There's one more thing that happened on the day of the big storm that I want to tell you about. There was something in the forest that day that I just couldn't explain. It was a feeling of fear that wouldn't go away, no matter what I did.
As soon as I entered the forest I knew there was something different about it. The obvious thing was that it was very dark in there. The mist that was hanging in the air permeated throughout the forest. I like walking around in the dark, so I suspected nothing when I first saw it.
The odd thing was that it was unusually quiet that day. The mosquitoes that I expected were nowhere in sight. I was surprised that they weren't there to mercilessly suck my blood, but I was glad I could slow down to a leisurely pace and look around.
It began to get even darker as I got deeper into the forest. For some reason the combination of the quiet darkness and the light obscuring mist that hung heavily over everything made the forest begin to seem as if it was closing in on me.
I felt foolish for it, but I was beginning to become frightened as I walked deeper into the darkness. I just wish it wasn't so quiet! Just then I heard a loud cracking sound behind me! I jumped as I quickly spun around to meet my imaginary attacker!
I saw nothing in the forest but more darkness. More foolishness. I had to stop this! I turned back around to continue my journey just as a small black figure shot across my path! Whew! It was only a lone black squirrel. They are so hard to photograph. I think of them as the ghosts of the forest.
I scolded myself again for my foolishness. There's nothing to be afraid of. It's only the dark. I've never feared this place before, or any place in the forest before. Why am I so afraid right now? This is supposed to be an adventure and there's nothing behind me ready to jump out at me!
As soon as that thought came into my head about twenty dark shapes leaped noisily into the air and flew swiftly past me! Aaaaahhhh!!! Oh, it was only a flock of birds. Those flying jerks! They must have sensed my fear, and did it on purpose!
But then I saw more of them throughout the forest. They were actually almost everywhere. My fear was subsiding. I thought I could enjoy this walk in the woods now. I began to see more of those black squirrels, but only right as they disappeared behind trees or ran deep into the forest. Why did everything in the forest have to be so dark today?
That's when I saw the light up ahead...
The only light in the forest had an eerie glow because of the mist. The light seemed to shine down on this old dead gnarled tree. Its branches seemed to be reaching out and searching the forest. I imagined the branches quivering and growing, and slithering through the trees right toward me.
But why would this scare me? I'm The Everyday Adventurer. I'm not afraid of anything in the forest, really. I'm not. Nothing could happen to me out here. A tree couldn't just reach out and grab somebody... Could it?