the short story project


Spirit Of The Forest

Aaron Marx and his family have been planing a hike trip in The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina for 6 months. The weather is warm and perfect for a hike. Aaron, his wife Samantha, Son Deacon,10 and daughter Jenny-Lynn,12 start their journey up the mountain trail and through the forest. They stop often to take in the scenery.

After walking for about an hour, they spot a stream with a small waterfall just off the trail about 10 yards. The children are excited by the site and want to go explore. Aaron is a bit hesitant at first but then tells the children they will all sit by the stream for a brief rest.

They open their back packs and retrieve snacks and bottled water as they sit by the stream. Aaron notices a short man sitting a few feet away. He wonders where the man came from because he was not there a few seconds ago. Aaron notices a few other things about the man. He is under 5 feet tall, he is very old with deep wrinkles on his face and knotted veins on his hands and piercing blue eyes. Aaron also notices the man has a white bushy beard and his white bushy hair hangs down from his large wide brim hat that is ruffled and a caved in crown. He is wearing a green long sleeve shirt with dirty overalls and a walking stick lays across his legs. Aaron wonders how the man can be wearing those cloths on such a warm day. The man mumbles to himself but his voice doesn’t sound like its from this world. At this point the rest of the family is noticing him as well. Deacon knocks over his water bottle and spells water all over himself. The commotion causes the family to divert their attention for a brief second away from the man. When Aaron brings his attention back to the man he discovers the man is no longer there. Aaron wonders how the man disappeared so suddenly and there is no sight of him.

As the family packs up and returns back to the trail to resume the hike, Aaron remembers a tale his aunt told him when he was a boy. She would tell stories of forest spirits. He comes to the conclusion that the old man was one of the forest spirits.

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