You’re not sure what to make of the door as you approach it. It has been long reclaimed by nature, the aged, mossy wood overtaken by lush, leafy vines and sprouting fungi. It almost seems beautiful, but it’s hard to admire it when you’re currently worrying about what could be held on the other side. Regardless, you reach out to brush aside the vines and turn the handle to enter. After all, you’re certain of what this door DOES contain: somebody in need.
A sea of trees that seem to reach endlessly into the moonless sky surround you as you find yourself standing in the middle of a dark, dense forest. As you take in the new environment, an unsettling realization hits you. It’s dead silent. There’s no chirping birds or chittering squirrels, no buzzing bees or hooting owls. There is nothing else lurking within these woods, which at first makes you feel a sense of security, but quickly turns into deep unease and discomfort. You’ve never felt this alone, and the longer you explore these endless woods, you also find that you’ve never felt this lost, either.
The winds are still, only the sound of dry leaves crunching beneath your feet and your own quickening breath keeping you company as you desperately begin to search for a sign of life, any sign of life. This is somebody’s dream, isn’t it? They have to be here, right? Time doesn’t feel real anymore, have you been here for minutes, or has it been hours? Checking your phone tells you nothing, its black screen only reflecting your own frightened expression back to you.
Just as you feel yourself on the brink of spiraling into hopeless despair, your attention is quickly grabbed by the distant sound of a twig snapping. Perhaps you should be worried about this, but at this point, you’d even welcome a horrifying, disgusting monster if it just meant you had somebody to talk to in here. Without a second thought you call out, and it doesn’t take long for you to hear a gentle, trembling voice respond.
From the darkness emerges a small boy, and it instantly dawns on you who this dream belongs to. Judging by the relieved expression on Luka’s face, it’s clear he’s just as happy to see you as well.
“I thought I was going to be here alone forever… Thank you for finding me,” he gives you a warm smile, but you can sense the worry still in his eyes. You reach down to give him a reassuring pat and tell him not to worry, now that you’ve finally found him, you can both leave this forest immediately.
Err, if you can remember the way back, anyway.
Art by Mica.