Chapter Three

Red Apple Tree

I admit there’s shade, but my legs feel mighty heavy. It’s slowing me down. The fact that I ran out of water, is bothering me like hell. How could I forget another bottle? That’s what rushing does, makes you forget. I can go for a nice watermelon or anything that is juicy. But I was in hell. The true hell of a planet that I’ve never been on before. Nothing remotely came close to this composition. Everything always growing in abundance, but nothing I can readily eat. Yet, there was so many natural resources to trade from here, it was going to make us rich. These people don’t have any idea how much this planet is worth.

Here I was tracking my way to my aunt with a backpack of useless items. How silly of me. It was a nightmare. I dragged my feet, slowing my pace. I need to conserve my breath. I’m sure I’m almost there, but it seemed forever. I’ve walked to her hut twice already and new the path by heart. Yet, it didn’t matter. The path was new each time. It was the constant overgrowth of plants and vines and bushes. There was no footpath, just memory path and markers on the trees that remained. I loved those markers.

“This is the point I start talking to myself, in a world that is not my own.” I said out loud. No one could hear me. It’s something that I do when I get to the woods. It keeps me mentally safe and focused on…, not the critters and creatures that lived in the woods. It kept me going without the fear of being attacked by those wild animals that studied my every step, wondering what I was planning to do to them.

“Oh, hum. Such a lovely day in the bare woods. Raw and natural as can be. To aunties house I be.” I sang to myself, smiling with my desperate attempt to rhyme. It was foolish words, because it reminded me of the woods and me not at all being alone; and definitely being raw and natural. Were there any new creatures evolving into something wild behind that tree? Who knows.

“One, two, three, four. Shut the door. Ten, eleven, twelve. Open the door. Zero and ones. Be no more.” What the hell was I saying? I couldn’t even make myself happy here. This game that I was playing was getting outdated already. I needed to pick up the pace. Yet, here I am again in front of something beautiful.

An apple tree. It was as if I was in the desert seeing a mirage. I wasn’t quite sure I’ve seen this apple tree before. More importantly, what was it doing in a forest? It seemed out of place. The shiny apples seemed to be perfectly formed and hung with pride. What a crazy looking tree.

“Oh, my lips. Moist as can be.” I chuckled to myself, realizing that my rhymes ends with be. Not at all a good rhyming skill, but it will do. It reminded me of the apple trees back home. These apples looked exactly the same, but tricky. How could this apple tree be in this forest? And where are the others? I guess it wouldn’t hurt to pick a couple. My father could study it or something. Make sure that it’s eatable. I do love apples and these were exceptionally shiny and bright. So I picked four, rubbing one on my shirt making it more shiny. After placing it in my bag, I noticed a red residue on my fingertips. Apples don’t leave residues, I think.

“I guess it doesn’t help to officially fix my hair before I get to my aunts.” There was one hair tie that I particularly liked most of all and that’s the one I took out of my backpack. I laughed to myself, admiring the little girl tie. My aunt gave it to me long time ago and I wanted her to know I still cared. But it didn’t go with this shiny forehead of mine. What in the world? My mirror just wasn’t reflecting my beauty as it should. It could be the lighting in the forest that crept through the trees.

“Water please.” I pretended to purchase a bottle of water back home. Okay, my insanity was kicking in. Can you blame me? I’m all alone here. My mentality remembered, it was a lucky thing that our ship had a way to filter the water, otherwise, I just couldn’t begin to think about my stomach aching. And yes, I did run out of water; my precious filtered water. The water is clean here, but my stomach just can’t tolerate it. The ships doctor said it would take a while to transition to the natural water here. It was the least of our worries. It was more of the food, than the water that was our enemy. And don’t forget that blasted sun!