Old growth.

©2019-2021 Michael Raven

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

Through the tangled skein of grandeval forest undergrowth, soft with moss and grasping at ankles, we crawled in the gloaming cast by the canopy of tall sentinels: oak and ash tangled in the ancient embrace of warring wood over some forgotten transgression obfuscated by the fog of time. And still, those trees struggled as we writhed to traverse the corpses of their fallen compatriots from the aeons before.

“The map,” said Lucy, her hand opening and closing for its surrender to her possession.

Olivia sighted and pulled it out of her breast pocket, lines and symbols showing where the old road was said to be viewable inside the plastic zip-closed bag. I leaned against one of the ancient trunks and smoked as Lucy sorted it all out.

In my amateur estimation, the map seemed more deception than truth. But nobody thought to ask me and I didn’t bother to offer up an opinion that would be sneered and snorted away. Instead, I drank stale, warm water from my canteen while Lucy examined our progress, or lack thereof.

After several moments of careful scrutiny, Lucy let her hand hold the map drop to her side as she scanned the dense forest.

“I’m afraid,” she said softy, “I’ve managed to get us lost.”

While the admission was a surprise, being lost was not.

Yet another FB flashfict from 2019. Light editing, per usual. Still file under: new weird.

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