A/N: I wrote half of this a week before I wrote the second half. And the second half I wrote at 8AM after staying up all night. So if it doesn't make too much sense, that's why. :)
Disclaimer: No, I don't own PJatO! *cries*
GREEN LEAVES AND HOSPITAL BEDS
Chapter Three – Meeting Morgan
Waking suddenly, I scramble to my feet, looking around for danger. Not seeing anything, I sigh. I get the feeling I'm missing something, but I can't figure out what it is. I look up. The rainclouds are still there, an endless gray, but nothing falls from them. The ground's still muddy, but I can live with that. I walk to one of the nearby trees, reaching out to touch the trunk. In that moment I make a decision; I will see just how big this forest really is.
I grab hold of two of the branches to pull myself up, but before my feet leave the ground, I hear something. I whip my head around, expecting to see someone; I'd heard my name. Nothing. Narrowing my eyes, I turn my attention back to the tree. I climb about ten feet before I hear my name again. "Katie," the wind whispers in my ears.
I grit my teeth, and choose to otherwise ignore it; it has to be my imagination. Continuing, up, up, up, branches and leaves seem to go on forever. I have a long task ahead of me, but I know that once I've started, there's no turning back.
I halt my ascent to catch my breath. Leaning my head back against the tree trunk, I look around at the vast expanse of green, gray, and brown. Everything but the leaves are a dull color. The leaves are the only thing that stands out. I wonder why that is, and remember that I'd been wearing – and still am – a bright red shirt. I look down at it, expecting it to seem as bright as I'd remembered it. It's not. I finger the now dull cloth, questioning why only the leaves are bright. Sighing, I pull myself up, continuing up into the sea of green and brown.
Eventually, I am high enough to see above the tops of most of the trees, and look out, hoping to see a sign of someone else here. One thing stands out among the bright green on gray clouds landscape before me; black smoke curling up to the sky, some distance away to my left. I scream in joy of the one sign of other life. Then I look down and begin to beat my head against the tree trunk. It's a long way down. I decide to drop a few branches down at a time, hoping against hope that I don't slip on the wet wood and go plummeting to my doom.
Finally I'm only a few feet off the ground, and I jump the rest of my way, my knees bending automatically to brace for the landing. I land softly, my feet barely making a noise against the old leaf mold on the forest floor. I glance around quickly, taking in the familiar surroundings, and then I take off, racing in the direction of where I saw the smoke. Leaves and branches appear and then disappear just as quickly as they'd appeared as I follow a small path.
Wait. A path? What's a path doing in this forest? I realize as I'm running along. Immediately, I stop, slapping myself mentally for not noticing earlier. I step off the path aways, multiple thoughts running through my head. I rest against one of the trees, breathing heavily. Then, I hear a twig snap and something walking up the path. I stiffen, preparing myself for a monster. I duck behind a bush, and watch as a human comes walking up the slight path, humming to herself. I gape at her, wondering how in Hades name there can be another human be here and I didn't know.
But then I consider the fact that this is a pretty big forest, and I stand, coming out from my hiding place. The girl – she appears about my age, maybe a little younger – gives a start at my sudden appearance. Her mouth takes the shape of an 'o', and she steps back. "Who-who are you?" she stammers out.
I look at her warily, unsure if I can trust her. But then I decide to tell her my first name, and nothing else. "I'm Katie. Who are you, might I ask?"
"Morgan. I've been here, two months, I think. I've lost track of time," she responds with a slight smile.
I nod, not really caring how long she's been there. "Is there anybody else here?"
She tilts her head, considering the question. "There is a boy… He just showed up a few days ago, though. I can't get him to tell me his name though." She gives a helpless shrug.
I think this over and nod. "Can you take me to him?" I ask.
She nods and turns, heading back the way she came. I follow silently behind her.