Blackwood Forest: Morning Walk

Christian Hargroves

The sun seemed to be rising much later than he thought was normal, Christian pondered on his long morning walk. It was much earlier than he normally would have taken a stroll up the first part of the Blackwood Mining Trail, but he needed the time to collect his thoughts. Mornings, especially after nights where his father was particularly violet, he would use the time alone in nature as a way to mentally prepare for school. He wanted to text Jinx, cry, scream curses at the sky, or all the above, but all he could think of, as he ran his shaking hands through his tussled dark blonde hair, was how much of a sissy he felt like. His father, Richard, the town drunk, was not kind about displaying his disgust that his son was gay. Christian had become accustomed to the near nightly assaults. If they weren’t physical, they were most certainly verbal. Catching a tear before it raced down his cheek, Christian wiped his face with the sleeve of his dark blue pullover.

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Blackwood Forest: Jinx Kicks A**!

Jinx Woodrow

Staring at the white-faced clock at the end of the hall with its black frame and hour/minute hands, Jinx inhaled deeply. It was 7:34AM and Christian was a solid thirty minutes late. Holding her breath for a moment, she watched the thin red seconds hand tick away counting down to first period bell. The god-awful screech of it was one of the few things she could actually hear, and she hated it. Her classmates, mostly the slackers and pops, the only students willing to risk getting pink slipped in first period, still rushed around. She wasn’t part of the high school hierarchy; not by her own standards. The slackers were far too interested in pot, weekend parties, and pissing off the principle for her to hang out with, the pops were all the popular kids, mostly jocks and such that didn’t really have to worry about getting a detention, and geeks and freaks were just too weird. In her own mind, she and Christian were their own group separate from the pecking order at Blackwood Forest High. They were “comrades in chaos” as she liked to regularly identify them as. Long hours at the Wooden Pot, the best damn coffee house in the entire state of Oregon, and weekends spent watching sci-fi movies, were their go-to activities; hiking on occasion too. The off green lockers, which lined both sides of the hallway, and were decorated for Halloween, felt like they purposefully lined her sight directly to the hanging time piece that would signal at least one afternoon detention was going to be handed out that morning.

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Motivational Thoughts: Trying

Try. Some people look at a mountain and think, “that’s beautiful to look at” while others see it and are filled with an uncontrollable desire to climb it. Some people see skydivers leap from a plane two-miles high and wonder, “what is wrong with those people” while people, like myself, can’t wait to experience that particular rush again. I am a seeker of adventure and the rush that accompanies it, while members of my family would rather never even see a picture of the craziness, I engage in for the thrill of it. Though we may be vastly different in what feeds our soul, what drives us to accomplish goals, we are all the same when it comes to the idea of, “trying”.

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Motivational Thoughts: What is Important

“What is important to me?”

If you’re like me your answers are initially quite easy. My family is important. My friends are important. My ability to work, my joy in independence, my need for social interaction and my relationship with the universe, or whatever god you pray to, are all quite important.

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What Happens in Blackwood Forest…

Clouds, which previously filled the dusk sky blotting out any light from the rising moon, suddenly parted as if by supernatural request giving freedom to the lunar rays. Crisp, blue-white light shot through openings in the once dense accumulation striking the forest floor below as glowing daggers. The deafening silence was only broken by the sporadic scurry of nocturnal scavengers awaking for the newly dawned night. Autumn was filtering its way into the area and brought with it various colors and a blanket of fallen leaves. The many Douglas firs, with their season defying green, perfumed the woods with a light scent. It was the smell of clean air: fresh with a barely perceivable nip. Much was the same as every night previous; long shadows stretched across the land, the air steadily decreased in temperature, and the stars speckled the fathomless sky. This night, however, there was a dread that accompanied the evening that lingered heavily over all that the darkness touched. Most of the area was unpopulated, but the woods, and the interesting rock formations prominent throughout it, were popular with hikers and overnight backpackers. Lost Lake, Silent Creek, and Wolf’s Hollow, making up the north, east, and west edges of Blackwood Forest respectively, attracted many hikers in the summer, but this late in the year it was rare to have people on the trails.

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