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The Unknown Land

# 773 4 - 5 mins.

Prompt: Write a Story About Odd Weather

The silent white drifted and danced to the ground outside of Sam's window. The boy's reflection smiled back at him as he gazed out at the snow-covered ground and trees. The sunset in the distance and stretched it's longest golden limbs through the tops of the dense forest surrounding Sam's house.

Sam's eyes were wide with excitement at what was happening. He stared through the frosted windowpane for a moment longer, and then bounced off of his bed down to the floor. The boy assembled layers of warm clothes on himself, one after the other, with no less excitement. His eyes darted back and forth as he imagined the adventures he'd have. He topped off the assortment of thick clothes with a woolen cap, crowned with a pom-pom, then grabbed his backpack and headed out the door.

Sam ran down the stairs and out the door as the last light of the day faded from view. All that was left was the soft light of the moon, filtered by snowflakes, creating the reddish hue that allowed him to see without a flashlight. It was Sam's favorite time to explore the woods, and not just because of the mysterious ambiance.

He grabbed his walking stick that was left by the front door and headed off into the forest.

The white covering all flat surfaces managed to frame the trees and bushes in a way that he made the forest a sea of silhouettes around him. It was silent too, unlike normal. There were no birds chirping or leaves rustling in the wind. No, the only sound he heard was the crunching of snow under his own feet and the occasional distant groan of a tree under the weight of the fresh snow.

Sam bent down and grabbed a handful of the fluffy white powder and ate it while he walked.

I wonder how big they've grown. he wondered to himself, still wearing a smile beneath his white powdered scarf.

He looked up and realized, he didn't know where he was. The snow eliminated the need for a flashlight, mostly, but the snow-covered all of the known paths. It left only the trees as guides, and Sam hadn't marked the trees. Nonetheless, he did not stop. He knew the direction, and he never had actually found his friends before when he knew exactly where he was going. You had to get lost to find them. That's just how it worked.

Sam passed unfamiliar trees and rocks, but somehow he knew that he was going the right way.

Sam grabbed a clump of snow and threw it at a nearby tree branch. It hit and the impact caused the branch to shed some of the snow that had settled on top of it, making a mini blizzard for the boy to run through with his arms wide. The snow was now up to his knees and proved too tall for him to effectively run through. He tripped and face-planted into the soft white padding. Sam stood back up chuckling to himself, brushed himself off, and continued on his way.

Over the next hill, Sam stopped in his tracks.

He stared down at the shallow valley before him with wonder in his eyes. It was silent and beautiful. The forest sloped downward to his left and the trees standing in the valley were enormous—easily twice as big around as his arms could stretch. He waited patiently in the silence and was then greeted by the groaning of the ancient oaks.

The smile cracked on his face once more and he broke into a run. He ran down the small hill, through knee-deep snow, and straight to the tallest tree in the forest. Other trees groaned and ached all around him.

Sam stood at the base of the tree and stared straight up its massive trunk to the top. Then, the branches began to move.

One branch swung down at the boy and Sam stood still, smiling wide. The branch scooped him up and lifted him high above the forest floor to a point just below where the main trunk began to split into its many branches. It stopped, holding Sam fifty feet off the ground. The rush of excitement caused him to breathe heavy, and the cloud of warm breath danced around him.

Then, there was a voice. It was so similar to the creaking of the snow-laden trees that, from far off, it would have been hard to tell it was any different. The voice spoke and the boy smiled back.

"It's good to see you, young one."

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