The Spirit Woods
By Firenze

A/N: This is the first chapter of an unfinished story I was writing way before before I knew what fanfiction was. I recently found it in a notebook on my room, and I was so impressed that I wrote a story like that when I was ten. For that reason, I didn't change anything around, except add a proper closing to the chapter, which was originally a cliffhanger. But I have no intent of posting the rest of the story, because it's too long and it was never finished. Frankly, I'm not in the mood to finish it, but I think it was a pretty good idea. This chapter leaves tons of questions unanswered, since the rest get figured out in the later parts of it...which I never wrote. I actually used to dream of this being some novel or something, but I really suck at writing stories that have more than one part or chapter. I even had an offical title and all of three books planned out in my mind. But this is just a little sample of the story...

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The sun shone brightly, one morning in July, directly on the Moors' farm. It was many times brighter than it had ever been, as if it were suddenly a million miles nearer the earth. David Moors grimaced as he was woken up by the incredible brilliance of the sun, which was pouring out through the crack on the window where the curtains on the window could not cover, and it filled the room like water flooding the land. He rubbed his eyes and squinted at his alarm clock, which was three minutes behind. It was seven nineteen in the morning, and he had overslept.

Hastily he got out of bed, pulling on his favorite pair of overalls and a red t-shirt, his favorite color, that had faded through all the years. He washed his face in the sink and combed his dark brown hair. Then he went downstairs to the kitchen and quickly drained down a glass of orange juice and nibbled at a piece of wheat toast spread with creamy peanut butter and homemade peach jam, an odd combination, yet his favorite.

His father was, of course, not at home; he was in the small nearby village of Smitheson, named after the rich family who owned it, working as a carpenter in his shop. His mother was most likely already in the garden, watering the vegetables or picking ripe, red apples for her famous Cinnamon Apple Pie, which she would enter in the pie contest at the upcoming local town fair. David went out onto the porch through the creaky, swinging wire door. He petted King, his very ancient golden retriever, who was sleeping in the shade, then went out to the barn.

The familiar smell of hay and cow filled his nostrils as he opened the red barn door. He pulled the stool out from the cobwebbed corner and picked up the rusty metal pail. He took a seat and began to milk Moon, their old cow.

Plink, plink, plink went the milk into the empty pail, and it echoed in the empty barn. David shivered; despite the sun's incredible brightness, the morning air was chill. But that wasn't all. He got that sensation where felt he was being watched, someone else's eyes seemed to burn into him.

He quickly whirled around, frantically searching. Yet no one was there. Feeling quite foolish, he turned back around and continued milking. Plink, plink, plink…then a minute later, he felt the feeling of being watched again, stronger than before. Slowly this time, he looked behind him at the doorway of the barn. And what he saw made him gasp.

A tall man, dressed in long, flowing robes of a bright yellow, like the sun, was staring at him, his bright blue eyes boring into his own green. He said nothing and didn't move a muscle, but he somehow knew he was not evil. He had a long white beard and the hood on his robes covered his head, which was most likely bald. David didn't say anything either and sat paralyzed on the wooden stool, looking at the man.

Finally the man spoke, breaking the silence and stillness. "Come," he said, in a soft, gentle voice, not dropping his gaze.

David stared back and didn't reply, for he didn't know what to say to this command by a complete stranger.

"Come," he repeated, expressionlessly, not angrily, not persuading, nor impatiently.

David swallowed with great difficulty. "No," he finally croaked. "I-I mean…I can't." He jerked his head back at Moon. "I gotta milk her."

"Is that all?" the old man asked.

He nodded slightly, now realizing that his reason wasn't a very good one.

"Well then," replied the man. He turned to leave. As he was walking out across the barren field, the milk pail shot after him as if it were a paper clip and he was a high power magnet. It hovered in the air by itself, about at the man's shoulder length.

