The Deep Dark Woods

A man was walking in the woods one day. As he walked further and further he started to notice that the wood was darker and darker. Soon very little light was able to penetrate through the dense canopy of limbs and leaves. The trail was plenty wide for him to walk and had a nice downward pitch. Not so steep that it was hard on his joints but just enough so that he was helped along by gravity. He wasn't really sure where the trail lead but he decided to push on because even though it was dark the way was fairly easy.
There were signs along the way but they were too badly damaged to be read and some of them seemed charred as with fire. He tried to make them out but it was no use. After a while longer he found himself at a place where another path merged with his own and he could see footprints of someone who had gone on before him. There was no other sign of the other person just their footprints leading him onward.
The next thing the man came across was a small stream of running water. Though he could not tell how deep or what the condition of the water was, he was thirsty. In fact, he realized that he had not had a drop of water in some time and was very thirsty. Then as he knelt down to draw some water from the stream a piercing light broke through the darkness of the woods. As the light shined from where he had journeyed from he was stunned at the scene that surrounded him. He could see along the edges of the path the charred remains of trees, shrubs and underbrush. He could see just off the path the remains of other travelers and the eerie forms of creatures in the shadows. Not only that but he could see clearly the putrid water that he was about to drink in and the poisonous nature of it. He knew that he had to turn around.
The man did not know exactly where he was but he knew that he was deep in these terrifying woods. At that moment he set his mind at making his way back out of this place. The path seemed much steeper now that he had turned back. Though the light illuminated his way he still became tangled in some briers. As he rushed away from the danger he found himself slipping and falling but clawing his way up. With each step that he took the mud and mire became thicker and he could hear the vile shrieks of the creatures and they swarmed in the shadows around him. He tripped falling face first in the wretched muck and collapsed. He felt he could not move and could sense the creatures drawing closer, coming to reclaim him. They came nearer and nearer and just as he believed they were upon him they could come no closer.
Suddenly he felt a wave of life surge through his body and it was as if a hand reached down a plucked him from the oozing filth and a voice proclaiming to the darkness, "This one is mine, you may not take him." The light shown brighter and the creatures retreated to the shadows from whence they came. He felt a renewed sense of energy and purpose. He knew that he was not alone in these dark places and that the light that guided him would also uphold and protect him. The man did not know how much further he had to journey but he knew that he would not turn back and that, in time, he would reach the source of the light and find his way out of the deep dark woods.

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