by Bram Johnson
On those long summer days back when you were young you ran wild in the woods gave into the creature hidden inside you by countless centuries. You gave over your body let the creature take you places learned the languages of trees and streams discovered ancient trails and became wild like your family had forgotten how to be. And each morning you woke in your own bed as scared as a cornered animal locked in someone's shed never at ease until you return to the woods, free again. As the years passed, though, and pieces were tamed out of you, your senses became dull and your limbs sluggish and finally, when you couldn't keep up anymore your creature stopped at the edge of the trees and gazed back at you confused, looking for the child that used to wear your skin, and then it turned and disappeared into the woods forever. Soon the years would pass and the languages you learned would slip away and you would never find those trails again. Eventually you would even rise calmly, comfortably from your own bed, get dressed, examine your aging face in the mirror and wonder what it was about a pair of eyes staring sadly from the shadows of the woods where you used to go.