(May 30, 2006)
Life is full of unexpected surprises. There are many opportunities when one can secretly wish for something exciting to happen – something out of the ordinary. The real surprise is when the wish unexpectedly comes true. I never believed that something like this could ever happen to me; such a thing that would make me stop and look back at the events in awe. I think you would agree that something as simple as being lost in the forest for less than ten minutes should have no influence on my life. If you do agree, that makes both of us wrong.
Throughout my childhood, I loved the wild. My family and I would always go for a walk in the downtown forest of Coote’s Paradise. There were many times I thought of what could happen if we were to lose our way from the trail and have to live off of the land until we found our way back to civilization. I thought it would be the greatest experience ever.
As my brothers and I grew older, we continued to go for these walks with our parents but the dreams of living in the forest I soon forgot. That’s when it happened. We decided to take a different path off the main trail. Before I knew it, the path had disappeared and no one in my family could tell where we had come from. It was so unexpected. It gave me a feeling of excitement that can’t be described. Everything in the forest seemed different. The trees were a deeper shade of green. The birds chirped in a different tone. Vines covered almost every inch of the ground. One part of me never wanted this moment to end. I felt completely free from the stress of my life outside of the woods. It was this moment that I realized that I would much rather stay here for the rest of my life than go back to society.
I think that another reason that I felt carefree was because my parents didn’t panic. They took the situation under control and headed for any open area in hopes to find a map (many of these maps were found throughout the grounds, telling you where you were). From my point of view, at the time, it seemed as if they were excited as I was about losing our way. In the end, it only took my parents ten minutes to find such a map and we were back on the trail in no time.
An experience like this made me think about my place in life. I’m the type who loves seeking out adventures. When we were lost, I realized that I had everything I would ever need with me – my family. They’ve always supported me in everything I do. This experience made me realize that families need to stick together; you don’t realize how much you need them until, for a moment, you think they’ll be the last people you see for the rest of your life.
It’s incredible how much a simple thing like being lost in a forest for ten minutes will affect your outlook on life. Things like not being able to find your way back to where you came from make you appreciate the little things in life. Looking back on the day, I realize now that it was fate. Moments like that are few and far between and should be taken as a lesson. Surprises like this were, and always will be, an unexpected gift for all.
The hours neared towards my very special day. I was nestled deep in comfort and warmth as I awaited the ear drumming beeps of my alarm clock. I turned to look at the digital clock and its luminous numbers covered by a thin layer of glass; it was 11:00p.m. It had only been a few hours since the drowsiness had overwhelmed me, like being pulled into a deep well. Soon the heaviness of my head brought me back down to rest upon the soft, silky smooth pillow. I awoke to my alarm clock and swiftly moved my hand towards the rectangular box and halted so that my hand hovered over the protruding button and brought my hand down hard upon the cold plastic and the beeping ceased. I rose from my mattress and drew back the coarsely textured curtains to reveal the searing sun beaming at me, like a blinding light,lightening up the world to bring forth a wonderful and happy day with children playing joyfully on the rusted swings in the park. It was almost picturesque. There was not even a cloud in the sky, although I did feel obliged to go over to those happy children and warn them of the safety issues.
It was my thirteenth birthday today. I was becoming a teenager, the adolescent that I had been dreaming of becoming, there was going to be a whole new set of rules. Yet the day would unfold not as I had either intended or expected. I went to the door and gripped the rounded door knob firmly twisting it with ease, slowly tensing my muscles and pulling it open and then releasing the door with a flick of the wrist so that it moved back to a standstill position completely shut. I knew my mother would be awaiting my arrival in the kitchen any moment as my alarm is loud and you can nearly hear it from everywhere in the house.
She would have been up for a few hours labouring away in the sauna like kitchen preparing a feast almost fit for a king. I pondered at the hours ahead. Although at around twelve oclock I was departing to my fathers taking the form of public transport known as a bus. But before I was going I was expected at my relatives house. I was going to be like a debt collector acquiring presents from each person. I strolled into the dining room lightly and casually where a banquet awaited. I ate hurriedly as I was keen to open my gifts; I was content as a child on Christmas day (not one with coal in their stockings).
After breakfast I went to the dusty old black Cadillac my mother had excitingly bought at an auction for a stunningly cheap $1,500 even though some upholstery needed work it had all original bodywork. I gracefully sat upon the hard leather seats of the convertible. The car moved steadily towards my destination. When we got up the steep and long driveway we ascended the steps to the large wooden double doors. I rang the doorbell as it rebounded from wall to wall until reaching the ears of Aunt Margaret. Aunt Margaret answered the door with a cheerful grin on her widened face. For the next hour we had lunch and I received many a gifts.
We left the orchard, past the hills and countryside when the car halted suddenly. My mother was simply dropping me off at the bus stop. It was a 3 hour drive to my fathers and the bus was the easiest and cheapest way to travel. It was a long trip and I struggle to keep myself entertained for long periods of time like this. (A.D.D. supposedly. It is genetic. I must get it from my mother.) It was lucky I had brought my brand new laptop with me that I had received for my birthday with games that would hold me transfixed to the screen for the entire trip.
I got off the bus and walked carelessly down the dark alley way that I always take as it was a good shortcut. I accidently bumped into a rubbish bin and could already feel and bump forming on me knee. I could smell the horrible dead fish, the same smell at the fish market although somehow different. I resumed my walking and heard a distant almost faint scratching behind the bins. I turned to look but it was already upon me, the big black beast staring me in the face. My heart was thudding, about to break free, it had me pinned upon the cement paving. Its breath, right in my face and I slowly slipped into unconsciousness.
I awoke several hours later not that I had a watch but the darkness outside had significantly increased since the last time I was conscious. I got to my feet slowly growing in strength as I walked along the cement. But then a sharp needle like pain stabbed into the side of my neck. All my energy had been lost and I dropped to my knees, seemingly with my last breath. I yelled for help and aid was not far away. My rescuers phoned a nearby hospital and an ambulance arrived. But what they did not know is that I was already lost. Soon the poison would overcome my entire body turning me into a creature of the night and my hunger for blood would not be satisfied until each and every human was dead. I now possessed little control over my feelings and felt there were no consequences for my actions. I would strike any man down in a single swipe even my own father!