"Hey!" David cried. "Come back here with that pail!" The milk was one of their farms best products to sell to Mr. Copley, the merchant who owned the general store next to his father's carpentry shop. Also, that pail had been in the Moors family since David's great-great-great-great-grandfather Joseph Moors, claimed the land for their family and built a farm.

David ran as fast as he could after the could after the old man, who was taking his time, walking very slowly, yet he just couldn't catch up to him. Obviously, this strange man always got what he wanted, like it or not. "Come back!" David cried, panting.

The man had gone way beyond his family's farm and was walking in the field towards the woods. David's lungs were about to burst but he was very persistent and kept going. He was no longer in the field but getting deep into the dark woods. He had only once been into the Spirit Woods, but never this far. Everyone knew, and was terrified by, the many rumors about the forest being haunted by evil ghosts and creatures.

Finally they reached a place in the woods where the tall oak trees blocked all the light in the sky, even the especially bright sun today. It was pitch black and David normally would have strained to find his way. Somehow, this time, even if there was no light and the old man's footsteps made no sound on the mossy ground, he easily knew where to go. He never bumped into a tree, his head never hit a branch, and he never even stepped on a fallen leaf on the ground.

Suddenly, he no longer knew where he was going, where he was, and he got the incredible feeling that the old man had left him alone. This guess was confirmed when he tripped over a large stone and fell flat on his face. His head hit something solid and it tipped over, splashing now cold milk on his head.

He sat up on the moist earth just stayed there. He was completely alone in the haunted woods, for being so foolish to chase a strange old man here, just for a two hundred or more year old pail of $5.00 worth of milk. He had that feeling when he knew he was going to cry, yet he really didn't want to, and he was straining so hard to hold back.

Then it happened. One tear trickled down his cheek and it fell onto the grass. The tiny teardrop was absorbed into the ground and a yellow flower that David had never seen before instantaneously sprouted up beside his left leg. Another teardrop fell upon the one petal and slid down into center. The faintest, tiniest glow of light appeared. The glow grew brighter and brighter and brighter, even brighter than the sun. He shielded his eyes from the light with his muddy hand.

While covering his eyes, he didn't happen to see what was coming, but he felt something. A cold chill that made him shiver right down to his bones. A towering man was riding a pure black horse towards him. He was covered in a long, back cloak and the hood covered his head. The man stared at David through the light and gave a loud, evil laugh, which echoed through the forest. The laugh got louder and louder and David felt dizzy.

The world was spinning… David felt very tired and sick. He saw the light from the flower sucked up through the man's long index finger. Then, he laughed and a flash of purplish, black light came shooting out at him.

The light hit him hard in his right shoulder. He was going to pass out, his shoulder was burning with a pain he had never felt in his life, as if it was going to melt. He gripped his right shoulder tightly, gasping in agony.

The man gave an even louder laugh. "You don't seem so powerful now, do you, oh great hero from beyond the woods," said the man, grinning evilly.

The man carefully picked up his black bow, which had a tiny, golden skull with gleaming red eyes on it, and set a black arrow to it. "And so ends the legend of the great hero from beyond the forest, over before he had a chance to fulfill his task." The man laughed again, then he got aimed the bow right at David's heart. "Die…"

David stared at him in horror, paralyzed. He couldn't move; the evil man had him rooted to his spot. David saw the scene in slow motion. The man pulled back the string and the arrow came whizzing towards him.

"NOOOOOO!" David screamed, raising his arms. And then another strange happened, by far the most unusual of the day.

The arrow stopped in midair, one millisecond before it would have hit him. It floated in midair and changed from black to a beautiful scarlet. It whirled around and shot for the man. The man galloped away on his horse, but the arrow got him directly in the back of his neck. It easily pierced through the thick cloak and the man fell off his stallion, hitting the ground. The sound of his screaming echoed through the empty, dark woods.

David dropped his arms and drew in a sharp breath. The man had disappeared in a bright green flash and a puff of blue smoke. 'Had he been one of the spirits that haunted these woods?' David wondered in shock.

