Wordbound #2

Hey all, continuing with my writing exercises with the second prompt from Wordbound. The prompt is as follows:

Wordbound #2: A character writes a secret message somewhere. 

All righty, here goes then.

The fall leaves that littered the ground crunched beneath Mal’s black boots as she treaded deeper into the forest on the outskirts of town. Today marked ten years since the disappearance of her mother after she went out for a walk with her tracks mysteriously ending in this very forest. The waning afternoon sun peaked through the trees as Mal swatted away at a mosquito and shifted her backpack on her shoulder. A small smile crept on her face as she came upon a clearing marked with a cave straight ahead of her. This was the last known location of her mother and where Mal came to each year on her birthday in order to feel close to her.

Her hand reached out and rested on the dry bark of one of the trees that graced the cave edge. “Mom,” she breathed, wiping a tear off her cheek. “I…I miss you so much.” Sighing deeply Mal sat upon the leaf covered ground and threw her backpack over, unzipping and grabbing several sheets of paper with a pencil from it. She tapped the pencil against her mouth in thought wondering what she should tell her mother this year.

After several moments had gone by, she pressed the pencil to the paper and began to write. “Dear Mom…” Dear Mom indeed. She frowned a little then continued to write. “Can’t believe it’s been ten years since you’ve been gone. Dad still continues to drown his guilt in beer which basically makes him nonexistent in my life. School is going all right, I guess. I’m seventeen today which makes me practically an adult. Wish you were here to help me figure things out. I get bullied on by the other girls for not being into the usual stuff, y’know, like makeup, boys, and pop music. Were you ever into those things? It’d be nice to talk to you about all of that.

Anyways, not much else has changed since my letter last year. I’ve started my senior year which means I have to start thinking about college. I have no clue what I want to do or be, which is making my school counselor quite squirrely. I must have taken 20 career tests by now, all of which point to vastly different options. Guess I’m an enigma or something. Heh.

Regardless, each year that passes I still hope that you’ll randomly return into our lives and make everything all right. I still miss you and I know dad does, too. With love, Mallory.”

Mal read and reread her letter several times before folding it up, writing “Mom” on the front, and preparing to tape it to one of the trees as she had always done. She knew that her mother didn’t read them- how could she? For Mal at least though, it was the only way she knew to stay connected with her mother and no one else, not even her father, knew that she did this each year. A strong gust of wind swept up and out of the cave blasting Mal and causing her to lose her grip on the letter.

“No!” she cried while reaching out fruitlessly to regain the letter. Her vision was soon blinded by a brilliant light emanating from the cave alongside a rumbling sound that shook the very ground Mal stood on. Her first instinct was to immediately run off to safety, however curiosity got the better of her. “What if…” she thought to herself as she turned back to the direction of the cave. This could be her mother’s response, or at the very least an answer to what caused her disappearance so many years ago. Mal cautiously started towards the cave. “This is crazy,” she scolded herself, however curiosity continued to drive her farther and farther towards the light from the cave. Before she knew it, the ground beneath her was no more and she was falling with swirling light cascading all around her and no one to hear her surprised scream.

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