Here is a story for Thursday's Tales. They have already posted a new tale for this week, but I was inspired to write about the photo above. The artwork is by IzNoGood.
Lauren had taken an unusual route through the forest. Her feet were guided by an invisible compass. Her mind was swimming with the events of that afternoon. She had pressing deadlines at her job and not much time to sit and think. Yet, the open air called her. The sky swirled and seemed vast. There was a message from the universe, she thought. Life was more than meetings and emails.
Lauren gasped when she spotted a young girl in the woods. The girl stood still without emotion. She looked quite old fashioned in a frilly dress. Her long curls and skin were deprived of sunlight. The brim of her hat hung low and swallowed her face.
The girl didn't flinch, and Lauren perceived she was carved in stone. Suddenly, she heard the cry of the girl. Lauren inched closer towards her.
"Are you lost little girl," Lauren asked her. At first, the girl didn't answer but lifted her head. Her face was almost gray, but her eyes were bluer than the sky.
"You've only noticed me today," the child answered. "But I have chased you my whole life. Won't you come and play?" Lauren was confused by the child's response. She couldn't possibly know her.
"I'm sorry but I don't believe we've met," Lauren began. "I have so much to do today. Come back with me and I'll phone your parents." The girl shrank from her like a shadow. Her blue eyes grew dim like night.
"I wish you could remember," the girl sobbed. She started to run like the wind and vanished beyond the trees. Only her hat remained and laid softly on the earth.
Puzzled, Lauren lifted her hat off the ground. She soon forgot the encounter and returned to her world of work and deadlines. She did not recognize the girl of her youth but noticed a shadow growing in her place.