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The Watch | Kratika Pancholy

When she opened her eyes she saw white clouds swimming in the bright blue sky. As the wind blew softly, she heard the rustling leaves. It was autumn, and the trees had a hue of orange, red, and yellow.

It was really quiet and peaceful as she lay there with half-open eyes.

However, after a moment, she suddenly sat up straight. Then she felt her clothes and took out a pocket watch. The time was 4’o clock. Then she looked around and saw that she was in a forest, which she realized with horror. For, the last her memory told her was that she was in the bakery making cookies with her father.

She thought it might be a dream. But it was not, as she could see the time (It’s said that one cannot see time in a dream).

Suddenly there was a rustling sound that came from a nearby bush. She turned around to see, and in the blink of an eye, there came a man whose face was covered with a red cloth. He jumped over her head and landed on the other side in front of her. He was wearing clothes that one can describe are from that of a novel or a fictional story. He had a tall stature and one could tell he was handsome even from that half-covered face.

She suddenly came to her senses and stepped back. The man asked her who she was and what was she doing there, whilst taking out a sword and pointing it at her. She thought that maybe her coming at this place might be related to him. So she asked, “My name is Ava. And what am I doing here, I would like to ask you. Who are you and were you the one who brought me here?”

After all, Ava was a brave girl and she had been taught martial arts by her father. The man was taken aback as he had never seen a woman so upfront and speak like that. She was bold.

He had a laugh and half-jokingly told her, “People call me Kai. As for you, I just saw you. But, by the looks of it, you seem to be a secret messenger.” As he finished his sentence, there was a sudden whoosh of air in front of Ava’s face and she saw a glistening silver light pass in front of her eyes. As she managed to get back on her feet, she realized that the man had swung his sword towards her. However, she was able to dodge it thanks to the height difference between them.

Ava realized that she needs to get out of here first. The man attacked her again, and as she dodged, she started running in the forest, lunging at branches of trees, as she once did gymnastics and also grew up playing in the forest near her village.

She jumped over stones, ran among the branches of trees, and slid in small places, all while trying to dodge that man’s skillful attacks. Then she saw a river, and across it, was an open field with tall grass. She lunged at a branch nearest the river and tried to use it to cross over river by jumping across it.

However, as she went for a long jump, her leg was caught by a root that was hanging from a banyan tree. And it pulled her back and she fell to the ground. Kai came and stood in front of her at some distance and then lifted his left hand up in the air and then pointed it at her. In a moment, the green leaves from the trees gathered around him and then attacked her. They were sharp and she got cuts. After that kai lifted his hand again and pointed it at her, this time, she found herself tightly wrapped by the roots of the banyan tree.

All of this, was really confusing to her. What is happening? She thought. But at last, she came to the conclusion that indeed what is happening in front of her is something she had been denying for a while now, but it was true. It was MAGIC. Though it sounded ridiculous, but there was no other explanation. This man was controlling the trees around him. A nature magic user. She had read something like this in a novel.

Moreover, it was strange how she was able to run so fast and with such reflexes. Then, Kai asked her if she had any last words to say.

Ava couldn’t believe her eyes, because all that she remembered was baking cookies, and here she is, being asked the last words before her life is ended. However, dying isn’t an option. She has to go back to her old father, to support him. After her mother passed away, he had been so lonely. Who will take care of him if I’m gone? She thought.