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The Forest of Ernia

By Anvi Bajpai in Stories » Short
Updated 15:50 IST Nov 27, 2020

Views » 456 | 13 min read

Index

Chapter 1: ___________________________ The Escape

Chapter 2: ______________________ The Strange Girl

Chapter 3:________________________ Clara Stonewell

Chapter 4:__________________________ The Journey 

Chapter 5:____________________________ The Plan

Chapter 6:____________________________ The Fight

 

 

Chapter One - The Escape

 

In South England is the small state of North Arc, wherein the 'Forest of Ernia' lived a young woman named Olivia. 

Olivia Adele Banks, or Via as she liked to be called, was born on 16/11/1992 and had long black hair, dark brown eyes, and was very lean and tall. 

Via lived alone as her mom and dad had died when she was very young and her brother Aster when she was 15 after they escaped the torture of their orphanage.

Her brother and she had devised a plan to escape the headmistress who was known to check the gate every 5 minutes from her window. They decided they would distract her by having a fake package delivered from the city when she was not looking, and she had fallen for it!

After the escape, Via and her brother Aster hid in the 'Forest of Ernia' where they built a cabin. They would hunt everyday meat for survival. Sometimes they would get a deer and, if they were really lucky, maybe a cattle. 

They would take a 2 km walk to the waterfall in the forest to bathe and get water.

One night Via heard a loud growl and went and checked outside and saw a black figure in the dark, and as she looked closely, she realized, it was… a bear. 

She screamed for Aster and when he came she told him there was a bear around.

Aster looked scared but didn’t say anything to give away his fear.

They had a gun that they had stolen from a farmer who owned a farm nearby...

Aster took the gun and started after the bear... Via wanted to go too but he told her to stay there.

Aster went off to kill the bear but the bear caught him off guard and attacked him first. He pawed Aster, scratching him and wounding him and Aster's gun went flying off his hand and fell near the cabin.

Via was still in the cabin with the door closed but when she heard Aster scream, she peeked outside and saw the bear attacking Aster.

She stealthily came out and picked up the gun to shoot the bear dead, but it was too late as Aster had lost too much blood. The next morning he passed away in his sleep.

 

Via buried him deep inside the forest under the shade of his favorite tree and carved his initials there so that even though no one else could find him, she could. 

Now and then a fresh bunch of flowers is found under the tree in memory of her beloved brother.

 





Chapter Two - The Strange Girl

 

After Aster died, Via would fend for herself. She would go hunting for game every day, and make the 2 km walk to the waterfall-like she did with Aster. 

One day, when she was at the waterfall doing her usual, she heard a noise coming from the bushes.

“Who’s there?” asked Via nervously.

Via looked around and saw a girl coming out from behind the bushes. 

“Um, hi, sorry if I startled you. I was just exploring.” said the girl.

“Oh no issue, my name is Olivia Banks, but people call me Via. What’s yours?” asked Via.

“Clara Stonewell” she replied.

“It's a pleasure meeting you.”

“Same,” said Clara.

“Where do you stay? Do you live around here?”

“Ever since my parents died, I haven’t had a proper home. I have a tent and I move around.”

“Well, in that case, I have a cabin 2 km down this path and I have some extra meat from this morning's hunt if you're hungry.”

“That sounds great!”












Chapter Three - Clara Stonewell

 

Clara Norman Stonewell was born on 6/02/1992. She had pale skin, straight black hair, and dark brown eyes.

She was a normal girl who went to a school called Bright riders and had made some good friends. But then, her mom and dad were murdered by a man named Jack Carrington, who owned a cereal company called 'The Chocolate Flakes.'

Eating that cereal had made Clara sick the first time she had it and thus her parents who were scientists, got the cereal tested for chemicals. When they had found chemicals in the cereal, her parents filed a lawsuit against the company and won.  The negative publicity resulted in the company shutting down and they won 5 million dollars in compensation.

As their main vocation was science, they bought a state of the art lab facilities to continue their work but 6 months later, tragedy struck. Jack Carrington ordered a man named Benjamin Gregson to kill Clara’s parents to exact revenge.

The hired assassin came in the dead of night to kill the entire family, even Clara because if they were, all to die their lab could be usurped and sold to get back the money lost in the law-suit, but Clara got away in time.

