The Hungry Forest

In response to the Doubt prompt at Writingthe200.

Never one who excelled at map reading, Franny found herself at an isolated watering hole at the end of a service road on the edge of the National Forest, convinced this was her intended destination, Donner Lake.

150 years earlier, ill-prepared pioneers were forced to winter with no provisions at that relatively nearby location when severe weather blocked their passage.

‘You think there would be a monument at least,’ thought Franny, leaving her car to follow a formation of blue winged dragonflies for a stroll around the perimeter.  A flash of yellow caught her eye. Believing it was a rare bird, she went deeper into the overgrown woods. Branches scratched her arms, tore at her clothes, reminding her of the possessive boyfriend left behind when taking this solo road trip.

Lifting her sneakers from thick mud required effort as she searched for the illusive yellow among the graying brown tree limbs catching her hair with a jealous grip. She struggled free, came to the object of her attraction to find it was merely strip of frayed fabric.

Fingering the nylon, she wondered how it got here, and was lost in thought, unaware she was sinking until marsh encased her ankles.

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