Chapter 2: In A Forest Of Ignorance

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A soft breeze shuffled the trees as I trotted down the market path. The forest was a vast landscape with a large lake in the middle, and the market, cottages, and town hall surrounding it. My house was built in the sunniest and most beautiful part of the forest. Why? I guess I just preferred it that way. But I wasn't thinking about that as I neared the market. There was no need to think about anything. Everything was perfect, and it's not very common that you'd find someone worrying in the midst of perfection. In my case, I preferred to just enjoy it, because you never know when the perfection might cease. However, maybe things weren't perfect. Could I simply be throwing out the imperfections, and replacing them with the opposite? Perhaps so, but why worry about it? I definitely didn't as I neared the busy shops and stalls.

"Marion! Over here!" I quickly turned my head only to find Tuck waiting for me by a picnic table, all set with food and drink. "Ah, look! Tuck! Nice to meet you here" I called as I made my way to him. "Indeed so! Will you sit?" He gestured to the bench opposite of him. "Uh, yeah. I'll do that."

I had never been good at communicating. One could say that I spent more time watching people live than living myself. I think I prefer it that way, though. It gives me an opportunity to think. I would watch a group of friends gossip about that other group of friends and I would get invested in their stories and their drama. It was definitely more interesting than anything I ever had to talk about. But soon I stopped listening to other peoples' conversations. There was no reason for me to. I had everything I could ever need in here.

"So, how's your morning going?" Tuck asked. "Kinda sucky, really" I responded. "Oh really. How so?" "I threw up. Out my window. And I like, couldn't breathe, or something." Tuck looked a bit confused, so I tried to clarify. "I probably just ate too much last night." "And you couldn't breathe?" "Gluttony is a dangerous thing" I stated, trying to make sense of my own nonsense. Truth is, I had no idea what happened this morning. Well, I guess I sort of had an idea, but it really didn't make that much sense to me. For some strange reason I kind of felt like I wasn't supposed to be here. Like I should be somewhere else.

Tuck got up and fixed his tie. "Well, my speech is in an hour. I could give you a little tour while we wait. Sound good?" I cracked a smile, "Yeah, that sounds like fun."

"Okay, so as town mayor, I reside in the town hall", he explained as he walked me through the building, "and all kinds of rad political things happen in the town hall." "Yeah, I don't doubt it" I said, feeling a surge of doubt. "I'll get to enforce rules and run campaigns, you know, mayoral stuff!" "Yup, being the mayor sounds like a good time." He continued to escort me down the many halls and rooms of the building, thoroughly explaining how each one served our Forest. It was boring, to say the least. But it was kinda cute when he got into it.

By the time he was done explaining how a group of bigwigs had successfully incorporated toothpaste into our civilization, my mind had developed a burning question. "So do you guys go outside the Forest at all?" Tuck stopped in his tracks. He seemed to tense up. "Marion, don't speak of the outside." "Oh, well I understand that no one has left the Forest in ages and all that, but I at least figured that one of you guys knew even a bit of info about what's out there." Tuck looked aggravated. "I understand that curiosity is a strong feeling, but you just have to trust me when I say that staying in the Forest is what's best for you." "I wasn't asking to leave. I just find it odd that everyone thinks it's so damning to even mention a place other than the Forest!" By this point I was getting angry. Why was he being so tight-lipped? What did he not want me to know? Tuck put an arm around my shoulder. "There's nothing out there. Well, nothing that won't get you killed anyway. It's best to just not think about it. I'm sorry for being so intense." His apology was comforting, but it didn't end my rebellious thinking. I was gonna get out there, just to spite them. No one can tell me I can't do anything.

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