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Dense Part of the Forest - the fate of Jenny Camacho

Updated on January 10, 2016
Phyllis Doyle profile image

Short stories are at the heart of why Phyllis loves to write. Her father left her a legacy of the art of storytelling.

Deeper into the forest ~

Biogradska forest in Montenegro
Biogradska forest in Montenegro | Source

Writing challenge from Frank Atanacio ~

On his hub 'Monsters in the Trees', Frank Atanacio issued a challenge to other hubbers to write an alternate ending to the story of Jenny Camacho who was being hunted relentlessly by a psychotic man. Where can she go now and what will become of her?This is my alternate ending that I hope Frank will like - and I hope you, dear reader, enjoy it.

Further into the dense forest ~

Jenny Camacho ran like she had never run before. From she knew not where a different kind of strength filled her and she felt as if she was flying. Further into the dense forest she ran blindly, leaping over fallen trees and brush, unaware of the cuts and scratches on her face and arms from branches that reached out to capture her.

There was no stopping Jenny now. Something unknown was pulling her forward and she had no control over the momentum that was taking her to she knew not where. In her mind, or was it in the wind, something was calling her, giving her direction.

She was following an ancient path, barely visible to the naked eye and somehow she knew it was there -- she was familiar with it. Her eyes were clearing, no longer blurred and teary. She saw the path from another time, she saw the tiny new sprouts of fresh moss that would take over more of the rocks and fallen trees. With vision so strong, she even saw the minuscule bugs and mites crawling in and out of the thicker parts of lush dark green moss. Something strange was happening to her, stranger than anything the psychotic man had done so far.

The raven wanted her to follow ~

North American Common Raven
North American Common Raven | Source

The raven ~

Jenny was startled by a large raven that flew into the path ahead of her. It landed on a moss covered rock. The raven sat there and stared at her, but, Jenny could not stop. As she approached the raven, it took flight down the path and looked back at her, as if motioning her to follow, and she did. She suddenly felt safe and followed the raven, knowing that somehow it would lead her to safety.

When the raven disappeared as the path took a turn around some large trees, Jenny felt panic, but kept on the path. As she ran around the trees, she saw an old woman in a long black cloak that was tattered, looking like great black feathers dangling from her arms. The woman seemed ancient and was all hunched over, her back curved so much that her head was in front of her shoulders. It looked like she would fall forward if not for the long twisted tree branch she used as a cane. Long straggly hair escaped the hood on her head and her large nose protruded from the hood. When she turned and looked at her, Jenny saw eyes as black as the raven.

She motioned for Jenny to follow then disappeared into some vines and brush. Jenny slowed down to a walk and carefully entered where the woman had gone, pulling the vines aside as she walked through.

Cave full of crystals ~

Crystal cave
Crystal cave | Source

Witch's cauldron deep in the cave ~

Witch's cauldron always brewing
Witch's cauldron always brewing | Source

The cave and the witch ~

In a small clearing was an entrance to a cave. The old woman easily walked in, but Jenny had to bend forward to go through the opening and a small tunnel. Once through the tunnel, Jenny forgot about the maniac who was hunting her, for suddenly the tunnel opened up into an enormous room. The room that she followed the woman to was studded with crystals of all sizes and colors, growing up from the floor, off the walls and down from the ceiling. Jenny was awestruck as she stood up straight and looked around for several minutes.

She saw a lighted room on the other side and crossed over to the doorway. She was amazed that it was a room much like in a cottage.

Finally, her eyes rested on the old woman, huddling over a large cauldron that had glowing embers under it. Steam from what was inside the cauldron rose up to the crystal lined ceiling in a myriad of colors. She must be a witch, Jenny thought. "Yes, I am", said the woman. When Jenny stuttered and tried to say something, the witch held up her hand.

"We do not have much time. He will find you soon and it will be over, unless ..." Jenny stared at her. "Unless what?" she asked, afraid of the answer. The witch sat down on a stool next to her cauldron, leaning on her cane and holding onto it with both hands that were as gnarled as the cane. She turned her head and squinted at Jenny. "There is only one way to escape and be rid of him. Or, you can give up and let him have you."

"No, I want to escape!" The witch got up and took a cup off a small table. She filled it with a broth from the cauldron and handed it to Jenny. "Then drink this, it will save you." As Jenny reached for the cup, the witch held it back as she said, "but, you must know that once this spell is cast, you cannot ever change it." Jenny looked into the eyes of the witch and took the cup. Anything would be better than a tortuous death by him, she thought and drank the broth.

Monster in the tree ~

Gloomy trees
Gloomy trees | Source

Escape and revenge ~

When Jenny woke up, the witch and cave were gone. She found herself at the top of one of the monster type trees. "What the ..." She had no idea how she got up there, but she suddenly felt safe, knowing she was far above the maniac should he come this way. She also realized she had not eaten in a very long time and was starving.

The man slowly followed the path, he could sense her, knew she came this way, for he detected her scent which was driving him wild and deeper into his insanity. His warped mind was twisting and turning, exciting him with the thought of the blood that would seep out with each bit of torture he inflicted on her. He heard a sound above him and stopped.

Looking up, he saw an abnormally large eagle, sharp talons extended and reaching for him as it swooped down from the top of one of his monster trees. The hunter's screams echoed throughout the forest.

~ ~ ~ ~

Largest eagle he ever saw ~

Eagle | Source

Note from author ~

Thank you for reading my article. Your opinions are important to me and let me know your interests. This helps me to offer more of your favorite subjects to read about. Your time and interest are very much appreciated. I hope to hear from you in the comments section below.

I write on several different subjects, all evergreen articles. You can read more about me and see more articles I wrote by clicking on my name by the small picture of me at the top right of this page.

Blessings and may you always walk in peace and harmony, softly upon Mother Earth.

Phyllis Doyle Burns
~ ~ ~ ~

© 2014 Phyllis Doyle Burns


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