“Crack! The twig made a noise as I stepped on it in the dark, vast forest.
My name is Nancy Simmons, and a week ago something very scary happened to me. I was taking a nature hike with my Girl Scout troop when we got separated and lost. A few hours later, everybody was found. Well, everybody but me. It wasn’t long until they called the cops. Soon, there was a search party out in the woods. But no one could find me.”
Chapter 1: Nancy
Crack! The twig made a noise as I stepped on it in the dark, vast forest.
My name is Nancy Simmons, and a week ago something very scary happened to me. I was taking a nature hike with my Girl Scout troop when we got separated and lost. A few hours later, everybody was found. Well, everybody but me. It wasn’t long until they called the cops. Soon, there was a search party out in the woods. But no one could find me.
Meanwhile, I was searching through the woods, all tangled and messed up. I tried to work my phone, but only the highest quality software could give me service in the middle of nowhere. I stumbled through the forest until I was super hungry. I remembered I had a sandwich in my bag and sat down on a rock, turning my flashlight on to eat.
Suddenly, I heard tiny noises chit-chattering in the woods. I stepped in and I saw one hundred purple, orange, and green-winged fairies talking. They froze and saw me standing there. They started forming a swarm. I yelled, “Hey! What are you doing? Ahhh!!! A SWARM OF FAIRIES!!!” They started jumping about and chasing me.
Crack! The twig made a noise as I stepped on it in the dark. Which is how we got here.
Suddenly I saw them again.
Meanwhile, an inspector named Inspector Simmons was looking EVERYWHERE for me, because Inspector Simmons was my dad. We got along really well. He was like my best friend. Both of my parents were super worried and were doing everything they could to find me.
I guess you are wondering what happened to me and the fairies, so I will tell you now. I stepped into the place where they were talking, and they all stared at me. I talked in what I hoped was a slow persuading voice and said, “Hi, my name is Nancy, and I am really lost in the forest. Could you give me directions out of the forest?”
The fairies looked at one another, and after what seemed like forever, one of them said in a quiet voice, “We cannot give you directions out of the forest, but we can give you directions to some animals who might know the way out.”
Chapter 2: Inspector Simmons
My name is Inspector Simmons, and Nancy Simmons is my daughter. A week ago she got lost in the woods. Her mom and I were searching everywhere in the forest. We even had ten search parties out in the woods. We tried to call her but she didn’t answer. It seemed like she was avoiding us. But we knew that was not true. We looked everywhere, but even then she was not found. Later on, we realized that she went into the passageway on the magical side, where there were fairies, imaginary creatures, and talking animals. (Real animals, not imaginary ones — but imaginary creatures can talk too.) Going through that passageway was really hard and there were only two reasons why she would go in there. Number one: she knew where it was and went through there to take cover from a bear or other animal. Or number two: she was stumbling through the woods and accidentally went through the passageway. We did not know where it was, so our only hope was that the creatures in the magical land helped her out.
Chapter 3: The Settlement with the Animals
This is Nancy. As you can remember, the fairies told me that I should go to the animals. I followed their directions (which, by the way, were hard to understand because they spoke so quietly), and it led me to a bunch of animals. I asked them, “Hi, my name is Nancy, and the fairies told me you know the way out of the forest. I am really lost, so I was wondering if you could give me directions out of this forest?”
They all stared at me in awe. Finally, after a long time (I was used to it by now), the gazelle, of all animals, spoke up. “We can help you but you will have to speak to our leader.”
I wondered who their leader could be. Well, it was a baboon! I walked up to their “leader” and asked, “Could you give me instructions out of the forest?”
He said with an accent, “Perhaps, but you will have to give us something we have never tried or seen before in return.”
I thought to myself, what have they never tried or seen before? Suddenly, I had the answer. My sandwich! I knew that I was hungry, but the sooner I got out the sooner I had something better than a sandwich to eat. But first I had to clarify that they had never tried a sandwich before, so I asked, “Have you ever tried a sandwich before?”
