The Hidden Grove, a short story by freepeoplesrul. Date added: 2008-08-24. Times viewed: 951.
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- There was a little girl named Lucy, and she loved to play in the park. Every time she went, she could see the forest that lay below the hill the park was on. Lucy and her best friend Alex would watch the forest every day together.
Every day they would say, "When we're old enough, we'll go in there and explore it." They were only seven years old and could not go to the park by themselves.
When they asked their mothers to take them to the forest, they would quickly say, "No. It is dark in there. It is dangerous."
But little Lucy and Alex could not see any darkness. They saw the tall oak trees and beautiful flowers of many colors on the forest floor. They could see little squirrels, rabbits, and other small, cute creatures. Sometimes, if they got close enough they could see deer and foxes. But they never got to go inside.
One Friday, after school, Lucy and Alex went to the park. This time, there was a birthday party, and there were a lot of other kids. Lucy and Alex's mothers were talking with all the other mothers and not paying good attention to Lucy and Alex. So, the two friends agreed that at the right moment, they would run away, down the hill, and adventure into the forest. They watched and waited, and when they were convinced it was the right time, they ran off. In less than a minute, they were standing in the beautiful forest that they had waited so long to get into.
When they got in, they saw that it was indeed much more than they had perceived. All the things they imagined: in their nighttime dreams, in pictures they drew, and whenever they were looking up at the clouds, came true right before their eyes.
Lucy could see unicorns and little fairies. She saw beautiful phoenixes that sung precious melodies. Alex saw a great oak tree turn into the foremast of a grand pirate ship, and other trees turned into big castles battlements. Lucy and Alex gasped. They began playing with their imaginary, turned real, dreams. Lucy climbed up onto the unicorn's back, and with the help of the fairies, she and the unicorn were flying through the thick boughs of the trees. Alongside her two phoenixes flew gracefully. As she continued to fly, her little skirt and blouse was changed into a green, flowing dress that matched her eyes. Alex ran up to the pirate ship and climbed the rigging. When he got to the top, his garments were turned into that of a ragged, feared pirate. He pulled out his telescope and viewed the sea that lay before him. Over the blue waters, he could see Lucy flying with her friends. All afternoon, forgetting about the party, they played and laughed on. And before soon, it was dark, and they were alone.
Earlier that afternoon, there was a bad man, lurking around the park, watching the little kids at the party. He saw all. And he definitely did not miss the two little kids running into the forest alone. With an evil grin smudged on his ugly face, he walked to the forest. Now, his imagination was not that of a young, innocent child's. When he came to the forest, he saw none of the pleasant things that Lucy and Alex saw. Instead, he saw dead, looming trees with black crows cawing at him. He saw yellow eyes peeping from the shadows. He could hear low, vicious growls from behind big boulders that lay on the dry, dead leaves that covered the unfruitful ground. Still, he could see Lucy and Alex, even though the forest tried to hide them. He could see into their little imaginations. He watched Lucy fly above the sea with the fantasy creatures, and Alex swing from the pirate ship to the castle, and fight away his invisible opponents. That was when the evil man saw how the forest worked.
So, he waited patiently for dark, and then we the sun went down, he crept into the forest. Since the forest did not want him there, it gave the evil man its most frightful images. But the man had his goal in mind, at that was to get to the two little kids. He watched them from behind the tree for a little. They were lying side by side on a little cloud. On a cloud next to them were a dog, a horse, a tiger, and a bear. Lucy and Alex were watching the stars. They saw tons of shooting stars and rockets. When they were unsuspecting, the man came silently from behind the tree and greeted them.
"Why hello," he said, politely. "Now, what might you two small children be doing out here, all alone while it's dark?"
"We're playing, sir," answered Alex.
"What about your parents," asked the man. "Do they know you're in here?"
"Actually, no," said Alex. "But it's been worth it. We've had so much fun."
"Alex, no," whispered Lucy. "He's a stranger, we shouldn't be telling him anything."
"So," said the man. He pretended not to hear what Lucy said. "What have you been playing in here?"
Lucy and Alex said nothing.
"Well, aren't you going to answer me?"
"Why do you want to know," asked Lucy.
"Because, I'm interested in what a forest like this would have that attracts such pleasant children as yourselves."
"It just looks so nice," answered Lucy, truthfully.
"It does," asked the man, sounding shocked. "How so? Because all I see are lots of shadows. I see big snakes looming under the bushes, waiting to strike. I can see yellow eyes looking right at right now, waiting for your next move. And I hear the growling of werewolves and the screeching of bats. Or are they vampires? I'm not sure. Maybe you can tell. Can you hear them?"
All this talk of frightful creatures made Alex and Lucy imagine what they would look like if they were really there. They began looking around fearfully. Then, they could see all the creatures and hear the snarling werewolf and the screeching vampires. Alex and Lucy huddled close together, and held on tightly to their little cloud. All of those horrible creatures were coming true! Lucy turned around to look somewhere else, and she saw her sleeping friends on the cloud next to her. She tapped Alex's shoulder and he too saw what remained of their earlier imagination. They focused on that little picture in front of them as hard as they could. Soon, it became brighter and clearer.
Alex could still see the terrifying creatures around them. Lucy could too, and she was starting to worry that maybe they would not make it. But Alex, he could imagine their pleasant creatures fighting back and helping them. So, he did as hard as he could.
Soon, the dog was up and snarling back at the werewolves. The tiger was going after black panthers. The horse began kicking out at the vampires. The bear raced into the bushes and scared away the yellow eyes and snakes. Then, they all turned onto the man. The evil man was standing absolutely still, looking fearful and shocked. Lucy climbed onto the back of the horse, and Alex onto the tiger. Then, the animals and children sprang forward after the evil man. They chased him right out of the forest. They followed him until he was past the park, and far away, never to return.
Alex and Lucy went back to the forest when the job was done. They said good-bye to all of their new friends, and promised to come back another time. Then, they headed home. This time, their dreams would be filled of new adventures.
For the rest of their childhood days, Lucy and Alex visited the forest beyond the park. They would imagine new things each time, and as they got older, they imagined more beautiful and creative adventures. But never once, did they imagine the horrible creatures. They could not bear to see the forest they loved so much be torn apart by the evils of the world. Then, ten years later, the day came when they had to part and go their separate ways.
One day, when Lucy was an adult, she was walking by the park. She stopped, remembering her past. Then, out of curiosity, she peered down the hill and looked at the forest. Lucy sighed sadly. She really missed those days.
Before she turned around to go back, though, a hand touched her shoulder and a man walked up next to her. It was Alex.
"You miss those days, too," he asked.
"Yes," she said, smiling. "But I'm so glad to see you."
"Never mind that," he said. "Let's go find another adventure."
Then, like the little kids they had been before, they ran into the forest laughing away the day.
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