Thursday, February 14, 2013

Word Blog Hop: Lethe's Temptation

This fun blog hop is hosted by Melissa at Hidden Valley Simplicity. The rules are straight-forward. Write a story using the two vocabulary words Melissa provides, then link up and enjoy what others have created!

Word of the Week: verdure: The greenness of growing vegetation; A condition of vigor and health
Super Challenge: lethe: A river in Hades whose waters cause the drinker to forget their past; Oblivion; forgetfulness

Lethe's Temptation

     Jonas ran through the verdure meadow until his foot finally stumbled on a gnarled root. He had reached the woods at last.

     "Through the forest," he whispered to himself to remember the old woman's words. "Through the forest on towards the mountain."

     Jonas' lungs burst with each breath of icy air. His hands were red and raw from the biting wind. He picked himself up from the leaf-covered forest floor and began to run again.

     Into the forest.

     Tears stung the eight year-old's cheeks. He panted, leaving a wispy trail of steamy breath behind him. "On towards the mountain," he said, louder this time. The sound of his own voice made Jonas feel braver.

     The woman told him to run. She said he only had eight hours, ten at most. By sunrise, it would be too late.

     "Through the forest," Jonas breathed in rhythm with his stomping feet. He clenched his fists but didn't notice when one began to bleed.

     There was very little moonlight. Jonas kept on racing, weaving his small frame in and out of massive tree trunks, stumbling every now and then on the roots that reached out with knobby hands to slow his journey.

     Jonas tripped and stopped. He turned to view the path behind him. He leaned his head back and stared straight up. The trees were denser now. He couldn't see the sky. He couldn't see the mountain.

     He was lost.

     Jonas slumped to the forest floor and wrapped his arms around his heaving chest. He had never been this far in the woods before.

     Jonas thought he heard the old woman's voice. "Rest for a moment," it whispered. "You'll be warm in my bed of leaves. See?"

     Dry leaves covered Jonas' shivering body. He was lying down on a mossy embankment. "Good." Jonas didn't know if that was his voice or not. His eyelids drooped. He was weary, ready to give in to the lethe of exhaustion.

     Jonas' felt as if he were floating. "Good."

     The faintest beam of moonlight penetrated the cloud covering. Jonas could just see it through the trees above him. He craned his neck and could make out the moon directly overhead. He thought he saw the shadow of the mountain to his right. How much time was left? Six hours? Maybe less?

     Oblivion thwarted, Jonas picked himself up, clenched his raw and bloody hands, and continued to run. He would not allow himself to stop. He would not give in to her.

     He had to make it in time.

Word! Blog Hop