by Alisha P.
A story that lies within the forest, a leaf that only fades away.
|Once upon a time,
Long far away.
There was a leaf,
and it would stay.
Walking in the forest,
I would always wait.
But then, one day.
She never came.
In the forest all alone, there was a girl dressed like a red riding hood.
I was like a wolf, but I was not a cannibal.
She was walking alone with a basket of goods.
I was hiding beneath an apple tree.
But she found out I was hiding.
"Hello?" I heard her say as she looked at my spot.
I didn't remember how to talk.
"I know you're there... you don't have to be afraid." the girl said, slowly smiling. "My name is Annette...do you have a name?"
I wondered how she could talk to strangers so easily. "My name is Avan. Why are you traveling in this forest? I asked cautiously.
"I'm going to my grandmother's." The girl replied. "What about you?"
I thought telling her I live here would be dangerous, but she doesn't know what I look like, so I said, "This is my home."
To my surprise, she didn't look shocked. She wrote a note, left it on the ground, and disappeared.
I realized she left her basket too. I went out of hiding, grabbed the basket with the note, and ate an apple from the tree.
The note said, "Once remembered, now forgotten, one regret I should have lost. It's like a leaf in the snow, but it's something I can't let go."
I wondered what it meant. I looked at the basket and wondering that maybe there was the answer. But then I remembered that it could be a trap.
I still opened it anyway.
Inside there were the usual goods. Water and food are sometimes hard to grasp.
But this was just the beginning, Annette always came to see me, and I would wait.
And then she never came.
I was by a pond, waiting for her return. I wondered what if something happened?
I decided to go on a walk, hoping she'll be there waiting when I returned.
But then I stepped on something. It was a red cloak, the same as Annette's.
"Annette?!" I yelled.
There was no answer, but I knew she was here.
There was a cave in front of me. I entered it, not caring about the dangers.
"Annette?!" I yelled again.
She was sitting on a rock. She was the same Annette, but there was something different about her.
"Annette...?" I barely made a noise.
She faded away.
"ANNETTE!!" I cried.
She was already gone.
All that was left was a leaf.
As I grabbed it, It broke away.
Just like Annette, I thought.
I went back to my apple tree, watching the sunset.
"Why are you crying, Avan?" I heard a voice.
I shivered in shock.
"How did you get here?!" I asked." I thought I lost you in the cave."
"I was," Annette said. "I traveled to a different forest."
I tried to hug her, but she backed away.
"You can't touch me," she said.
"Huh? Why?" I wondered, perplexed.
"That's how I faded away." She said. "You touched me in the cave."
"Ok..." I said, but I wondered.
If I didn't touch her, who did?
Somehow it was now snowing. Now I knew that there was something wrong.
How could it be snowing in September?
I looked at Annette, she froze. Like into an ice statue.
I tried to say a word, but I couldn't breathe.
All I could think of was a leaf and how fragile it was.
How I tried to reach for it, but it faded away, again.
When I woke up, I didn't know where I was.
I was on my apple tree, Annette nowhere to be seen.
The sun was setting. I remembered this scene...
"A leaf in the snow, but something I can't let go."
Why can't I let go of a leaf? I thought as I picked on the bark of the tree.
"There is something that you must see," Annette said as she appeared from nowhere.
Huh? I wondered. "What is it?" I asked.
"Just come with me." She said as she took my hand.
This time I froze.
We walked to a cemetery in different woods.
"Where are we?" I asked, scared.
"This is where I went when I disappeared." She replied. "I was going to tell you, but then it was snowing and became very cold."
Anette pointed at the stone slab that was next to us.
"Annette Belle 1997 - 2006" It read. "a sweet girl who died in the woods."
I didn't know what to say.
"I know you might not want to be friends anymore..." Annette said as she looked at the ground.
"Annette, I don't care if your a ghost or not. You're a leaf that always fades, but you'll always be my friend. I said.
"Ok." She smiled.
I smiled back until I remembered what I had forgotten.
"Annette?" I asked slowly.
"Yes?" She looked confused.
"I...I didn't touch you in the cave who did?" I wondered.
Annette realized something. She stopped smiling.
There was an ax, a leaf, and there was me.
I and the other me looked at each other in confusion. Our mind was shared among each other. I now know why the leaf was broken and why Annette was in the forest instead of the woods.
I was that leaf, broken apart from the other me. Away, I've killed many parts of life, including Annette. Together, I made myself see what evil I had done, why I loved sunsets, and I saw grief.
Goodbye, Annette, I am glad we met.
I am falling...
But, there is no end.
For those that didn't understand the story, the apple tree depicts the story of Adam and Eve.
This story also depicts Red riding hood as Annette wears a red cloak and carries a picnic basket while Avan hides, watching the girl from a distance.
In this story, Avan(ruler of the world) hides beneath the apple tree when a girl, Annette(sweet grace) ponders in his forest.
Annette notices that something is hiding behind the tree and starts a conversation that Avan responds to.
At the end of the conversation, Annette leaves her basket with a note attached. Avan grabs it and reads the note.
The note talks about something Annette is missing that was once known and important.
Every day after that day, Annette would always visit Avan and they became best friends. However, one day, Avan waited, but Annette never came.
Avan decided to go on a walk, hoping that when he got back, she'd be there waiting for him. However, in between his walk, he steps on a cloak that was exactly like Annette's by a near cave.
He calls for Annette but hears no reply, so he goes inside the cave, to see if she was there. She was in there.
He calls for Annette, but Annette doesn't hear him. Annette just fades into pieces. It was like Thanos snapped his fingers.
Avan goes back to his apple tree, crying. He watches the sunset when he hears a voice, asking him why he's crying.
It was Annette. He shocked to see Annette alive after she disappeared. He was also very happy and tried to hug her, but Annette told him not to.
He asks her why and she replies that being touched was how she faded away.
However, he didn't touch her. Someone else did.
As he was thinking of who touched her, it snowed. It froze them both. While they were frozen Avan can only think of a leaf that fades away to his touch.
When they were no longer frozen, Avan woke up on his apple tree and couldn't see Annette. He remembered how the sun was setting...
Annette appeared out of nowhere, saying she needed to show Avan something. Avan wondered about where they would go, but before he could get an answer, Annette grabbed his hand and they teleported into the woods, which was in a different part of the world, far away from the forest.
They went to a cemetery where Annette said she disappeared to. She pointed to a slab with her death information on it and Avan was surprised but said it wouldn't change their friendship.
They were both happy with each other till' Avan remembered something.
He asked her if he didn't touch her, who did and Annette realized the situation and stopped in fear.
There was another Avan, but he was evil, careless, and was dangerous. The good Avan and the evil Avan locked eyes in confusion, which then locked their minds together.
They shared emotions, thoughts, and senses.
Avan now realized why the leaf broke to his touch and why Annette was traveling far away from the woods. He tried to make amends of the sins he had done.
The two Avans represent heaven and hell of the world. Without each other, the world is broken. Just like that faded leaf.