After trying to think for a solid five minutes and concentrating to keep the depressing kitchen from getting to her, Isea put together a peanut butter and banana sandwich. She folded it carefully into a handkerchief, and went on her way. Isea opened the eerie back door that moaned every time she opened it, locked it, and slipped the key carefully back into her black dress pocket. Isea marched down the long fading green hill, and breathed in the crisp and damp Autumn air. She treasured this sort of Friday. She met her friends at a place fairly close to the nursing home her mother worked at. It was rather convenient to Isea because she could pay her mum a visit as well. The little group always met at a stone wall with ivy growing over it at the edge of a small park. That was where Isea first met them. Isea knew that she had never ever felt quite so lonely again. Her friends had always been there for her after that. The long hill ended where a little path through the forest began. Isea paused for a moment before she went on. She looked up at the long dark reaching trees, bending this way and that in the wind; a few hung on, but most of their fiery leaves flew everywhere. One came twirling and spiralling down in circles over Isea’s head, and she caught it.
She started to march along the path, enjoying the cool air. She gazed up at the bare trees thoughtfully. “The leaves turn fiery in the Autumn,” Isea said. ‘They become their most beautiful at this time, right before they die and fall away…’ she thought. ‘They become sort of shells, with the life that was once inside gone, but the leaf still there… They always grow back again…healthy and alive. The life stays with the tree, and the dead leaf does not matter anymore. Perhaps we are part of one tree, and are all connected to each other…’ After that shivery thought, she was just off into a daydream of being The Witch of Seven Elders again in the forest, when a boy’s voice called from behind her. Isea stopped, turned around, and looked. The boy who had called was staring at her. A heavy feeling of dread stirred inside of her. She had met him before. He was full of hot air, in her opinion. But there was a time when she saw rather too much of him. He had a deep scowl with hatred in his eyes, and a cruel twisting grin. Isea thought he wanted to… murder her in some way that was not physical…as one snuffs out the light of a candle flame. She could tell…The light filtering in through the shifting tree branches seemed to avoid him, and the shadows crept closer.
“Come here, Isea,” he sneered. “I have something to tell you.”
Isea turned stiffly back around and started to numbly walk away. Isea hoped he would simply lose interest.
“Isea!” His voice echoed mockingly out into the woods, disturbing the birds. He was closer now. Isea began to run frantically. “Why are you running away?!” he bellowed. “Why do you hate me?” she heard, fainter still.
‘‘Go away,’ Isea whispered softly, although she wanted to scream it. “I don’t hate anyone.” Isea was a good long-distance runner, and when she got closer to where she met her friends, Isea had a chance to catch her breath again and calm herself.