Start of an Adventure
“Well now it is a busy tourist place. A famous businessman built a tourist park. Over the years many trees grew in the park and it transformed into a forest. Many people visit the forest. They go camping there. There are beautiful ponds, cottages and fun filled jogging tracks. The forest has the most beautiful birds. At one end of the forest lies the cave. They say this was where the volcano used to be.” Seiya said.
“Trrrrrrrrrrrrrr” the bell rang. It was time to study math- I hated math. I was still hungry. I was so caught up in listening to Seiya that I forgot all about eating. I slowly walked towards the classroom with a heavy heart and empty stomach.
I begged Sakura to miss the class with me but she was too fond of math to do anything of that sort. She dragged me to class. She’s really good at math and solves complicated sums quickly. It takes me fifteen minutes to multiply seven and nine.
Mrs. Morie gave us permission slips to get them signed from our parents.
“We’re going to the Greenfire forest.” She said. “Please get this permission slips signed.”
“Can I skip?” I asked.
“Unfortunately, it is compulsory.” Mrs. Morrie said. “Mizu, the grades of this trip will be added to your report card. I suggest you attend it at least for the sake of getting a better grade.”
“I have a question.” Joe the nerd said. “What is seven multiplied by three.”
How dumb could someone get? Even I knew it was thirty six. I am such a genius at math only my ability is not recognized. Kaji thinks he’s smart but he says seven multiplied by three is twenty one. He says when I do math, my head gets dizzy and I see wrong numbers. Everyone knows how mistaken he is.
When I reached home, mom was waiting for us. She signed the permission slip for me.
The trip would begin the following day and we would come back in three days. The notice was rather abrupt. After hearing so much about the forest I didn’t want to go there but this trip was compulsory. Kaji and Akumu were not afraid of such things. They thought these stories were not true.
I couldn’t help thinking about the story Seiya had said while walking home from school. All the friendly shops seemed to be hiding something. I wondered what kind of place the forest would be. I couldn’t help anything except a dark forest filled with high trees where wolves howled at night and ghosts sang. It gave me shudders.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about the forest. I had packed my bag for the next day. I carried four torches and a prayer book to exterminate evil. The bag consisted of my usual clothes and other necessities. I did not want to go to the forest but I had no choice. Somehow that endless night passed.
The next morning I was sleeping in the bus. I had not slept the whole of last night and was feeling sleepy.
“Wake up, Mizu.” Sakura said shaking me in the bus.
“I want to sleep.” I said. “I couldn’t sleep the whole of last night.”
“How could you sleep when you know we might die anytime?” John asked. I turned back to look at him.
“If I were you, I’d never sleep.” John said. “Do you know how dangerous these forests are?”
“Everything about it is just a story. There’s no need to believe everything.” Sakura said.
“This forest is definitely haunted.” John said. “I would be glad if we came back alive.”
After a long ride that seemed like eternity, the bus finally reached Greenfire forest. Mrs. Morie took us to a man who gave us our tents and showed where to camp.
He took us to the place where we had to put up our tents.
Sakura and I built the tent with the help of the ranger’s instructions. It was easy for two masterminds like Kaji and Akumu to put a tent together. They had it done in no time. They brought a lot of books along with them to read. Their tent looked more like a library and less like a tent. These crazy people were planning to read even on camp days.
Seiya was alone in his tent so, he brought a play station to spend time. Miko was fussing about the tent. She had packed almost the whole of her house. Her belongings had to be brought in two large trucks.
The scene outside seemed scary. Thick, tall trees blocked sunlight. The more I looked at it, the more afraid I felt.
As I finished building my tent, Mrs. Morie requested me to go and get some firewood to light a fire at night. Seiya, Akumu and Kaji went with me.
We wandered through the dark forest. All the trees were so high and thick that we could not get any wood from those. We would need sophisticated machinery to chop them down to bits of wood.
“Let’s go further into the forest. Probably all the smaller trees and wood pieces are hiding there.” Akumu said.
We went further into the forest. I passed through the dreaded volcanic cave. It was a small cave with an entrance at the bottom of the volcano which was dormant now. It didn’t look as spooky as I had expected it to. But the volcano had definitely erupted. I could see solidified lava on the volcano’s surface.
“I think there’s nothing here.” Seiya said giving up. “Let’s go back.”
“Thudddddd.” His head hit against something.
“Ouch!” Seiya said. He fell to the ground. He looked what he had bumped into.
It was a post box. Ahead of it, lay a large mansion. It was black due to soot deposition and was definitely old. Creepers hung to every crack on its surface deepening them. Broken tiles and some pieces of chopped wood was scattered around.
“Does anyone know who lives here?” Kaji asked.
“Maybe it belongs to the management.” Akumu said.
“Let us knock.” Seiya said.
“I am hungry.” I said.
We all walked towards the mansion and knocked the door. To our surprise, it was open.
“Seems like no one lives here.” Akumu said. “Let us look for firewood. It is getting dark.”
We went in to search for wood. It was dark so we switched on our torches. The things inside had been damaged. It looked centuries old. There was a cracked crystal ball lying in one corner of the room. The couches had been ripped and cotton was oozing out. There was a strange, large painting which showed three monsters and a thin strip which showed an egg, a monster and a human. ‘B’ was written as a titled. The rest was missing.
Akumu found some firewood in the fireplace. Kaji and I found twigs. Seiya went upstairs and brought a log of wood down. I observed that loose glass chandeliers that used to shine grandly hung on the ceiling. They had lost charm and looked ready to be replaced.
Seiya called everyone to have a look at a room upstairs. Kaji found his styling gel there. There was a piece of Akumu’s cloth in the corridor. Seiya led us to the room.
It was the furthermost room in the top floor. The door was open. The floor was tiled with wood. There was a large cupboard and many large shelves. Four candles were lit in four corners of the room. The shelves had colourful potions, a dead stinking bat, blood preserved in jars, cloth and a bottle of styling gel.
“That’s mine.” Kaji said looking at the styling gel. He kept the gel in his pocket.
Seiya opened the cupboard to see two wax dolls and candles. There were a lot of spider webs too. There were brass containers and pebbles.
After having a look at all the things, I decided it was time to go back.
In the tent, somehow, we started talking about Won. Seiya believed that Won, an ancient spirit monster was the owner of that mansion.
“He was pretty famous. There are a lot of myths surrounding him. He lived two hundred years ago.” Seiya said.
Kaji agreed and then went on. He said that people say Won possessed the power to communicate with spirits and he was a psychic. He had powers which no one else did but he used them for evil. He was very selfish and used his power for his own benefit.
Wow! I thought. It must have been great to have such wonderful powers. But he should have used them wisely. They say after his death his powers divided. They split into five parts-his brain, heart, sound, nails and the soul of reconstruction.
Each of these parts had a special power. His brain gives him memory. His heart keeps him alive. His voice transmits ultrasonic waves. His nails are like poison stings and his soul is for his reconstruction.
Thinking about such a monster gave me the creeps. I silently prayed that I would never have to meet Won. I felt insecure. The cold wind somehow warned me that my prayers would not be answered. I looked up with fear at the setting sun………
Well, I will post another chapter one week later. An audiobook of Roses of Doom is going to be published soon. I will keep you updated.