The forest was peaceful and quiet, not a sound echoing through the thick forestry besides the occasional bird’s caw or cicada’s chirp. The surroundings were filled with the vibrant greens of tree leaves and shrubs and the dull browns of the dirt and logs. Vines crawled up nearly every tree around and the forest floor was scattered with bright, colorful flowers.
Suddenly, a flock of birds took flight from one section of trees, a patched blanket of blues, greens, and browns filling the sky before clearing to once more reveal the sky’s original blue. A group of voices began to be heard in the distance, startling off nearly all the animals who were in this section of forest. One by one, a small group of four inched their way out of a large bush, two of which looked quite annoyed.
“Well, this so-called ‘short-cut’ worked out great, didn’t it Andrew.” One girl called out sarcastically to one of the people leading the group.
“Definitely, Lorena,” the other female added on, “It’s not like it led us to the middle of the forest or anything.”
“I’m telling you!” Andrew argued, “We’re almost there, I’ve taken this path millions of times!”
“By ‘millions’, he means he just made it up.” Marabeth whispered to the first girl not so subtly.
“Shut up, Marabeth.” Andrew shouted back at her. He stopped for a moment, peering around his surroundings nervously.
“I know where I’m going! We just need to… err-, go that way!” He said, pointing in a slight variation of where they were originally headed.
“Maybe we should just head back,” Lorena suggested to the others as they began walking once more, “It’s not too late to, you know, go around the forest.”
“Well, we’ve already made it this far.” The last person suddenly spoke up, everyone’s attention being directed towards him, “Why not just continue? You never know, maybe this’ll be more fun than that dumb party.”
“You’re just saying that because you didn’t want to go in the first place.” Marabeth said, crossing her arms frustratedly.
“Um, it definitely is!”
“Guys!” The two of them came to an abrupt stop as Lorena shouted at them. No more than three feet ahead of them was the wide opening of a ravine, blocking them from the rest of the forest. Warren peered down it cautiously before looking back towards Lorena.
“You’re welcome, by the way.” She said sternly.
“Let’s just go back,” Marabeth continued, her voice a bit more wary than it had been previously, “there’s no getting around this.”
“Aw, c’mon.” Andrew complained, leaning over slightly to peer down the side of the crevice, “we can just jump over it. It’s not that big.”
“I’d like to disagree.” Lorena said, suddenly being interrupted.
“Fine then! If you think we can make that jump, then you do it first. If you make the jump, then we’ll all do it, and continue through the forest. If you decide not to, and you suddenly decide to come to your senses, then we head back. Sound good?”
Without a second thought, Andrew nodded, but Warren and Lorena looked a bit less sure.
“Are you kidding me? He’ll never mak-“ Lorena began before being silenced by Marabeth.
“Trust me,” She whispered to the other girl quietly as Andrew turned back to the ravine, “I know Andrew, he’s not that stupid. He won’t actually do it.” Lorena looked at her nervously, but decided not to argue.
The two girls turned back to Andrew, who was now standing at the edge of the ravine, and Warren, who was now leaning against the tree, looking at Andrew with a disapproving stare.
“So?” Marabeth said with a mocking tone, “What are you waiting for? You said yourself, it’s not that big of a jump.”
“I’m waiting for you two girls to stop gossiping.” He crossed his arms. “I’m not scared, I know I’m right.”
Marabeth smirked, seeming to be on the verge of laughing.
“Then do it.”
Andrew turned towards the ravine, biting his lip, he took a couple steps backwards. Everyone watched him silently. He uncrossed his arms, his vision keeping its focus on the ravine ahead. Suddenly, he broke out a sprint towards the edge and leaped.
Lorena and Marabeth gasped loudly, covering their gaping mouths with their hands. Time seemed to go in slow motion for the group, only able to watch as Andrew rose higher and higher with his leap, and grew closer and closer to the other side.
“Oh my god,” Lorena whispered, “He’s gonna make it!”
A mere couple inches from the other side of the ravine, he plummeted, only being able to grasp onto the other side for a moment before the momentum caused him to lose he grip and tumble down the ravine.
The three of them just stood there, mouths gaping with silent shock.
“I told you he wouldn’t make it.”