The forest was sentient, and most people avoided it. Not because it was dangerous or violent, but because it was eccentric. Unfortunately, I had an urgent errand in the town on the other side and had no choice but to pass through it.
I walked as quickly and quietly as I could through the dark woods, taking care not to tread on a flower or snap a single branch. But my efforts to avoid the forest’s attention were in vain.
“Hey,” a flowering vine whispered in my ear. “How’s it going?” I sighed, preparing myself for a long, dull conversation.

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