“A sand-what!?” the baboon said in the same accent.
“A sandwich,” I said.
I took out my sandwich and held it out of my hand.
The baboon took a bite and said, “This is yummy!” in his accent.
I said, “Please, now that I have given you something that you have never tried or seen before, tell me how I will get out!”
The baboon said, “Very well, but it is very hard to get out since you have entered the magical side.”
“The magical side?” I said. “What is the magical side?”
“The magical side is the side where there are talking animals and fairies and imaginary creatures. You are the first human to stumble into our magical land,” the baboon said.
I understood, so I asked how I would get out, but the baboon was too busy eating his — well, my — sandwich. I waited. He finished and told me. I wrote it all down in my handy-dandy notebook. Then I left. I now knew I had won the trust of the animals and the trust of the fairies.
Chapter 4: The Try to Journey Back Home
I used the directions the baboon and the rest of the talking animals gave me. I looked around myself and counted the days I had been in the forest: two whole days. I started to panic. “What if I never go home?” I muttered under my breath. I kept following the directions, but it seemed to me that I was lost. Again. Around me, there was peace in the beautiful cotton candy sky. It had wisps of orange and yellow edged into the starry, bluish-black night sky. I soon realized that in the magical land, there was no moon, just stars, and that there was a faint white circle in the background. I also saw stars in the day, but I saw a faint fiery ball in the distance. So, I realized that in the magical land, stars are brighter than the sun and moon.
I made a bed out of pine needles that I had collected on my try to journey back home and slept for the first time in two days. Suddenly, at about 4:00 AM, a bad thought hit me like a ton of bricks: what if I am here forever?
Chapter 5: Imaginary Creature Land
In the morning I started walking again. I walked for about two miles and paused to drink water. But when I started walking again, someone or something tapped my shoulder. It felt a little soft and furry, but I wouldn’t take any chances for it to fool me.
“Dad? Mom? Lucy?” (Lucy is my Girl Scout counselor.) No one was there. I just kept walking.
Again I felt that soft furry paw on my shoulder. I spun around quickly and saw… The cutest animal ever! It was soft and furry with legs and paws. It had two antlers and a nose. I quickly realized that it was probably the imaginary creature animal the baboon was talking about.
“Imaginary creature? Hello? What’s your name?” I said.
The imaginary creature looked impressed, probably because I knew what an imaginary creature was. It said, “My name is Proppy, and if you want I can take you to my imaginary creature land.”
I said, “Okay, because I am really lost.”
Proppy squealed, jumped, and hugged me. He took my hand and led me through a doorway that I swear was not there before. We went through the passageway and the imaginary creature land was super cool. Proppy chose where we wanted to go. He said there was a rainbow/candy island, a winter wonderland, a waterland, a fireland, and a regular land where all the imaginary creatures lived. The creatures could choose where they wanted to go without hustle or bustle. There was also a royal land where the queen lived. It seemed like every group had a leader but the fairies.
He said we were going to the royal land to meet the queen, who he told me was super nice and would like me right away. So, he chose the royal land, and we went through a rainbow rollercoaster. At the end of the rainbow rollercoaster was a palace decorated with shells, gold, silver, marble, and more. It looked majestic and beautiful. We stopped in front of the castle and entered through two huge golden doors.
Proppy went inside to talk to the guard, and after a while, we went inside. There stood two imaginary creatures that looked just like Proppy, except Proppy had white fur and they had blue. We went further inside, and we saw the queen. She was wearing a heavy velvet cape embroidered with golden designs. When she talked, it seemed as if birds were singing.
Not wanting to waste any time I said, “Hi, I’m Nancy and — ”
She interrupted me and said, “Well, hello! Can I do anything to make you feel more comfortable here at the castle?”
I said, “Well actually, I was wondering if you could tell me how to get to the human world?”
After a while, she responded, “No, but I know a wizard that can get you there.”
Frustrated, I muttered, “This is a wild goose chase.”
