The suns rays pierced through the forest foliage which only the intermittent beams of light could pass. David tiredly lay next to Teddy amongst the great old oak of the surrounding forest resting his newly formed body for what lay ahead of him. The conditions of the environment had taken a toll on his human flesh now pierced with oozing mosquito wounds and gouged by the forest thorns. It was enough to make David think twice about the wish he had made.
As the sun steadily rose from it slumber, warming the forest floor David stretched to awaken himself to the new day. A sense of destined optimism had captured his heart, and he was on truly on his way to reunite with his beloved mother. After a time he jumped up and strode to the bushes to relieve himself, the sun was now gleaming at his face through the forest clearing, a humming vibrancy filled his body, only to be put off as he lifted his arm and took a tentative sniff of his pitts repulsed by the odours. The 2 months haul of living in the depths of the forest had certainly left is mark, his shoes and clothes covered in mud and worn beyond recognition, although his determination had not wearied.
David rummaged through his makeshift backpack for breakfast from what was his last supply of food. The scanty supplements did not appease him as he grumbled while finishing eating the meagre ration packs that sustained his weakening frame. His stomach groaned
"I'm so hungry" he moaned looking at Teddy with envious eyes, wishing for the briefest of moments, that he had no need for food. But after a short duration of jealousy, he remembered the warmth of his mother's face and his determination came back. Teddy gave David a perplexed glance and focused his attention on more important matters "David, I think we should head off now" he said as he jumped from the decaying log that he had rested upon. David gave a satisfied smile and nodded "I agree teds" and lifted the bear onto his back and then made his way towards the world of humans ahead
It was only after 40 minutes of trudging along the forest path, that they came to the barriers that separated the forest from the asphalt. A barbed wire fence imposed a line that separated the vegetation from a small asphalt strip of what seemed to be some sort of skating park occupied with hooting teenagers doing jumps and flips on skateboards in colourful fashion. Davids grasped the fence, eye's filled with delight and wonder, realising now he could walk amongst humans as one of them.
David called teddy to haul him up the fence "here Teddy." he put his foot on the bear's strong paw, giving him that extra oomph he needed to clear the fence, working his way carefully past the sharp ends of the metal. He knew that his new body was vulnerable to cuts; and cuts could lead to infection.
As David made his way over the fence and thudded to the ground, Teddy followed. He stood there for a time, wringing his hands, feeling his nerves strung tight as he saw the once preoccupied teenagers turn their heads looking at the strange boy who had come over to their side of the fence. Inaudible muttering broke out amongst them all pointing their fingers at the strange figure that they saw. Two of the teenagers came slowly came in his direction, the others followed his gaze and then they all stopped. David suddenly froze in fear thinking of what they may do to him. Slightly nervous in the sinister manner in which they approached, David managed to make out the figures that confronted him.
They were about 2 years older than him. The first one seemed to have a dark complexion, totally clean shaven exaggerating the pudginess of his body, with a suspicious smirk on his portly face. The second was a tall lanky lad whose hair clung to his scalp in tight curls. He stared at David raising his left eyebrow as if apprehending what he might have seen., Then as if out of the blue he looked at David and something strange crossed his face. David cringed under the look but after a moment realized that it wasn't really spiteful; that it was more like… amazement? "Yo, Marty, check this out." the older boy said, beckoning over his shoulder.
The other boy approached the scene as he clung onto his skateboard under his arm and grunted with the usual teenage flair
"What have you got there Norris, you'd betta not be shittin with me again"
David looked anxiously at the advancing figure, slowly opening his eyes that beheld him. To his astonishment the figure was instantly recognisable as his former brother, he stepped back fearing repercussions and an angry outburst but instead was greeted by a silence of disbelief and shock
Norris peered closely and the mysterious figure "Dude is it just me, or does that look like your brother that disappeared six months ago?" he turned to Martin. Martin just looked at the figure with shock, his thoughts were confirmed
"Martin" Whispered David
Martin took a step back trying to come to terms with what he saw standing in front of him. There was a boy who until now wasn't a boy, ragged in clothes, bruised skin and covered in mud who, six months ago had been ripped out of his life. David could see the tears that swelled in Martins eyes despite his attempts to blink them away, all the guilty memories clawing their way up to the surface.
Todd steps back knowing what his friend has confronted "Dude, if you want me to go and leave you two at your own devices…Martin nodded, which Norris took as a signal to turn and let the brothers make their reconciliation. Up until now Martin had not said a word, but just stared.
"No way, you can't be HIM" shaking his head in disbelief as he knelt on the ground and reach down and touch the figure.
Tears brimmed up in David's eyes. "Martin, why were you so mean to me, like the time you made be cut mother's hair, I was only trying to be a good brother to you" Martin took this comment as a dagger to the heart all the guilt of the past resurging in this single moment
"Holy shit, it really is you" Martin gulped assessing what he had seen slumping himself to the grassy ground, hands covered his face, no longer acting the hard man. David touched his knee tenderly realising the guilt that the stabbing words had caused.
Martin reacted as those he had been zapped by a tazer.
"omg bro, I'm so sorry" his face overcome with tears with overflowing emotion. He lunged for David in an all-embracing hug that only a brother would understand…
"Its all my fault" he hugged him even tighter "I'm sorry for not stopping those boys bullying you in the pool, I've been such a nasty brother to you when I made you eat the spinach and treat you as if you're some toy"
….David until now had no response at this unexpected move but founding himself clinging onto his brother with tears running down his cheeks, never wanting to be let go…finally the all-embracing hug was released David put his hand on his brothers shoulder looking at him firmly in the eyes "Its done, its gone, its forgiven. You're a brother to me now and no matter what, I will love you no matter what we have gone through in the past"
Martin stood up and pulled out his cell phone from his bottom pants of his Nike tracksuit, flipped it open and held it to his ear; it was a moment of anticipation as the phone buzzed and both boys waited to be picked up.
A voice answered and Martin said in a low voice "Dad, I think you'd better come and see this"