I woke up in a heap of sweat, panicking over something. But what? What kind of nightmare was that? It wasn’t an ordinary dream; where I remember a few scattered parts of it and forget the rest by the end of the day. This, this was different. The ground was uncomfortable and hard. I could feel tightness and aches all throughout my body, and my upper was worse. As I eased my way up, my back screamed waiting for attention. A powerful shock took over in my neck, and I rubbed the painful spot to ease the pain. It wasn’t enough. The ground felt hard with all the rocks and clumped dry dirt. But that couldn’t have been it. I was only gone for one night, or was I? Dead leaves waiting to be something more rested on the ground below the trees. Bright light meticulously tried its best to reach the ground and little did as it stopped abruptly twenty feet above me.
My head was in pieces trying to figure out what was going on. All I could remember was the little girl. What was her name? I guess it would come to me eventually. I looked down at myself, feeling a cool breeze on me. My ranger shirt was ripped apart, torn diagonally across the front. Dried, crimson blood placed itself under the tear. I looked closer and found it to be a deep cut. I touched the edge and felt the raw skin in the process of healing itself. My green pants, or at least that’s what I thought they were, were covered in a red dust.
I did my best to search around the area where I laid; only seeing thick, healthy trees climb their way to the sky and a disproportionate mountain to my East. I had no idea where I was. Giving all my effort, I started to stand. Slowly, I managed, but the movement led me to feel faint and dizzy. I stumbled, trying to regain balance the best I could. Shuffling my feet, my hands fell on a tree. If anyone was watching, they easily would have assumed I was drunk. Hunched over, I regained my sight and breath, dealing with only one thing at a time. Again, I wandered my eyes around, more clearly and disciplined this time. Anything would help, anything could save me. I just needed to remember my training.
I got a glimpse of light reaching down on the ground, hitting something that flickered abstractly a few feet away. Carefully inching my way forward, I reached down and picked up the silver object. It was an open heart bracelet, made beautifully and specifically for someone I assumed. I flipped it over. Engrained was a short phrase and a name. With all my heart, I love you, Zoey.