Chapter III (Portogruaro), "The sacred wood"


    “The sacred wood”

    Only now that I know what my origins are I start to remember ….

    It was just like any other day, me and my dad decided to take a stroll through the wood, those would be the woods where I’d lose him, one of my favourite people in the whole universe. But at that moment I didn’t know that I would lose him, I just thought it was a nice day.

    That wood was enormous, high oaks soared above everything and, on the ground, there were bushes filled to the brim with bright red berries and other fruits.

    In the middle of the wood there was a clearing. There was the home of the centaurs, the hamadryads and the dryads. I could see all these things only when dad was with me, I remember the first time I saw them, the dryads with the body of a tree and the centaurs with their horse body. The centaurs played exquisite music through their flutes and this music was essential to the wood as it helped the plants and trees to stay strong and healthy.

    That day we went to the wood in search of berries. He took me through parts of the wood that I didn't even know existed, it was almost as if he wanted to show me something. I particularly remember the sense of security and warmth that that wood gave me. But now I understand that these feelings were also there because of the connection I had with that wood. Every single living thing had a purpose, plants weren’t just simple plants, they had their own purpose. They were protecting me and every creature living there.

    When I get back from my memories, out of seemingly nowhere, my grandma shows up. Before she can start talking I ask: “Why is this place so hidden ?”

    “A long time ago Apollo and Artemis gathered their thoughts on what the future of this wood should be. The final decision was to build a factory above it so as to avoid contact with human beings. They shared their decision with Zeus who, in turn, made it so that a factory would be built.”

    And I think: “I wonder how long this wood will continue existing. I want it to last as long as I live since it’s really the only place I feel at home and it’s the last memory of my father that I have.”

    When I “wake up” from my thoughts, there’s no trace of my grandma. So, thinking she wandered off, I start searching for her and think “How is it possible that she disappeared just like that?!”

    I’m walking through the foliage when I see a centaur coming towards me and he’s yelling “Silvia, Silvia”. I answer  “It’s me!” thinking that it is impossible for the centaur to know who I am.

    “Silvia, they’re here, you have to run now!” He looked so frightened and he kept getting closer, “Run! They’re coming!”. Then he stopped in front of me and I immediately ask “What’s your name?”

    “Marco”. Marco had a robust build and pale skin, his eyes were sky blue and he had two little horns coming out of his head. So after at least knowing his name I ask “Who’s here?”

    “Possy Eidon!”

    “And why should I ru..-” and he interrupts me “ He also brought telchines with him!” And in this moment I know I have to run, I understand that Marco isn’t kidding around.

    I start running towards the stairs and don’t wave goodbye to anyone, that’s because Marco told me to not stop and just get away.

    I’m frightened but, eventually, I make it to the stairs. I start climbing them, I’m scared of what was up there but at the same time I’m curious.