Nature Hides Its Own

Drayden flicked a glance behind as he jogged deeper into the forest undergrowth, taking measured breaths as he moved. This casual running routine had been a perfect excuse in the past, but now Vanessa wanted to join him on the early-morning ventures. That would not do.

Another arising problem was the regularity with which he visited the grove. His dew-spattered sneakers had worn a hint of a trail into the dry earth and mossy rocks. Alternate routes needed to be found, and soon. His sister was curious, and knew which direction he sped away in. If it weren’t for the apparent necessity of his visits, he intended to stay away for at least a week. The desire to keep the grove hidden was forefront in his mind, as if he had any power to do so.

He was deep now, beneath tangled branches and vine-adorned trees. Ferns created a screen of waving greenery that he surged through with awakened energy. Life thrummed here; Drayden could smell it in the air, feel it tingling on his skin.

Ahead, the grove waited for him.

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