The Lost Journey
By: Clay, Elizabeth, and Hailey
Sitting in the living room felt so surreal. Mom just kept screaming in my face. Her
voice etching into my ears making them burn.
“Do you not see how you’re ruining us?” She was so frustrated and so annoyed with
I could feel dad’s stare looking at me from behind mom.
“You lack motivation, you don’t do your homework, you never do your chores, it’s
like you’re not even here!” he says.
I slammed the back door and left.
I said to myself “I can’t do it, I just can’t do it.”
The perfect house and the perfect life, I left it behind. Now the woods were the only
thing standing in my way.
I leaned against the fence and saw a black cat so stark against the snow. It must be
cold, it was sitting there so still. I ran towards it, until it was right in front of me. I stared
into its eyes, they were as icy as the snow below us. Before I could get a closer look, it
darted into the dark woods. It was either stay home, or follow, and I couldn’t face the
state of my “so called” home.
The cat bended around trees as I followed, making it difficult to stay close. Just when
I thought I was about to catch the slippery cat, it disappeared out of sight. I was
I stopped there, isolated by tall trees and freezing snow. There it was again, but this
time it was sitting on a tree. It gave me the same stare as before. I’d come this far, and at
this point I wasn’t going to lose this cat. Not now, not in these woods. It hesitated a
moment then I lost it in the branches.
I scrambled through the thick foliage but there it was sitting on the highest perch. I
stretched my arms as far as I could to reach the cat. But just when I was about to pet its
silky coat, I noticed something in the background.
Nestled between tall trees, so green they were almost black, was a castle of stone,
overgrown with vines. With a gust of snowy wind the tree’s spine croaked and within
seconds of looking into the distance, the branches fell through. In a panic, I grabbed for
anything within my reach and it just so happened to be the slippery cat. The creaking of
the branches was so alarming. I couldn’t focus on anything else, just the piercing croak
echoing in my head. The wind was on my back now and I was falling. Out of nowhere I
felt a gentle stop. Like a guiding hand, I was led to the snowy ground.
As I’m lying on the snow, gathering myself, I remember the cat. I twist around just in
time to see it dart off once again, behind the trees. And that’s when I heard the voice. A
soft echo came from somewhere behind me.
“Hello, are you hurt?” Her voice was wandering around me, passing through each
tree like a strong wind.
I didn’t know what to say, for some reason everything seemed darker and more still.
“Im fi ne” I spat out the words.
But then I realized, I had no idea where the voice was coming from. It was
everywhere and nowhere.
The voice spoke again, “May I help you up?” The same sound chimed from
somewhere behind me.
I looked around the forest to see where the voice was coming from.
“Who are you?”
I had to get out of here. I got up, and ran in the same direction as the cat that was
somewhere ahead of me.
“Hello, I’m Jamie. What are you doing here?”
Her bright green eyes were startling. Her clothes were that of someone who’d been
here awhile. I kept walking, trying my best to get away from her. I was so far away from
home, these trees weren’t familiar.
Suddenly I couldn’t move. I looked down and saw my feet sinking in sand. My heart
was pounding in my chest and I had the urge to scream. But I couldn’t. My skin was hot,
I felt my face and my neck but I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t move. I was stuck. And I was
Could anyone hear me? I kept screaming but nothing seemed to work.
“Do you need my help? It’s me, Jamie?”
She was behind me and I could barely turn around to see her.
“Y, y, yes, N- no, ye ye yes.”
I was reaching for air at this point, when Jamie grabbed my hand and pulled my
arms. Her hands were freezing, almost sharp. I was out of the sand, but I couldn’t seem
to calm down. I was gasping for air as she was sitting over me.
Coughing a foggy breath I mustered, “How did you get me out of there?”
She ignored my question, and said “I know where we can go, there is a castle. It’s
known to be able to solve any problem”
She offers a hand to help me up. I was still a bit cautious of Jamie, but I let her. The
strange woman’s mention of a castle had piqued my interest.
“Here we are.”
We stopped in front of a snow covered castle. Its tones of violet and green colored
vines peeked from the strong build of the stone. I heard the sound of a rushing river just
beyond the castle.
“It must’ve thrived back in its day,” I whispered under my breath.
It was tall and mighty, yet neglected with rusted gates and a tarnished fl ag peeking
out from the clouds.
“Have you been here before?” I questioned. “How are we going to get in?”.
