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It’s a sticky, humid evening as the Sun sets below the trees. The dusk’s clouds are a deep blue, starkly contrasting with the uremic remnants of the day. The forest would bear thin and emaciated trees, struggling to even keep themselves upright. It would otherwise be a mighty sight between the vast verdant flora and the terraces that divide them on either side, dipping into rivers below. Stars begin to poke through breaks in the clouds like tiny pinholes, but the Moon waits patiently to arrive. It’s rather peaceful in spite of shortcomings the humidity provides. Birds sing their bedtime songs just as owls are singing their children awake. It is this transient time of day that is more placid than the first beacons of sunrise or the wholesome rays of midday. But this time of day is all the more dangerous because of how alluring it is.
Looking past the quiet ambience of the wind, past the avian chirping, one might just be able to hear heavy, hot exhales breathing down their neck. Turning around would be fruitless; it’s already gone. But the entrance of the forest, it’s right there. The trees droop heavily in an arch, inviting a lonely soul inside. Now the breathing returns. Hotter. Deeper. Wordless, it still manages to convey the personification of nature’s absolute ambiguity. It doesn’t care if you live or die. For millions and millions of years, nature has sat quietly at the extinction of entire species, both by natural causes and at the discretion of human interference. This doesn’t mean nature always keeps itself reserved. All natural disasters have no other culprit, but we as humans can’t point fingers. It’s our regretful ignorance that builds slowly both in the clouds and the deep roots of the earth. To humans, what we can’t see can’t be sentient. But this forest serves no purpose other than to contradict that in its teachings. It represents the sickly innocence of nature, displaying an artifice of weakness at this very exact time and place more deceivingly than the fastest sleight of hand.
To turn around at this point reveals nothing. Not nothing in the sense of a physical being, and nor does it end the breathing. It’s a complete absence of light, like being swallowed by the emptiness of the world. The sound turns to hisses on both sides of the brush; it’s deafening. The treetops swell and close shut like swollen wounds. Deeper inside, the spaces between the timbers fuse together into a thick fortress of a canopy, completely enclosing the space. The passage slowly becomes thinner and thinner, eventually creating a path that no human can fit through, like our continuous ignorance amassing until it is irreversible. The hisses are replaced by deep, guttural, top-of-the-lung screaming. And then, there is nothing. Silence. Nothing around, and nothing inside. There is nothing left of this forest.
Walls become sharp and grating, their corners inverting inward towards the room’s center in points of mangled and ugly wood. An end seems imminent, but the jagged points halt suddenly. To die now would be a waste of an opportunity to see what could be. The ceiling illuminates brightly in deep, indigo shades, like that of the sky. It’s a black, dead night on the outside now, but time inside the forest is indefinitely hyperbolic. The pungent smell of blossoming cherry trees seeps into the scene. The ceiling arrays in brilliant colors, all capable of being produced by a real sky, and it’s absolutely bewildering. The beauty of a thousand sunsets selflessly presented for all of one person. Seasons rapidly change on the canvas, ranging from blistering summer suns to the desolate overcast of winter. Perhaps if we could see past ignorance of nature, we would all be freed of the temptation forced upon us by the opportunity cost of development over the preservation of our true creator. But it is hopeless. We are doomed by the fault of our manufactured human nature. True nature will forever plot and enact the eradication of its biggest mistake: humans.
And as those wooden corners burst apart and spear through the flesh and bone of the unfortunate, a cool wind passes over their being. The wind that signifies a new beginning, that the end of our seemingly trivial lives are actually the most important part of our existence. It brings room for something new, something impactful. A cluster of splinters explode in the chest cavity, the heart ceasing function while simultaneously releasing a great wave of fresh blood. This blood is incorporated into the ceiling’s sky, bringing on scarlet tints to a new beginning, a new day.
That very next morning, the same sunrise is there for all to see, brandishing a particularly brilliant orange.
Written by Avenging Angel