Wren finds herself in an odd place.
I was in a glade in the middle of the woods. Where exactly those woods were, I had no idea. The trees consisted of pine and maples, natural to northeastern New Jersey. So I must have gotten outside somehow. My mother had always told stories of me sleepwalking when I was little. Maybe this was a midnight walk gone awry.
It was just starting to hit dawn. The previous black sky was starting to turn a indigo as the sun started to come up. I stood up from the ground, I had to get back home before my brothers woke up, there was no way I could explain sleepwalking from my home, into an unknown forest that was probably miles away. This place didn't even resemble any of the forests around my town.
At least the temperature out here wasn't too bad for October. It actually felt like summer, a cool breeze but still warm. I started walking randomly, there had to be a road, or stream somewhere, and if my one year of Girl Scouts taught me anything, it was to follow running water. My year of Girl Scout's had been my mother's attempt at getting me to make friends. What she didn't understand was that we lived in a suburban town, which meant that we didn't get to actually use our developed survival skills, which left us in our community center staring at each other while our group leader tried to figure out activities for us to do. Was not a fun year. Anyway, running water usually deposited into a larger body of water, and what pond or lake didn't have at least a house around it?
I walked barefoot out of the glade and into the more dense parts around it. The bushes and trees made it hard to walk, but after a few scratches here and there, I was making my way through the wilderness.
'Goddammit!', I thought angrily as a thorn bush tore at my shirt. 'This can't get any worse!'
The sun started to peak up over the tree tops as I walked further on. Finally I could hear water trickling somewhere to my left. Following my sense of hearing, I finally came to a small creek running straight through the woods.
"Oh thank god.", I muttered, sighing and leaning against a tree. There was no way I could get back to my house before my brothers woke up, I had already eliminated that possibility. But at least now I had a chance at being found.
"I don't think he's the one you should thank, looks like you were the one doing the walking."
I jumped at the voice coming from above me. Straight above me, as in there was a person on top of a branch a foot above my head. A guy to be more precise.
He was in dark clothing and barefooted such as I was. From what I could see, he had long black hair, flowing down onto his shoulders.
"What the hell are you doing?", was my immediate response. When you see a person walking under a branch you're sitting on, you should at least feel a small inclination to let them know you're there.
"Lounging", he shrugged. Such a simple answer for a very complicated situation.
I sighed, since he seemed to be the only person around for miles, it looked like I was stuck asking him the inevitable question.
"Do you know where we are?", I called up in frustration. "It looks like I slept walked out here, and I have no idea where I am."
He looked down to me from his perch and shrugged. "Search me, I woke up here too."
This was starting to irritate me. I growled in aggravation. How could he act so relaxed about waking up in the middle of some unknown woods?
"You seem oddly calm about all of this.", I commented, letting my anger vent into my voice. He glanced down at me and sighed before starting to climb down. Looking like quite the acrobat, he jumped from limb to limb until he landed on the ground next to me.
When he stood up from his landing crouch, I was able to see that he was tall in stature. At least compared to me, my height of 5'8" in all it's glory. He was in pair of lightening bolt patterned pajama's and a black hoodie. As he stared at me, he crossed his arms and made a stance.
"That's because I've been here, I dream about this place a lot. Though, you've never shown up before.", He explained pointedly, before looking me up and down. I suddenly got a sense that I was in his place, this was his domain, and I was a stranger intruding on his territory.
I crossed my arms, suddenly self-conscious that I was only wearing a tank top, and a pair of shorts. So I was dreaming, still asleep in my bed at home. Well, that was somewhat of a relief. I wouldn't have to explain to my brothers why I was walking into my house early in the morning, completely filthy and sleep deprived. At the same time, I had never dreamed of something this realistic, nor had a guy been in any of them.
Speaking of which, whoever he was, the guy was still peering at me curiously with one eyebrow raised, waiting for me to speak.
"Sorry if I'm intruding on your dream. . . if I could get out of here, I would.", I apologized, letting my anger from before slip away. Then I walked over and leaned on the trunk of one of the many maple trees. His eyebrow went higher. He seemed to contemplate something before he shrugged and sat down on a rock that was next to him. "It's alright, it's nice to have company.", he smiled cheerfully. "So, what's your name?" He leaned forward, his elbows on his knees.
"Wren, Wren Notchik.", I replied, returning his smile. "And what's your's?"