The One Less Traveled By

Conrad's just a regular boy, but when he travels down a forgotten path in his local woods, he meets a girl that's not too regular.


1. One

     Who would have known that all it took was a hop, trip, and a jump down the rabbit hole and off the beaten path to get me to meet someone new? Looking back, all I can say is that I'm sure glad they weren't playing "Watership Down" at the movies that day.

     Of course, it didn't all happen in the course of one day. In reality - if I can even call it that anymore - it took almost a week. I'll bet you want the story, though- so I'll give it to you.

     It all started in the cheery town of Connorville. Well, I wouldn't exactly call it cheery, but more easy-going, lighthearted. The people of this town weren't cruel, but they did what they felt was for the "greater good." I still don't know what that really means, and I've lived in Connorville all my life.

     Unlike other towns, Connorville had yet to rid itself of the surrounding forest, and so the citizens were isolated from more populous cities in the area. They didn't mind, though- the tranquility, they felt, was nice, and they had plenty of room without cutting down trees. Soon, the woods crept up to the town, and their hesitation to cut it back meant that you basically had to walk everywhere (the only real roads were over by the businesses) and watch out for tree roots and poison ivy as you were picking your way through. You also really had to know your way around, otherwise, you'd be lost within the half-hour.

     Anyway, the story. It was actually the confusing nature of the forest that got me where I was. I thought I was headed toward home and away from the library with my borrowed books when I looked up and saw the Central Tree. It basically marks the center of the town (hence the name) because of its size: much larger than the other trees, maybe even as large as a redwood. I must've gotten turned around, I thought, looking up into the branches, because home's the other way.

     Choosing a path at random- they'd all take me home one way or another- I followed a path and absentmindedly ambled my way through the ferns and mosses. A rustling in the leaves to my left drew my attention to something: a much smaller path than the one I stood on. It looked a bit like a deer trail, but after closer examination, I didn't see any footprints. Where would this go? I asked myself. Well, there's no way to tell except to follow it, I decided. That choice was one that would change my life.

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