A girl who wandered too deep into the Sleeping Forest stumbled upon something that she heard from a myth her parents told her about.
I frantically searched for a way out. Every corner of the woods seems so identical yet I knew deep in my heart it was definitely different. I left markers on the tree barks as I tried to venture out of the forest, but somehow I kept ending back at the same spot.
Now that I remember, there were rumours that the forest was cursed by a witch who lived there centuries ago. It is said that people who venture too deep into the Sleeping Forest can never go out again.
I shook my head off those thoughts. Time is of the essence - my heart told me that there wasn't much time left before the sun sets. I had to get out of the woods by then, otherwise I would end up as food for the wolves. I picked up my pace but my visibility decreased as the mist grew thicker and thicker.
After walking for what seemed like ages, the mist finally thinned. I could vaguely make out that something was in the distance. Is it another tree, or is it the cottage at the edge of the woods? I hoped for the latter and it set my heart racing. When I neared the object, I was disappointed but shocked beyond words at the same time. Disappointed - because it wasn't the cottage that I was hoping for. Shocked beyond words - because it was a something that I thought I would never be able to see in my entire life.
The mysterious Sleeping Gazebo in the myth my parents told me about stood majestically in front of my eyes. No one in this generation has seen it before, but the story was passed down from their ancestors. There was no mistaking it - there were ancient, exotic carvings on the wooden pillars, each depicting a beautiful goddess from the past. Vines were crawling upon the pillars and dead leaves scattered on its roof, evident that it was forgotten by time.
Suddenly, some invisible force swept past me, bringing up the dead leaves from the ground as it passed. I turned around in shock, but no one was there. When I refocused on the gazebo, I saw a shadow standing next to it. I wanted to run, but something kept me rooted on the spot. The shadow muttered some inaudible words, but that was the last thing I remembered and I blacked out. When I woke up, the gazebo wasn't there. I wasn't even in the Sleeping Forest. Instead, I found myself back in the village, lying on my own bed. My parents told me that a villager found me in the forest when he was looking for forest products, and that I was unconscious for the past few days.
I don't know what had happened, but I don't think that the villagers believed me if I told them that I saw the Sleeping Gazebo and the mysterious figure. After all, I was a child, and no one believed the words of a child. I've kept the secret from that fateful day close to my heart, and now I'm telling it to you. Do you believe my words?