corner of the room. In the corner of the cave, there was a rack that could be used for drying fish, as well as a shelf with some clay pots which held herbs on it. [Insert some more descriptive stuff here]
Forrest thought about earlier, “Why were you surprised when you saw me?”
“I’m not sure, I guess I didn’t expect anything other than plants and wild animals to live here. Even if I did, I wouldn’t be expecting someone my age alive and,” motioning to Forrest’s outfit, “looking like this. How in the world did you find this stuff?!” Forrest was wearing a dark green flannel jacket with a dark grey shirt underneath it, navy blue jeans, and hiking boots. He also had a working watch on his wrist.
Shrugging, Forrest replied, “Well, I have in my room clothing for different types of weather, and if I need more layers on my bed or for myself, I go into a store open early in the morning near the edge of your village and buy some. If you’re thinking, ‘How could he get any money in a forest like this!’ I don’t steal the money, technically. All I do is find money from off the ground in the forest on one of my walks and keep it. The money is most likely from somebody that decided it would be a good idea to bring money on a camping trip and they accidentally dropped some. You probably think of it as ‘stealing,’ but I think of it as ‘the forest providing for my needs.’”
“So is that how you got this cushion?” Jack patted the cushion he was sitting on.
“Uh... sure, you can think of it that way.” Forrest looked at his watch, then outside, “I think that you should probably go home, or at least pretty soon, because it’s about an hour ‘til sundown. If you’re here to prove your bravery or something like that, I’ve seen grown men running out of here, screaming their heads off at least a couple hours after nightfall.”
“If we’re making some sort of deal, then I'll go halfway by either leaving right before sundown or an hour after nightfall.”
Forrest’s expression and demeanor quickly changed from easygoing to scared and serious. He grabbed Jack’s arm, which got Jack’s attention, even though he was already paying attention. “You need to listen to me. I’ve heard bits of talking from your fellow townsfolk that some of the people that come into the forest at night, don’t ever come back. Even those who do come back are scared out of their wits, never wanting to set foot in this place again. All of those rumors are true. Most of the people who don’t come back weren’t killed. I don’t really want to scare you, but a witch lives in this very forest. Your village knows by now that going into this forest at night is an extremely bad idea unless you wanna get yourself killed. Your villagers also know that going into the woods during the day is fine; nobody wants to risk the chance of death or worse if they’re ever here at night. They should be afraid, and for a good reason. The woods are dangerous at night because that is the time when she is active.
“What I’m trying to tell you is that if you go into or are already in the woods when it is night, she is going to find you and turn you into something that is not human in a way that can not naturally happen. If you’re lucky, she will still change you, but not as much as fully changing you into something else. No matter what, either physically or mentally, there will always be a reminder of you entering this place at night.”
There was a moment or two of silence, other than the crackling of the fire. Finally, Jack asked, “I trust you, but why have you been living in the forest? I have a feeling that I would’ve remembered you if we’ve met before, and it seems like you’ve been living out here for a while.”
Forrest looked outside again, then back at Jack, “Ask me again tomorrow, please. I promise that I’ll tell you then, but for now, you need to go home! I really don’t want you to end up like the people who stay here in the woods until it’s too late. I’m telling you this for your sake, so please go now, and hurry!”
“Ok, I’ll go! See you here tomorrow at 8:30?”
“Sure, but go now, please! For my sake, if not for your own sake, just go!”
“Ok then, sheesh.” Jack got up off his seat, hastily picking up then putting on his backpack. As he ran out of the cave, he called, “See you tomorrow. Good night!” He continued running, afraid to look back. He slowed down where he met Forrest so he could catch his breath and make sure his heart wouldn’t burst. Jack continued on running, but more carefully until he reached his village. Nearing his house, Jack took a somewhat long break because the weight of his backpack caught up with him while the adrenalin in him was slowing down. After he finally caught his breath, he walked down the familiar paths of his village until he reached his home.
When he opened the door, Jack was both surprised and relieved that his parents were both in bed; one of them forgot to lock the door. It was nice to know that one of them cared enough to keep out things for making a sandwich. His stomach growled hungrily, realizing that he hadn’t eaten in a couple hours. Driven by hunger, he quickly made a sandwich and got a water bottle out of the fridge. After he ate a late dinner, Jack put his dishes away and went to his room.
His eyes adjusted quickly to the darkness. Changing into his pajamas, he folded and put the clothes he was wearing on top of his dresser. After, he sat on his bed and set his alarm clock to 7:45 a.m. As he got under the covers, Jack thought, What was Forrest going to tell me? Why can’t I remember seeing him before today, even though his voice seems very familiar? He tossed and turned to ponder these questions over and over again until sleep finally came to him.