Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)
TITLE: The Walk
By Michelle Meyers
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Soon, she came upon a giant redwood tree with a wooden sign. It said simply Enter. Michelle stood for a minute gazing up at the sign. There were two paths, one on each side of the mammoth redwood. She stepped to the left and peeked down the path. The sunny path was worn from what must have been many travelers. As she stood at the paths origin, she could hear, in the distance, many voices laughing and talking. It was clear to Michelle that many had gone before her on this wide path.
She stepped back to the front of the tree, glancing again at the sign. No arrows indicated the path to choose.
Michelle then walked to the right of the side of the enormous tree trunk and peered down this trail. It was narrow and not clearly marked. Vegetation crowded in from the sides. The path was shady, cool and peaceful; the only sounds those of nature.
She stepped back and pondered her decision. The path to the right seemed to speak to her heart. She followed her heart and began down the path to the right of the ancient redwood tree.
Her new course began in peace and solitude. She strolled along. Noticing a beautiful pink flower growing on a bush, she stepped forward for a better view. As she reached toward the delicate blossom, her hand became caught in bramble. Michelle struggled to free herself, at the same time noticing a small wooden placard. She looked closely. It said simply Envy. She broke free from the bramble, with only one small scratch.
She walked on. Suddenly, a tiny creature ran across the path in front of her and disappeared into the greenery. Curious, she left the path and pushed through the shrubs. She was just in time to see the tail disappear into a hole. She turned to go back and found herself surrounded by vines. She fought against them, trying to free herself. Her arm hit against yet another wooden sign. It said Lust. Finally, she fell free of the vines. She took a deep breathe, made notice of a bruise forming on her arm, and set out again on her journey.
Michelle walked in peace for quite sometime. Rounding a bend, she saw fallen trees and greenery blocking the path up ahead. She surveyed the obstruction and decided to step gingerly through the mess. She crept carefully through and was almost free of the debris, when she tripped and feel, sprawling in the dirt. Frustrated, she kicked at the nearest log. Her foot became entangled in the branches. Panic struck as she realized she was being pulled off the path and into the shrubs on the left side of the trail. Her heart beat rapidly as she struggled against a force she could not see. She thrashed and twisted, making every effort to free her ankle. Her gown was torn as she was dragged through the underbrush, her skin scraped. Michelle strained to see whom or what was doing this. Suddenly her eye caught sight of a small wooden sign. It said Anger. She suddenly realized she had been deposited on the edge of the well-traveled path that began on the left side of the tree. She heard many voices talking and laughing. The sound was coming closer and closer, pressing in on her. With a burst of strength, she finally freed herself. Scrambling to her feet, she blindly ran, crashing through the bushes. Moments later, her heart beating wildly, her gown torn, and her skin scraped and bleeding, she emerged on her chosen path. Relived, yet still frightened, she began to run.
Michelle ran until at last she came to an opening in the forest. She stepped out into the clearing. The sky was pink with twilight and as far as she could see there were people, thousands upon thousands. All were dressed in simple, white gowns and their voices were raised in chorus. A chorus of praise. Michelle fell on her knees, filled with joy. She was finally home. She had made it.
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