School would get over earlier that day. And Bridget was excited since morning. She loved taking a detour through that little forest on her way back.
As soon as the bell rang, she got up to pack, ignoring her friends and their suspicious glances, she stuffed her books inside and shoved her pouch further into the bag. Slinging it over her shoulders she ran out of school and then started walking towards home.
It was late afternoon yet the forest was quite dark. The light hardly reached the floor past the huge mesh of leaves and branches that entwined together above her head like an intricate canopy. She loved the smell of wild, damp nature.
Bridget stood in the centre with her eyes closed and her mind blank. She let all her senses spread out from within her like invisible, probing tentacles trying to touch and feel everything that surrounded her.
It had rained awhile back and the water trapped among the leaves still continued to drip lazily, soft pitter patters breaking the eerie silence. The breeze had picked up after she entered the forest, and it now made a slow whistling sound through the trees. She shivered slightly. It was cold, the moist breeze.
Somewhere a tiny warbler was singing a tune. The melody rippled in the forest like an echo. Some parrots flew over her head flapping their wings and breaking her concentration. She turned her face up to follow the birds with her eyes.
Insects were buzzing alive from the undergrowths. Crickets ticking away like an agitated alarm clock. With every step, she crushed the dried leaves and twigs below her feet, enjoying their crackling noise. And whenever her shoes stamped on the sodden earth and gravel, they made a squishing sound in the mud. They gave her a strange pleasure.
Just then a puny globule of green yellow light flickered around her head, bobbing up and down. She raised her fingers hesitantly, wanting to reach out to the dancing light. It slowly alighted on her out-stretched palm.
Smiling, she exclaimed in a low whisper, “Firefly!”