“Arlo!” The dense foliage suffocated my screams as I ran further into the forest. I shook my head as I navigated my steps over the wandering tree roots. He had never done anything like this in the ten years I’ve had him. He never has run off. He is always steadfastly at my side. Why now? It looked like a storm was coming in and we really should hitch the kayak back up on the car and get home.
A bark resounded from somewhere further in the forest. I ran along what seemed to be a path. Overgrown with vegetation the path was winding and rocky. The forest became darker as it grew thick with trees. As I ran, I tripped over a rock or a root and fell to the ground. I lifted my head and heard Arlo’s deep bark. I could see the path widen before me and then take a bend up ahead. I pulled myself up. I touched my forehead and there was blood. I seemed ok. It was just a scratch nothing more. I followed the sound of Arlo’s yapping around the bend. There he was. My faithful dog, waiting for me beside a gate. He was standing next to a gate in a clearing. As I came out of the forest, my eyes squinted from the exalting brightness of the sun. I walked closer to Arlo and he began to beat his tail and jump up as if he were a pup. “What’s this, boy, what did you find” I asked him as I pet his head. Arlo looked up at me and then over to the gate. He nuzzled my hand with his snout. It was an iron gate, heavy and well-wrought. There must have been a fence at one time. Now there was only dense brush and what looked like more forest on the other side. The gate itself seemed to have withstood the ravages of time. I admirably noted the craftmanship and design of the gate as I lifted the latch and pushed open the heavy door. When we stepped over the threshold the sun must have come out from behind a cloud. I put my hands up before my eyes, temporarily blinded. The light ran like a white shaft from me in all directions. I turned around. The gate was gone. The forest is gone. There was only me and Arlo. We have been trying to find our way back for what can’t be so long, since the sun is still shining.
Still round the corner there may wait, A new road or a secret gate.
~J. R. R. Tolkien
500 word limit, all genres of creative writing are welcome
linky is open until Thursday, March 27, at 11:55pm Pacific
Use the quote as an opening/closing line, draw inspiration from a single word within it, or choose the photo instead.
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