Telling her story, Clara sighed tiredly and said to Via "I don't know if they are still looking for me or if they gave up but all I know is that I am safe for now."

Via, shocked on hearing Clara's story replied “Look I don't wanna be a part of this. I don't want to be a target ok!? I live peacefully alone here, and that's how I want things to stay,” 

Clara was sad on hearing this, and the cruel tone of her new friend broke her heart. In a small voice, she replied, “I understand, I will go now.”

Via looked at Clara as she was leaving, sadness etched on her face, tears welling in her eyes









Chapter Four - The Letter

 

Clara went to stay at an inn, not the best place but she keeps reminding herself that at least she has a roof over her head.

Via, on the other hand, is back at her cabin in the forest, all alone again.

One morning Via was coming back from the waterfall when she saw a man sleeping near the cabin who had a gun.

Via read his badge, his name was written clearly-Benjamin Gregson, the man who had wanted to kill Clara.

‘What is he doing here?’, Via thought to herself, but then upon realizing that he could wake up any moment, she decided to knock him out, but not kill him, as she wouldn't be any better than him if she were to kill him.

Then after knocking him out with a frying pan she searched him and found a letter in his pocket that said:

Jack Carrington.

4014 maple Road

Benjamin Gregson

20th street

 

Dear Benjamin,

 

Very good job on killing Robert and Anna Stonewell, but you didn't get the Stonewell girl, and she found her way into the Forest of Ernia and told a wild girl all about our plans.

So now as a punishment for making such an easy job so complicated, you need to go into the forest, find the wild girl, and kill her. 

I have already sent Malum Dolorem to go and find the Stonewell girl and do the job since you could not do it.

Don't mess this up... this time.

Jack Carrington

 

Via was shocked to read the letter and regret was written all over her face.

"In my reluctance to get involved, to protect me, I lost my only hope of help... and my friend."

She searched the man again to see if she could get anything else on Clara but there was nothing more to be found.

So, she packed her things and left the forest 




Chapter Five - The Journey 

 

After packing her belongings, Via left the forest and came to the city.

It had been 7 years since she was last here and it looked so different now.

New markets, new streets, new buildings- everything seemed new but the town still had the same peaceful vibe and old-world charm.

She went to every inn and every ‘Bed n’ Breakfast’ in town and finally tracked down Clara in the 'North Arc Inn,’ one of the cheapest inns in town.

Via went up to Clara's room and knocked. When Clara opened the door and looked at Via, shock was written all over her face.

"What are you doing here.. you said you didn't want to get inv..." 

"I didn't want to get involved but I don't have a choice anymore," Via cut in.

Upon saying this, Via handed Clara the letter. She read it to herself quietly. After reading this, it was clear she was more than a little shaken up.

“I don’t understand. Is he targeting both of us now?” she asked.

 "Yes," replied Via.

“We need to get away from here!” said Clara, panicking.

“Yes, that's a good plan but I think it's better if we leave North Arc altogether,” replied Via 

“you're right, but how??” sighed Clara

“Your parents' money must go to you, right? so we can take that money and the important documents and leave the country. I’ll meet you outside the bank in one hour”

“Ok”

Via was restlessly pacing in front of the bank when she suddenly heard someone call out to her in a hushed voice, and she saw Clara waving her to the side street.

“Via... I managed to get five thousand pounds in cash “ said Clara

"Great, that will last us a while," replied Via.

The two reached the train station and booked a train to London which would last 3 days and 2 nights and it cost 178 pounds. 

(In the train)

Clara was feeling guilty about getting Via involved. "Via I am so sorry I got you into this mess I know I sh…" she burst out

"No, I am sorry. I should never have kicked you out. After I found out he knew where you were and was gonna kill you, I don't know, I just thought I lost someone else," she interrupted.

Via extends her hand out towards Clara "Friends again?" she asks. 

"Friends again," replied Clara, shaking hands with her.

When the girls reach London, they booked a hotel which costs 50 pounds a night.

 They stayed there and started devising a plan to expose Jack Carrington.