The queen, not noticing a thing, said, “Stay here for the night, and Proppy can lead you to the wizard’s den in the morning.”
The guards led us up to a bedroom that was very pretty. The covers of the bed were red and the pillows were red and embroidered gold like the queen’s cape. The floor was carpeted red velvet. The lampshade was white, and the doors were gold. The doors were labeled “Human Room Number Five,” so I realized this was a room they kept just for humans. So, they had to bring a smaller version of the bed for Proppy. They gave me a fresh set of clothes, and I used a bathroom labeled “Human Bathroom Number Four.” Then, Proppy and I fell asleep to dreams of the scary adventures that lay ahead of us.
Chapter 6: A Talk With a Wizard
Early in the morning, Proppy woke me up to have breakfast with the queen, who was now wearing a green velvet cape embroidered with a white tree. I was surprised when the waiter brought a plate with — how should I describe it? — FILLED with every color of fluffy, delicious marshmallows.
The queen said, “Bring on the other appetizers!”
Out came different types of pastries, juices, chocolates, and more. I ate so many of the “appetizers” that afterward, I had no room for the main course: different types of pies and cakes! Everybody who was sitting at the grand oa4k table was watching me with odd expressions on their faces. After dessert — er, I mean breakfast — was done, teary expressions appeared as the queen gave us instructions for our journey and our never-ending sweet filled bags. I thanked her endlessly, as Proppy ushered me out the door. I managed one final “bye” as the golden doors closed.
Nothing exciting happened when we were walking, so let’s just fast forward to when we got there. We saw an old, spooky cottage with spiders on it and we entered. Inside was an old man with a long, blue velvet robe and a small wooden table which contained a very big book with gold designs and lettering. It seemed to be a spell book, and next to it was a crystal ball and a wand. He didn’t even look up as he said in a deep voice, “Hello, what brings you here to my old cottage?”
By then he turned around and we could see his green eyes and sharp nose. I said confidently (even though I was scared of him), “We — I mean I — need instructions to get out of the woods.
“Hmmm…” he murmured. “Tell me child, how long have you been here?”
I said, “Three days,” without emotion.
Proppy was not even next to me. He was too busy playing with the crystal ball.
“I can open a passageway right now to get you back. In fact, if you came to me sooner, you could have been home two days ago.”
“So open it!”
He briefly nodded, and Proppy said, “You can visit soon right?”
“Yes, Proppy,” I said. “Thank you so much,” I said to the wizard.
“Of course, my child,” he said.
“Bye!” I said to Proppy.
“Bye!” he said. I jumped through the magical passageway.
Chapter 7: A Happy Reunion
I suddenly appeared in the middle of a crowd of police officers. Must be a search party, I thought to myself. By that point, I had service and called Mom and Dad.
“Mom! I made it out of the woods, and I’ll call a taxi to get home.”
“Ok! You don’t know how much we were worrying.”
I disconnected and hopped into a nearby taxi. Did I mention that I was in downtown New Jersey (that’s where the hiking trail was), and I live in Manhattan, so the drive was more like one hour? When the driver got to the stop, I would have given him a tip, but I didn’t have any money on me.
I opened the door to my house and walked into the living room and… surprise! My Girl Scout counselor, troop, friends, and family were all crowded in our living room. They brought out the most beautiful cake I had ever seen. It had yellow designs all over it, and it had purple layers. On top were plastic letters that read, “Welcome Back Nancy!” We had so much fun. Some friends stayed over, but some friends stayed late and left. Like late. Like REALLY LATE.
In the morning when everyone had left, I told my mom and dad all about my adventures over juice and toast. They were so proud of me! But here came the bad news: at dinner, I overheard Mom and Dad talking about going in there and capturing the magical creatures. I assumed, and still assume, they’re joking.
The big takeaway I learned from this is that sometimes you can’t just rely on others. You have to take action. Like, if I waited for the police to find me, I would still be in the woods right now.