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The Forest

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As Regina finally joined the conscious world she found herself frightened and disoriented as she opened her eyes and saw the dark branches that let only a small amount of moon light through. She sat up, legs straight out in front of her as she made a mental checklist of any injures that she may have obtained while unconscious. For the most part she was unharmed, a few superficial scratches here and a couple of bruises there, there was one injury though that had her especially worried. There was a rather large gash on her left side, and when she rotated it felt as though a couple of the ribs there were badly bruised if not broken.

Regina knew that if her wound was not treated sooner rather than later that there were a number of nasty infections that she could fall victim to and so with that thought Regina gritted her teeth and stood up brushing the dirt and leaves of her simple black leather riding pants and white blouse.

Being that smart once queen that she was, Regina knew that she must pick a direction to walk and stick with it. By using the moss on the trees to gain her bearings and then in a quick decision set off toward the north, hoping to find the nearest settlement.

She walked for about five minutes before she heard a woman's cry, the sudden sound made her quickly come to a stop. The sound had frightened her, she had been so wrapped up in her own pondering that she had not even realized the forests lack of it's usually cacophony of sound. She stood there amongst the forests dark foliage for a few moments more, in hopes that if she could hear the cry once more she would be able to travel in the general location from whence it originated and hopefully find shelter.

After about two minutes Regina tired of waiting and took off, continuing her previous path towards the North.

As she walked, Regina searched for some sign of a break in the trees but remained disappointed with each sweep of her eyes. All she could see was the same old scene time after time as she swiveled gaze, left to right.

It had been about twenty minutes since the first time the woman's plaintive cry reached her ears, when she once more heard the mournful sound. This time Regina was able to hear the general direction from whence the cry came and so with no hesitation Regina turned around and began to back track frantically listening for another sob.

Regina let out a scream of frustration as the sound of the woman was emitted from somewhere behind her. Regina stopped and waited for the sound adamant that she would not move until she once again heard the cry. She did not have to wait for long for it was not even a minute before the wail once again sounded this time though it was not a single outburst; it was followed by a heavy sobbing.

Regina quickly took off North, in the direction of sobbing. She felt a small ball of hope build within her as the cries grew louder and louder with each graceful stride.

After about two minutes of tracking the sound Regina arrived at the edge of a clearing. She slowed her steps as she entered the clearing. The first thing she noticed was a beautiful woman kneeling at the edge of a calm crystal clear pond. The woman was clad in a white dress that was fluttering around her. The woman's golden blonde locks too, fluttered in the wind.

As Regina approached her, her voice was lost as she tried to announce her presence. Walking up to the ponds edge Regina could almost see the sobbing woman's face. It wasn't until she came to a stop next to the figure was she able to see the woman's reflection clearly. She took a step back once she processed what she had saw, her body filled with terror. She slowly backed away, quietly as to not alert the weeping woman, but her plans of a silent escape flew out the window when her foot landed on a branch. The resulting crack though not loud in ordinary circumstances echoed growing louder and louder. Almost immediately the woman's head snapped up and her eyes locked on to Regina's frozen body. Regina just stood there as the woman slowly rose and strode towards her. Regina's heart drummed a swift beat inside of her heaving chest as the woman closed the distance.

Just as the woman reached her, Regina her raspy voice holding no doubt, breathlessly spoke just a few words, "Nai. I must be."