Jamie responds “Don’t worry there is warmth and security in the castle, just like how
you wanted.” Jamie’s words were monotone.
As we entered the castle, I saw the same slippery cat appear from the hall. There
appeared to be something in its mouth, but before I could take a closer look Jamie drew
my attention away.
“In order for the elixir to work you have to have faced your problems.”
“What does that mean?” I ask.
“You’re not motivated, you’ve hardly helped the entire quest, it’s like you’re not even
Her words cut deep, opening a chasm of unwanted memories. I start to back away
from her. Jamie begins to walk closer. I started to trip over my feet.
“Why are you doing this? I don’t understand!” I said, nervously
“It’s time for you to be sound with yourself.” Jamie says. “It’s time you let me go.”
I ran from the castle. I felt emotions of sadness, frustration, and confusion jumbling
inside my stomach. Jamie continues to stalk behind me. We’re surrounded by branches
topped with fresh white snow on trees with bare spines. The cold air numbs my tired
legs, and I stumble over myself, falling to the ground.
“What were you talking about back there? When you said to let you go? I just met
“That’s where you’re wrong James, you’ve always known me,” Jamie said ominously.
I hear her track of footsteps stop and suddenly her presence feels unfamiliar. I look
up at her. Her eyes weren’t her own, neither her hair, nor her clothes. I looked at her in
her disgruntled eyes and saw that she was my mirror image.
“What is going on? Who are you?”, I question.
She responds, “I am you, can’t you tell?.
“I don’t understand, I just met you. How can you be me? It’s not like I have some evil
twin.” I pause to think about it. “Right?”
Jamie says, “No, nothing like that. I’m your subconscious. I’m here to help you with
“What problem? There’s nothing wrong with me”, I retort.
“Come on James, think about it. Think back to earlier. When you fell from that tree,
you should’ve died. But you didn’t. Why do you think that is?” Jamie questioned.
I tried hard to focus, to understand the events that had transpired.
“The cat, who’s ever heard of a black cat with white eyes? And how did we get to the
castle? What do you remember between falling out of the tree, and walking into the
I stare at her blankly.
“What do you mean, how’d we get there? We–” at this moment I realized I couldn’t
remember anything. Not the journey to the castle, or how long it took to get there. It’s
almost as if…
“It was never real” Jamie fi nishes my thought out loud. I look up sharply. Confusion
fuels my anger. Jamie ignores this.
“Listen to the rushing river water. Look at the beautiful fall leaves around you, feel
the warm sun beating down on our face. It’s winter, James. Or at least it’s supposed to
The realization hits me like a ton of bricks. Everything I thought I knew is coming
into question. The world around me becomes hazy at the edges. There’s a sharp
pounding in my head.
I look up at Jamie now, tears streaming down my face, “what’s wrong with me?”
Jamie’s face softens. My face, I should say. She kneels down in front of me. I don’t
back away this time. Suddenly, the slippery cat from before appears from behind a tree.
It joins Jamie, knelt before me, and sits at her feet. I notice in its mouth a small glass
bottle with a dark umber color. Jamie holds out her hand and the cat drops it into her
palm. Jamie uncaps the bottle and gently passes it to me.
“We were always here to guide you, and we always will. Here, take this elixir, this will
make the pain go away.”
Tired from everything that has happened, and hopeful to get better, I drink the elixir.
My hazy vision becomes hazzier still, but the pounding in my head fades. The ground
becomes a soft cushion, warm and inviting. I start to lay back. Just before I completely
slip away, I hear Jamie;
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help”
I slowly open my eyes to a dim white room, beeping sounds in the near distance.
Next to me is a strangely familiar face.
“Jamie”, I whisper?
“Actually it’s Gemma” She laughs, “But close enough. You had an episode, and we
had to give you a sedative to calm you down. You’ve been sleeping for quite a while. How
are you feeling?”
“Episode?” I questioned.
“Yes. Based on the symptoms you’ve experienced, we think you had a schizophrenic
episode, but we want to get an expert opinion just to be sure.”
I have nothing to say to this. What could I say in a situation like this? I think back to
what Jamie had said to me. I turn to look at the doctor.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to get better”.
She gives me a warm smile, tells me to get some rest, and that she’ll check on me in a
bit. She leaves the room. I lie back down, trying to take in the information. As I’m
dozing off, I see something from the corner of my eye. I swear I see something shiny
black, with stark white eyes run across the windowsill.
The Lost Journey