 

Chapter Six - The Plan

 

The girls hatch a plan. They will send a letter to the address written on the letter Via found on his assassin. In the letter, they will tell Jack Carrington to meet Clara at a place near the police station. There, Via is going to record Clara going to see Jack Carrington and asking him why he is doing this. They will trick Jack Carrington into confessing and then they will show the police the video.

Hopefully, and fingers crossed, the police will show up and arrest Jack Carrington and his team and put them where they belong- behind bars.

 

Then, the girls put their heads together to make a list of items required to put the plan into action.

List

  • A recording camera.
  • A location, preferably quiet and near the Police Station. 

After they made a list, they went out to buy the recording camera from a shop near the hotel. Then they wrote the letter.

 

Clara Stonewell

The London Hotel

Jack Carrington

4014 Maple Road

 

Dear Mr. Carrington

As you very well know, I am all alone and have no family. I moved to London to restart my life but I can't- not without my mom and dad. 

After much contemplation, I have concluded that death is better. I can be with them.

I want you to meet me at the storage house, at the end of the alley near John's bakery in middle street on Saturday. I will be back from London by then.

Now, you must be wondering why don't I kill myself. It's because I don't want to deprive you of getting your money and revenge and the only way to fulfill both is to prove I am dead by letting you kill me.

Oh and about Olivia. She asked for forgiveness, correction, she begged for forgiveness, but I said "No."  After that, She disappeared somewhere. I don't know where and I don't care.

Yours Sincerely,

Clara Stonewell

 

After the letter was sent, both the girls traveled back to North Arc and waited till Saturday during which time they worked on Clara’s acting, which needed improving.












Chapter Seven - The Fight

 

Via and Clara walked to John's bakery and then split up and put their plan into action.

Via started the camera and waited for Clara to go inside. 

Clara knocked on the door of the storage house and out came Benjamin Gregson, who indicated by a gesture that the boss was waiting.

Via waited outside until she heard retreating footsteps and then she quietly snuck in.

She spied and followed Malum Dolorem, she knew, as it was written on the badge and she finally saw Jack Carrington and Clara talking.

Via pressed record on the tape.

Jack Carrington was laughing uproariously. Via couldn’t make out everything he said, but she could understand the general gist of what he was saying.

"Ahh, you foolish girl... you finally came to your senses... let me tell you... dying… does not hurt at all.. or at least I think it doesn't haha..."

"At least tell me why you killed my parents before I die," Clara sniffled.

 

Jack Carrington smiled shrewdly. "Alright.. one should grant the last request of the dying," he replied.

 Via smiled to herself and made sure that the tape was recording. 

 And then he explained in detail about his chemical-laced cereal, which was a part of the bigger plan to target the youth and make them susceptible to viruses and bacteria. 

Via was stunned as was Clara, and Via got all of it on tape. Then right at the moment when Jack Carrington was done talking, as per plan, Via took out her phone and played the police siren that they had downloaded earlier in the day.

Hearing the police siren, Jack Carrington and his men started running helter-skelter and, finding the right opportunity, Clara and Via snuck out of the storage house.

They took the tape along with other information to the police. The police tracked down and arrested Jack Carrington on two counts of murder and biological terrorism and put him behind bars.

 

It's also been heard that the two brave girls, who are now fast friends and live together, are to receive the Police 'Medal of Bravery' and a 'Certificate of Exemplary Courage' from the Queen herself. 

 

 

Credits

 

Thank you...

Adya Tewari 

(Illustrator and editor)

Snigdha Pandey

(Editor)

Avisha Bajpai 

(The inspiration for Clara Stonewell)

This book would not be possible without their help.

 

Written by -

Anvi Bajpai








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Comments

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Supriya 27-Nov-2020 12:17

We r so proud of U Anvi.... keep it up and would love to read more n more of ur writeups....loads of love n blessings to U...🤗🤗

Rajarshi 27-Nov-2020 12:57

Amazing story, do pen in more such creative stories.

ClaraStonewell 27-Nov-2020 17:59

Anvi this is so good, I enjoyed reading it, plsss write more stories!!!

Manojit 28-Nov-2020 00:09

Awesome!! Very nicely written, keep writing more, Best wishes...

Naisha 29-Nov-2020 10:47

Love it!

Rohit 29-Nov-2020 14:14

Nicely written Anvi, loved reading it. Very creative, keep writing. Best wishes

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