He nervously got up and walked around. "Whoa!" he cried. He had fallen into some freezing cold water; a rushing, cold river that he had never noticed before.

How long he was carried down this stream he had no being idea. He gasped for air as he was pushed underwater. Finally he washed onto a riverbank, but he was unconscious. He had an odd dream…or was it? It seemed incredibly real.

The evil man was chasing him again, but this time he wasn't alone. He was with seven other people who were all dressed in different colored cloaks and robes. He even saw the strange old man in the yellow cloak. He saw himself about to get hit by the evil man's skull arrow. Then a girl with long, chestnut brown hair pulled him away.

"You're safe now…you're safe now…" she was telling him.

David woke up with a start. A girl was peeing at him nervously. He nearly screamed in shock. It was the girl from his dream.

She looked at him with worry. "You're safe now," she said like in the dream. "C'mon, its all right. My name is Marlette. And don't worry, I won't bite you or anything. I just saved your life, the least you could do is be thankful. No idea how you fell in the river in the first place…who are you, anyway?"

"David Moors," he replied.

"Never heard of you before…you must be new. Where're you from?"

"I come from the lands beyond the woods," he replied quickly, like a reflex. He had no idea what made him say that; it wasn't even what he was going to tell her.

Marlette gasped. "The hero from beyond the woods! Oh my - oh my! I've got to take you to the town…to Merrian…oh, lets go!" She grasped his wet, muddy wrist and pulled him up. She ran him through a different forest, ducking under branches and jumping over roots. David was panting as she dragged him along.

All the while, she was muttering to herself, "I can't believe it! I have to tell Merrian, gotta tell him…this is incredible!"

Just when David thought he was going to collapse, she abruptly came to a halt. She hissed at him, "Stop! Don't move! And be quiet!"

David felt a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. The pause gave him plenty of time to think. What was wrong? Who was there? Where was he? In these woods, had he somehow entered another world or dimension? Questions were running through his mind nonstop. Why did everyone think he was some sort of hero? Was it an ancient prophecy or something? What was so incredible? Why was he here? Who was the old man in yellow? Who was the dark, evil stranger on the black steed? Who was Merrian? Marlette…who was she and why was she dragging him around?

His head began to spin and he feared he would faint again. But he couldn't stop himself. What was he doing in a place like this? Why had he been so foolish to go into the woods? Maybe this was the reason the place was so forbidden. Whatever it was, he hoped that being here would answer all of his questions. Maybe it would shed some light on the mystery of the forbidden Spirit Woods. Maybe he would find out everything that he was wondering. Or maybe this place was only the beginning…

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More authors notes: Well, it was pretty interesting, wasn't it? I think it was. It's the first time I haven't put down one of my works...and probably this is the one that sucks the most. I know I left everything unanswered, but I may end up finishing the story someday when I'm bored and have lots of free time... But not now, even though that's the case. I want to know what you people think of this, though. Would you have expected this from a ten-year-old? I seriously think my writing abilites went downhill since then. I'm trying to stop rambling on, but I can't. Just tell me your honest opinion, and if anyone's interested, I may tell you every single thing I had planned to happen in this story.

-It just only goes to show that you can do all the planning in the world, but sometimes the things you finish are the ones that come to you on a whim- or maybe -You can think and think and perfect an idea for as long as you want, but sometimes your best ideas are the ones that come to you right out of nowhere- Are either of those real quotes? Because they sound really familiar, but I just made that up right now. Maybe it is real, and my memory just kept it stored. The world may never know. But it's true, most everything I plan out perfectly are the things I don't carry out. The second one isn't really. Because I liked this idea a lot. Weird. Anyway, I'll leave you all now, still begging for reviews.

Disclaimer: I don't need one. In fact, I own EVERYTHING in this. God, that feels good to say! I own David Moors, his family, the Copleys, the town of Smitheson, the old man in yellow, the evil person, Marlette, the Spirit Woods, anything else mentioned! And if you for some extremely odd reason feel the urge to want to ever use these characters (I pity you), get my permission first.