Gulliver Locke – Chapter Three

It had been a Thursday afternoon when Gull had found himself lost in The Woods.  A Thursday afternoon that became a Thursday evening, and then a Thursday night.  Still, Gull could not find his way home.  He knew that his parents would be getting worried, but Gull…well, Gull was made of sterner stuff.  Sure, he was a little bit worried, but he knew that his best bet would be to find a place to sleep and resume his search for home the next morning.  As far as he had heard, there were no dangerous animals in The Woods, so he found a spot that seemed a little bit softer than the rest, and he lay down to sleep.

The following morning, he woke up stiff and sore.  More importantly, he realized that there were dangerous creatures in The Woods.  He was covered from head to toe with all sorts of insect bites.  Maybe they weren’t fatally dangerous creatures, but boy did he ever itch!

Gull was smart enough to know that some types of roots and berries were perfectly safe to eat, while others could make him extremely sick.  Some could even kill him!  Unfortunately, he wasn’t smart enough to know which were which, and so he continued searching on an empty stomach, hoping that he’d find his way home soon.

As he continued walking, though, the sun continued in its ever westward march, and the day wore on.  Gull began to panic as the sun set for the second time, while he remained lost.  With nothing but a growling stomach to keep him company, he was forced to once again lie down and provide his skin as a living feast for the myriad of ants and mosquitoes.  Normally an emotionally strong lad, that night Gulliver cried himself to sleep.

On Saturday morning, his itches had turned to rashes, he was so hungry that he hurt, and his mouth was so dry… Gull knew that he was in trouble.  If nothing else, he needed to find water.  He was desperate enough that he would be willing to drink from any stream or creek…if only he could find one.  But he was also so exhausted, he was just about to lie down and give up…

But then he saw a cabin.

Gulliver Locke – Chapter One

Gulliver David Locke, more commonly referred to as Gull, lived with his parents at the edge of town.  Urban development spread to the south east and north of him, but to the west…nothing but trees!  Gull may have lived in the town, but his imagination  lived in those trees.

As far back as he could remember, Gull’s parents had warned him that he should stay out of The Woods.  “It’s quite easy to lose your way in all those trees,” they’d say.  “One tree looks pretty much like the next one, and even a little ways in, you could lose your sense of direction and become completely lost.  Besides, it might be haunted!”

For a long time, Gull obeyed his mom and dad, although he so desperately wanted to explore.  Eventually, of course, his desires and his imagination of what it would be like in The Woods overcame his parents’ injunctions, and he decided to explore.

“I doubt that ghosts or goblins exist, and if I just take a few steps in,” he reasoned with himself, “I’ll still be able to see home, and I won’t get lost.  I won’t go so far in that I can’t see the house.”  And so, with the careless confidence of youth, he stepped in among the trees.

His first few times in the forest, he obeyed his own instructions to himself and got home safely enough, but there was a diminishing amount of thrill each time he went in until, at last, he decided, “I’ll just go in a wee bit farther.”  He took another step into the cool green shade of the trees.  Then another, then another.  When he turned around, there was nothing to be seen but trees in all directions.  Pleased with his bravery, he headed back for home…but the trees didn’t end where he thought they should.  The more he looked for his way out of the trees, the more he realized that his parents had been right.

He was completely, and utterly, lost.