his is what it’s like when you get lost. the thorns of red vines stick into your fingertips as you try to shield your face. your feet kick up the smell of old leaves, and it makes you think of suburban autumnal piles, of the hot cider that your father always made you. it’s strange to think of it now. you’re so far in, working your way towards the belly of the beast. what was waiting for you there? you stop for a moment. you are having queer thoughts. it’s then you feel the change. your hair is the color of birch bark, and it takes on the texture of small branches. your arms start to stiffen, forever outstretched, looking for sunlight. the shoes you considered so practical are burst at the seams, and your toes elongate and curl over the leather. they burrow into the ground. the queer thoughts in your head flutter away with a sound like birds’ wings. you stand still for one more moment, and that is all it takes. you will never move again.