Journey Home

Opening the door, my gym shoes skidded. I grabbed the handle and yanked myself up. Through the glass I could see a handful people working out and two personal trainers urging a couple of them on. I pulled down my pink vest top and tucked the loose strands of red hair back. Taking a deep breath, I walked in like I owned the place.

With my head held high and my eyes glued to the back wall, I didn’t notice the sudden change. One second I was in the gym and the next I was walking through a forest.  Damp grass brushed up against my shoes. I jumped, with the trees whirling above.

What had happened?

I turned and stepped back, there was only more forest. I looked for the gym, but there was nothing accepted leafy trees and undergrowth. I snapped a twig and jumped again. My heart was pounding and sweat was peppering my forehead. I wiped it away then stared at my hands.

Had I died? Had I slipped and broken my neck or did I pushed myself too hard and have a heart attack. Panicking, I kept spinning around, until I felt dizzy and had to sit down. I collapsed on to a mossy mushroom coated log. I put my head down and breathed deeply. Maybe it was a dream? Or maybe I’d been here along and just convinced myself I was at the gym?

I looked at my shoes. Nope, those were defiantly my indoor trainers. I checked my clothes. The grey knee length shorts and vest top were my gym ones and I was carrying nothing on me. I check my wrist. My watch was gone as well as my rings. I’d put everything inside a locker in the changing room.

I rubbed my arms, feeling chilly and wishing I’d grabbed my sweater. Feeling dampness seeping into my shorts, I stood up and tried to wipe them. My hands came back clammy and dirty. Glancing around, I decided there was nothing for it but to walk. There had to be a way out of here.

There didn’t seem to be a path, so I headed in as straight a line as possible. The trees and undergrowth seems to grow thicker the further I went. I could hear a babbling stream and birds singing. It was also becoming darker. I stopped and getting some bearings, decided to try and find the stream. Isn’t there something about following water when lost? Though, it wasn’t just about that, I was thirsty and tried already.

More confused than before, I came across the stream. It was set low down and cutting its way through the forest floor. I had to lie down on my stomach to scoop handfuls of water out. It tasted good and reminded me of mountain spring water. I splashed some on my face and sat up. Sighing, I brought my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around them. Closing my eyes and starting to rock, I muttered the classic line of there’s no place like home.

A gentle lapping sound caused my eyes to open and lock on to the space across from me. Hugh yellow eyes stared back and a long pink tongue kept lapping the water. It was a massive grey wolf. Panic shot through me and I bolted. I dodged around trees and bushes, kicking up dirt and leaves. I leapt over a stump and my feet didn’t touch back down. I shot up into the sky with a scream.

I flapped about desperately, whilst my mind wondered what had happened. I seemed to be going further and further up. The whole forest was laid out underneath me. In the distance I could see smoke and a flag. I wasn’t that far from civilisation then. Without realising it, I pointed myself in that direction and began flying.

The forest and clouds sped passed and I felt like a puppet on a string. Somehow I made it over to the camping site. I hovered there and wondered if I had become in visible. Though my first thought of dying seemed more fitting, but I really hoped that wouldn’t be the case. Still really wanting to go home, I set off in that direction and felt relieved that I recognised the area.

Minutes later, I was flying over my town and then touching down in my front garden. Looking around, I spotted nothing unusual and everything looked the same. I open the door and went in with a shrug. I still had no idea what was going on, but at least I wasn’t in that forest any more.